Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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McGILL, John, Canadian statesman, born in Auchland, Wigtonshire, Scotland, in March, 1752 ; died in Toronto, 31 December, 1834. After receiving his preparatory education, he was apprenticed to a merchant at Ayr. In 1773 he emigrated to Virginia, adhered to the royal cause in the Revolution, and in 1777 was a lieutenant in the Loyal Virginians. In 1782 he was a captain in the Queen's rangers, and in 1783, at the close of the war, went to St. John, New Brunswick, where he remained seven years. In the winter of 1792 Mr. McGill removed to Upper Canada, where he became a member of the executive council in 1796, and in 1797 of the legislative council, in which body he remained till his death. He was also inspector-general of accounts, to which office he was appointed in 1801. --His nephew, Peter, Canadian merchant, born in Cree Bridge, Wigtonshire, Scotland, in August, 1789; died in Montreal, 28 September, 1860, was named McCutcheon, but he afterward changed that surname to McGill at the request of his uncle, whose heir he became. Peter emigrated to Canada in 1809, and, settling in Montreal, became a merchant. From June, 1834, till June, 1860, he was president of the Bank of Montreal. He became a legislative councillor in 1841, was also for a time an executive councillor, and in 1847 was appointed speaker of the legislative council, which office he held till his resignation in the following year. Mr. McGill was the first chairman of the St. Lawrence and Champlain railroad company, the first that was established in Canada, from its beginning in 1834 until the road was completed in 1838. He was mayor of Montreal from 1840 till 1842, a governor of the University of McGill college, governor of Montreal general hospital, and president of various associations. He was noted for his liberality, and probably no other citizen of Montreal did so much to advance its interests.
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