Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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MOLSON, John, Canadian capitalist, born in Lincolnshire, England, in 1764; died in Montreal in 1836. He was proprietor of the estate of Snake Hall and Moulton, Lincolnshire, but came to Canada in 1782, established a brewery in Montreal, and in 1809 was the pioneer of steam navigation of the St. Lawrence, placing the steamer "Accommodation" on its waters. Other vessels were afterward added by him, and in 1812 he did the state service in the transport of troops and supplies during the war with the United States. He subsequently became president of the Bank of Montreal, and was a member of the executive council of Lower Canada. --His son, John, born in Montreal, 14 October, 1787; died there, 12 July, 1860, after completing his school education, entered his father's service, and afterward became associated with him in business. He took an active part in the introduction of railroads into Canada, was president of the first railroad in that country, the St. Lawrence and Champlain, and continued a director of it during his lifetime. He was also a director of the Bank of Montreal, and in 1853, with his brother William, established the Molson bank, which became one of the most important in the country. When the special council replaced the parliament in 1837, he was called to a seat in it. He served on behalf of the crown during the rebellion of 1837, but his irritation at the passage of the rebellion losses bill in 1849 led him and others to sign the annexation manifesto at that time, for which he was deprived of his commissions as a colonel of militia and justice of the peace, tte was noted for his benevolence, was governor for many years of the Montreal general hospital, and retired from its presidency only the year preceding his death.--Another son, William, born in Montreal, 5 November, 1793" died there, 18 February, 1875, was for many years a brewer and distiller in Mon-t real, and was a director of the Bank of Montreal, but retired to found, with his brother, Molson's bank, of which he was president till his death. He was at one time president of the Champlain railroad, and later a local director of the Grand Trunk railway. He was held in esteem for his integrity and liberality, was a governor of McGill university, and one of its principal benefactors. He built the library, convocation hall, and other buildings for this institution, and, with his brothers John and Thomas, endowed the chair of English literature.
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