Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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HAMILTON, Jolt, Canadian senator, born in Queenston, Ontario, in 1802; died 10 October, 1882. He was the son of Robert Hamilton, a native of Scotland, who had been active in public affairs in Canada. The son was educated at Queenston and in Edinburgh, Scotland, and at the age of eighteen entered a mercantile house in Montreal as a clerk. He afterward returned to Queenston, and became a builder and owner of steamboats. He owned the "Frontenac," the first steamer that sailed on Lake Ontario, and built the "Lord Sydenham," the first large boat that ever ran the rapids of the St. Lawrence. For years he made a determined resistance to the Grand Trunk railway in its efforts to secure the carrying trade of Upper Canada. He retired from business in 1862. In January, 1831, he became a member of the legislative council of Canada, and remained in public life for over half a century afterward. On 29 January, 1881, the fiftieth anniversary of his elevation to the council, he was presented by his colleagues with an address, in which his services to Canada were referred to with appreciation. He was chairman of the trustees of Queen's college from 1841 till his death.
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