Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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CAMERON, Malcolm, Canadian statesman, born in Three Rivers, Canada East, 25 April, 1808; died in Ottawa, 1 June, 1876. He was the son of the hospital sergeant of a Highland regiment, was entirely self-educated, and served first as a farm-boy, subsequently as a stable-boy in Montreal, then as a clerk in a brewery, which he finally left to open a general store on his own account. In 1836 he began his political career as a representative for the county of Lanark in the old Upper Canada assembly. He who had arisen from poverty and obscurity to a place of honor and importance through his own endeavors, and owed nothing to adventitious circumstances, was not likely to favor oligarchical privileges, a state church, or the irresponsible government of a family compact: consequently he opposed those abuses with all his power, both in parliament and on the hustings, and contributed in no slight degree to a removal of disabilities that now leaves the government of Canada so essentially a government of the people. Under Sir Charles Bagot's regime, 1842-'3, he was appointed inspector of revenue, and he held a seat in the cabinet of the Baldwin-Lafontaine administration. He was once president of the council, and afterward commissioner of public works, was also minister of agriculture, as well as postmaster-general, at the Hincks reconstruction in 1851 became again president of the council, and at the time of his death represented South Ontario in the House of Commons.
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