Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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GOWAN, Ogle Robert, member of the Canadian parliament, born in County Wexford, Ireland, in 1796" died in Toronto 21 August, 1876. His father, Captain John Hunter Gowan, of Mount Nebo, was a leading County magistrate and distinguished in crushing the Irish rebellion of 1798. In early life he edited the "Antidote," a newspaper in Dublin. He removed to Canada in 1829, residing for a time in Escort, Leeds County, Ontario, and subsequently in Toronto. During the rebellion of 1837 he was appointed captain in the Leeds militia, and was present at the capture of Hickory island, near Kingston, in 1838. In the same year he was appointed lieutenant colonel of militia. At the engagement between the British troops and the invaders, at 2) "the Windmill," near trescott, in November, 1838, he commanded the right wing of the British forces, and was three times wounded. For his bravery on that occasion, Lieutenant-Colonel Gowan was thanked in the military general orders, and by a general order of 4 December 1838, his regiment, as a mark of distinction and approbation, was hereafter to be known as " The Queen's Royal Borderers." He was subsequently appointed to the command of 2d regiment of Leeds militia, and during the McKenzie-Papineau rebellion of 1837-'9 he was designated " the right arm of British power in America," being the head of a most powerful body of loyal men organized and sworn to support British supremacy. For twenty years he was the grand master of the Orange lodges of North America, of which he was the founder. He was a member of the Canadian parliament from 1834 till 1841, and was an ardent supporter of the administrations of Lords Seaton, Metcalf, and Cathcart. Mr. Gowan as a post-office inspector, and afterward a license-officer in Toronto. He was the author of "Annals of Orangeism" and " Orangeism" its Origin and History."
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