Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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MOWAT, Oliver, Canadian statesman, born in Kingston, Ont., 22 July, 1820. His father, John Mowat, a native of Carthness-shire, Scotland, served through the peninsular war, and came to Canada, in 18i6. Oliver was educated in Kingston, subsequently studied law, was called to the bar of Upper Canada in 1841, and was created a Queen's counsel in 1856. He established himself in Toronto, and obtained an extensive chancery practice. He represented South Ontario in the Canada assembly from 185'7 till 1864, and unsuccessfully opposed John A. Macdonald for Kingston in 1861. He was provincial secretary in the Brown-Dorion administration from 2 to 6 August, 1858, postmaster-general in the Sandfield Macdonald-Dorion govern-meat from May, 1863, till March, 1864, and held the same office in the coalition government from June, 1864, till 14 November, the same year. He was then appointed vice-chancellor of Upper Canada, which post he resigned, 25 October, 1872, and formed a new administration in Ontario, becoming premier and attorney-general of that province, which places he still (1888) holds. He was elected by acclamation for North Oxford to the Ontario parliament in November, 1872, and re-elected in 1879, 1883, and 1886. Mr. Mowat is a bencher ex-officio of the Law society of Ontario, was a commissioner for consolidating the general statutes for Canada and Upper Canada, respectively, in 1856, and was a delegate to the Quebec union conference in 1864. As vice-chancellor he was one of the judicial officers that were appointed to report upon estate bills in the Ontario assembly. He has been president of the Evangelical alliance of Ontario since 1867, a member of the senate, and has received the degree of LL. D. from Toronto university. Mr. Mowat is the author of many important legislative measures in the provincial parliament, among which is the judicature bill, an act for the fusion of law and equity in the courts of Ontario. He is a Liberal in politics, an effective public speaker, and has been a cautious, intelligent, and successful administrator of the government of his native province, in which his popularity is very great.--His brother, John Bower, Canadian educator, born in Kingston, 8 June, 1825, was graduated in arts in 1845, and studied theology for two sessions at Queen's university, Kingston, and for a similar period in Edinburgh. After holding pastorates he was appointed in 1857 professor of Hebrew, Chaldee, and Old Testament exegesis at Queen's university, Kingston. He received the degree of D. D. from Glasgow university in 1883.
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