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Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century biographies contain errors and bias. We rely on volunteers to edit the historic biographies on a continual basis. If you would like to edit this biography please submit a rewritten biography in text form . If acceptable, the new biography will be published above the 19th Century Appleton's Cyclopedia Biography citing the volunteer editor





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Peter Brown

BROWN, Peter, Canadian journalist, born in Scotland in 1784; died in Toronto, 30 June, 1863. During his earlier years he was engaged in business in Edinburgh, and took an active part in polities, on the liberal side, at the time of the borough-reform litigation. He immigrated with his family to the United States in 1838, and for the five years following resided in New York. During a part of that period he was on the editorial staff of the "Albion," and he afterward became editor of the "British Colonist." In 1843 Mr. Brown removed to Toronto, where he established the "Banner," an organ of liberal Presbyterian views. This journal was edited with great ability for many years, and. besides vigorously supporting the claims of the Free Church party in the Presbyterian denomination, in opposition to the claims of the Established Church in the same body, also gave its support to the cause of political reform. From 1844 till 1849 Mr. Brown also contributed largely to the columns of the "Globe," which had been established by his son George. While in New York he published "The Fame and Glory of England Vindicated" (1842), which was intended as a rejoinder to Charles Edwards Lester's "Glory and Shame of England."--His son, George, Canadian journalist, born in Edinburgh, Scotland, 29 November, 1818 ; died in Toronto, 9 May, 1880, was educated at the high school and the southern academy of his native city. After finishing his studies he assisted his father in business, and immigrated with him to the United States. In New York George was for a time his father's publisher and general manager in his newspaper enterprise. In 1843 the former visited Canada, and, being promised the support of influential liberals, established the "Globe" newspaper, as a weekly, in Toronto, the first issue appearing on 5 March, 1844. Under his management this journal became a great success, and was soon issued as a daily. In 1864 he founded the "Canada Farmer," . a journal devoted to agricultural interests, and he subsequently engaged largely in stock raising at his model Bow Park farm.

Mr. Brown first entered parliament in 1852, and was opposed during his candidature by the well-known leader of the rebellion of 1837, William Lyon Mackenzie, who had returned from his exile two years before. Mr. Brown soon took rank as a powerful speaker, and such measures of reform as the abolition of the clergy reserves, state churchism, and seniorial tenure, always found in him an able. advocate, both in parliament, through the columns of his paper, and on the lecture platform. Sir Edmund Head called him upon to form a government on 2 August, 1858, and the Brown-Dorion administration came into existence as the result. Before it was possible for the members of his administration to be reelected, the house of assembly passed a vote of want of confidence, and the governor-general having refused to grant a dissolution, as desired by Mr. Brown, he and his colleagues at once resigned, after holding office for three days. On 30 June, 1864, he entered the coalition government, formed for the purpose of securing confederation, being leader of the reform section, then in a majority in the house, as John A. Macdonald was leader of the conservatives of Ontario, and Mr. Cartier of the French Canadian conservatives. In the session of 1864 Mr. Brown had obtained a select committee to inquire into and report upon such changes in the constitution as would satisfy the just expectations of the people of western Canada. The committee reported in favor of a federal system, such as was afterward established in 1869. On 21 December, 1865, he resigned, after the confederation scheme was arranged, though the imperial act was not passed, owing to his disapproval of the policy of the government relative to a reciprocity treaty with the United States. He was a member of the Charlottetown union conference in 1864, and of that at Quebec the same year, and of the confederate council of British North American colonies, for the negotiation of commercial treaties, which sat in Quebec in September, 1865. He went to England, as a delegate, on public business in 1865, and to Washington in 1874, in behalf of Canada and the empire, as joint plenipotentiary with Sir Edward Thornton, to negotiate with the United States a commercial treaty. In 1875 he declined the lieutenant governorship of Ontario, as he had also declined the twice-offered honor of knighthood. He was called to the senate on 16 December, 1873, from which time he did not actively interfere in politics except through the columns of the "Globe."

In 1862 he visited Scotland, and while there married Annie, the daughter of Thomas Nelson, the well-known Edinburgh publisher. On 25 March, 1880, he was shot in the leg by a discharged employee, and though the wound was not regarded as dangerous at the time, he died from its effects on 9 May following. Mr. Brown's tragic death was deeply regretted, even by those he had so persistently opposed politically, the statue erected to his memory in Queen's park, Toronto, which was unveiled 25 November, 1884, being purchased partly by their contributions. Though Mr. Brown was for years looked upon as the leader of the Reform party in Canada, and was always a power in politics, he never secured an enthusiastic following in parliament or the steady allegiance of his colleagues in office, the reason probably being that he was too uncompromising and required an unhesitating obedience, which his political associates were but rarely willing to concede. In 1882 was published "The Life and Speeches of the Hon. George Brown," by Alexander Mackenzie.-Jol??, n Gordon, Canadian journalist, brother of George, born in Alloa, Scotland, 16 November, 1827, was educated in Edinburgh and New York, coming to the latter City in November, 1838. In 1843 he removed to Toronto?? and in 1844 became connected with the "Globe" newspaper. Subsequently he edited the Quebec "Gazette" for about a year, and in 1851 became actual editor of the "Globe," his brother, for many years before his death, devoting himself almost exclusively to the commercial department of the paper, and to political matters not intimately connected therewith. After the death of his brother his formal elevation to the position of managing editor and president of the "Globe" association took place. A difference of opinion between Mr. Brown and the majority of the members of the association relative to the enforced withdrawal of Alexander Mackenzie from the leadership of the Liberal party, the expediency and honorable character of which course was doubted by Mr. Brown, together with other disagreements, Ted to his leaving the "Globe" in 1882. In May, 1883, he was appointed registrar of the surrogate court of Toronto.

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