Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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DAWSON, Shanon James, civil engineer, born in Scotland about 1820. He came to Canada when a boy. In 1851 he was appointed to plan and superintend the construction of extensive works then contemplated on the St. Naurice, to open up the vast pine regions of that River and its tributaries (previously almost inaccessible to the lumber trade), which works he performed successfully. He was appointed in 1857 to explore the country from Lake Superior to the Saskatchewan, completed the work, and reported upon its adaptability for settlement. For some years afterward he carried on business as a timberinerchant on the St. Maurice. In 1868 he was commissioned to the construction of the route to Red River, now known as the "Dawson route "; and in 1870 he conducted the Red River expeditionary force under Colonel (now Lord) Wolseley, to suppress the half-breed insurrection in the northwest. ]n 1873 he was joint commissioner with the lieutenant governor of Manitoba and the Indian commissioner of the northwest in concluding a treaty with the Saulteux tribe of the Ojibway Indians. He resigned the charge of the Dawson route on becoming a candidate for Algoma, for which he was returned at the general election for Ontario in 1875. He resigned his seat in the local legislature, and was elected for Algoma for the Canadian parliament in 1878, and again in 1882. Mr. Dawson has done much to improve his constituency and to ameliorate the condition of the Indians, and in parliament has advocated the formation into a separate province of the great region between the 81st to the 95th meridian/, e., from French River to the Lake of the Woods.
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