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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HOWLAND, Sir William Pearce, Canadian statesman, born in Pawling, New York, 29 May, 1811. He is descended from John Howland, who landed in New England in 1620. Sir William was educated at the Kinderhook academy, Co., removed to Canada in 1830, and settled in the township of Toronto, where he can. The business with his brother he served in the Canada assembly for West York in 1857-'68, and as a member of the executive council of Canada from 1862 till 1864, and from 24 November, 1864, till the union. He was minister of finance in 1862-'3, and receiver-general from that date till 29 March, 1864, postmaster-general in 1864-'6, and then minister of finance again till 1867. He became a member of the privy council of Canada, 1 July, 1867, and was minister of inland revenue from that date until he was appointed lieutenant-governor of Ontario in July, 1868, which position he held till November, 1873. In 1865 the government made him a commissioner with Alexander T. Galt to visit Washington in the interests of reciprocity trade between Canada and the United States, and in 1866 was reappointed to the same mission with others. He was a delegate to the London conference in 1866-'7 to complete terms of union between the British North-American provinces. He was created a companion of the bath in 1867, and a knight commander of the order of St. Michael and St. George in 1879. For several years Sir William was president of the board of trade of Toronto.
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