Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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MACDOUGALL, William, Canadian statesman, born in Toronto, 25 January, 1822. His grandfather, John Macdougall, a native of Scotland and a United empire loyalist, served in the British commissariat during the American Revolution. William was educated at Toronto and at Victoria college, Cobourg, studied law, and was admitted to the bar of Upper Canada as an attorney in 1847, Shortly afterward he engaged in journalism, establishing in 1848 the "Canada Farmer," and subsequently merging it in the " Canadian Agriculturist," which he continued to publish and edit until 1858. In 1850 he founded the "North American," a reform newspaper, of which he was managing editor until its absorption in the Toronto " Daily Globe " in 1857, and he was the leading political writer on the latter paper from 1857 till 1859. He represented North Oxford in the Canadian assembly from 1858 till 1863; North Ontario from 1863 till July, 1864; and North Lanark from November, 1864, till the union of 1867, when he was re-elected for the latter constituency to the Dominion parliament, and represented it till 1872, when he was defeated. He represented Halton county in the Dominion parliament from 1878 until the general election of 1882. He was elected for South Simcoe to the Ontario assembly in May, 1875, and represented it till his resignation in September, 1878.
He was a member of the executive council, and commissioner of crown lands in the Sandfield Macdonald-Dorion administration from May, 1862, till March, 1864; and provincial secretary in the Macdonald-Tache administration from June, 1864, until 1867. Mr. Macdougall was appointed acting minister of marine in July, 1866, with charge of the eight provincial gun-boats on the lakes, which, with the aid of Vice-Admiral Sir James Hope, he had speedily fitted out for service against the Fen-fans. He was appointed, 1 July, 1867, minister of public works in the first Dominion government, and retained the office till he was commissioned lieutenant-governor of Rupert's Land and the Northwest territories in October, 1869. He was met at the boundary-line of the Red river settlement by an armed force, acting on behalf of the provisional government of Louis Riel, which compelled him to retreat to Pembina, Minnesota, and he did not enter on the duties of his office. He represented Canada at the New York exhibition in 1853, was a delegate to the Charlottetown union conference in 1864, to that at Quebec the same year, and to the colonial conference in London to complete the terms of union of the British North American colonies in 1866-'7. He was also a delegate to Great Britain, with Sir George Etienne Cartier, to confer with the imperial authorities on the subject of the defences of the Dominion, and for the acquisition of the Northwest territory in 1868-'9. Mr. Macdougall was sent to Great Britain by the Canadian government in 1873 as a special commissioner to confer with the home government on the subject of the fisheries, and to make arrangements in Scandinavia and the Baltic provinces for the promotion of emigration to Canada. He was created a companion of the bath (civil list) in 1867, appointed Queen's counsel in August, 1881, and subsequently a puisne judge in the province of Quebec. At, the beginning of his political career he was a Reformer, but afterward was independent, and did not pledge himself to support any party, he has introduced and carried through successfully some of the most important acts of the Canadian parliament. He is a fluent and powerful speaker and an eloquent and logical advocate, but his cold and unsympathetic manner has rendered him less popular and successful than he would be were his sympathies broader and his humor less caustic.--His son, Joseph Easton, Canadian jurist, born in Toronto, 25 March, 1846, was graduated at Upper Canada college in 1864. He studied law and became a barrister in 1870. He was lecturer on criminal law for the Law society of Ontario from 1878 till 1883, junior judge of the county court of York and the city of Toronto from 1883 till 1885, and since that time he has been senior judge of the county court. On 18 September, 1885, he was also appointed judge of the Maritime court of Ontario, which place he still (1888) retains. He became a Queen's counsel in 1883, and is one of the commissioners appointed in 1886 for revising the public statutes of Ontario. He was secretary to the Canadian commission that was appointed to visit the West Indies and British Guiana, to improve the trade relations between these colonies and Canada, in 1865-'6. Judge MacDougall is the author of "Lectures on Criminal Law and 'Ports" (Toronto, 1882).
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