By Richard Feltoe
A Gentleman of Substance covers the awesome lifetime of John Redpath. Born to humble conditions in Scotland in 1796, he emigrated to Canada in 1816 to develop into a stonemason in Montreal. by way of 1818 he had his personal development and contracting company and used to be engaged on the Lachine Canal in addition to a lot building and recovery paintings on constructions in Montreal. His paintings at the Rideau Canal, as shrunk via Colonel John by way of, tested his company acceptance, whereas his management in the Presbyterian Church stabilized his place locally. His involvement within the political and army lifetime of Montreal is traced from ahead of the 1837 uprising interval via to his involvement with the Annexation circulation, making him an seen candidate for the Montreal urban Council. the writer strains John Redpath's upwardly cellular social prestige, his friendship with Peter McGill, and his recognition into the elite society of Montreal, incomes him a spot in the coveted “Square Mile.” regardless of a rigorous enterprise agenda and wide kinfolk duties (he fathered 17 children), he was once a common benevolent contributor to neighborhood wishes, in addition to engaging on various forums and Committees and contributing to the shaping of the city layout of Montreal. recognition is given to his expansive domestic, Terrace financial institution, the following subdivision of his property and the early residential enlargement of Montreal, and to his founding of the Canada Sugar Refinery and its development.
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Extra resources for A Gentleman of Substance: The Life and Legacy of John Redpath (1796-1869)
Since it is not often that details of life in private homes of this period come to light, it is fortunate that one of John's granddaughters, Lily Dougall (1858-1923), has left us a record of some of her memories. Lily was born at "Ivy Cottage," actually the original Des Rivieres house that John maintained on the Terrace Bank estate for the use of Elizabeth and John Dougall—his eldest daughter, her husband and their family. As a result, Lily spent much of her childhood in and around Terrace Bank.
Normal life in Montreal effectively came to a standstill/ businesses closed down and society events were cancelled. The city became a place of fear, as graphically described by one new immigrant, Catherine Parr Traill, during her passage to Upper Canada, and later documented in her book The Backwoods of Canada, published in 1836: Nelson Hotel, Montreal, August 2 4 . . The cholera had made awful ravages, and its devastating effects were to be seen in the darkened dwellings and mourning habiliments of all classes.
Sunday morning opened fair with a small fog upon the lake—what I call ague-like—Arrived at the narrows about 8 o'clock—where the Colonel proposed to build a lock and ofered us the sum, which I declined to acept as thinking that we had enough already in that sickly part of the world—avised him to give that to Stevens or some other constructor thereabout, which he intends to do... From there we proceeded to Smith's Falls and then to Old Sly's on horseback. It was now dark but the Colonel was determined to go to Edmunds Pond where we stop'tfor the evening.