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photo credits: CC-PD-Mark

John Galt

British writer

1779   -   1839

country of citizenship: Kingdom of Great Britain, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
occupation: novelist, writer

John Galt (; 2 May 1779 – 11 April 1839) was a Scottish novelist, entrepreneur, and political and social commentator. Because he was the first novelist to deal with issues of the Industrial Revolution, he has been called the first political novelist in the English language.He was the first superintendent of the Canada Company (1826-1829) that had been formed to populate a part of what is now Southern Ontario, then known as Upper Canada, in the first half of the 19th century. The company was successful and its achievement was later called "the most important single attempt at settlement in Canadian history".The area, known as the Huron Tract on the eastern shore of Lake Huron, was 1,100,000 acres (4,500 km2) in size and had been acquired from the Chippewa First Nation by the British government. The company surveyed and subdivided this massive area, built roads, mills, and schools and advertised it at affordable prices to buyers in Europe. The company then assisted in the migration of new settlers, bringing them to the area by means of a boat, which the company also owned. Initially settling in York (Toronto, Ontario) he selected what later became Guelph, Ontario as the company's headquarters, and began to develop a town there. Galt is also considered to be the founder of Goderich, Ontario with his colleague William "Tiger" Dunlop. In 1829, he was recalled to Great Britain for mismanagement of the Canada Company (particularly incompetent bookkeeping), and was later jailed for failing to pay his son's tuition. Galt's Autobiography, published in London in 1833 includes a discussion of his life and work in Upper Canada.He was the father of Sir Alexander Tilloch Galt of Montreal, Quebec.
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