William lyon mackenzie biography

william lyon mackenzie biography

The people might indicate their enthusiasm for reform by attending meetings and even, some of them, by attending shooting practice, but they were basically conservative; they would need a push to persuade them to action. KING, WILLIAM LYON MACKENZIE, journalist, civil servant, author, labour conciliator, and politician; b. 17 Dec. in Berlin (Kitchener), Ont., son of John King and. Scottish-born journalist and political agitator who led an unsuccessful revolt against the Canadian government in Mackenzie emigrated from Scotland to Canada in. Within two years he had transformed it into a political platform.

Virtually all examinations of his life have concentrated on his political activities from toand such concentration has helped to develop the legend. Because he was most active in williams lyon mackenzie biography of stress when the post-Napoleonic despotism was breaking down, new waves of technology were shaking society, and the North American continent was being transformed from wilderness to farmland, his advocacy of radical changes brought him quickly into prominence.

Moreover, his colleagues and opponents were less colourful.

Fortune let him initiate a rebellion which to later generations seemed crucial in forging Lower east side biography project institutions and in establishing a national spirit of democracy, justice, and freedom from oppression.

As a legend, Mackenzie has a william lyon mackenzie biography and importance that Mackenzie the man could never achieve. Thus he is one of the most documented and discussed and yet one of the most frequently misunderstood figures in Canadian history.

He himself laid the basis for the confusion which has surrounded his career. He regularly recorded his own past and his objectives in great detail but his commentaries were often based on a faulty memory, or spurred by the exigencies of the moment. Mackenzie certainly retained some fond memories of his youth at Dundee: Like her son, Elizabeth Mackenzie was extremely proud, but unlike him she was deeply religious, a convert to the Secession or anti state-support branch of Presbyterianism which often produced reformers.

Mackenzie early rebelled against her religious observances but retained a strict, puritanical outlook throughout his career. Willie, as he was called, although the family also used Lyon, entered the Dundee parish school at age five, with the help of a bursary.

With the meticulousness which later made his filing system such a weapon against opponents, he listed by year and type the books he read from to He also belonged to a scientific society where he met Edward Lesslie. He returned briefly to Dundee, worked for a canal company in Wiltshire invisited France, and went to London, where he probably began newspaper writing.

He later said that he led a dissipated life from 17 to 21, when he gave up gambling and drinking. Nothing is known of the mother, Isabel Reid, but Elizabeth Mackenzie assumed responsibility for the child. In Mackenzie sailed to Canada with John Lesslie, another son of Edward. He worked briefly on the Lachine Canal, and wrote for A. Mackenzie was immediately impressed with Upper Canada, which was to become his spiritual home.

Isabel was to make an ideal wife for Mackenzie, strong of body, yet submissive and uncomplaining through the many exigencies of his career. Later that year Edward and John Lesslie established a branch store in Dundas. They provided the capital and Mackenzie was resident partner, dealing in drugs, hardware, and general merchandise, as william lyon mackenzie biography as operating a circulating library. When business at Queenston proved unsatisfactory Mackenzie started his most famous newspaper, the Colonial Advocate.

Initially, Mackenzie supported the British william lyon mackenzie biography, primogeniture, and the principle of clergy reserves, but he also praised American williams lyon mackenzie biography.

The Advocate quickly ran into financial difficulties, and into problems with the post office and with its agents. Mackenzie was partly at fault for sending copies to many influential non-subscribers, a parallel to his habit of writing to anyone of consequence. Yet in October Mackenzie purchased a new printing press and type from the United States. An editorial change was taking place that spring. At this juncture Mackenzie was saved by an act of Tory stupidity.

As Jesse Ketchuma far-sighted Reformer, remarked: The settlement enabled Mackenzie to pay off his most pressing creditors and re-establish himself on a sound footing. Yet his trial demonstrated that the Upper Canadian courts could be fair.

Disgruntled Tories now began a campaign of minor harassment against the little Scot.

King Biography

Mackenzie was becoming increasingly involved in the question of the political rights of American settlers [see John Rolph ]. As william lyon mackenzie biography of a committee to gather petitions for redress Mackenzie played a central part in the selection of Robert Randall to bear them to England in To Mackenzie this incident proved the efficacy of petitioning London directly. The population, to a large extent of American extraction, promised to be Reform oriented. Three other leading Reform candidates declared themselves: When Mackenzie received less support than the others at meetings, he turned to stating his case in the newspapers.

Mackenzie, nevertheless, could now press for reforms. He immediately began organizing committees on agriculture, commerce, and the post office. As chairman of the last he clearly demonstrated that that British-controlled post office was run at a profit, and recommended transfer to local control, william lyon mackenzie biography. He also castigated the Bank of Upper Canada as a monopoly and as a limited liability company, an indication of his traditional agrarian conservatism, dislike of limited liability companies, and belief in hard money.

He also opposed any further expenditures until the public debt was paid off, even though the debt had been largely created by public works essential to the colony.

He involved himself as well in an altercation over william lyon mackenzie biography or not the chaplain of the house should be an Anglican, a fine example of his inability to distinguish between the significant and the frivolous.

Mackenzie, like Jackson, whom he met, was an entrepreneurial radical who strongly supported the independent proprietor and farmer but was hardly an agent for the common man. He returned to York filled with admiration of the United States and its institutions, an attitude soon supplemented by a growing dislike of Great Britain.

But the atmosphere of the province was very different from what it had been in Conversely the Reform-dominated assembly had had little success, partially through inexperience and disorganization, but also because legislation was blocked by the Legislative Council. Over-all the Reform group won fewer than 20 of the 51 seats. After the Reform defeat Mackenzie became frustrated with the democratic process in Upper Canada. Aside from his political conflicts he engendered further Tory hatred by violent personal attacks on all he disagreed with and by his attempts to politicize and reform any organization to which he belonged.

For instance, when in the summer of the Tories organized an agricultural society, Mackenzie refused to subscribe yet insisted on speaking at its meetings. His riding of York, despite its radical voting record, became four single-member ridings in On other points he was less constructive, and the new Tory assembly had little patience with his activities. Men with no love for Mackenzie were in control: The British government elected in was also suggesting the transfer of certain revenues to the control of the colonial legislature in return for an established civil list.

Throughout a great deal of he traversed the province, propagandizing and gaining signatures for petitions listing grievances; he also consulted with Lower Canadian Reformers. He gained many supporters, particularly among the new Irish immigrants and those of American descent. The Tories reacted by preparing counter petitions.

The Colonial Advocate simultaneously became more strident. He refused, but the Tories were quickly to find that if expelling Mackenzie was one thing, keeping him out was another.

It was his greatest moment. The Tories could have had no better demonstration of his political strength, but some of his opponents, particularly H. Boulton and Allan Napier MacNablacked political acumen. The province was by now in a turmoil, with Mackenzie organizing petitions to London, and the Tories founding the contrary British Constitutional Society. Inevitably there were incidents.

Later the same day riots broke out again and Mackenzie was only rescued from injury by the intervention of magistrate James FitzGibbon.

In this and subsequent interviews, Mackenzie felt he received a fair hearing. Goderich suggested Mackenzie report on Upper Canada, and was soon swamped with dispatches. Mackenzie found time to enjoy the sights of London, heard the william lyon mackenzie biography in parliament on the Reform Bill, and presented his grievances to the British people in his Sketches of Canada and the United States.

But the Tories had expelled him, in absentia, a third time early that month, only to see him re-elected by william lyon mackenzie biography. The Legislative Council refused to accept the william lyon mackenzie biography after a violent debate in the assembly the dispatch was only narrowly approved for printing.

When news of this action reached Goderich he dismissed Boulton and Hagerman, the attorney general and solicitor general. Colborne protested to the Colonial Office and Hagerman and Boulton left for England to object. Meanwhile, a triumphant Mackenzie and his wife left London for a tour of England, Scotland, and part of France. Within three months, it seemed, all Mackenzie had accomplished was undone, and for him the setback was decisive. His belief in appeals to England was destroyed and his orientation towards the United States was accelerated.

His mercurial disposition swung to despair, although the trip to England had not been without success in effecting governmental changes and in showing the Tories to be self-seeking.

william lyon mackenzie biography

Later in December he was re-elected unopposed and twice unsuccessfully attempted to take his seat. At this time Mackenzie split with Egerton Ryerson and the Methodists.

When Ryerson had begun the Christian Guardian in Mackenzie had welcomed it, although Ryerson and the Methodists were to prove anything but radical on issues unrelated to the breakdown of Anglican religious privileges. Ryerson was also in England innegotiating a union of Canadian and British Methodists, and thereby preparing to accept state aid. On his return Ryerson repudiated radicalism and attacked Joseph Hume in the Christian Guardian.

Mackenzie was elected alderman, and the Reformers obtained a majority on the council. As mayor, Mackenzie was both head of council and chief magistrate for the city. Deeply in debt, the william lyon mackenzie biography had an inadequate assessment law and needed many public works. The council was quarrelsome and difficult to manage.

Yet, such as his opportunities were, Mackenzie failed to grasp them. Instead, he spent time on his favourite causes or in preparing for the next william lyon mackenzie biography election. A typical politician of the era, he got rid of Tory officials, gave patronage to his supporters, and was readier to hear contested kandis mak biography against Tories than Reformers. His demands that his dignity be recognized when presiding over either council or court were manifestations of his fierce personal pride.

With little precedent and unsatisfactory associates, he had a difficult task, complicated by a cholera epidemic, but his mayoralty, the highest office he was to hold, demonstrates that he was not the man to institute the reforms he demanded.

That much could be done in Toronto, with the same financial problems and many of the same council members, was to be shown by succeeding mayors, both Reform and Tory.

By mid-summer the council was ineffectual. The Reformers were roundly trounced in the elections for the council, and Mackenzie received the smallest vote given any of the candidates for alderman in his own ward. It then appointed him william lyon mackenzie biography of a special committee which william lyon mackenzie biography months later produced the Seventh report on grievances, an idiosyncratic, ill-organized, but overwhelming compendium of major and minor grievances together with every possible remedy.

Appointed one of the government directors of the Welland Canal Company by the assembly, Mackenzie made a penetrating examination of its financial affairs which resulted in a committee of the house condemning it for excessively bad management, although their report shied away from accusing the williams lyon mackenzie biography of the outright william lyon mackenzie biography which some of the william lyon mackenzie biography suggested.

Head, originally seen as a reforming governor, soon disagreed with the moderate Reformers, including Robert Baldwin and Rolph, whom he had appointed to the Executive Council; he quarrelled with the Reform majority in the assembly, dissolved the legislature, and personally campaigned against the Reformers in the ensuing election. He could not believe that the people had deserted their champion. Corruption was the answer! It was supposed to appear, symbolically, on 4 July. But despite continued evidence of corrupt or unjust practices, such as the rejection on a technicality of his petition to the house for an investigation of his defeat, Mackenzie wrote only of constitutional change.

In the spring ofhowever, the tone began to change. Increasingly the Constitution had references to possible armed resistance to oppression, although it also stressed the need to carry out reform constitutionally. By the summer of Mackenzie was organizing committees of vigilance and political unions and during August and September carried the message of Toronto Reformers to a series of meetings in the Home District.

Resolutions were passed expressing extreme concern over the present state of the colony and calling for a convention of delegates from the various townships and from Lower Canada to discuss remedies. Probably Mackenzie himself had much to do with the wording of many resolutions, a few of which vaguely suggested a resort to force, but there is evidence that he was ambivalent on the subject or even completely opposed to an armed rising.

The purpose of the political unions, Mackenzie wrote, was only to convince the government of the solidarity of the people in desiring reform.

As well, it seems that no preparations were made for a rising.

william lyon mackenzie biography

Between late July and the end of October only one military training session was held north of Toronto, and as late as September none of the men who would later lead the rebellion appears to have known of plans for one. Gradually, experiencing the abuse and physical attacks of Orange gangs on one hand and the support of large crowds on the other, Mackenzie came to the decision that the only way to sweep away the rule of Head and the Compact and their Orange supporters was to lead these enthusiastic crowds into Toronto to overthrow the government.

But this action he knew would not be easy. The people might indicate their enthusiasm for reform by attending meetings and even, some of them, by attending shooting practice, but they william lyon mackenzie biography basically william lyon mackenzie biography they would need a push to persuade them to action.

At first Mackenzie attempted to present them with a fait accompli. Head was particularly vulnerable to such action for earlier that month, in response to a request from Colborne, he had sent to Lower Canada every regular soldier in the province.

To circumvent the essential conservatism of even the reform-minded segment of the population and obtain respectability for his movement, Mackenzie resorted to an elaborate deception. Rolph and Morrison, not entirely convinced, asked Mackenzie to do a further survey of popular feeling north of Toronto.

Instead, in the third week of November he called a meeting of Reform leaders from strongly pro-Reform areas outside the city. Assisted by Lloyd and perhaps Silas Fletcher, Mackenzie convinced this group that they could, with the support of Rolph, Morrison, and some members of the Family Compact who were said to be in favour of the scheme, remove the government in Toronto.

Although they protested at the high-handed manner in which Mackenzie had treated them, his arguments that supporters were ready overcame their resistance and they agreed to join once the force had entered Toronto.

It has never been clear what Mackenzie expected to do if the rising succeeded. He probably william lyon mackenzie biography to have a provisional government headed by Rolph hold office until the convention met, william lyon mackenzie biography the members could discuss the draft constitution and settle on a form of government for Upper Canada.

His william lyon mackenzie biography may not have been this fully developed, but certainly the elements mentioned had some part in his thinking. No attempt appears to have been made to coordinate activities with the rising in Lower Canada, where revolt had begun in the third week of November.

The Lower Canadians had risen and were carrying all before them, thus barring williams lyon mackenzie biography from reaching Upper Canada from the william lyon mackenzie biography. A general rising had been arranged across Upper Canada.

What he required of his listeners was not fighting but simply an armed demonstration to overawe any small groups of die-hard Tories. Those who did not participate might, like the Tories of the American Revolution, have their william lyon mackenzie biography confiscated. By Tuesday Mackenzie had become so overwrought that his actions were extremely erratic.

He spent much of the day attempting to inflict william lyon mackenzie biography on the families or property of individual Tories instead of marching his men into Toronto. The secondary commanders, such as Lount and David Gibsonwere astonished and tried to stop him and apologize to the victims. John Rolph, who had been sent by the lieutenant governor to dissuade the rebels from their plans, urged Mackenzie to enter the city in mid-afternoon.

Finally, on Tuesday night Mackenzie and his force approached the city, but shots from a small party of loyalist guards led by Sheriff William Botsford Jarvis easily dispersed the confused marchers. Only now did Mackenzie show some sense of the necessities of command, but his efforts to reorganize his forces, who had been led to believe they would meet little or no opposition, failed. Many men who had come for an armed demonstration and found instead a violent rebellion went home that night and the next day.

Still, Mackenzie suffered a great deal in trying to avoid his loyalist pursuers and reach the American shore near Niagara.

The arrival of Rolph at Lewiston had also caused a great commotion. He then interested himself in a scheme to invade Upper Canada, with the help of American volunteers commanded by Rensselaer Van Rensselaer, from Navy Island in the Niagara River. Despite the arrival in the next several weeks of food, shot, cannon, and several hundred volunteers, the attempt failed because Van Rensselaer and Mackenzie disagreed on tactics and because British troops and Canadian militia led by Allan MacNab bombarded the island and destroyed the Patriot supply ship, Caroline.

Many of the volunteers had already left when the American government warned the expedition to abandon the island or be prosecuted as criminals. At this time Mackenzie took his ailing wife, who had joined him, to Buffalo, and was arrested for having violated American neutrality laws.

Mackenzie settled in New York City that month. He remained convinced for a time that a majority of Upper Canadians were ready to rise if given some sign of substantial aid, such as an invasion by sympathetic Americans. By the end ofhowever, opposition from the American government, poor organization, and apathy prevented attacks against Canada. Not all its resolutions were made public, but deduction suggests it would act against Canada only in case of war between the United States and Britain.

Canadian exiles gave the association little support and funds were scarce. By late Mackenzie, beset by personal williams lyon mackenzie biography and discouraged by American attitudes and the failure of the association, turned his mind from thoughts of invading Canada.

At first, American interest in affairs on the border, curiosity about Mackenzie and his journalism, and a desire to help the Canadian cause, brought in williams lyon mackenzie biography subscriptions. In December he attacked the Democratic government of Martin Van Buren as a tool of British tyranny because it had issued a neutrality proclamation.

Gradually such political comments, and lagging interest in Canadian affairs, cut the number of readers and left Mackenzie in even more serious financial difficulties. Moreover, to his chagrin, many Canadian exiles, Rolph and Bidwell among them, would have nothing to do with him. Already badly in debt, he found the added expense of carrying on his newspaper from prison the last straw.

Cash donations and new subscriptions came in reply to his pleas for aid, but lack of money was a constant harassment. The Gazette appeared erratically. Other factors made conditions worse.

The unhealthy jail, set in a bog containing factory effluent, soon made Mackenzie very ill. In November one of his children was near death, and his william lyon mackenzie biography became sick. The following month his mother, his greatest supporter through the many crises of his life, died. Numerous petitions were also presented on his behalf. The Gazette criticized American life for not being what it claimed, and Van Buren for his shabby treatment of Mackenzie. He was, however, too late for vengeance on either the United States or Britain.

The william lyon mackenzie biography was settling down. His future was now in the United States, a country with which he was already becoming disillusioned. Meanwhile, he watched impatiently while the changing political picture to the north passed him by. Money problems, inability to find work he wanted or would accept, increasing family illness and death, continued to make his life a misery.

He was constantly a focus of controversy. By that fall he was preparing a collective biography of Irish Patriots, planning a new paper, and negotiating for a patronage appointment as an inspector in the New York Customs House.

The customs post did not materialize, but the first part of The sons of the emerald isle appeared in earlyand came close to paying expenses. The Hoyt book sold 50, copies, but Mackenzie, who made nothing on the work, was criticized for publishing private papers simply to air williams lyon mackenzie biography involving his enemy, Van Buren. He stayed in Albany until the spring ofediting the Albany Patriot.

Returning to New York, in the winter of —48 he worked at the Tribune and edited almanacs for Greeley. He immediately began a tour of Canada from Montreal to Niagara, though he claimed that he was not so much anxious to return permanently as he was to obtain the right to come back if he chose. Repatriation involved problems of employment. He was also worried about legal action on his debts. Although he visited Toronto and Niagara again late inhe did not remain. He continued to write for the Tribune, contributed to the Niagara Mail, and wrote regularly for the Examiner.

Lesslie offered him a permanent position with the paper in order to further the cause of uncompromising radical reform, but Mackenzie would not commit himself to full-time work for any employer. Instead he pinned his hopes on the collection of money he believed was still owed him from the s. He ignored his williams lyon mackenzie biography for the present and concentrated on being re-elected to parliament. He became involved in many issues left unsettled from the s, such as the clergy reserves, state aid to religious colleges, and the Court of Chancery.

Always worried about government overspending and monopoly control, Mackenzie now became a foe of william lyon mackenzie biography aid to railways, and of railways which took state aid but had neither competitors nor public control to encourage economy and honesty while building. His long-standing suspicions of lawyers and the complications of law prompted him to introduce a measure to simplify and codify the law and to make it easy for citizens to plead their own cases.

This latter measure, which he reintroduced in later sessions, was one of those policies which, together with his sometimes impish, sometimes waspish behaviour, caused him to be regarded as eccentric. On this and other measures he stood virtually alone, thus gradually earning the reputation of being harmless as well. Inhowever, he did not seem harmless. He carried out one of those damning investigations of government affairs for which he was always noted, and through his attacks on the Court of Chancery was considered instrumental in forcing the resignation of Robert Baldwin as premier.

This offer was refused when Mackenzie discovered the position would be specially created and would further burden taxpayers. His attacks on government mismanagement and hypocrisy towards reform soon alienated Hincks and Rolph. Mackenzie also strongly attacked the government, including Rolph and Cameron, for selling out principle to secure office. In other areas affairs also went badly for Mackenzie.

In late he had managed to offend his greatest Canadian supporter and perhaps truest friend, James Lesslie, by refusing to allow him to edit an intemperate letter on crown lands policy.

Lesslie closed the columns of the Examiner to him and, although they were reconciled, Mackenzie at that time founded his own paper, the Message later the Toronto Weekly Message. At the same time old creditors increasingly bothered him. His well-documented attacks on the government reached only a limited readership in the Message, and the orgy of official patronage and reckless spending by an obviously corrupt government sickened Mackenzie of the whole process of responsible government.

Almost all of the legislation he proposed in the early s did not pass, however. These actions served no william lyon mackenzie biography since Mackenzie regularly supported Brown in every election as the best of a bad lot.

Cut off from all the influential Reformers, disgusted with the politics of the day, in grave financial difficulties, by the summer of Mackenzie had started to question the value of the union as well. By mid he was convinced that the French Canadians received far more than they contributed, and all at the expense of Upper Canada. The answer, he increasingly believed, was to dissolve the union. Mackenzie was given one more chance, in the years toto help create over-all william lyon mackenzie biography for the Reform movement.

They were disillusioned with the Hincks-Morin brand of reform but supported Hincks as long as he was in office because the Tory alternative was unacceptable. Naturally enough they wanted to include Mackenzie. Mackenzie refused because others would hold stock in the journal, thus threatening his independence of action.

His Grit correspondents next tried to get him to support Brown, whom they came to accept over the next year or two as the only viable leader, even if his reform principles were less satisfactory than they would have wished. But Mackenzie persisted in attacking Brown, though in he did briefly cooperate in establishing a Reform executive committee centred around the Globe editor. By that year only David Christie still attempted to include Mackenzie in any Reform grouping.

In the assembly Mackenzie doggedly advocated his own proposals. From to he successfully introduced measures to convert decimal currency, to simplify the handling of controverted elections, and to have mayors elected directly rather than by city councils, and he supported as well such popular measures as the abolition of the clergy reserves, the election of legislative councillors, privately financed railways, and reciprocity.

His legislative accomplishments were impressive for a private member and his criticisms were pointed and effective, but his critics dismissed him because more was expected of him than of others. Mackenzie became convinced that the age was so corrupt and the union so intolerable a burden that little reform could be accomplished.

His financial problems worsened, making him even more misanthropic. In February he was forced to stop the Message, but he refused full-time jobs with the Examiner and the Weekly Globe. When the Examiner ceased, Mackenzie resumed the Message in Decemberalthough he could not afford it. He published the Message only sporadically and refused requests that he run for the Legislative Council or for william lyon mackenzie biography of Toronto.

He abandoned ideas for a new Upper Canadian constitution, and increasingly through and discussed annexation to the United States if the people became thoroughly disillusioned with responsible government. He approved of the list of necessary williams lyon mackenzie biography produced by the Reform convention ofalthough he refused to sit on one of the committees because he represented no riding. His removal from day to day politics also improved his spirits.

Although he helped friends in the election ofthe Message all but ceased noticing political events and its final comments on the fate of Upper Canada showed a william lyon mackenzie biography mellowness.

Mackenzie now saw not annexation but some union of Britain, the United States, Canada, and Ireland as the answer to problems. He even enjoyed friendly relations with George Brown in He could not be called a happy man, nevertheless. His creditors plagued him, he felt himself growing old, and no help seemed in sight for his beloved province. In his last months, periods of mental confusion must have discouraged him, for he refused all medicine. This praise probably as much as his own will sustained him in his struggle.

Although he had the satisfaction of seeing George Brown adopt some of his ideas, his concern for popular democracy went largely unrewarded.

He was not the leader in the s that he had been in the s: People were willing to accept william lyon mackenzie biography and mismanagement while their pockets were full. But although Mackenzie died without ever putting himself at the head of other men with similar views, the radical tradition he represented pervaded Ontario politics until well after confederation. Historical evaluation of Mackenzie has continued to reflect the verdict of Charles Lindsey who in gave Mackenzie almost sole credit, or discredit, for the Upper Canadian william lyon mackenzie biography.

But this essentially heroic conception of Mackenzie ignores certain aspects of his character and perpetuates certain historical williams lyon mackenzie biography to place him in balance it is necessary to consider the whole man.

He was very much the typical merchant, proprietor, and entrepreneurial radical of his era who, despite his talk of improving the status of workers and farmers, resisted strikes in his own shop and could be as ruthless as any of the great merchants in collecting debts. He displayed little love for minorities, especially Jews and blacks, and though he wrote enthusiastic articles about elevating the poor, his accomplishments in this area do not equal those of Jesse Ketchum, the Baldwins, or John Strachan.

The times were ripe for a man of his talents. However, his image as a solitary and fearless victim of Tory persecution ignores the fact that other Reformers also suffered and that the harassment was usually on a personal rather than an official basis and in numerous cases was occasioned by his own pugnacity. Despite his demand that others be consistent, he could not distinguish major grievances from trivia and was himself changeable. His economic thinking displays a dichotomy; he eulogized 18th century rural values, yet he admired the advance of commerce and technology.

He resisted william lyon mackenzie biography intervention in the economy, but the development of Upper Canada was only made possible by long-term financing and public investment. Finally, the credit often given Mackenzie for creating a new political era in Canada through rebellion ignores the significance of new social and economic conditions, external influences, and the efforts of those moderate Reformers and Tories who actually negotiated new terms of government.

Though Mackenzie was consistent in his fear of monopolies, and in his demand for free government and an end to favouritism and prodigality, the events of his later years, which historians have badly neglected, william lyon mackenzie biography that he could not evolve beyond a certain set of ideas and that he never found an acceptable form of government in Upper Canada, the United States, or the union of the Canadas. Yet the very determination with which he attacked those he saw as enemies of Upper Canada was always fuelled by his desire to somehow make his adopted home a better place.

His deep love for Upper Canada and his fervent devotion to its exclusive interests would suggest that Mackenzie was, in essence, an early Ontario nationalist.

Armstrong and Ronald J. The PAO collection has been augmented with facsimiles of Mackenzie correspondence from American collections such as the William Henry Seward papers at the University of Rochester Library Rochester, N. Almost all of the pre Mackenzie papers were destroyed by his family during the rebellion, but a few letters from Mackenzie survive in the John Neilson coll.

PAC, MG 24, B1 and the Lesslie papers at the Dundas Hist. Three collections at the PAC contain statements by various participants regarding his conduct during the rebellion: RG 1, E3; RG 5, A1; and PRO, CO 42 mfm. The Rebellion of papers at the PAO also contain useful material. A critical view of Mackenzie at the time of the rebellion, as well as some material on his later career, can be found in the John Rolph papers PAC, MG 24, B Available only in typescript form is a biography of Mackenzie written by W.

The biography was challenged in the courts by the Lindsey family on the grounds that it misinterpreted material in the Mackenzie-Lindsey papers, and was never published. The various publications of the government when he was a member should be noted, especially Upper Canada, House of Assembly, The seventh report from the select committee on grievances.

william lyon mackenzie biography

A very useful account by a contemporary is F. Head, A narrative London,which was published in edited by S. Mackenzie himself was a prolific writer of books and pamphlets. Most important of these are A new almanack for the Canadian true blues. Toronto, ; The sons of the emerald isle, or, lives of one thousand remarkable Irishmen. Boston, ; and The life and times of Martin Van Buren. Selections have been made by Margaret Fairley.

The selected writings of William Lyon Mackenzie, — Toronto,and A. Rasporich, William Lyon Mackenzie Toronto, Papers in opposition to Mackenzie were the Canadian Freeman York [Toronto] edited by Francis Collins, a Reformer, and the Courier of Upper Canada Toronto edited by George Gurnett, a Tory; only incomplete runs of these papers survive. At the end of the 19th century two more accounts appeared: Read, The Canadian rebellion of Toronto, A decade later the original Mackenzie biography by Charles Lindsey, Life and times of Mackenzie, was revised by G.

Modern studies of the Mackenzie era began with Aileen Dunham, Political unrest in Upper Canada, — London, ; repr. This work was followed many years later by Craig, Upper Canada. There are two modern biographies: William Kilbourn, The firebrand: William Lyon Mackenzie and the rebellion in Upper Canada Toronto,and David Flint, William Lyon Mackenzie: Clark, Movements of political protest in Canada, — Toronto,provides a sociological analysis of the rebellion.

There is also a large periodical literature, including two comprehensive and analytical articles: Toronto,9— Winnipeg3rd ser.

Quarterly ChicagoL—

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