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John Graves Simcoe

(1752—1806) army officer and colonial governor


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(1752–1806), soldier and colonial administrator. Simcoe served the British army with distinction in the American Revolution before being invalided home in 1781. He came with his wife, Elizabeth, to Upper Canada in June 1792 as the province's first lieutenant-governor. He wanted to make the province a beacon of rational liberty on the North American continent and to attract Americans discontented with republican excesses. The colony's well-ordered, monarchical, Church of England–centred regime, and its good land, would appeal to them. Soldiers would build roads, farm, and help establish urban centres. Naval vessels would sail the Great Lakes. Diplomacy among the western Natives would stiffen their resistance to American encroachment. Few of Simcoe's ambitious plans were implemented, and several involved him in controversy with Lord Dorchester, the governor general of British North America.

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From The Oxford Companion to Canadian History in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: History of the Americas.


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