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smith-donad-a-lac-photo-w200-943.jpg <b>ROBITAILLE, Theodore, Lieutenant Governor of Quebec, 1883</b>Thumbnails<b>ROBITAILLE, Theodore, Lieutenant Governor of Quebec, 1883</b>Thumbnails

Visited the Bell Farm with the Group of 66 in late August 1883. Donald Alexander Smith (later: Lord Strathcona) (1820-1914) is a key Canadian business and political figure. Born in Scotland, he moved to Canada in 1838, where he joined the Hudson’s Bay Company and climbed through the ranks to various senior positions, becoming Governor of the Company in 1889.

Smith ventured into the West in 1869 and was one of the key players in the Red River Rebellion of 1869-70. He became an extremely successful businessman and eventually was very involved with many different companies, banks, railways and shipping firms. In 1887 Smith became president of the Bank of Montreal.

Donald Smith was elected seven times to the House of Commons throughout most of the 1870s, '80s and '90s, and was appointed Canada’s High Commissioner in London in 1896, a position he held until his death in 1914.

In 1897 he became a peer in the British House of Lords and took on the name Lord Strathcona. He became a major sponsor of McGill University in Montreal, and various other universities. When he died in 1914, he was worth over $28 million.

Donald Smith gravitated to key events and key people in mid 19th and early 20th century Canadian history, and eventually became one of those people himself.

SOURCES:

LAC = Library and Archives Canada: http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/smith_donald_alexander_14E.html - Dictionary of Canadian Biography, article by Alexander Reford.

http://www.mhs.mb.ca/docs/people/smith_da.shtml - Memorable Manitobans, article by Gordon Goldsborough

Photo Source: - LAC photo - w200_943

RESEARCH BY:

Michelle Cabana, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and Frank Korvemaker, Regina, Sask.