Hon. James, the founder of McGill University, in Montreal, was born in
Glasgow, Scotland, on the 6th of October, 1744, and at an early age
emigrated to Canada, and settled in Montreal. Here he entered into
mercantile pursuits, and after having amassed a large fortune, he devoted
his time and means to the advancement of his adopted country. He became a
member of the Legislative and Executive Councils of Lower Canada. During
the was of 1812, he took an active part in military affairs, and so
valuable were his services that he rose to the positions of
brigadier-general. Mr. McGill, will, however, be chiefly remembered for
his charity, and the warm interest he took in the cause of education.
McGill, through his marriage to French Canadian widow Charlotte Guillimin,
forged further valuable alliances with the Canadian community. About the
end of 1813 he died at the age of sixty-seven, leaving behind him a name
of more value and of more enduring quality than marble or brass.