A Gentleman Of Substance: The Life And Legacy Of John Redpath
Natural Heritage Press
John Redpath, born in Scotland in a time of economic upheaval, arrived in Quebec City in 1816, without funds to travel further in search of work. He walked to Montreal, barefoot to save his shoes. By the end of his life in 1869, he had used his many natural gifts, among them a prodigious work ethic and well-reasoned principles, to leave a legacy of enduring good works, including the Montreal General Hospital and the Mechanic’s Institute (now the Atwater Library.)
By any measure Redpath was a man of integrity and impeccable business sense, who lived a full and rich life. He fathered 17 children by his two wives; built an empire for his successors; carried out engineering feats in the Rideau canal system; was principally responsible for the founding of three Presbyterian churches; started a movement to annex Lower Canada to the United States in a civil and peaceful manner when he and his class were betrayed by the British government – all this and more while acting as an agent for social change.
Feltoe winds up the story of John Redpath with thumbnail histories of his principal descendants, and a story by Redpath’s granddaughter, Edwardian writer Lily Dougal, about her childhood in Montreal. mRb