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Shall a home be secured for the original proprietors? Or shall they be left to drink the bitter cup of poverty and neglect, and at last perish as a people?

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George McDougall1 

George Millward McDougallBorn on September 9, 1821 in Kingston, Upper Canada, George McDougall was of Highland Scottish decent. His father, a non-commissioned officer in the Royal Navy during the War of 1812, became an Upper Canada pioneer, and George was raised on a farm near present-day Barrie, Ontario. As a young man, George received little formal education, instead developing many of the pioneering skills he would later use in his missions to the West. 

Elizabeth C McDougallIn 1842, George married Elizabeth Chantler, an English-born woman of Quaker parents. Together they would have eight children (plus adopted children), including John, who later became his father's missionary assistant, and David, a rancher and trader who would help to supply the missions.

Soon after the couple married, they converted to Methodism, and George became a lay preacher. Still in Upper Canada, he then began formal training, briefly attending Victoria College in Cobourg and soon after moving to Alderville, where he assisted Reverend William Case, a well known Methodist missionary. In 1854, George McDougall was ordained a missionary by the Methodist Church and, in 1860, he was appointed to his first mission in Rossville, Manitoba (near Norway House). He was soon named chairman of the Western Methodist Missionary District and with his family moved west to take over the missionary front. 

With the help of his family, interpreters and other missionaries, George established and oversaw missions in all of the Saskatchewan District, including the present-day provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. His first-and the one at which he spent the most time-was the VictoriaGeorge McDougall Grave Mission on the north bank of the North Saskatchewan River. In the 1870s, he opened missions at Fort Edmonton and Morley and helped to reopen the mission at Pigeon Lake. 

While on a buffalo hunt in 1876, George McDougall perished during a blizzard, presumably from heart failure and exposure. He was buried in the Wesley Band cemetery near Morley.

Citation Sources
1. McDougall, John. George Millward McDougall: The Pioneer Patriot and Missionary. Toronto: Briggs, 1902.


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