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Kingsford, William

KINGSFORD, WILLIAM (1819-1898), British engineer and Canadian historian, was born in London on the 23rd of December 1819. He first studied architecture, but disliking the confinement of an office enlisted in the 1st Dragoon Guards, obtaining his discharge in Canada in 1841. After serving for a time in the office of the city surveyor of Montreal he made a survey for the Lachine canal (1846-1848), and was employed in the United States in the building of the Hudson River railroad in 1849, and in Panama on the railroad being constructed there in 1851. In 1853 he was surveyor and, afterwards district superintendent for the Grand Trunk railroad, remaining in the employment of that company until 1864. The following year he went to England but returned to Canada in 1867 in the hope of taking part in the construction of the Intercolonial Railway. In this he was unsuccessful, but from 1872 to 1879 he held a government post in charge of the harbours of the Great Lakes and the St Lawrence. He had previously written books on engineering and topographical subjects, and in 1880 he began to study the records of Canadian history at Ottawa. Among other books he published Canadian Archaeology (1886) and Early Bibliography of Ontario (1892). But the great work of his life was a History of Canada in 10 volumes (1887-1897), ending with the union of Upper and Lower Canada in 1841. Kingsford died on the 28th of September 1898.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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