John Richardson (businessman)

John Richardson (Businessman)

John Richardson (businessman)

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John Richardson, (c 1754 – 18 May 1831), was born in Scotland, the son of Thomas Richardson, merchant in Portsoy and his first wife Helen Stewart of Towiemore and by 1774 was working for Phyn & Ellice, a Scottish fur trading company out of Schenectady, New York. James Phyn of that company was the brother of Helen Phyn, the second wife of Thomas Richardson, and was thus John Richardson's step-uncle. He was active throughout the American War of Independence and, by 1787 was based out of Montreal and involved in the fur trade. He bcame immediately active in politics and may have influenced the retention of British forts in American territory, such as Fort de La PrĂ©sentation, until 1796.

Although the Constitutional Act of 1791 did not satisfy him, Richardson ran in the first general election in 1792 and he, along with Joseph Frobisher, was elected for Montreal East. He worked hard and effectively in the assembly but was frustrated by the experience and did not run for election in either 1796 or 1800. In 1804 he won a seat for Montreal West and fought for English speaking and business interests over the next four years. His controversial stands had alienated the voters and he was defeated in 1808 in the Montreal West riding.

Governor Sir James Henry Craig appointed Richardson as the messenger between the Legislative Council of Lower Canada and the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada in 1808 and in 1811 he became a regular member of the council, a position he held...
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