Solomon Yeomans Chesley

Solomon Yeomans Chesley

Solomon Yeomans Chesley

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Solomon Yeomans Chesley (April 29, 1796 – November 5, 1880) was a public servant and political figure in Canada West.

He was born in Shodack in Rensselaer County, New York in 1796 and came to Cornwall with his parents in 1800. In 1806, he settled on Mohawk land at St. Regis; he became fluent in the language and became an interpreter in the Indian Department. He served during the War of 1812, becoming lieutenant of the St Regis Company of Indian Warriors in 1814. In 1832, he became superintendent at St Regis. Chesley created some controversy in 1835 when he arranged for a schoolmaster to teach there without consulting the Roman Catholic Church. In 1841, he represented Cornwall in the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada. He opposed the developed of the Beauharnois Canal which led to some land at St Regis being submerged. He retired from the Indian Department in 1859, having served several times as acting superintendent-general, and returned to Cornwall. In 1860, he was elected mayor of the city. He later moved to Ottawa; in 1872, he became a member of an Anglican society which promoted education for native people. He died at Ottawa in 1880.

The town of Chesley in Bruce County was named after him.

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