Dawson, Sir John William National Historic Person

Pictou, Nova Scotia
John William Dawson © Expired
John William Dawson
© Expired
John William Dawson © ExpiredDawson, Sir John William © Expired
Address : Church and Constitution Street, Pictou, Nova Scotia

Recognition Statute: Historic Sites and Monuments Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. H-4)
Designation Date: 1943-05-20
Life Date: 1820 to 1899

Other Name(s):
  • Dawson, Sir John William  (Designation Name)

Importance: First President of the Royal Society of Canada, principal of McGill University (1855-93)


Existing plaque:  Pictou, Nova Scotia

William Dawson, one of the foremost Canadian scholars of his generation, was born at Pictou. After studies at Edinburgh and work with the geologist Lyell, he returned to become first Superintendent of Education for Nova Scotia (1850-53). For almost forty years (1855-93) as Principal and Professor of Natural History at McGill University he exercised a profound influence on Canadian education and science. A founding member and first President of the Royal Society of Canada (1882), Dawson was knighted in 1884. Sir William's extensive scientific writings gained him an international reputation. He died at Montreal.