McDougall, William, 1822–1905, Canadian leader in the movement for Canadian confederation, b. Ontario. He was elected (1858) to the Legislative Assembly, and in 1864 he entered the "great coalition" ministry led by John A. Macdonald and George Brown. He was a delegate to the two Canadian conferences (1864) on confederation and to the Anglo-Canadian conference held in England (1866). In 1868 he again went to England, with Georges Étienne Cartier, to arrange the transfer to Canada of the territories of the Hudson's Bay Company, a project he had long urged. The following year he was appointed lieutenant governor of the newly acquired region, but on his way to assume his post he was turned back near the border by rebels of the Red River Settlement. This setback, for which he was removed from office, as well as the success of his opponents within the Liberal party, led to the decline of McDougall's influence.
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