Galt, John

 John Galt, novelist, colonial promoter (b at Irvine, Scot 2 May 1779; d at Greenock, Scot 11 Apr 1839). While struggling to survive as a man of letters, Galt became involved with Canadian affairs, first as agent for those claiming losses in the WAR OF 1812, and subsequently (1824) as secretary of the board of directors of the CANADA CO.

He came to Upper Canada on several occasions, remaining 1826-29 as company superintendent and founding the town of GUELPH in 1827; the town of Galt (now CAMBRIDGE) was named after him. He had continual conflict with the directors and was eventually recalled and spent his last years in impoverished ill health. Galt's best-known fiction deals mainly with Scottish life, and his writings, except for his Autobiography (1833) and Literary Life (1834), show only a limited influence of his Canadian involvements. Two of his novels embody his idea of emigrants best suited to the US (Lawrie Todd, 1830) and Canada (Bogle Corbet, 1831).