Neilson, John

John Neilson, journalist, politician (b at Balmaghie, Scot 17 July 1776; d at Québec C 1 Feb 1848). At the age of 21, Neilson succeeded his brother Samuel at the helm of the bilingual Quebec Gazette, which he ran for 50 years. Although of conservative views, he championed the cause of the French Canadians, and from 1818 to 1833 was an elected member of the Assembly of Lower Canada. On 2 occasions, in 1823 and 1828, he travelled to London to protest successfully against a proposed union of Lower and Upper Canada. Around 1831, he began to dissociate himself from L.-J. PAPINEAU and his party, but in 1838 he resumed his vigorous opposition to the union of the 2 Canadas. Re-elected to the legislature in 1841, he was made Speaker of the Assembly in 1844.