Philemon Wright | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Philemon Wright

Philemon Wright, colonizer, farmer, businessman (born 3 September 1760 in Woburn, Massachusetts; died 3 June 1839 in Hull, QC).
Philemon Wright
Colonizer, farmer and businessman Philemon Wright, pictured here c. 1800\u201310. Wright was the founder of Wrightstown (later Hull). Portrait by John James.
Mill on the Ottawa River
A view of the mill and tavern of Philemon Wright on the Ottawa River, Lower Canada, painting by H. Du Vernet, 1823 (courtesy Library and Archives Canada/C-608).

The founder of Wrightstown (later Hull) and the man who initiated the Ottawa Valley timber trade, Wright came to Canada in 1800 as the leader of a small group from Massachusetts who settled at the present site of Hull. He intended to develop a community of independent farmers, but lack of income forced him into the timber trade in 1806 in order to provide cash for the settlement and a winter occupation. That year, he floated the first raft of square timber from Ottawa to Quebec City. The growth of the trade ensured Wright continued predominance in the social, economic and political life of Hull.