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Douglas, James Moffat (1839-1920)

James Moffat Douglas was born in Linton, Scotland, on May 26, 1839, and emigrated to Upper Canada in 1851. He was ordained a minister of the Presbyterian Church of Canada in 1867, after studying at the University of Toronto and the Princeton University Seminary. He served congregations in Ontario and was a missionary to central India. In 1882 he was assigned a parish in Manitoba. Later he served in Brandon, then in Moosomin from 1890 to 1893. He established a homestead called Tantallon (later to serve as the name for the village) in the North-West Territories in 1883 with his son John Douglas, but he did not permanently reside there until 1893.

In 1894 he was nominated as a candidate for the Patrons of Industry, an agrarian political movement. He won the seat of Assiniboia East in the federal election of 1896 as a Patron-Liberal. He was deeply involved in agricultural legislation. He proposed a bill in 1898 to end the perceived monopoly on the grain trade that led to the creation of a commission to examine the trade. This commission recommended the basis for the Manitoba Grain Act of 1900. He was re-elected in 1900 and appointed to the Senate in 1906 where he served as chairman of the Senate's committee on agriculture. He died August 19, 1920.

Jeremy Mohr

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