Galt And Debtor’s Prison

During his visit to Canada in the year 1826, John Galt was given the role of superintendent. He played a key role in the founding of Guelph. However, in 1829, he lost his job and was then forced to return back to England. When Galt had originally left England, he had left a considerable amount of debt. Thus, pending his return his creditors sought payment for these debts.

The money he previously had was used to educate his sons, thus he was unable to repay the money he owed. On July 15, 1829 he was arrested and served time in the King’s Bench debtors’ due to this inability to repay his funds. He served in prison until the 10th of November 1829.

Although he was put into jail due to his failure and inability to repay his debt, John Galt still remains a remarkable symbol of Guelph. The reason he went to jail was for a reason unlike that of what most people go to jail. The important thing is that he repaid his debt and fulfilled his time in prison, and still continued to be an incredible legacy. He was a novelist, an entrepreneur, and a political and social commentator. In 1824, he was the superintendent of the Canada Company and clear-cut maple tree at the bend by the speed river.

His significance in Guelph began when he was living in Ontario (formerly known as Upper Canada), and founded the city in 1827. In the creating of the idea to build this town, he wanted to stimulate and direct the agricultural settlement of the area. The distinctive radical design he envisioned for Guelph is much different from the plans of other cities, contributing to the uniqueness of Guelph as a whole. In October 2006, City Council enacted a bylaw creating a day in his memory.

Every year on August 2nd the city celebrates his accomplishments on John Galt Day because of his wonderful creation that is our city. The statue placed in front of Guelph’s Provincial Offence House is also there to help us commemorate him and his work. The positioning of the statue is facing the path way entering the building with an open hand, this helps to represent his welcoming of the citizens, both then and now to Guelph and gives visitors a warm feeling of the city.

Although he had previously made mistakes, the significance of him for his accomplishments is what matters as a whole. He brought about the city and the community we live in and cherish everyday. Even his statue was designed to commemorate the welcoming man that he was, and THAT is the significance of John Galt to the citizens of Guelph. His previous mistakes do not change our feeling of him as a symbol to Guelph as he has done far too much good for this city for him to ever be looked at poorly.

Amy Desousa

Exploring Our Favourite Guelph Stationary Icons

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