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Thoughts for Today

Coming from Ayrshire in Scotland I thought it nice to let our trans Atlantic friends know of a famous Ayrshire man who was born today in 1810.

1810 - Birth of Sir Hugh Allan (Financier and Shipbuilder)

Sir Hugh Allen was born in Salcoats on the Ayrshire coast on this day in 1810. He emigrated to Canada in 1826 and at the age of 21 began working for a Montreal shipbuilding company. He became a senior partner in 1839 and in 1853 both he and his brother Andrew owned their own steamship company. The Allan line, as it was called conducted its business between Montreal, Glasgow and Liverpool and his achievements to Canadian commerce were recognised in 1871 with a knighthood.

In 1872 the Canadian government gave Sir Hugh, and his Canadian Pacific Railway, the railway charter for the construction of the mammoth transcontinental railway. In the same year as being given the railway contract Sir Hugh gave $300,000 to Macdonald’s election campaign. It was not until many years later that this fact became public knowledge and the resultant scandel brought down the Macdonald government and saw the demise of Allan’s railway company.
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