Grant, The Rev. George Monro

Other Name: Principal Grant, Queen's University
Sex: Male
Birth Date/Place: December 22, 1835, Albion Mines, Pictou Co.,NS
Death Date/Place: May 10, 1902, Kingston, Ontario
  • Printmaking

Biographical Links:

Grant, The Rev George Monro (1835-1902), Queen's Encyclopedia.;grantgeorgemonro.html

Grant, George Monro, ed., Picturesque Canada:The Country As It Was and Is.  Illustrated under the supervision of L.R. O'Brien, Pres. R.C.A., Toronto, Belden, 1882.


George Monro Grant was the Editor of Picturesque Canada (ca 1882), an illustrated compendium of geographic information and engravings from across Canada.  He was born into a farming family but at an early age he lost his right hand in a farming accident.  Since he could not engage in physical labour, he turned to education and was ordained a Presbyterian minister in 1860. He served as Minister of St. Matthews Church in Halifax and one of his parishoners was Sir Sandford Fleming.  In 1872 Fleming invited Grant to accompany him as a member of the Canadian Pacific Railroad's survey party.  This experience shaped Gran't's  'ardent nationalism and influenced his approach to education.  In 1877 Grant was elected president of Queen's University.

Grant was invited to edit Picturesque Canada, a job he accepted.  He explains in the preface of the work: " I was reluctant to undertake the editorship but consented because, being in sympathy with Canadian aspirations and knowing Canada from ocean to ocean, I believed that a work that would represent its charesteristic scenery and the history and life of its people would not only make us better known to ourselves and to strangers, but would stimulate national sentiment and constitute to the rightful development of the nation."

Illustrators from across the country were hired to make wood engravings.  Many of the more than 500 images were signed by the artist responsible but the engraver who produced the image of Chester remains anonymous.  

Images from Picturesque Canada have become popular auction items and may often be found in the collections of antique sellers.