Sir William Dawson (1820-1899)

Born in Pictou, NS, Dawson studied natural history at Edinburgh and became principal of McGill in 1855. His main interest was paleobotany, keeping many of his type fossil specimens at McGill's Redpath Museum, but he also collected plants that are now stored at McGill's herbarium. 

Dawson taught botany from 1858 until 1882 and was largely responsible for the foudning of a separate botany department in 1844. He was a naturalist in the old tradition and, above all, an educator.


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