Nisha Rathode (Editor)

Wolfred Nelson

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
Preceded by  Charles Wilson
Siblings  Robert Nelson
Succeeded by  Henry Starnes
Name  Wolfred Nelson
Profession  doctor

Wolfred Nelson 23 novembre 1837 Les Patriotes combattent SaintDenis
Died  June 17, 1863, Montreal, Canada
Similar People  Robert Nelson, Louis‑Joseph Papineau, Thomas Storrow Brown, Jean‑Olivier Chenier, John Colborne - 1st Baron

Gilles rh aume portrait de wolfred nelson le loup rouge

Wolfred Nelson (10 July 1791 – 17 June 1863) was from 1854 to 1856 the mayor of Montreal, Quebec.


Wolfred Nelson Biography NELSON WOLFRED Volume IX 18611870

Exposition temporaire de wolfred nelson a la mndp


Wolfred Nelson Nelson Wolfred Rpertoire du patrimoine culturel du Qubec

Nelson was born in Montreal the son of William Nelson, an immigrant to Colonial America from Newsham, North Yorkshire, England. His mother, Jane Dies, was a teacher and daughter of an important land owner in the New York area.

Wolfred Nelson Les phmrides d39Alcide 16 novembre

Along with his younger brother Robert Nelson, he was known as a member of the Patriotes and his leading role in the Lower Canada Rebellion.

Wolfred Nelson Wolfred Nelson Democracy in Montreal Archives de Montral

Nelson studied at the school of his father in William Henry (today Sorel, Quebec). He became a doctor in January 1811, and subsequently served in that capacity with the British troops on the War of 1812.

Wolfred Nelson Dr Wolfred Nelson

He moved to Saint-Denis-sur-Richelieu where he opened a distillery. He entered politics when elected in William Henry in 1827. He supported the Parti Patriote.

Wolfred Nelson httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu

In 1827, he was elected as a member of the Legislative Assembly, but gave up active politics in 1830, without disavowing his reformist allegiance. He became a Patriote leader in the region of the Richelieu River valley, and supported the use of arms at the Assemblée des Six-Comtés in 1837.

Wolfred Nelson Nelson Wolfred Rpertoire du patrimoine culturel du Qubec

In a prelude to the Lower Canada Rebellion of 1837, Nelson led 5,000 Patriotes in the two-day Assembly of the Six Counties in Saint-Charles, Lower Canada (present-day Quebec), on 23 and 24 October 1837, to protest the government's Russell Resolutions, taking place despite the 15 June Proclamation forbidding public assemblies. The conference delegates approved the Thirteen Resolutions, based on the republican document Rights of Man written by British and later American Revolutionary Thomas Paine, which was also adopted by proponents of both the American Revolution and the French Revolution. A Column of Liberty was also erected in Saint-Charles' Square.

On 16 November 1837, he and 25 others were charged with high treason. The following month, on 4 December 1837, Louis-Joseph Papineau and Edmund Bailey O'Callaghan joined Nelson at Saint-Denis where they decided to resist arrest, procure arms and ammunition for the people and declare the independence of Lower Canada. It was around this time that Nelson exclaimed, "The time has come, to melt our spoons into bullets."

On 28 February 1838, after having crossed the border from Vermont, Nelson, along with 300 to 400 Patriotes from a secret group called Frères Chasseurs, distributed copies of a declaration of independence written by Nelson’s brother, Robert Nelson. Drawn from the American Declaration of Independence, the document listed the crimes that Great Britain had committed against Lower Canada, as well as the right to overthrow the government.

Later, he led a group of armed citizens who resisted arrest by the British army at St-Denis. He was arrested soon after. (See Lower Canada Rebellion.)

Exiled to Bermuda in 1838, Nelson was granted amnesty by the British colonial government and came back to Montreal in 1842. In 1844, he was elected to the new Parliament of the Province of Canada. In 1854, he became mayor of Montreal, and he died in June 1863. He is interred in the Anglican cemetery in Sorel-Tracy and is commemorated by a park in Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve borough.


  • Report of Dr. Wolfred Nelson, one of the inspectors of the provincial penitentiary, on the present state, discipline, management and expenditure of the district and other prisons in Canada East, 1852 (exist also in French)
  • Rapport des Drs. Nelson et Macdonnell, et Zéphirin Perrault, ecr., avocat, sur l'Hôpital de marine et des émigrés de Québec, et correspondance relative aux services du Dr. Robitaille dans le dit hôpital, 1853
  • Practical views on cholera, and on the sanitaty, preventive and curative measures to be adopted in the event of a visitation of the epidemic, 1854 (exist also in French)
  • References

    Wolfred Nelson Wikipedia