Tombstone, Friends Burying Ground, 6th Concession Road off Toronto Street, Uxbridge

Joseph Gould (1808-1886) became a close and intense reader of William Lyon Mackenzie’s Colonial Advocate when he visited Toronto as a young man in 1830. Along with other farmers in the Uxbridge area, he argued against the evils of the Family Compact. His eloquence and passion at rallies often outdid Mackenzie himself. At first Gould opposed Mackenzie’s plan for open revolt, but later joined with 50 of his neighbours in the fight at Montgomery’s Tavern. Gould was captured, and incarcerated in the Legislative Council Chambers. He joked later that that was the time he took his first seat in Council. Appearing before the tribunal who claimed he had everything he needed, Gould replied boldly: “I want my political rights,” and was sent back to jail. He narrowly escaped transportation to Van Diemen’s Land, the penal colony. In October 1838 he was pardoned under an amnesty granted by Lord Durham. He left a vivid portrait of the political struggle in the 1830s which he had intended as an autobiography and which was included in W.H. Higgins, The Life and Times of Joseph Gould (1887).

Photo Credits: Alex Frank