Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: John Allan Snow (1824-1888)


Born in Hull Township, Lower Canada, he was educated at St. Lawrence Academy in Potsdam, New York, and trained as a surveyor. Chosen in 1868 to head the road-building team constructing the road from Lake of the Woods to Upper Fort Garry that would become the Dawson Road, he was assaulted by some of his workmen, who were subsequently convicted in the Red River Court. He was himself convicted of selling liquor to the Indians. His critics said he supplied liquor in return for being allowed to purchase Indian land, especially at Oak Point. He was virtually the only Canadian official left at liberty in the Red River Settlement in December 1869, and he supplied food to the prisoners at Upper Fort Garry. He later worked as an engineer and surveyor in Quebec and in Western Canada. He died in Ottawa.

More information:

John Allan Snow, Dictionary of Canadian Biography XI, 841-43.


Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

Page revised: 8 March 2008

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

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