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Adolphus Egerton Ryerson

1803-1882. Methodist leader and educationalist. Born and educated near London, Ontario, he was called to the Methodist ministry and became a successful saddlebag preacher and missionary to the Credit River Indians. In 1829 he became the first editor of the influential Christian Guardian and secretary of the Wesleyan Missionary Society. An early advocate of the secularization of the clergy reserves* and other political reforms, he refused to support W.L. Mackenzie's rebellion in 1837. Vitally concerned about education, he helped found the Upper Canada Academy, which became Victoria College in 1841 with himself as principal. The educational system of Ontario after 1870 was largely based upon his 1846 Report which he wrote while superintendent of common schools. Probably the most influential Canadian Methodist of his time, he was from 1874 to 1878 the first president of the general conference of the Methodist Church of Canada.