Denison, George Taylor
George Taylor Denison (3rd), lawyer, magistrate, soldier, author (b at Toronto 31 Aug 1839; d there 6 June 1925). The descendant of Loyalists, he enjoyed an international reputation as a military historian and analyst, foreseeing the tactical advantages of rapidly deployed mobilized infantry in modern warfare. As Toronto's senior police magistrate 1877-1921, he meted out justice in such a colourful fashion that his court became a tourist attraction. Commanding the Governor General's Body Guard, a cavalry troop established and supported by his family, he saw action in the 1866 FENIAN
raid and during the 1885 NORTH-WEST REBELLION
. Denison was an active supporter of the Confederacy's operations in Canada during the American Civil War. Afterward, he was a founder of the CANADA FIRST
movement (1868) and the Canadian National Association, a short-lived political organization (1874).
As the most vocal Canadian spokesman for the idea of imperial unity 1880-1910, Denison portrayed the US as the chief threat to Canadian nationhood, and reasoned that a federation of the British Empire, with Canada as an equal partner, would provide the security, prestige and power essential to national greatness.
DAVID P. GAGAN
David P. Gagan, The Denison Family of Toronto (1974).