Robert Nelson (August 8, 1794 – March 1, 1873) was an Anglo-Quebecer physician and a leading figure in the Lower Canada Rebellion in 19th century Quebec (Lower Canada).
Nelson was born in Sorel (near Montreal) to William Nelson, an immigrant to Colonial America from Newsham, North Yorkshire. His mother, Jane Dies, was a teacher and daughter of an important land owner in the New York area. He studied medicine in Montreal and later at Harvard University, in the state of Massachusetts. During the War of 1812, he was surgeon for the Deschambault Corps and the Indian Braves Corps.
In 1827, Robert Nelson entered politics at the invitation of his brother, Wolfred Nelson, also a doctor and member of the Parti Patriote. On November 24, 1837, Nelson was arrested with other politicians. He was freed soon after, not being involved with the rebels, unlike his brother, Wolfred, who participated in the Battle of Saint-Denis. His arrest, however, led him to join with the rebels who fled to the United States. The leaders of the Patriotes voted for the quick establishment of a provisional government and the launch of an attack from the United States. Some important Patriotes voted against this idea, including Louis-Joseph Papineau. Robert Nelson was made General of the army and elected future President of the Republic of Lower Canada...
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