Daniel Miner Gordon Canada

Biography of Daniel Miner Gordon

Gordon was born in Pictou, Nova Scotia, in 1845, the son of William Gordon, a merchant. William Gordon served as treasurer for the Pictou 'Young Men's Scheme' that sent talented Nova Scotians to be trained for the ministry in Scotland. Given this support for training Pictonians in Britain, it is not surprising that Gordon shouldered the expenses necessary to send his son to Glasgow for his own training after seven years at the Pictou Academy.

Gordon first matriculated at Glasgow in 1859 at the age of 14, studying Senior Latin and Greek. In 1860-61, Gordon enrolled in Senior Greek and Logic. In the next two years, he completed Ethics, Junior Mathematics, Physics, and Senior Mathematics. He continued his studies through 1863, when he earned his MA in Divinity.

While at Glasgow his honours included the third rank in junior division Logic in 1861, for 'General Eminence and Superiority in the Exercises and Examinations of the Class throughout the session.’ The following year he took first place in junior division mathematics, while in 1863, as a member of the senior class, Gordon 'Excell[ed] at at Examinations on Paper.' In that year, he was also rank fifth in Natural Philosophy, and his ‘Experimental Investigations in the Laboratory’ in ‘Absolute Electrostatic Measurement’ received recognition. Gordon also held the Presidency of the Conservative Club in 1864-65.

Gordon was ordained in Ayr in 1866, and returned to Nova Scotia. In 1867, he took on the ministry of St Andrew's Church in Ottawa, where he remained until 1882. While in Ottawa, he became involved in the local community and served on the board of trustees for Queen's College, Kingston.

In 1882, Gordon moved to Manitoba, where he became minister of Knox Church, in Winnipeg. He remained there for five years, and lectured at Manitoba College in addition to his duties. Gordon served as a division chaplain during the Riel Rebellion of 1885, and left Manitoba for Halifax in 1887. In 1894, he left his post as St Andrew's Church, Halifax to become a professor at the Halifax Presbyterian College. In 1896 he served as Moderator for the Canadian General Assembly.

In 1902, Gordon succeeded George Monro Grant as the Principal of Queen's University in Kingston. Ten years later, he oversaw the institution's transition from Presbyterian to secular control. He retired in 1917, and died in 1925.


Archival Materials

  • R7/2/1 Prize Lists 1968-1969
  • R8/1/3 Matriculation Album 1859-1865
  • R9/1/3 Class Catalogues 1854-1863


Daniel Miner Gordon
Born 30 January 1845.
Died 31 August 1925.
GU Degrees: MA, 1863; BD, 1866; DD, 1895;
University Link: Graduate
Occupation categories: clergy; theologians
English snippet: Nova Scotia-born minister and Principal of Queen's University, Kingston
Record last updated: 11th Sep 2012

Country Associations

Canada Canada, Nova Scotia, Pictou
Place of Birth

Canada Canada, Ontario, Kingston
Place of Death

University Connections

University Roles