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George Jehoshaphat Mountain was born in England and came to Canada at the age of four, when his father, Jacob Mountain, was appointed Anglican Bishop of Québec. Educated in Québec, England and Trinity College, Cambridge, he entered the Church and became rector of Québec in 1817. In 1821 he became Archdeacon, and in 1824 he was elected as McGill University's first Principal. After the University's legal status had been settled in 1835, Mountain resigned his principalship. In 1836 he became suffragan Bishop of Québec with the title of Bishop of Montréal, a title he retained even after he became Bishop of Québec in 1837. Mountain's ties with McGill remained close, for he was President of the Royal Institution for the Advancement of Learning and ex officio a Governor. An ardent traveller, Mountain made several long journeys in Canada, including an expedition in 1844 to the Red River. The poems he wrote in the course of this voyage were published in 1846 as Song of the Wilderness.