John By was born in England in 1779. He was commissioned in the Royal Artillery in 1799, but soon transferred to the Royal Engineers. From 1802 to 1811 he worked in Canada on the fortifications of Quebec City and a canal at Les Cèdres. In 1826 the British government despatched him once again to Canada to supervise construction of the Rideau Canal. Military planners hoped the canal would guarantee communication between Montreal and Kingston in the event of war with the United States. Colonel By and his men overcame rapids, thick brush, swamps, flies and malaria to create the imposing monument which still exists today. The By stamp was designed by Theo Dimson who has chosen to show the man in a traditional silhouette profile.
Canada. Post Office Department. [Postage Stamp Press Release], 1979.
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