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Ezekiel J. Donnell

Industrialist, Polemicist and Philanthropist 1822-1896
Ezekiel Donnell

Ezekiel J. Donnell was born in 1822 near Strabane.  At the age of 18 he left the province and moved to the United States.

Donnell became a successful merchant before moving to New York in 1854 where he established himself as one of the foremost cotton merchants in the United States.  Donnell believed strongly in individual freedom in trade as elsewhere in life. He was an advocate of a strong public education system that would enable individuals to contribute more effectively to the general good.  He was an active campaigner for a comprehensive public education system.

Donnell was an active opponent of tariff protectionism.  Donnell fought fot the right of every human being brought into the world to be educated at the public expense.

Donnell  was a  member of the Chamber of Commerce, a founder of the Reform Club and an active participant in the Democratic Club and a number of his public addresses were published in pamphlet form.

He donated $1 million US Dollars towards building a library for the good of young people, in order that they could develop themselves further and thus benefit society as a whole.

Ezekiel J Donnell died in 1896.