James Colebrooke Patterson was born at Armagh, Ireland in 1839.
Educated in Dublin, Ireland he came to Canada in 1857.
He was called to the bar of Ontario 1876 and practised in Windsor, Ontario.
He served as the Reeve of Windsor for ten years.
As Federal Minister of Militia and Defence, he sought to strengthen the nation's permanent force and was responsible for the construction of fortifications at Esquimalt.
He was Secretary of State in 1892.
Lieutenant-Governor of Manitoba (1895-1900)
He sought to promote the growth of Canadian literature by founding the Canadian Magazine.
He is commemorated by Paterson Street in Winnipeg, Manitoba.