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Part 9 - New Brunswick Fathers of Confederation
Edward Barron Chandler
Born in Amherst, N.S., in 1800, Chandler became a lawyer and subsequently
the member of the Legislative Assembly representing Westmorland County.
He was later appointed to the Legislative Council. He was a New Brunswick
delegate to the pre-Confederation conferences in Charlottetown, Quebec and
London. Following Confederation, Chandler was a member of the New Brunswick
government for two years, and later accepted an appointment as lieutenant-governor
of the province. He died in Fredericton in 1880.
Fisher was born in Fredericton, N.B., in 1808. A lawyer, he was elected
to the Legislative Assembly and served twice in the 1850s as premier and
attorney-general of the province. A delegate to the Quebec pre-Confederation
conference, his advocacy of Confederation led to his defeat in York County.
He was later re-elected to the legislature and afterwards to the Parliament
of Canada. Following retirement from Parliament, Fisher was appointed a
justice of the New Brunswick Supreme Court. He died in 1880.
John Hamilton Gray
Gray was the name of two Fathers of Confederation, from different provinces
and unrelated to one another. John Hamilton Gray was born in St. George's,
Bermuda, in 1814. He was elected as a member of the Legislative Assembly
for Saint John in 1850. Gray was a delegate to the pre-Confederation conferences
in Charlottetown and Quebec. He became speaker of the provincial legislature
in 1866 and was later elected to the first Canadian House of Commons. Upon
retirement, he was appointed a justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia.
John Mercer Johnson
Johnson was born in Liverpool, England, in 1818. Brought to New Brunswick
by his father, he became a lawyer and, in 1850, a member of the Legislative
Assembly. He served successively as solicitor-general, postmaster-general,
speaker and attorney-general. He was a delegate to the Quebec conference
in 1864 and the London conference in 1866. Following Confederation in 1867,
Johnson was elected to the new federal House of Commons.
Born in Newcastle, N.B., in 1824, Mitchell was a lawyer and a successful
shipbuilder. His long and varied political career as a member of the Legislative
Assembly included holding the office of premier from 1865-67. He was then
appointed to the Senate and afterwards became the first federal minister
of marine and fisheries. Mitchell was the member of Parliament for Northumberland
County for 15 years.
William Henry Steeves
Steeves was born in Hillsborough, N.B., in 1814. He was a member of the
business community who for several years represented Albert County in the
Legislative Assembly. He later became a member of the Legislative Council.
A delegate to the pre-Confederation conferences at Charlottetown and Quebec,
Steeves was appointed to the Senate after Confederation. He died in Saint
John, N.B., in 1873.
Samuel Leonard Tilley
Tilley was born in Gagetown, N.B., in 1818. Tilley served as a member of
the Legislative Assembly for many years, and held the office of premier
from 1861-65. He was a delegate to the three pre-Confederation conferences
and held office in Sir John A. Macdonald's first administration in Ottawa.
He later became lieutenant-governor of New Brunswick and minister of finance
in the second Macdonald government. Following service in Ottawa, Tilley
was reappointed lieutenant-governor of New Brunswick. He died in 1896.
Robert Duncan Wilmot
Wilmot attended only the London pre-Confederation conference, where he represented
New Brunswick. He was born in Fredericton, Oct. 16, 1809. An opponent of
Confederation, in 1865 he became a member of the government formed by Albert
J. Smith, which won the election by fighting against the plan devised at
the Quebec conference. Wilmot appears to have been converted to the idea
of a federal system. In 1866, he was elected as a Confederationist and became
a minister without portfolio in the Peter Mitchell administration. He was
sent to London in 1866, and at the dawn of Confederation, became a senator.
In 1878, he joined the Macdonald government as a minister without portfolio
and became speaker of the Senate. In 1880, he was appointed lieutenant-governor
of New Brunswick, a post he held for five years. He died Feb. 11, 1891.
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