Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick
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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.

Charles Fisher

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.

Peter Mitchell

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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