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Canadian History
Charles Herbert Mackintosh


M.P. for City of Ottawa, was born at London, Ontario, in 1843. He is a son of Captain William Mackintosh, of Wicklow, Ireland, who came to Canada as an attaché of the Ordnance Branch of the British army. He was subsequently county engineer of Middlesex, Ontario. It may be said that our subject is related to the celebrated Sir James Mackintosh, the essayist and historian. Mr. C. Mackintosh received his education at the Galt Grammar school and at the Academy of Caradoc. Having completed his education, young Mackintosh began a study of the law, but he never took sympathetically to this calling. He always had a strong inclination for literary pursuits; and his boyish brilliancy was the subject of much comment and admiration. When he was seventeen years old he wrote "Welcome to  H.R.H. the Prince of Wales" and this contribution was deservedly popular. It was presented during the visit of His Royal Highness to Upper Canada. Two years later he wrote "Hurry-Graphs", which appeared in the London Free Press under the pen name of "Fat Contributor". At this period Mr. Mackintosh wrote with an extremely facile and sparkling pen, and his work, whether signed or under nom de plume, attracted comment and commendation. After a little he became city editor of the Free Press, and gave up studying law. In 1864 he became chief editor of the Hamilton Times, and the year following began the publication of the Strathroy Dispatch. This paper he continued to publish until 1874, when he sold it out. In 1871 he wrote "The Chicago Fire", which had a large sale; and in 1873 he produced "The Financial Panic in the United States and its Causes". In 1873 Mr. Mackintosh was managing editor of the Chicago Journal of Commerce, having taken that position in order to study the question of protection. The following year he took up his abode in Ottawa, and became editor of the Ottawa Daily Citizen. From 1877 to 1882 he edited the "Parliamentary Companion". During the fall of 1882 he visited England, where some months were spent in forwarding the interests of the railway enterprises in which he is interested; but Mr. Mackintosh never permitted his time or vitality to be absorbed by one undertaking. Being of unusual mental altertness, he is careful to keep diverse irons in the fire at once. During the years 1876 and 1877 he published speeches, etc., on the question of protection, which at this time was engrossing public attention. In 1875 he was awarded the gold and silver medal for a prose poem at the Cornwall Centennial. Looking backward a little we find him in 1871 founding the Parkhill Gazette; and two years later he is sitting in the Town Council of Strathroy. In 1879 he resolved that he would capture the civic honours of Ottawa. He did not deceive himself. He was elected mayor, and re-elected for the two succeeding years. In 1881 he was unseated on a technicality, but elected again. In 1879 he was chairman of the Dominion Exhibition, and in 1881 president of the Agricultural Assocation. He is at present president of the Ottawa Colonization Railway and Ottawa and Gatineau Valley Railway and of the Citizen Printing and Publishing Company. In 1871 he sought election to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, for North Middlesex, but was unsuccessful. At the last General Election (1882) he was chosen as the parliamentary representative for the City of Ottawa, his colleague being Mr. Tassé. Mr. Mackintosh married on April 7th, 1868, Miss Gertrude, daughter of T. Cooke, Esq., J.P., of Strathrory. Our subject, it may be said, without claiming for him the empty title that so many a man cheaply gets, is emphatically what he is styled, "The Workingman's Champion". He is popular, however, with every section of the community, and his popularity is derived from his affable, hearty and genial manner, and the genuine zeal that he brings into the cause which he advocates. He is a sound Conservative, and everybody knows that Mr. Mackintosh has opinions of his own, and that he has both the courage and the ability to express them.


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