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The Scot in British North America
Chapter V Canada from 1840 to 1867 Part B


John Hillyard Cameron, better known on the whole as a lawyer than a politician, nevertheless filled no inconspicuous position in public life. He was born at Blandesque, near St. Omer, Pas de Calais, France, on the 14th April, 1817. [Morgan gives Beaucaire, Languedue, as his birthplace; but the statement in the text, with other biographical data, was kindly furnished us by Mrs. Hillyard Cameron.] His father, Angus Cameron, belonged to the 79th Highlanders, and the son was born during the occupation of France by the allied armies. The family was purely Highland, hailing from Glennevis, Inverness-shire. Mr. Angus Cameron had seen active service both in the Peninsula and at Waterloo. In 1825 he removed with his family to Canada, and became Captain and Paymaster of the Royal Canadian Rifles. John Hillyard Cameron entered Upper Canada College in 1831, and whilst there carried off some of the highest honours in the gift of that institution. There was no University in those days; the next step, consequently, was his preliminary training for a profession. Mr. Cameron studied law first under Attorney-General Boulton, and subsequently under Mr. J. S. Spragge, until lately Chancellor and now Chief Justice of Ontario. With the latter, on his call and admission, he entered into partnership, and commenced a brilliant career in the profession of his choice. From a very early date Mr. Cameron made his mark, notwithstanding the eminent rivals with whom he had to compete. In 1843 the law reports were committed to his care, and for some years he laboured at a digest of Upper Canadian precedents. He was, in fact, the first compiler of regular legal reports. In 1846 he was appointed a bencher of the Law Society, Queen’s Counsel, and Solicitor-General. Soon after Mr. Rolland Macdonald resigned his seat for Cornwall, upon which Mr. Cameron was returned by a considerable majority over Mr. Mattice, a resident candidate. In 1847, when his chief, Mr. Draper, retired to the bench, the Attorney-Generalship was offered to him; but he declined, urging the claims of Mr. Sherwood. As some reward for his disinterestedness and consideration for his party, he was made a member of the Executive Council contrary to established usage. In 1848 he went out of office with his party, and never again entered it.

In the year 1851, he was not a candidate for re-election; but in 1854 he was returned for Toronto, with Mr. Bowes as his colleague. Again, in 1857, he declined re-election; but, in 1858, he opposed Mr. Brown, who had vacated the seat on his appointment to office, but was defeated by a considerable majority. In 1861, he was elected for Peel, and retained the seat until 1872, when he failed again, but was soon after returned for Cardwell, which he represented until his death. At the crisis in the McNab Government, Mr. Cameron was, strongly pressed by a large section of the party as the gallant knight’s successor, but the movement was unsuccessful, and Mr. J. A. Macdonald succeeded to the vacant place. As a lawyer, the hon. gentleman was facile princeps. His opinion was eagerly sought for when any legal knot required untying, and his success with juries was proverbial. As a speaker, when thoroughly aroused by the subject, Mr. Cameron had few equals. There was a fervour and an earnestness in his oratory which never failed to fascinate from his admirable language and impressive delivery. During his life, Mr. Cameron filled innumerable positions in the city of Toronto: in the volunteers, in joint-stock companies of various sorts, in the Universities, and in the Church Synod. One cannot help thinking that much of the energy which might have been of essential service to his country was, to a great extent, dissipated by these multifarious occupations. There was one obstacle, however, to Mr. Cameron’s success as a statesman. He was unyielding in principle, and, unfortunately, represented the losing side in politics. A staunch Conservative of the old school, he opposed to the last the secularization of the reserves, and the elective principle as applied to the Legislative Council. On the other hand, he strongly advocated equal representation at the proper time, and was staunch and faithful where the interests of his own Province were concerned. His legal abilities were always at the service of the Church of England, and he was the right arm of Bishop Strachan in organizing the Synod and establishing Trinity University. Mr. Cameron died at Toronto in the house in which he had so long lived, on the 14th of November, 1876, in the sixtieth year of his age.

It may be well now to turn to the most prominent Scottish representatives on the Reform side. The lion, George Brown has been so recently removed from our midst, under deeply tragical circumstances, and his long and eventful career presents so many points for controversy that it is an exceedingly delicate task to undertake even a slight sketch of his life and public services. Mr. Brown represents a class of statesmen whom it is most difficult to appraise at their just value, because of the warp of partizanship on one side or the other. A public man of strong will, high principle, and indomitable energy will always be in the thick of the fight, and at a moment when the smoke of the battle is yet visible between the spectator and the illimitable azure, there is the present danger of misconception, even where none is consciously intended. Some of the political episodes in Mr. Brown’s life have been alluded to, with more or less fulness, in previous pages; but he was so marked a figure on the public stage, during nearly thirty years, that, at the risk of repetition, much of the ground must be re-traversed.

George Brown—as he was content to be known during his life—was born in the city of Edinburgh, in 1821. His father, Mr. Peter Brown, whose snow-white hair and venerable form are not yet forgotten in Toronto, was a merchant, and had served, if we mistake not, as a "bailie" in the Scottish capital. At the age of thirteen, like many of his countrymen, young George went to London to try his fortune, little dreaming that, thirty years after, he would repair thither, as a Canadian minister, to be presented at court. Up to the age of seventeen, he followed mercantile pursuits; but business reverses had meanwhile overtaken his father, and the family removed to New York in 1838. After four years’ indifferent success in trade, Mr. Peter Brown, in 1842, established a paper in that city, entitled the British Chronicle intended to be the organ of British opinion in the United States. The father, like his son, was a staunch loyalist, and he appears to have criticized American institutions and manners with a freedom not palatable to the New Yorkers. While, in the commercial metropolis of the United States, he published a work, entitled "The Fame and Glory of England Vindicated," as a reply to Lester’s "Shame and Glory of England." [Mr. Peter Brown’s work, which lies before us, will bear perusal, even at this day, for its trenchant and outspoken defence of the old land against the ignorant aspersions which delighted the Americans of that day. It appeared in 1842, with the pseudonym of "Liberties," and on that title-page are Burns’ lines beginning, "Some books are lies from end to end." – the word "ministers" in the stanza being italicized, as Mr. Lester had been in the diplomatic service of the United States.]

Mr. George Brown pushed the circulation and advertising of the British Chronicle with untiring energy in the United States, and was engaged in so doing when an event occurred which changed the current of his life. The disruption movement was going on in Scotland, and both father and son threw themselves heart and soul with Dr. Chalmers and the opponents of patronage in the Scottish Kirk. The Clergy Reserve question, in Canada, also attracted their attention, and Mr. Brown went to Canada to extend the circulation of the New York paper, early in 1843. The friends of the Free Church were anxiously looking for some able and vigorous journalist to expound their views through the press. Mr. Brown appeared to be the very man needed. Moreover, the Hon. S. B. Harrison had had an interview with him, and, being astonished with the keen insight into the public affairs of Canada, acquired in so short a time, introduced him to Messrs. Baldwin and Hincks. The result of this visit was the appearance of the Banner at Toronto, on the 18th of August, 1843, instead of the New York British Chronicle. This journal was primarily a religious organ; still it took an active part in politics, on the Reform side. It soon became evident that the paper was founded on too narrow a basis, and, therefore, on the 5th of March, 1844, the first number of the Globe was issued.

The times were out of joint, for Lord Metcalfe was at the helm, and it seemed at one time as if the battle of responsible government must be fought over again. The Governor-General could not divest himself of the notion that he ought to be the moving-power in the State. Now, under any system of free parliamentary rule, no principle can be clearer than this, that Ministers are under the unqualified responsibility "of deciding what shall be done in the Crown’s name, in every branch of administration, and every department of policy, coupled only with the alternative of ceasing to be Ministers, if what they may advisedly deem to be the requisite power of action be denied them." The Governor, like the Sovereign, cannot "assume or claim for himself preponderating, or even independent, power in any department of the State." [Todd’s Parliamentary Government in the British Colonies, p. 18.] Now, at this period, Lord Metcalfe had a Cabinet which enjoyed the confidence of the people’s representatives from both sections of the Province. It was constitutionally responsible for all his public acts; and yet he chose, of his own motion, and without consulting his Ministers, to make personal appointments from the ranks of their opponents. Mr. Powell, for example, was named Clerk of the Peace, and the Speakership of the Legislative Council was offered to Mr. Sherwood. The Governor-General had, in fact, a nominal and a real cabinet—the latter consisting of the chiefs of the Opposition, his own Secretary and Mr. Gowan being the intermediaries between them. The consequence necessarily was the resignation of his constitutional advisers, when self-respect, as well as constitutional principle alike impelled them to seek relief from the false position in which they had been placed. The Globe, as well as the Examiner and other Liberal journals, battled vigorously for the principle of responsible government, thus placed in jeopardy, but Lord Metcalfe, by personally conducting the canvass, succeeded in securing a majority for himself, and the party for whose triumph he had risked everything, even honour. [It is impossible to give more than this brief outline of a memorable crisis. The literature of the subject is voluminous enough. In a volume of pamphlets kindly placed at our service by Mr. Macara, of Goderich, will be found, on the Governor’s side, the addresses presented to him, with his replies, as they were sent down to the House, with a special message; and the defence put forth by "Leonidas" (the Rev. Dr. Ryerson). On the other side, are the reply of "Legion" (Hon. R.B. Sullivan) to "Leonidas," the Address of the Reform Association, and an account of its first general meeting. The files of the Examiners have also been consulted, as they throw considerable light on this controversy from a Reform point of view.]

Meanwhile the Globe continued on the even tenor of its way. Until the elections of 1847, it remained in Opposition, and was characterized by the caustic, not to say slashing, style of its editorials. On the formation of the Baldwin-Lafontaine Administration in 1848, Mr. Brown found himself once more on the sunny side of politics. He cordially supported the Government from conviction, and his journal became the recognised organ. In 1849, occurred the riots over the Rebellion Losses Bill, and in the same year Mr. Brown served on a commission of inquiry into the management of the Provincial Penitentiary. When Parliament met in the following May, the symptoms of disunion had begun to manifest themselves in the Reform party. The "Clear Grits" took shape as an independent branch, under Messrs. Malcolm Cameron, Rolph and others, with the Examiner and subsequently the North American, as their organ. Mr. Brown remained faithful to his leaders, because although he was quite as staunch in the cause of Clergy Reserve secularization as the new party, he considered that the other "planks" of their platform were ultra-Radical and hinted at dangerous constitutional changes. In 1851, however, all was altered; Messrs. Baldwin and Lafontaine retired from public life, and the reins of power fell to those in whom Mr. Brown felt less confidence. In 1851, he was defeated in a contest with Mr. W. L. Mackenzie, Mr. Ranald McKinnon, and Mr. Case, for Haldimand. [Mr. Case appears to have been a local Ministerial candidate, since, according to Mr. Brown, he had promised support to him; but the votes recorded for both would not have elected the latter. At the close of the poll, the numbers were, Mackenzie, 462; McKinnon (Conservative), 399; Brown, 283; and Case, 113. – Examiner, April 16th, 1851.] Towards the close of the year, however, he entered the House for the first time as member for Kent, having defeated Messrs. Larwill and Rankin. [The poll at the close stood, Brown, 836; Larwill, 739; Rankin, 486. – Ibid., Dec. 24th, 1851.] At both these elections, especially at the former, the strong Protestant attitude of Mr. Brown, no doubt, did him some injury. It was the Papal Aggression year in England, and the Globe had caught the fever in its post virulent form. Hitherto, the Upper Canadian Roman Catholics had been, for the most part, Reformers; but their ardour was cooled by the hostile attitude of their leaders. Nor did the crusade, which followed, tend to conciliate them. The attacks made upon the corporate institutions of the Church and upon separate schools, still further estranged them.

Mr. Brown took his seat in August, 1852, and, strange to say, found himself suddenly transformed into the leader of the "Clear Grits," against whom he had previously battled. It can hardly be said that there was any inconsistency in his conduct. He had lost the chiefs in whom he reposed confidence, and distrusted Mr. Hincks. At the general election of 1854, it should be remarked, although Mr. Hincks personally obtained a double return for Renfrew and South Oxford, he found himself in a minority. Mr. Brown defeated his Postmaster-General, the Hon. Malcolm Cameron, in Lambton, and there were signs of an impending break-up. Mr. Brown was the recognised leader, of the Upper Canadian Reform Opposition, and Mr. Dorion of the French Liberals, while Sir Allan McNab was head of the Conservative Opposition. The Ministry met its first reverse on the Speakership. Mr. Cartier was its nominee, and Mr. Sicotte was proposed by Mr. Dorion. The choice of the Opposition candidate was, in every respect, a shrewd as well as a good one. The member for St. Hyacinthe was known to be able and dignified; and in political opinion he was safe and moderate. On a division he triumphed by a majority of three. [The vote stood sixty-two to fifty-nine. The majority included all three sections of the Opposition, and the list is interesting if only for the heterogeneous character.] Mr. Hincks at once retired from office and from public life, which be reentered years afterwards. The result was that, contrary to Mr. Brown’s intention, he found he had only succeeded in placing the Conservatives in power. ["Upon such a consummation as this Mr. Brown had not counted, and he opposed the new Government as vigorously as he had opposed the old one." Canadian Portrait Gallery, ii., p. 15.] He still retained his post as leader of the Opposition, and had a powerful engine in the Globe, which had become a daily paper in October, 1858, and exercised great influence throughout the country. Notwithstanding that the Government secularized the reserves, abolished the feudal tenure in Lower Canada, and made the Legislative Council elective, the Opposition leader was not satisfied. Upon his flag was inscribed "Representation by Population," and he nailed it to the mast. Passing over the intervening period upon which we have already dwelt, we may come at once to the defeat of the Macdonald-Cartier Government in 1858 by a majority of fourteen. It was the first session of a new parliament, and as Ministers could hardly demand a dissolution, they resigned.

Mr. Brown was at once called upon by the Governor to form a Cabinet; but in doing so, he warned the hon. gentleman that a dissolution would not be granted him, should he find himself in a minority in the House. It is quite possible that Sir Edmund Head may have thought that it would save after-trouble if he frankly made this announcement in advance. Still it was an unsound step to take, and was aptly met by Mr. Brown in his reply. [In a memorandum dated July 31st, his Excellency had defined his position with tolerable clearness. He would give no pledge or promise to dissolve Parliament; but would consent, after the granting of a supply, to a prorogation. Mr. Brown, in reply, "submitted that until they have assumed the functions of constitutional advisers of the Crown, he and his proposed colleagues will not be in a position to discuss the important measures and questions of public policy referred to in his Excellency’s memorandum."] From the tenor of the letter, it seems clear that the proposed Premier had not attempted to make any antecedent bargain with the Governor on the subject of dissolution. In fact, he considered it improper even to enter upon its discussion. Sir Edmund Head’s memorandum certainly looks very much like an explicit declaration that he would not accept Mr. Brown and his colleagues, and that they might just as well save themselves the trouble of being sworn in, and the expense and risk of going to the country.

At the same time it may be a question whether it were prudent of the new Premier to take office under the circumstances. No doubt he thought that to decline the task would appear to be a sign of weakness, and resolved to place the responsibility of refusing a dissolution clearly upon the Governor’s shoulders. Sir Edmund, on the other hand, had much to say in defence of his attitude. There was a House fresh from the people; the late government had been defeated by a fortuitous combination of hostile local interests temporarily uniting on a division. There was no proof that the late Ministers had lost the confidence of the House, and there was not the slightest possibility that a general election would place Mr. Brown in a stronger position than he now occupied. The new Ministers were, however, sworn in on the second of August, and their first demand was for a dissolution. This his Excellency peremptorily refused, [All the correspondence, memoranda, &c., will be found in Todd: Parliamentary Government in the British Colonies, pp. 529-536.] more especially as the respective Houses had at once, and in the absence of Ministers, passed a vote of non-confidence in the Brown-Dorion Government. Upon this fact his Excellency laid considerable stress, pointing out that as there were a hundred and two members present, the votes of the remaining twenty-seven, even supposing them to have voted in a body with the Government, would have left it in the minority still. [For Mr. Langevin’s non-confidence amendment seventy-one votes were recorded; against it thirty-one, only four Lower Canadians members being found in the minority. A similar motion was carried in the Legislative Council by sixteen to eight.]

When Mr. Brown presented himself before the electors of East Toronto, he was already out of office; nevertheless he was returned by a handsome majority over Mr. J. Hillyard Cameron. In 1859, the Reform Convention was held in the St. Lawrence Hall, Toronto, at which delegates from all parts of Canada were present. It was at once recognised that further agitation in favour of the bare principle of representation according to population was futile. A federal union of the two Provinces was proposed, with two or more local legislatures, and "some joint authority" to which should be committed matters of common concern to all. In February, 1860, Mr. Brown submitted the resolutions to the House; but, as already stated, they were negatived by large majorities. In the following year, the general election took place, and Mr. Brown lost his seat for East Toronto, his successful competitor being Mr. (afterwards Lieutenant-Governor) Crawford. Soon after he was prostrated by the first serious illness of his life, and on his recovery repaired to Europe. While there he married Miss Nelson, daughter of the well-known Edinburgh publisher, Mr. Thomas Nelson. On his return he found the Sandfield Macdonald Government in power, but declined to give it his support through the press. To his mind Ministers had abandoned the Upper Canadian cause and deserved to be regarded as traitors.

In 1863, Dr. Connor, Solicitor-General West, was elevated to the Bench, and Mr. Brown at once resolved to be a candidate. He was elected by an overwhelming majority for South Oxford, and continued to represent it in the House until confederation. He opposed the non-confidence motion of Mr. J. A. Macdonald, but at the same time, gave Ministers to understand that he only preferred them because he would not aid in re-instating the Tories. His speech on this occasion was a vigorous attack on the Ministry, and a defence of the resolutions adopted at the Convention of 1859. As we have seen, the Liberals were in a minority of five, and a dissolution took place. In the following year the Macdonald-Dorion Ministry collapsed.

The Tache-Macdonald Government succeeded no better than its predecessor, and, in 1864, it was evident that some radical change of a constitutional nature was imperatively demanded. Party government had been tried and failed; coalitions on the old lines had proved useless; yet now the problem had to be faced by both sides of the House. Mr. Brown, notwithstanding the outcries raised from time to time against him, had produced a state of things in which it became obviously necessary to re-arrange the constitutional relations of the Provinces, so as to secure fair representation to the west. Into the history of the negotiations which took place on this occasion, we need not enter. The basis of agreement between the party leaders was a confederation of all the British North American Colonies. Three seats in the Cabinet were placed at Mr. Brown’s disposal. Personally he desired to remain outside, but his presence was insisted upon. He in turn objected to act under Mr. J. A. Macdonald, and Sir Etienne Tache was made Premier, with Messrs. Brown, Macdougall and Mowat, as Reform representatives; but the last named having been appointed Vice-Chancellor, was succeeded by Mr. (Sir W. P.) Howland, in November. In the formation of this coalition, there seems no room for the assertion that either party had abandoned its principles. It was a stern necessity, and the honour due to both for the patriotism displayed throughout must be equally divided. How long the hopeless struggle might have been protracted, it is difficult to conjecture; certainly, the time had come, when, for the country’s sake, some combined effort was demanded of the hostile camps. That they recognised the gravity of the crisis, and concluded an honourable truce, must always give them an ample title to the gratitude of Canadians.

It happened, fortunately, at this time, that the Maritime Provinces were contemplating a smaller union amongst themselves, and the opportunity was embraced of submitting the larger scheme. Eight members of the Canadian Government attended the Conference at Charlottetown, P. E. I., and unfolded the project they had in view. The narrower measure was abandoned, and the Conference adjourned, to meet at Quebec on the 10th of October. Meanwhile, Mr. Brown and his colleagues addressed public gatherings in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, and, when the adjourned meeting assembled, a protracted discussion, lasting during seventeen days, took place. During these debates, Mr. Brown was no longer the impetuous agitator of the past. Partizanship had been swallowed up in disinterested public spirit, and he spoke in a dignified spirit of patriotism exceedingly honourable to his nature. The outlines of the scheme were adopted, and Messrs Brown, Cartier, Galt and Macdonald, after having obtained the sanction of Parliament, repaired to England to secure the necessary legislation. Unhappily, a dispute arose in the Cabinet over the renewal of the Reciprocity Treaty, which would expire by effluxion of time in 1866. It was proposed to send a deputation to Washington to negotiate for a new treaty, but Mr. Brown objected, on the ground that, as the American President had given notice of his desire to terminate the treaty, any advances should come from the other side. He also disapproved of the terms to be submitted; because they appeared too favourable to the United States. In consequence of this difference of opinion, Mr. Brown resigned his office in December, 1865, and, for a time, took little or no part in active political life. It is difficult to judge accurately as between the parties concerned here, because the negotiations came to nothing. The American Government and Senate were deeply incensed both against Britain and Canada, and nothing was, from the first, likely to come of it. That being the case, it would seem that Mr. Brown acted hastily in withdrawing his hand from the work of confederation before it was completed. At the most, when the treaty seemed likely to be concluded and ratified, it was open to him to retire without in the slightest degree compromising himself.

At the first general election after the Dominion had been constituted, Mr. Brown contested South Ontario with Mr. T. N. Gibbs, and was defeated, his opponent being returned by a majority of seventy-one. The step was bold even to rashness, and it deprived the House of Mr. Brown’s service thenceforth. In 1873, soon after the accession to power of Mr. Mackenzie, Mr. Brown was called to the Senate and remained a member until his untimely death. In 1874 he was despatched to Washington to aid the British Ambassador in negotiating a reciprocity treaty. The attempt was so far successful that President Grant approved of the draft; but on its submission, according to the American constitution, to the Senate, that body refused to ratify it. The political course of Mr. Brown from 1867 to 1880 will come under notice hereafter; meanwhile it may be said that he took no prominent part in public affairs except through the medium of his journal. To it and to his agricultural experiment at Bow Park, he devoted his best energies, working with indomitable energy, and with much of his old fire. On the 25th of March, 1880, the people of Toronto were astounded by the report that he had been shot by a man named Bennett, a workman formerly in the Globe press-room. Unhappily the rumour was too well founded. The prisoner, who had been discharged for irregular habits, appears to have repaired to Mr. Brown’s office with the intention of intimidating him. At any rate, in the course of the altercation, Bennett was in the acts of drawing a revolver when Mr. Brown seized him by the arm. Whether, as the prisoner protested to the last, the weapon was accidentally discharged or not, cannot now be known. Certainly some wild rhapsodical scraps found on his person would seem to show that, under certain circumstances, he contemplated homicide. Much reliance, however, cannot be placed on this evidence, since the man, naturally of a flighty temperament, had certainly been made wilder by dissipation. At all events, the Senator was wounded in the thigh, and although he made light of the injury, it soon became evident that his system had suffered a serious shock. Notwithstanding every effort, he expired on the ninth of May, 1880, in the sixty-second year of his age.

The Hon. George Brown is a singular instance of what will, energy, and firm adherence to settled principle may do for a man who enters life with no extraneous advantages. Whatever may be thought of his persistence in urging measures which appeared at the time impracticable, no one can now venture to assert that he was not justified by the event. His prolonged agitation in favour of representation according to population was unsuccessful immediately, but triumphed in the end, although not in the way he anticipated. The "joint authority" resolutions were tentative experiments; but when the leaders on both sides recognised the mischief, and combined in seeking a remedy, it was soon found. The constitutional question having been removed from the arena of mere party strife, became a matter of patriotic concern, and the solution dawned upon men with all the power of a new revelation. Had Mr. Brown’s public career produced no riper fruit than the confederation schemer and without his co-operation, its accomplishment was impossible, his claim to the title of statesman would still be unimpeachable. It has been said, and with some truth, that he was at times overbearing and dictatorial—a fault he shared in common with all strong men who have made their mark in history. He was so thoroughly convinced that he was always on the right side, that he never appears to have been able to enter into the convictions, equally strong and sincere, which moved others to oppose him. Hence much of the caustic writing in which he indulged as a journalist, and the denunciatory vein which runs through most of his utterances prior to the Coalition of 1864. As a speaker, he was hardly an orator; yet he possessed a singular power of swaying audiences. Nearly always his opening sentences were hesitating—not to say stuttering; but when thoroughly heated, the flow of burning words was as impetuous as a mountain torrent. The secret of his power lay not in eloquence, but in the earnestness with which he made an audience feel that conscientious feeling was the motive power. Outside politics, there could hardly have been a more genial and kind-hearted man, and those who had the good fortune to be thrown in contact with him, could hardly realize the fact that he was the fiery and impetuous tribune of the people who, at times, could be lashed into a fury of trenchant and mordant invective. [Our authorities here have been especially the Canadian Portrait Gallery, ii., p. 31. with Taylor’s Portraits, &c., part x., p. 189, Morgan’s Celebrated Canadians, p. 769, Turcotte, and McMullen.]

It seems natural to follow up the departed Senator with a slight account of his successor in the Reform leadership, although the more conspicuous work of his public life falls without the period under consideration. The Hon. Alexander Mackenzie was born on the 28th of January, 1822, at Logierait, near the confluence of the Tay and the Tummel, in one of the most picturesque districts of the Perthshire Highlands. His father was an architect and contractor, and he was designed for the same occupation, beginning, as is the practical fashion in Scotland, with a solid grounding in masonry. He had previously finished his preliminary education, for thereafter he was the director of his own studies at the old cathedral city of Dunkeld and at Perth. His father died in 1836, leaving behind him seven sons, all of whom subsequently settled in Canada. Of these, Mr. Mackenzie was the third; another who entered public life, with great promise, Mr. Hope F. Mackenzie, sat for Lambton and North Oxford, but was too early called away. In 1842, he emigrated to Canada, and was joined by the brother just mentioned, in the following year; and four years after the remaining five also settled in Ontario. Mr. Alexander Mackenzie’s first place of residence was Kingston, where he worked as a journeyman, setting up soon after as a builder and contractor, on his own account. This was at Sarnia, in Western Ontario, and there, at a time when the tide of political passion ran high, he settled down to the serious work of life. A Whig in Scotland, he brought his Liberal principles with him, and naturally opposed the reactionary views of Lord Metcalfe. In 1848, he hailed the accession of Messrs. Baldwin and Lafontaine to office with delight; but, like Mr. Brown, felt dissatisfied with the Hincks-Morin Cabinet which succeeded them. In 1852, the Lambton Shield appeared at Sarnia, with Mr. Mackenzie as editor. For two years he fought through its columns, and when the Observer—transferred from Lanark—appeared, the Shield dropped out of existence. Mr. Hope Mackenzie was the first of the family who entered Parliament. He had been defeated in 1857, by Mr. Malcolm Cameron, but, in 1859, he was elected. In 1861, as his brother, on business grounds, declined re-election, Mr. Alexander Mackenzie entered Parliament for the same constituency. Mr. Hope Mackenzie afterwards sat for North Oxford, if we mistake not, up to the time of his death.

In Parliament, Mr. Mackenzie soon made his mark, not so much by eloquence, as by the plain, honest and firm statement of his opinions. He supported Mr. Sandfield Macdonald, because he saw in his continuance in office the only hope of the Reform party. When the project of Confederation took definite shape, he strongly favoured it; yet so persistent were his opinions that he felt considerable dislike to the coalition of 1864. Nevertheless, he gave the new experiment a fair trial, for the sake of the principle at stake. [Both the brothers Mackenzie voted for Confederation in 1865, with the majority.] When Mr. Brown retired from office, Mr. Mackenzie was offered the vacant Presidency of the Council, but declined; simply because he entirely approved of his leader’s action. In 1867, on the defeat of Mr. Brown, in South Ontario, Mr. Mackenzie succeeded to the leadership of the Opposition. What followed belongs to a subsequent chapter. Meanwhile, we may note the chief events in the hon. gentleman’s career up to the present time. Between December 1871, and October, 1872, he filled the office of Treasurer of Ontario, in Mr. Blake’s administration. The passage of Mr. Costigan’s Bill directed against "dual representation," forced both leaders to make their choice between the Houses, and they elected to sit in the Dominion Parliament. In 1873, Sir John Macdonald resigned in consequence of the Pacific Railway troubles, to which we shall have occasion to revert hereafter. Mr. Mackenzie, as the leader of the Opposition, became Premier in November, 1873, and held that high office until October, 1878, when, the party having suffered defeat at the polls, his Cabinet resigned. Since then, he has been in Opposition, but continued leader of the party until 1880, when he was succeeded by Mr. Blake.

The salient characteristics of Mr. Mackenzie are not far to seek. The secret of his success in public life has been staunch adhesion to principle, reinforced by an earnest and unwavering advocacy of it. As a speaker, he is, perhaps, seen at his best in the collection of speeches he delivered in Scotland during his Premiership. They were expository, informing and impressive, glowing with a fervid enthusiasm, essentially patriotic. In Canada, as a statesman, Mr. Mackenzie’s temper has often been severely tried by imputations he felt were undeserved, and which he naturally repelled with indignation. When he took office, he was entirely a novice, and yet his practical sagacity and common sense carried him through the bulk of the difficulties which encompassed him. No Minister ever worked harder in his department than Mr. Mackenzie; for it was not in him to "scamp" work. He has often been accused of narrowness of view, and impatience of dissent; but so far as the charge is true, it is a fault of temperament, and not of heart. The most earnest men are not usually the most tolerant; indeed the absence of stern and uncompromising fidelity to principle is as frequently as not an evidence of the absence of principle altogether. The facile spirit which tolerates all opinions is sometimes, though not always, the sign that earnest conviction is not to be looked for. Mr. Mackenzie is a warm partisan by nature and training, and could be no other than he is. His faults lie on the surface, open to criticism; and these have too often been dwelt upon by writers who do not care to sound the depth of solid worth that constitutes his chief claim to public esteem and regard.

The Hon. Oliver Mowat naturally comes next in order, because he was, like Mr. Mackenzie, an intimate friend and a staunch supporter of Mr. Brown, and also because he, too, has been a Premier, although not of the Dominion. His father came from the "far awa’ north," being a native of Canisbay, Caithness. Like many other parents of distinguished sons, he was a soldier, and served throughout the Peninsular war. In 1816 he removed to Canada, his war-like occupation having gone, and soon after settled in Kingston; there he remained until his death. His wife, whom he married here, was also from Caithness, and of their children, Oliver was the eldest. He was born on the 22nd of July, 1820, so that he had arrived at the age of seventeen when the stirring times of the Rebellion awakened the old Conservative city of Kingston. Mr. Mowat was educated at such schools as were accessible at the time, and finished under the Rev. John Cruickshank, who also was dominie to Sir John Macdonald and Mr. J. Hillyard Cameron. He appears to have been an apt scholar, and to have displayed a readiness in learning, and a fondness for it, beyond his years. When the Rebellion broke out, young Mowat became a volunteer, and, judging from his environment at the time, we have a shrewd suspicion that he was, temporarily, a good Tory. Somewhere about this time he entered the office of Mr. J. A. Macdonald, his senior by only five or six years, who had lately been called to the bar. For four years the future Premier of Ontario was an articled clerk to the future Premier of the Dominion. Their paths have diverged politically since; yet one would like to believe that the memory of the old time still serves as a link of connection between them. Mr. Mowat then removed to Toronto, and completed his terms with Mr. Robert E. Burns, subsequently a Superior Court Judge. In 1842 he was called to the bar, and, after an interval of practice at Kingston, again left for Toronto, where he entered into partnership with Mr. Burns. Mr. (afterwards Chancellor) Vankoughnet subsequently joined the firm, which continued to exist after the retirement of Judge Burns. Mr. Mowat confined himself entirely to equity practice; and when the Court of Chancery was remodelled under the Act introduced by the Hon. W. H. Blake—a measure sorely needed, although it was vigorously resisted by the Opposition [Mr. W. L. Mackenzie moved a motion, in 1851, which completely changed the complexion of party politics. It was aimed at the very existence of this Court, and, although lost by a majority of four, was supported by the major part of the Upper Canada representatives. Mr. Baldwin resigned in consequence, and Mr. Lafontaine shortly afterwards followed him into retirement.] - Mr. Mowat admittedly stood at the head of its bar.

The future Premier of Ontario did not enter public life until the year 1857, when he defeated Mr. (Judge) Morrison in South Ontario by a majority of nearly 800. In the same year, and the one succeeding, Mr. Mowat served as an Alderman in the Toronto City Council. He appeared in Parliament, for the first time, in February, 1858, and proved Mr. Brown’s ablest associate. Within a few months his eloquence and earnestness had brought him to the front rank, and when the short-lived Brown-Dorion Government was formed, in August, he was appointed Provincial Secretary. In 1861, he attempted to dislodge the Premier at Kingston, but failed, and was compelled to fall back upon his old constituency. In consequence of an adverse vote on the Militia Bill, the Government resigned, but Mr. Mowat did not take office at once under Mr. Sandfield Macdonald. He preferred to stand aloof, not being satisfied with the attitude of the new Premier on the representation question. When the Cabinet was reconstructed, in 1863, however, the hon. gentleman became Postmaster-General; but his tenure of office only lasted for about ten months. Once more, in June 1864, he became Postmaster General in the Coalition Government, Messrs. Brown and Macdougall being his Reform colleagues. In November of the same year, however, he accepted the Vice-Chancellorship of Upper Canada vice Mr. Esten deceased. The remainder of his career lies outside our present period. It is only necessary to note here that in October, 1872, Mr. Mowat resigned his judicial office, and became Premier and Attorney-General of Ontario, a post he still occupies. There was considerable exception taken at the time to the hon. gentleman’s action. It was stigmatized as degrading to the judicial office, as tending to destroy public confidence in the independence of the Bench, and so forth. But it must never be forgotten that a judge does not lose his rights as a citizen, and when he resigns his position he ought to suffer no political disqualification because he has been upon the Bench. It was urged that all the Vice Chancellor’s judgments, where partisan bias could be suspected, might be impugned. Yet, in England, the highest judicial seat is occupied by a member of the Government, and no charge of partisanship has ever been made against Earl Cairns or Lord Selborne, or any of their illustrious predecessors for at least a hundred and fifty years. The indignation aroused was caused not so much at the step itself as at the surprise occasioned by it. The removal of Messrs. Blake and Mackenzie had left the Ontario Government party helpless, and when Mr. Mowat appeared from above as a deus e machina, it was only natural that the Opposition should feel chagrined at a move by which they were checkmated.

Into the policy of the Ontario Government since 1872 it is not necessary to enter here. It may suffice to say that Mr. Mowat has proved a cautious and intelligent administrator; rather conservative in spirit than otherwise. Early in his second public term, the Premier declared that he should endeavour, as a public man, always to act as a "Christian politician." The phrase has been lightly treated by some of his opponents; yet it is hard to detect any impropriety in the hon. gentleman’s setting before himself the highest ideal known in a Christian land. In his intentions, at all events, Mr. Mowat has always kept this lofty standard in view, although, like most other leaders, he has not always had his own way. Whatever his faults, he is an eminently conscientious man, endowed with great talents, a facile power of expression, and unflagging industry. That amidst the political crises of nine years he has kept his place in the confidence of the people is a sufficient evidence of the sterling qualities he possesses.

The third Reform member of the Coalition Government of 1864, was the honourable William Macdougall. Although by birth a Canadian, and the son of a Canadian, his grandfather hailed from the Scottish Highlands, was a U. E. Loyalist, and served in the Commissariat Department of the British army during the Revolution. He subsequently settled at Shelburne, Nova Scotia, but removed to Upper Canada, like other loyal settlers by the sea, when Governor Simcoe arrived. His son Daniel married, and the subject of this sketch was born to him on the 25th of January, 1822. William Macdougall received a tolerable grounding at school, and attended Victoria College for a brief period; but he was for the most part, self-educated. At the age of eighteen, he entered the law office of Mr. James Hervey Price, subsequently Commissioner of Crown Lands in the Baldwin-Lafontaine Cabinet. In 1847, Mr. Macdougall was made an attorney, and practised for a short time; but he was early lured into the seductive path of journalism, and it was not until 1862, that he applied for his call at the bar. Having a practical knowledge of agriculture, his first venture was the Canada Farmer, which he established shortly after entering upon legal practice. This journal was subsequently merged into the Canadian Agriculturist, which was also edited by him up to the year 1848.

It was not long before a schism occurred in the Reform party, and Mr. Macdougall espoused the side of the "Clear Grits," led at that time by Mr. Malcolm Cameron and Dr. Rolph. Their only organ was the Examiner, edited with distinguished ability by Mr. Lindsey. It, however, hardly expressed the views of the advanced Reformers, and in 1850, Mr. Macdougall launched the North American, in opposition to the Government and the Globe. At that time the "platform" of the new party seemed extremely radical, yet singularly enough, almost every "plank" has been adopted since. The extension of the elective principle to the Legislative and Municipal bodies, the abolition of any property qualification for members of Parliament, the extension of the franchise to householders, vote by ballot, representation based on population, the severance of Church and State with religious equality, modification of the usury laws, the abolition of the right of primogeniture, a decimal currency, and free navigation of the St. Lawrence, have all been brought to pass. Mr. Mowat’s Judicature Act is the adoption of another; and the only "planks" still unadopted are biennial Parliaments, and the power of regulating commercial intercourse with other nations; of these the latter has been virtually conceded. At that time the Conservatives and orthodox Liberals united in stigmatizing the "platform" as extreme and mischievous. In 1853, Mr. Macdougall represented Canada at the World’s Fair in New York.

Next year the Hincks-Morin Cabinet was formed, and the North American became its organ, without, however, surrendering its independence or casting away a plank of the platform. It was natural that Mr. Macdougall, whose influence began to be felt in the country, should aspire to a seat in Parliament, and few public men had so early an opportunity of learning the sweet uses of adversity. In 1854 he suffered two defeats—in North Wentworth and Waterloo, and in 1857 in Perth, where he was beaten by Mr. T. M. Daly, a strong local candidate of Conservative politics. During the latter year Mr. Brown and he were reconciled, the North American was merged in the Globe, and Mr. Macdougall occupied a position on the editorial staff of the latter. In 1858, he first succeeded in entering the House. Mr. Brown had secured a double return, and elected to sit for Toronto, and Mr. Macdougall was returned for North Oxford, over the Hon. J. C. Morrison. During his early Parliamentary career, Mr. Macdougall was a staunch advocate of representation according to population, and other radical reforms, and supported Mr. Brown with vigour and ability. Possessed of a singularly calm and immobile demeanour, a cool head, and logical mind, he proved an able first lieutenant to his chief. [Mr. Torcotte, whose views are always Conservative, or rather strongly Lower Canadian, terms him a worthy adept of his leader – "adepte digne de M. Brown." – Le Canada, ii. 411.] His conspicuous debating power was of great value to the party; but, as usual, a spirit of independence caused him to be restive in party harness, and, in 1860, he and Mr. Brown parted company. The honourable gentleman, in 1862, entered the Macdonald-Sicotte Government, and remained with his new leader until the defeat of 1864. In that year he was returned for North Lanark, and continued to sit for it for some years. In 1863, feeling that the struggle for equal representation was fatal under existing circumstances, he formally announced his abandonment of the principle, a step which, of course, widened the breach between him and his old chief. Next year, however, the old allies once more came together as members of the Coalition Government. Mr. Macdougall took part in both the Union Conferences, in Canada, and was present, in London, during 1864, when the terms of Confederation were finally settled. He had previously acted as a Commissioner to open up trade with Mexico and the West Indies.

Amongst the subjects which peculiarly attracted Mr. Macdougall’s attention was the future destiny of the North-West, and its acquisition by the Dominion. He had visited England with Sir George Cartier on the subject, and succeeded in bringing the negotiations, by which that vast territory was annexed to the Dominion, to a successful issue. It was natural, therefore, that when the new country was organized, Mr. Macdougall should be appointed its Governor. Then arose the troubles, which prevented his entrance into the country. The French half-breeds, on the pretext that their feelings in the matter had not been consulted, rose in rebellion, established a Provisional Government under Riel, and forcibly kept the new Governor out of the country. This episode will naturally fall into place when the Northwest comes under consideration. Meanwhile, it is only necessary to remark that Mr. Macdougall did all he could to pacify the malcontents, and finally retired from the scene when he found that he had neither a sufficient force, nor the satisfactory backing required, to enable him to assert his authority. In 1870, Mr. Sandfield Macdonald, the Premier of Ontario, appointed him Government trustee on the Canada Southern Railway, and in the following year he was nominated a Commissioner on the part of the Province to adjust its North-Western boundary. In 1872, he was defeated in North Lanark, and in 1873 visited Europe on a two-fold errand: first, to obtain a settlement of the fishery question, and secondly, to stir up the spirit of emigration in Scandinavia.

Until 1875, Mr. Macdougall’s voice was not heard in the legislative halls, but in that year he secured election as member for South Simcoe, in the local Legislature of Ontario. During the three years which followed, he opposed Mr. Mowat’s Government, and was virtually the leader of his party. When the general election of September, 1878, arrived, the hon. gentleman once more contested a seat for the Dominion House. He was elected for Halton over a strong local candidate by the small majority of eighteen—the result being, Macdougall, 1,708, McCraney, 1690. During the years which have elapsed, the hon. gentleman has practised law, and although he labours under considerable disadvantages, not to be overcome by one who has followed his profession only fitfully, he has made his mark in connection with causes celebres like the Campbell divorce and Mercer will cases. No one can read his argument before the Supreme Court in the latter suit, without regretting that he did not earlier apply himself to the legal profession. As a legislator, his labours have been fruitful to a degree hardly suspected by those who have not followed the course of public events. It has been said that Mr. Macdougall has many enemies, and this is, in a sense, true. The political free-lance is never regarded with cordiality by party leaders. If independent at all hazards, a public man must expect to be more or less distrusted by those who prize above all things party discipline. Mr. Macdougall, as his whole course proves, has always preferred to think for himself, and he has paid the penalty of his rashness. Certainly he cannot be charged with self-seeking, for he is to-day a poor man, and seems never to have mastered the art of becoming a rich one. He has some notable faults which have probably furnished a pretext for distrust in some quarters. His manner is cold and unsympathetic, and he delights too much in abstract appeals to a logical sense, often non-existent at all, and only occasionally touches the hearts of his auditors. Still, as a speaker, he is singularly clear and incisive; the marble is cold, yet it is marble all the same. With a more genial humour and broader sympathies, he would certainly have stood in the foremost rank as a statesman. In private life, where the judgment is less in play than the affections, Mr. Macdougall is an eminently agreeable friend, relative and companion; and even in public, where he cannot altogether divest himself of a certain formal stiffness—a cool, logical suit of buckram—he is telling and moving also on occasion. Perhaps in the future the Dominion will yet gather richer fruit from his admitted vigour and ability.

The Finance Minister of the Coalition Government next demands attention. Alexander Tilloch Galt, was born at Chelsea, London, England, the 6th of September, 1817; but, in all but the accident of birth, he is a Scot. His father, John Galt, the well-known Scottish novelist and colonizer, will demand attention in a future volume, when reference will be made to special areas of Scottish settlement. The son early displayed literary ability, and, at the age of fourteen, contributed to Fraser’s Magazine. But Mr. Galt’s career was not destined to be a literary one. His father’s connection with Canada directed the sons’ attention to this country, and all three of them settled here. [The only other who still survives is the Hon. Thomas Galt, one of the judges in the Court of Queen’s Bench of Ontario. He is a Scot by birth.] At the age of sixteen, Alexander became a clerk in the service of the British and American Land Company, whose operations were confined to the eastern townships of Lower Canada, near the frontier. The affairs of this corporation were not in a flourishing condition; but by Mr. Galt’s energy they were placed on a most satisfactory footing. [When he retired in 1856, the Directors stated that during his engagement of sixteen years, "the position of the Company was changed from one of almost hopeless insolvency to that of a valuable and remunerative undertaking."]

Mr. Galt entered public life in 1849 as member for the county of Sherbrooke. He was a Liberal in politics; still he opposed the Rebellion Losses Bill, and appeared to have despaired at that time of Canada’s future. He was one of the signers of the celebrated annexation manifesto of that year, although he has always been distinctly loyal, and is now an ardent champion of British connection. There can be no doubt that this remarkable pronunciamento was the outcome of temporary irritation on the part of the signers, and by no means expressed their settled convictions. When Toronto became the seat of Government, Mr. Galt resigned his seat, and remained in private life until 1853 when, a vacancy occurring, he was returned for Sherbrooke, which he continued to represent until he once more retired in 1872. During the early years of his second political period, he usually supported the Liberal party; but in 1857, when the representation and other vexed questions began to be urged with vehemence, Mr. Galt became what may be termed a Conservative Liberal. The hon. gentleman has made himself known by his rare skill in matters of finance, and it was early predicted that he would, sooner or later, be entrusted with the management of the department in which he excelled. He was strongly opposed to radical changes in the constitution, and about this time proposed a union of all the Provinces in an exhaustive and eloquent speech, which, however, produced no immediate effect. The time for that project had not yet arrived.

When the Brown-Dorion Government resigned, in August, 1858, Sir Edmund Head called upon Mr. Galt to form an administration; but, after a brief trial, he gave up the attempt. So far his attention had chiefly been given to railway enterprise. From 1852, onward, he had been government director of the Grand Trunk and St. Lawrence and Atlantic, and devoted his conspicuous abilities to their service. When the Cartier-Macdonald Government was formed, in 1858, Mr. Galt became Inspector-General, as the Finance Minister was at that time called, in place of Hon. W. Cayley, and remained in office until the defeat of the Government on the Militia Bill, in 1862. During this period, he had ample room for the display of his ability and fertility of resource. The finances were certainly in a bad way, and no small credit is due to him for the services rendered the state at a trying period of its history. A financial statement from Mr. Galt was always looked forward to as something worth the hearing; from the lucidity of its style, no less than from the plainness of its expositions. He was singularly clear-headed, self-possessed, and gifted with a power of imperturbable good humour that always made its way with the House. In 1864, he found himself once more in office as Finance Minister, retaining it till August, 1866. During this time the hon. gentleman was actively engaged in promoting his favourite scheme of confederation. He continued in the Cabinet after the Coalition, and was a member of the two conferences at Charlottetown and Quebec, and one of the delegates to England. In 1865, he was sent to Washington as joint plenipotentiary with the British Ambassador to negotiate a reciprocity treaty. As before stated, the effort failed, and in the following year he resigned. The difference between himself and his colleagues arose out of the school question. Mr. Galt insisted that, before confederation, the rights of the Protestant minority in Lower Canada should be assured, and his views appear to have prevailed with the Cabinet; but the note of alarm was sounded from the majority, and the Bill introduced was withdrawn. Mr. Galt at once tendered his resignation. In July, 1867, however, he again became Finance Minister, but only filled the office until the following November, when he finally retired, to be succeeded by Sir John Rose. It has been said [Weekly Globe, June 2, 1876.] that the reason for his retirement has never been fully made known, but the cause is not far to seek. The ex-Finance Minister has never been a strong partisan, and may well have chafed under the official restraint put upon his independence. In his own department, for which he was immediately responsible before the eyes of the people, matters do not appear to have gone to his mind. The Pacific Railway and Washington Treaty discussions subsequently show that it was only a question of time when he should leave the Cabinet. Not long after his withdrawal, he moved a vote of censure upon the financial policy of the Government, and there can be little question that the prospect of an unjustifiable expenditure, which he was powerless to prevent, drove him from the Cabinet. In 1872, Mr. Galt declined re-election, and has not since re-entered Parliament. In 1878, he became Sir Alexander Galt, of the Order of St. Michael and St. George; and, in the same year, declined the Ministry of Finance, rendered vacant by the retirement of Sir John Rose. In 1875, he defined his policy in a letter to the Hon. Jas. Ferrier, on the pressing questions of the time. Opposed to the Pacific Railway, he expressed his alarm at the serious increase of the Dominion debt, and advocated what was afterwards known as the National Policy, while still, as he stated, theoretically a free-trader. In 1877, he was named a Commissioner, on behalf of Great Britain, on the Halifax Arbitration on the Fishery Question under the Washington treaty, and brought the affair to satisfactory conclusion. Sir Alexander Galt has been engaged in commercial negotiations with France and Spain which, for reasons diplomatic, have not as yet borne their fruit. He is now High Commissioner of the Dominion in London, where he has been of invaluable service in adjusting questions of finance, emigration, &c., with the Imperial Government.

A man of varied talents, and singular gifts of persuasive address and executive power, one cannot help regretting that he has not been oftener and for longer periods in the Government of his country. In the House, there has never been a more finished debater—during the present generation at all events. Fluent in speech, singularly clear and plain in unfolding facts and figures, he has always commanded the ear of the Assembly. Of a singularly good-natured and placable disposition, he has never failed to attract personally even those whom differences of opinion may have made his political opponents. No more attractive public character will be found in the ranks of our living statesmen, and it may not be too much to hope that, in the future, Canada may enjoy the full benefit of his varied talents and consummate tact. Some of Sir Alexander’s best speeches have been published in pamphlet form, as well as one brochure on Canada from 1849 to 1859, and another on the effects of Ultramontanism in Canada.

The Hon. Joseph Curran Morrison, whom we have had occasion to mention previously, was the eldest son of Mr. Hugh Morrison, a native of Sutherlandshire. He himself was born in Ireland, but the accident of birth has not prevented him from acknowledging his true nationality, and like his brother Angus, formerly M. P., and Mayor of Toronto, he is a member of St. Andrew’s Society. He came to the country at an early age, and completed his education at Upper Canada College. Called to the Bar in 1839, he at once entered into partnership with the late Hon. W. H. Blake, the future Chancellor. He was subsequently, after Mr. Blake’s elevation to the bench, a member of the firm of Macdonald, Morrison & Connor, which was facetiously termed "the flourishing concern" by the "Clear Grit" Reformers. He first secured a seat for West York at the general election of 1847, and became an ardent supporter of the Baldwin-Lafontaine Cabinet, but took no office under the Government. In 1851, he suffered defeat; but was almost immediately returned for the town of Niagara in place of Mr. Hincks, who had received a double return but elected to sit for Oxford. When the basis of the Hincks-Morin Administration was enlarged by the introduction of Messrs. Malcolm Cameron and Rolph, Mr. Morrison became Solicitor-General, and retained the office until the defeat of the Government in 1854, a period of nearly nine months. In 1856, he entered the Executive Council as Receiver-General in the Taché-Macdonald Cabinet, and retained the office until February, 1858, when the Macdonald-Cartier Cabinet was formed. He had previously been an unsuccessful candidate for South Ontario (1857), and for North Oxford (1858). In February, 1860, he once more took the Solicitor-Generalship. Up to this time Mr. Morrison had been Registrar of Toronto, and was consequently out of Parliament. After suffering defeat in Grey, the hon. gentleman resigned, and finally retired from public life. In March, 1862, Mr. Morrison took his seat on the Bench as a Judge of the Court of Common Pleas. In 1863, he was raised to the Queen’s Bench, and in 1877 to the Court of Appeal. He is now the senior puisne judge of Ontario. Judge Morrison has held many important offices in connection with higher education, among others the Chancellorship of the University of Toronto. As a politician, he had few opportunities of distinguishing himself; but he has made his mark at the bar and on the bench, and is highly esteemed by all with whom he has been brought in contact whether in public or private life.

The Hon. Adam Wilson, Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas, also for a brief period figured in Parliamentary life. Yet he is above all things a lawyer. Mr. Wilson was born in Edinburgh, and came to this country in 1830. For a time he devoted himself to commercial pursuits, but abandoned them for the legal profession. He studied under the old firm of Baldwin and Sullivan, and after his call to the Bar, 1839, became a partner. He was subsequently at the head of the firms formed on Mr. Baldwin’s retirement, the last being those of Wilson, Patterson and Beaty, in common law, and Wilson and Hector in chancery practice. In 1856 he was appointed to the commission for the consolidation of the Statutes of Canada and Upper Canada respectively—a task requiring great legal acumen, and unflagging industry. In the previous year he was chosen an Alderman of Toronto, and, in 1859, was the first Mayor of the city elected by the people. During this time he had charge of several important cases, such as the prosecutions arising out of the Russell election frauds, and the suits against Ministers in 1858-9 on account of the "double shuffle." When Mr. Hartman died in 1859, Mr. Wilson was returned for North York, Mr. Baldwin’s old constituency, and continued to represent it until his elevation to the Bench. In 1861, he opposed the Hon. (now Lieutenant-Governor) J. B. Robinson in West Toronto, but was defeated by a majority of about two hundred and fifty. From May, 1862, to May, 1864, Mr. Wilson was Solicitor-General in the Sandfield Macdonald Government, but retired upon his appointment to a judgeship in the Queen’s Bench. After several changes, he is now Chief Justice of the Common Pleas. As a politician, Mr. Wilson was always a Baldwin Reformer, and although he acted with Mr. Brown during his Parliamentary career, his conservative leanings were often apparent. As a judge, he stands above reproach either in respect of learning or integrity. As a man, he is eminently courteous and considerate, a friend and an adviser to all who desire his advice or friendship. He has made little commotion in the political world; indeed he has not cared to do so. Yet in the honest discharge of duty, in strict and undeviating attachment to the principles of justice and upright dealing, few men have ever adorned the Bench who will leave a better record behind them than the Hon. Adam Wilson.

Sir John Rose, Bart., G. C. M. G., was born in Aberdeenshire, in the year 1821. Educated at King’s College in the old city on the Dee, he removed to Canada, and was admitted to the bar at Montreal in 1842. In 1851 he entered Parliament for the commercial metropolis, having as his colleagues, Mr. (now Chief Justice) Dorion and Mr. T. D’Arcy McGee. In November of the same year he became Solicitor-General East, and was called to the Cabinet early in 1859, as Commissioner of Public Works—an office he resigned in 1861, retiring temporarily from Parliament. In 1861, he served as Imperial Commissioner on the Oregon matter, but again entered the House as member for Huntingdon at confederation. In November, 1867, he succeeded Sir A. T. Galt as Minister of Finance. This office he held for the better part of two years, when he resigned and was succeeded by Sir Francis Hincks. Sir John Rose retired from public life on account of ill-health on both occasions referred to. A public man of singular ability and unspotted reputation, he found himself unable to stand the wear and tear of official life. For some years past he has resided in England, and conducted business there as a banker at the head of a firm of established reputation. Although removed from amongst us the ex-Finance Minister has been of eminent service to successive Governments of Canada. Shrewd and prudent in business habits, he has always been ready to aid the Dominion with counsel and active assistance, without regard to party differences.

The Hon. James Patton also deserves a brief notice. Born at Prescott, Ont., on the 10th of June, 1824, he was the fourth son of Mr. Andrew Patton, deceased, of St. Andrews, Fifeshire, and formerly a major in the 45th regiment of the line. Mr. Patton’s eldest brother was for some years rector of Cornwall; he himself was brought up to the law, commencing his studies under the Hon. J. Hillyard Cameron. In 1843 at the opening of King’s College, Toronto, he matriculated, and graduated in 1847, as B. C. L. Called to the bar, he practised first at Barrie. At an early period of his career, Mr. Patton took a deep interest in politics. The agitation consequent upon the passage of the Rebellion Losses Bill appears to have acted as a stimulus to his Conservative instincts. In 1852, he established the Barrie Herald as the mouthpiece of his party, and conducted it for several years. Meanwhile he was engaged also in legal journalism and literature, and, in 1855, aided in the publication of the Upper Canada Law Journal. Mr. Patton’s political ambition does not appear to have been over-active, since he uniformly declined to become a candidate for Parliamentary honours. In 1856, however, he contested successfully the Saugeen Division (Bruce, Grey and North Simcoe), immediately after the Legislative Council had been made elective. [The votes recorded were for Mr. Patton, 1712; for Mr. (afterwards the Hon.) J. McMurrich, 1469; for James Beaty, 1158.] As a member of the Upper House, the Hon. Mr. Patton was a staunch Conservative, and it was he who moved the vote of non-confidence in the Brown-Dorion Government of 1858, carried as already mentioned by sixteen to eight. At the ensuing election he was defeated by the Hon. Mr. McMurrich, and has not since entered Parliament. Mr. Patton has taken a deep interest in educational matters, particularly in the affairs of his alma mater, the University of Toronto. He has served as Vice-Chancellor of that institution, and was first president of the Toronto University Association, a body formed to secure the restoration of the rights of graduates in convocation. Of late years he has chiefly devoted himself to the practice of his profession, as a partner of Sir John Macdonald, and in the spring of 1881 he received the appointment of Collector of Customs at the port of Toronto.

The Hon. John Young [For many of the particulars in this sketch, the writer is indebted to the Weekly Globe, June 9th, 1876, and the Montreal Herald, April 15th, 1878.] was born at Ayr, on the 4th of March, 1811, and educated at the parish school, like so many other Scots who have risen to eminence in the world. For some time he was himself a school-teacher in the neighbourhood of his native town; but, in 1826, he made his way to Canada, and began as a clerk in the mercantile establishment of Mr. John Torrance. In 1835, when only twenty-four years of age, he entered into partnership with Mr. David Torrance, at Quebec. Before the outbreak of the rebellion, he took the liberty of representing to Lord Gosford, the Governor of that day, the "breakers ahead," and suggested the establishment of volunteer companies; but his counsels were unheeded. When the storm burst, Mr. Young at once volunteered to aid in raising a regiment, a task accomplished within twenty-four hours. Meanwhile he had removed to Montreal, which, with characteristic prescience, the young Scot saw would be the future centre of trade. In the commercial metropolis he was a member of the firm of Stephens Young & Co. During the Metcalfe crisis, Mr. Young was returning officer, and at once searched for and seized arms wherever found. His vigorous action secured the peace of the city, and his name was specially mentioned in the Governor’s dispatch to Downing Street. It would be impossible here to enter upon all the enterprises with which his name was associated. His heart was thoroughly devoted to the interests of Montreal, its harbour, its railway connections, its trade, and also its culture. In 1846, he espoused the principles of free-trade with ardent enthusiasm and remained faithful to them throughout life.

In 1851, although he had not been previously a member of Parliament, Mr. Young’s administrative ability and knowledge of trade were so well recognised that he was chosen as Commissioner of Public Works on the formation of the Hincks-Morin Cabinet. He found a seat for the city of Montreal, and continued to represent it until 1857, when ill-health compelled him to retire. In 1863, he was unsuccessful as a candidate for Montreal West, but in 1872 succeeded by a majority of 800. In the House of Commons he figured as a member of the Opposition; but, local interests again pressing upon him, he finally retired in 1874. He was President of the Board of Trade, and during the later years of his life filled the office of Harbour Commissioner of the port of Montreal. He was a man of stalwart frame and fine presence, genial, no less than able and vigorous. Unhappily a sunstroke, supervening upon a long-standing affection of the heart, laid him low, and he died on the 12th of April, 1878, universally mourned by all classes in the city he had loved and served so well.

The Hon. James Ferrier is another old mercantile resident of Montreal, who, notwithstanding the brief space at our command, deserves special notice. He was born in Fifeshire, so far back as 1800. When just of age he removed to Canada, and at once entered upon his business career. Like Mr. Young, his affections were bound up in the city of his adoption. In the corporation, in the militia, in the banks, assurance companies, the railways, and institutions devoted to culture, he was always to be found at the post of duty. Nor did he forget his native land, for, more than once, he presided over the St. Andrew’s Society, and aided in other benevolent efforts. Perhaps, however, he himself, in the evening of his days, would take superior pride in his work for religion and temperance. A Wesleyan, like not a few of the Montreal Scots, he proved himself a power in his church. For many years he was a Sunday-school Superintendent— perhaps, indeed, he has not yet resigned the position. In missionary effort, no Montrealer has exerted himself with more energy and single-mindedness. His public life has not been an eventful one. A Conservative in politics, he has sat in the Upper House since 1847, and is still a member of the Senate.

The Hon. David Christie was connected with the sister Province. Born at Edinburgh, in the autumn of 1818, he came to Canada, while yet a lad, in 1833. In 1851, Mr. Christie first entered Parliament, as member for Wentworth; in 1855, he was returned for East Brant, but resigned in 1858, to become a candidate for the Legislative Council in the Erie division. He succeeded by the very large majority of twelve hundred and fifty-nine over Dr. Brown. This seat he retained until the Union, when he was made a Senator of the Dominion. When Mr. Mackenzie succeeded to power, on the 7th November, 1873, Mr. Christie entered the Cabinet as Secretary of State; but early in the following January he became Speaker of the Senate, an office he filled with great dignity and credit until the administration resigned, in October, 1878. Mr. Christie will chiefly be remembered hereafter in connection with Upper Canadian agriculture. As early as 1846, he was active in organizing the Provincial Agricultural Association, and proved its most active spirit for many years, filling the Presidential chair for the last time in 1870. He was one of the prime movers in the establishment of the Agricultural College; but his efforts in the cause of culture did not stop there. He served on the Senate of the Toronto University, and was vigorously active in many other positions of useful activity. Mr. Christie, notwithstanding the early age at which he left the fatherland, was above all things a Scot. Blunt and straightforward in manner, inflexible in matters of principle, he worked hard in every effort to advance his adopted country. In politics unmistakably a Liberal, nevertheless he did not break with the old leaders so early as some of his future allies. "Douce Davie," his recalcitrant brethren used to call him in those days gone by; certainly, however, he never wavered in the course he had marked out for himself but died, as he had lived, a strict and uncompromising Reformer. Mr. Christie died at Paris, Ontario, towards the close of 1880, in the sixty-third year of his age.


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