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The Scot in British North America
Chapter VII. The Dominion from 1867 to 1882. Part C


The only other measure to be noted is the Pacific Railway scheme. The subject ought never to have become material for party dissension. Circumstances, however, have determined it otherwise. From the first Liberals and Conservatives have made this enterprise, to which the faith of the Dominion was pledged, a bone of contention. It is too late now to deplore the fact; indeed until the last spike is driven, and the iron horse can traverse its entire length – a time not now far distant, - partisans will unquestionably contend over it in Parliament, in the press, and on public platforms. As we have seen, Mr. Mackenzie, who set about the work with exemplary vigour, proposed to proceed with it by sections, under contracts let by the Government, which was to own it and superintend its management. Meanwhile the magnificent system of water communication was to be developed for summer use. At one time the ex-Premier endeavoured to secure a Company willing to shoulder the entire burden; but, at that moment, owing no doubt to the financial depression prevailing, no capitalists came forward. The late Government was also hampered by the unsatisfactory attitude of British Columbia. That Province insisted upon a literal fulfilment of the bond, and clamoured for the construction of the least profitable section of the line at a time when the country was least able to afford the necessary expenditure.

Meanwhile the surveys were completed and active operations carried on in the section between Lake Superior and Red River. It is unnecessary to dwell upon the party complaints about extravagant works, favouritism in the matter of contracts, or the inevitable charges of corruption against Ministers, made then as now. It seems to be the destiny of this country never to embark on any enterprise without at once affording an opening for scandal-mongers. Of all the native products of Canada, corruiption-fab1es are the ones which flourish with the rankest luxuriance. The records of more than three decades, could they be tabulated in a blue book, would prove that this country can boast rnore scandals or slanders, population being taken into account then any civilized, community of modern times, not excepting the American Union. In fact a regular crop of them has become a necessary of party life amongst us.

Sir John A. Macdonald temporarily adopted his predecessor’s policy and continued the work of railway construction upon the old lines. But he nevertheless determined as early as practicable to carry out his original scheme of incorporating a company. It was not, however, until December, 1880, that the Government was able to announce that a contract had been entered into, subject to the approva1 of Parliament, "for the speedy construction and permanent working" of the Canadian Pacific Railway. According to the terms of this agreement a syndicate had undertaken the enterprise, the consideration being $25,000,000 payable pari passu with the work of construction, and 25,000,000 of acres of land to be allotted in alternate sections on either side of the line. The railway was to be begun at both ends and prosecuted "at such rate of annual progress on each section as shall enable the company to complete and equip the same in running order, on or before the 1st of May, 1891." The capital stock of the Syndicate, in which of course the land and money bonuses were not included, were to be free of taxation; its occupied property was also declared to be exempt as well as the lands, until sold, for a period of twenty years. Finally any material necessary for construction or equipment might be imported without fiscal impost. Provision was also made against injurious competition in the matter of branches.

Such, in brief, were the conditions of the agreement entered into between Sir Charles Tupper on the part of this Dominion, and the members of the Syndicate. It is not proposed here to discuss the wisdom of the scheme, because any argument to be full and adequate would necessarily spread over more space than could reasonably be demanded. [A redundantly complete statement of the case on both sides will be found in the House of Commons Debates for the Session, 1880-81.] The first Company established had a Scotsman at its head; the second, and more successful venture, was set on foot, mainly by Scots. Sir Hugh Allan took no part in the Syndicate, but George Stephen, Duncan McIntyre, Richard B. Angus, Donald A. Smith and Sir John Rose were all of them sons of "Auld Scotia," and, by their energy in prosecuting the great national work have approved themselves worthy inheritors of the national grit and energy. Of Sir John Rose notice has already been taken in connection with public affairs. To the others attention must be directed shortly.

Whatever can be said about the propriety of the agreement - and upon that subject there may be room for honest differences in opinion—there is no doubt at all concerning the vigour and capacity of the active workers of the Company. The impetus given to settlement even thus early, the more dubious phenomenon of land speculation, the increased promise of immigration and settlement upon an unprecedented scale have directly resulted from the Syndicate’s energy and enterprise. So far from delaying the work for another ten years the announcement has been made that the entire line will be in working order within half the stipulated period. That the outlay should appear extravagant, and the privileges granted exceptional may be true; but when the magnitude of the undertaking, the expense devolving upon the Company in working some portions admittedly at a loss, and the absolute necessity of getting the matter out of hand, once and for all, are taken into consideration, there is every reason to be satisfied with the bargain. The subject is removed practically out of the party arena, and that alone is something to be thankful for. Had the enterprise still been under Government construction, there are no data for guessing when it would have been completed. Only one thing is certain that for half a generation at least, the Dominion would have been overstocked with scandalous stories of corruption in a market where the supply is always much in excess of the demand.

The two subjects alluded to have so entirely occupied public attention during the past three years and a half that any allusion to minor matters can hardly be called for. In connection with Ontario, however, two other topics have assumed importance. When the Hudson Bay Territory was ceded to Canada, the boundaries of that Province to the north and west was left undefined. The question had been discussed fully both before and after the cession; yet until 1874 no steps whatever were taken to secure a definite settlement. [The Hon. William McDougall and Mr. Charles Lindsey, Registrar for the City of Toronto, have both given valuable literary assistance in the matter.] It would appear from recent correspondences between the Dominion and Provincial Governments that, in 1872, the former proposed a reference of the subject to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. There certainly appear to have been plausible reasons for such an appeal. The boundary could hardly be settled by testimony as to fact, since its precise location turns upon the interpretation of treaties and other state papers. When the Reformers succeeded to power, however, it appeared to them a better plan to have recourse to arbitration. Chief Justice Harrison—a gentleman of unquestionable ability and honour who unfortunately passed prematurely away after the award—was chosen to represent Ontario; Sir Francis Hincks, the veteran statesman, appeared for the Dominion, whilst Sir Edward Thornton, the British Minister at Washington, was nominated as the third member of the Commission. It would seem that after examining the documents pertinent to the matter, all the arbitrators came to the same conclusion independently of one another. They agreed in deciding on the Albany River, St. Joseph’s, and Lonely Lakes, and English River to the north-west angle of the Lake of the Woods and thence due south to the American boundary, as the western limit of Ontario. The award, however, having for its basis an Order in Council, required confirmation both from Parliament and the Provincial Legislature. The latter anticipated the result by accepting the award in advance; but the Dominion has not yet seen fit to accept it.

The controversy is still pending, and, therefore, it is only necessary to state the positions of the parties. The Ontario Government insists that the award requires only a pro forma sanction, since a decision by arbitrators ought morally to bind both parties. It is also urged that gross injury is done to the disputed territory from the absence of any settled title to lands and timber, and farther from the lack of a fixed system of administrative justice. Moreover Ontario, having readily accepted less than she believes to be her due, considers that the Dominion should promptly concede to the Province the lands awarded. On the other hand the Dominion Government, which came into power just before the result of the arbitration was made known, in 1878, declines to accept a boundary it declares to be not "legal," but "conventional." A committee of the House of Commons reported adversely to the award, and the Ottawa Administration, adhering to the policy pursued when the Conservative party was previously in office, insists upon judicial arbitrament in some form or other either here or in England. A perusal of the papers lately issued impresses the reader with a conviction that the whole question in dispute is one of great delicacy, and the partizan aspect it has assumed is much to be regretted.

The other matter which will probably occupy public attention during the approaching electoral struggle is disallowance of Provincial Bills or Acts by the Governor-General in Council. The immediate cause of this discussion as between the parties, was a measure passed in the Ontario Legislature last year, dealing with streams used for floating timber. That the Bill was on general grounds objectionable is clear. As the law stood according to judicial interpretation, up to that moment, Mr. McLaren, the particular owner aimed at, was possessed of exclusive rights in the improvements which he had purchased and maintained, at a considerable outlay, relying upon the decision of the Courts. It was not proposed to purchase his rights, but only to compensate for them by appointing him toll-keeper on his own property. The equity of any such enactment was antecedently doubtful; but a crucial question arose upon the disallowance of the Streams and Rivers Bill on the recommendation of Hon. Jas. Macdonald, Minister of Justice. His objections were that the Act was retrospective in character, that it interfered with matters in course of litigation, and that it confiscated private property without adequate compensation.

The Ontario Government admitted that the first two exceptions were well founded but held them to be defensible on the score of necessity. The last it denied on the ground that the tolls provided for were an adequate recompense to the owner. At all events the position taken by the Provincial Ministry was that the Governor-General in Council had no right to veto any local measure provided it came within provincial jurisdiction under section ninety-two of the British North America Act. It was pointed out that Sir John Macdonald had laid down the principle of noninterference with such legislation in 1868, and had always declined to meddle with it.

The only precedents adducible occurred whilst the Liberal party was in power, but were directly to the point. Much stress was laid upon the fact that the Streams and Rivers Bill had not been reserved by the Lieutenant-Governor, as others subsequently vetoed had been. But the distinction attempted to be drawn is evidently a fanciful one. All Provincial measures must be, in the end, either tacitly or formally assented to by the Governor-General. The reservation of any Bill is only a method of calling attention to it that may be adopted at pleasure by a Lieutenant-Governor, since he is not a Local but a Dominion officer. That. There should be well defined 1imits to the exercise of the prerogative may be true; but so long as the constitutional Act leaves the power to governmental discretion at Ottawa, there is no plausible reason for complaining when that power is exerted. The Dominion Government is responsible to Parliament and the country for any misuse of the authority entrusted to it and consequently the attempt to make a sectional issue of any particular disallowance seems simply a partizan movement. Holding that view and having before us the precedents established under the administration of Mr. Mackenzie, it is impossible not to recognise the right simply of the Government to veto the Act in question, but also its duty to do so, if the provisions of it were clearly inequitable and not in accordance with sound public policy. On that point, the "central authority" being supreme, subject to its parliamentary responsibility, must be the sole judge. No one can fear that the prerogative will be often used, or that it will ever act tyrannically in violation of Provincial autonomy. It simply serves, as the Reform 1eaders pointed out in 1865 as a protection to individuals and classes against any such injustice as may possibly be wrought by a partizan majority. Matters of jurisdiction may be readily decided by judicial authority; inequitable laws coming within Provincial cognizance can be annulled by the veto alone. [The entire subject is discussed at length in Mr. Todd’s admirable work on Parliamentary Governments in the Colonies, pp. 325-388.] That, as it appears to the writer, is the only tenable doctrine on constitutional grounds. [Since the above passed into the printer’s hands, a precisely identical view of the case has been presented by the Hon. James Cockburn, ex-Speaker of the House of Commons, in the Canadian Monthly, March and April, 1882.]

Having thus concluded a necessarily imperfect sketch of political history during this period, it seems proper to conclude the chapter with some biographical notices of public men of the later years. So far as regards the Eastern Provinces, the list of Scots has been brought down to date; and now, as the affairs of Ontario were last before us, it seems proper to begin with the Legislature of that Province. Most of the men occupying the foremost rank have already been reviewed; but there are others who must not be passed over. Precedence may he given to a legislator who was removed by death all too prematurely, at the very time when, in the prime of life, his ability and usefulness were universally recognised. William Hepburn Scott, B. A., Q. C., the son of an Aberdonian, was born, at Brampton in November 1837. He entered the University of Toronto in the year 1856, and his stalwart form is still remembered by his contemporaries, one of whom was the writer. He was a true son of the soil, with real Scottish grit as hereditary capital at command. His nature was one of the kindliest, his talents were promising, because they were solid rather than brilliant. He graduated in 1860, and immediately employing himself to the study of the law, was called to the Bar in 1863. After practising for some years in partnership with his brother, A. F. Scott, now Judge of the County Court of Peel, he removed to Peterborough. Mr. Scott’s first experiences in election matters were varied rather than satistactory. At the general election of 1874, he appealed to the electors of West Peterborough as a Conservative candidate for the House of Commons, but was defeated, the majority against him being ninety-one. In June, of the same year, however, a vacancy occurring in the Local Legislature for the same constituency, he secured a seat only to lose it at the genera1 election of 1875, by a majority of forty-five. His opponent, however, was subsequently unseated, and Mr. Scott was elected to succeed him in October. In 1879, when a new House had to be chosen, he triumphed by the substantial majority of two hundred and fifty. By this time his talents were fully acknowledged; he was a recognised leader of the Opposition. Unhappily this bright promise of the time was not destined to reach fruition. After serving during one Session and a portion of the second, he was seized with an illness of a lingering character from which he never recovered. His death was a distinct loss, not only to his party but to the Assembly and the Province.

Lieut.-Colonel John Morison Gibson, who represents the City of Hamilton in the Legislature, is also a Scoto-Canadian. His father, who came from Forfarshire, some fifty-five years ago, was a farmer in the Township of Toronto. Being a cousin of David Gibson, of Yonge street, whose name, in connection with that of Mackenzie, is familiar to those who know the history of 1837, Mr. Gibson is, from family predilection, a staunch Reformer. He was born at the family homestead on New Year’s Day, 1842, so that he is now in the prime of life. After receiving a preliminary training at Hamilton, if we mistake not, under Mr. McCallum, of the Central School—himself a Scot well-known in former years in Toronto— he entered University College in 1859. His course there was an eminently successful one, and he gave promise of future eminence as a public speaker in the discussions of the Literary Society. Mr. Gibson graduated in 1863 with honours, having received medals in Classics and Modern Languages, the Prince of Wales’ Prize, and another in Oriental Literature. Presumably his intention at that time was to enter the ministry of the Presbyterian Church; if so he abandoned it, for in the following year we find him studying law in his adopted city. The attractions of Alma Mater were strong for the young graduate. He entered in the law faculty and took the degree of Bachelor of Laws with the gold medal. He was called to the bar in 1867, and has since practised successfully as a partner of Messrs. MacKelcan and Bell—the former of whom is a lawyer of singular ability. Mr. Gibson’s attachment to the cause of education first attracted public attention. He has filled the chair of the School Board, and since 1873 has been regularly elected by his brother graduates to the Senate of the University.

Cicero says, Inter arma silent leges; but Col. Gibson appears to have achieved success both with the rifle and the brief. In 1860, he joined the University Rifle Company, connected with the Queen’s Own, and originally commanded by Captain and Professor Croft. When Mr. Gibson removed to Hamilton, he became a member of the 13th battalion of Volunteer Militia, and advanced through every grade from "full private" to Lieutenant-Colonel, He was present with his regiment at Ridgeway during the Fenian raid of 1866, and has thus seen frontier as well as camp service. The use of the rifle is a pastime with Col. Gibson, and he is one of the best shots in the Dominion, to which it may be added that he holds a first class Military School certificate. He was a member of the Canadian Wimbledon teams of 1874, 1875, and 1879, and the team which contended at Creedmoor in 1876. In 1879 he won the Prince of Wales’ prize at Wimbledon. In 1881, if not in the previous year, he acted as Captain and director of the team. Mr. Gibson was elected as member for Hamilton in the Local Legislature in 1879, in a close contest, by a majority of sixty-two over Mr. Murray. As we have already said, the hon. member is a Liberal in politics. His namesake, Mr. Thomas Gibson, M.P.P. for East Huron, is a Scot by birth, hailing from Greenlaw, in Berwickshire, where he was born in June, 1825.

David D. Hay, M.P.P. for North Perth, was born at Dundee, Forfarshire, in January, 1828. At the age of sixteen he crossed the ocean to seek his fortune in Canada. After a short season of employment at Montreal, Mr. Hay came west to Bowmanville and spent a few years as clerk there. After this period of probation he engaged in business for himself at Lefroy, in the county of Simcoe, until 1855, when be settled finally in the township of Elma, Perth. Where the village of Listowel now stands, there was then but one house, presumably a store and post-office, since it bore the name of Mapleton. In partnership with his brothers, he may be said to have called a new settlement into existence, building saw and grist mills, and at the same time cultivating as a farmer. Mr. Hay has served in a number of municipal offices and is the chief business man in Listowel. When the Wellington, Grey and Bruce Railway was projected in 1867, he took an active part both in aid of the line, and securing its passage through his village. During a period of more than five years, he was an ardent promoter of the Stratford and Huron line which also touched at Listowel. During two years, Mr. Hay was emigration agent for the Province in Scotland, where he spent some months; but was recalled to work in the department here. He resigned his position at the opening of 1875, in order to contest North Perth. This he did with success, and has represented the riding ever since. Mr. Hay is a Liberal, and also a Provincial patriot in a practical way, for he is the father of nine additions to the population of Ontario.

Thomas McIntyre Nairn, member for East Elgin, is also a Liberal. He was born at Balloch, Dumbartonshire, in June, 1836. When only fourteen he left his native land and arrived at St. John, N.B., where he was engaged for some time in a book and publishing house. Thence to Boston where he found employment in an insurance office. Being resolved to better his prospects, young Nairn started for the Western States, but having stopped on the way to visit some friends in the County of Elgin, he made Aylmer his future home and has resided there ever since. Serving for some time as a book-keeper, he became a partner in business on his own account, as a general merchant and grain dealer. He is now a notary public and general business agent. During a period, of eighteen years Mr. Nairn served in the County Council, and was Warden for six consecutive years. Like Mr. Hay, he has been an active worker in railway enterprise, especially in the promotion of the Canada Southern—a line from which the County of Elgin has profited so much; and also in the Canada Air Line which passes through Aylmer. The latter is now merged in the Great Western. He was an unsuccessful candidate for East Elgin in 1867, but the majority against him was very small. He did not again contest the seat until the last general election when he was returned by a majority of one hundred and thirty-two.

Lieut.-Col. Alexander McLagan Ross, M.P.P., for West Huron, was one of the pioneer settlers, although he came thither at an early age. He was born at Dundee, Forfarshire, in April, 1829, and was brought to Goderich in 1834. His parents were convinced that every lad should learn a trade whether he followed it or not. Accordingly, Alexander was apprenticed to a carpenter and joiner and worked at the business for six years. When twenty years of age he became a clerk in the Upper Canada Bank Agency; in 1856 he was made paymaster in the Buffalo and Lake Huron Railway Company, and in 1858 Treasurer of the County—an office he has ever since held. In 1866 Mr. Ross became manager of the newly-opened branch at Goderich of the Royal Canadian Bank. On the suspension of that bank, or rather in the following year (1870), he undertook a similar position in the Bank of Commerce, which he yet fills. At the time of the Trent affair of 1861, when patriotic fervour ran high, Mr. Ross raised an artillery company, of which he was made Captain. During the Fenian raid of 1866 he saw service on the frontier, and in the same year the volunteers of the district having been formed into a battalion, of which Mr. Ross was made Lieutenant-Colonel, a rank he still enjoys. Mr. Ross first appealed to the electors of West Huron at the general election of 1875 and succeeded, beating his opponent, Mr. Davison, a fellow-townsman, by a majority of ninety-four. In 1879 he defeated another opponent by the much-increased majority of four hundred and twenty-four. In politics Col. Ross is a Reformer; in religion a member of the Church of England.

Donald Sinclair, M. P. P., has represented North Bruce ever since confederation was established. No account of his life is at hand, except the barest skeleton of a biography. He was born in the Island of Islay, educated in Scotland, and arrived in Canada about 1851. Mr. Sinclair, is a merchant at Paisley, and as we have said, entered the Assembly when that body was constituted. At the elections of 1867 and 1871, he was returned by acclamation; in 1875 was opposed by a namesake, but succeeded by a majority of over two hundred and sixty; finally in 1879, he once more triumphed by four hundred majority. William Lees, member for South Lanark, was born in that county in 1821. His father had come out from Scotland, four years before, and settled in the Bathurst District, one of its pioneers. The son was brought up as a farmer, and continued to till the soil until 1857, when he built a saw, and afterwards a flour-mill. Mr. Lees owns five hundred acres of land, which he continues to farm in addition to an extensive lumbering business. It may be added that he has been a magistrate for nearly forty years. In politics Mr. Lees is a Conservative; he was first elected to represent his constituency in 1879, by a majority of over fifty. William Mack, who represents Cornwall, is also a new member. He is a native Scot, having been born in Lanarkshire, in 1828 As his education was conducted in Canada, he must have "come out" at an early age. Mr. Mack, has served in the town council of Cornwall, and also as Warden of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry. He was returned for Cornwall in 1879.

David Robertson, M.D., M.P.P. for Halton, is a native of the county, having been born in Esquesing, on July 9th, 1841. His father Alexander hai1ed from Perthshire, where he first saw the light in 1785; he was the grandson of Colonel Donald Robertson, who led his clan at the battle of Culloden. Alexander entered the army and saw active service in the Peninsular war, but a wound received there so seriously disabled him that he was compelled, to retire. After a short trial of the West Indies he settled in the county of Halton, of which he was one of the earliest residents. There he engaged in surveying, school-teaching, and finally farming. The general agent for the people around, he went by the name of "Squire Robertson." His son David has preferred the profession which heals wounds to that which inflicts them. In 1864, after a course at McGill’s College, he received the degree of M.D. At the same time the inherited martial instinct asserted itself, for in 1866 Dr. Robertson raised a company of volunteers, of which he was Captain. Since 1867 he has practised his profession at Milton, with eminent success. When in Nassagaweya, he was Local Superintendent of Schools; and has served as Mayor of Milton during four successive years; as Treasurer of the School Board and Mechanics’ Institute nine years. In 1879 he was elected to the Assembly from Halton as a Liberal, by the narrow margin of thirty-two. He is a large property-owner both in the town and county.

Kenneth Chisholm, who represents Peel in the Ontario Assembly, is sprung of an old Highland clan. His family came from Inverness-shire, and settled in Glengarry. In 1818, Mr. Chisholm’s father removed to Toronto township, then in the Home District, in the County of Peel. His mother, nee Mary McDonell, was of’ the U. E. Loya1ist stock, and received a grant of land, which was sold, but has been re-purchased by Mr. Chisholm after an interval of half a century. Born in the county, the present member commenced life as a clerk in a store at Brampton, and now, after twenty-five years’ enterprising work, is the principal merchant in the county. He also owns a flour mill and a farm of five hundred acres, deals largely in grain, flour and provisions, and maintains a branch establishment at Orangeville. For twenty-four years Mr. Chisholm has been a member of the municipal council, and thrice Warden of the county. He was first returned for Peel in 1873, to fill a vacancy caused by the death of Mr. Coyne, the sitting member. In 1875 he was again elected, by a majority of over a hundred, unseated on petition, and re-seated on appeal. At the last general election his majority was over one hundred and fifty.

Thomas Ballantyne, member for South Perth, was born at Peebles, in 1829, and came to this country in 1852. He is engaged in the manufacture of cheese on a large scale, and has been president of the Dairymen’s Association. In 1871 he contested North Perth, but was defeated, and next year he received the Reform nomination for the Commons, but dec1ined it. At the Provincial elections of 1875 he was successful as a candidate for the South Riding, his majority being over one hundred and eighty. In 1879 it rose to considerably more than three hundred. Mr. Ballantyne’s place of residence is Stratford. Archibald Bishop has represented South Huron since 1873, when the sitting member, Mr. Gibbons, resigned. He is a native of Edinburgh, and received his education in Scotland. Mr. Bishop has been Warden of the County, and has occupied his seat in the present Assembly for nine years. James Hill Hunter, of South Grey, hails from Renfrewshire, where he was born in 1839. He is an Upper Canada College boy, having completed his education at that institution. Mr. Hunter, who is a merchant, at Durham, was elected for the Riding in 1875 by a plurality of votes, for he had two opponents; but in 1879, with Mr. James Fahey alone in the field, he obtained a majority of over six hundred.

There are other members of the Assembly who would appear to be Scots, or of Scottish parentage, but, unfortunately, there is no accessible information about them at command. Such are Messrs. Robert McKim, of South Wellington; Alexander Robertson, of West Hastings; and James Livingston, of South Waterloo. On the whole, it will be admitted that Caledonia is well represented in the legislative arena, and the records of these gentlemen show that they have won their positions by sheer industry, energy, and force of character.

Before concluding this chapter, there are still some few names to note which must not be omitted, although they appear out of their proper place. The first is that of one of the Senators appointed a few months ago.

Alexander Walker Ogilvie, Senator, "is descended from a younger brother of Gilchrist, Earl of Angus, who, in the 13th century, was rewarded with the lands of Ogilvie, in Banffshire, and assumed the name of the estate. The family is celebrated for having long preserved the crown and sceptre from the hands of Cromwell." [Montreal Railway Journal, Jan.13th, 1882.] Mr. Ogilvie was the eldest son of a Stirlingshire farmer, who came to Canada as far back as 1800, and settled on the island of Montreal, and tilled his own land which was at Point St. Charles, where the Grand Trunk works now are. He married in this country a Stirlingshire wife, by whom he had five daughters and three sons, all living. Mr. Ogilvie, senior, was an officer in the Lachine cavalry, and served both in the war of 1812, and in the rebellion of 1837. He died in 1838; his wife in 1862. The subject of this sketch was born at St. Michel, near Montreal, in May, 1829, and received his education in that city. The three brothers Ogilvie in due time entered into partnership as flour merchants. The firm was constituted in 1854. At the present of time, it owns two flouring mills at Montreal, one at Goderich and one at Seaforth, which together turn out about 1,700 barrels of flour, besides meal, daily. The Ontario establishments have also salt-works attached, which together produce about forty tons a day. Messrs. Ogilvie & Co. are perhaps the most extensive wheat buyers in the Province, and were the first in the field in Manitoba. They also purchase largely at Chicago, Milwaukee and Duluth. They are about to engage largely in farming, having secured 25,000 acres of prairie land in the North-West. For years past, the senior partner has been out of the firm, but its old name is still retained. In 1867, Mr. A. W. Ogilvie was returned for Montreal West at the general elections to the Local Assembly, and sat in it for some years. He has also served for a long period as Alderman of the City of Montreal, as Lieutenant-Colonel of Cavalry, President of the Hochelaga Agricultural Society, of the Turnpike Trust Company, and of the St. Andrew’s Society; besides being a Life Governor of the General Hospital. On January 7th, 1882, Mr. Ogilvie was called to the Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of the Hon. E. G. Penny, and took his seat in that body at the opening of the present session.

Donald Macmaster, Q.C., M.P.P. for the County of Glengarry, comes of Highland stock on both sides of the house. He was born in the county he now represents in the Ontario Assembly early in September, 1846. His preliminary education was conducted at the Williamstown Grammar School, and he subsequently entered McGill University, Montreal, and graduated there with distinction as Bachelor of Civil Law, in 1871, with honours. On this occasion he carried off the Torrance gold medal, the highest distinction in the gift of the University. Mr. Macmaster was also elected President of the McGill Literary Society. Simultaneously with his college course, he applied himself to the practical study of law under the Hon. J. J. Abbott, and Edward Carter, both Queen’s Counsel of eminence. In 1882, Mr. Macmaster was created Queen’s Counsel, and shortly afterwards called to the Ontario bar.

Although only thirty-five years of age, Mr. Macmaster has secured an enviable position in the practice of his profession. There are few Canadian young men who have so early been engaged in cases of supreme importance. In one suit against St. Andrew’s Church in 1877, he carried his point with the Supreme Court, and secured the reversal of previous decisions rendered in the Quebec Courts. More recently, Mr. Macmaster has achieved still higher distinction by his successful argument, as counsel for the Rev. Mr. Dobie in the matter of the Temporalities Fund of the Presbyterian Church in connection with the Church of Scotland. Throughout the suit the learned gentleman persistently struggled for the interests of his client, and had the satisfaction of obtaining a satisfactory decision from the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in England. The result was, that the Quebec Act which apparently settled the financial basis of the Presbyterian Union of 1875 was declared to be ultra vives. During the present Session of Parliament a bill was introduced to remedy the flaw. It was ably and vigorously opposed by Mr. Macmaster before the Private Bills Committee, but eventually succeeded both there and in the Commons. Its fate in the Senate is still undetermined. In all possibility, the measure, in the shape of a compromise between the parties, will soon become law.

In 1879, Mr. Macmaster, although a resident of Montreal, was elected to the Ontario assembly from his native county in the Conservative interest, but not by a decisive majority. In the legislature he has already distinguished himself by his clear views and lucid expression of them; Mr. Macmaster, as has been already said, is still young, yet has gained a reputation of which he may be justly proud. He possesses conspicuous abilities, pleasing manners and address, as well as great energy of character. In all human probability a bright future lies before him.

John Lorn Macdougall M.A., at present Auditor-Genera1 of Canada, was born in Renfrew in the year 1838. His father sat for the county for a short time in the Canadian Assembly, but resigned before the expiration of his term. The son was educated at the High School, Montreal, and entered the University of Toronto in 1855, where he was distinguished alike by his close application to study, and the quiet regularity of his life. He graduated in 1859, carrying off the gold medal in mathematics, and a silver medal in modern languages. Mr. Macdougall has taken an active part in municipal affairs, and served as Warden of his county. He has also been President of the South Renfrew Agricultural Society. In 1867, he was elected for South Renfrew to the first Ontario Assembly by a majority of over one hundred and forty. During the last two years of his term, he was also a member of the House of Commons, and retained his seat until the general election of 1872, when he suffered defeat. In 1874, however, he defeated Mr. Bannerman by a majority of seventy. He was unseated on petition, but had the good fortune to be re-elected. Once more secured deprived of his seat which was lost on petition, but secured re-election in February, 1875. Mr. Macdougall continued to represent South Renfrew until August, 1878, when he was appointed to be Auditor-General of Canada in place of Mr. Langton, who was Vice-Chancellor of the University when his successor graduated.

John Macdonald, formerly M.P. for Centre Toronto, was born in Perthshire, Scotland, in the month of December, 1824. Coming to this country when young, he was educated at Dalhousie College, Halifax, and at Bay St. Academy, Toronto. At the latter institution, conducted by Mr. Boyd, father of the Chancellor of Ontario, Mr. Macdonald had the honour of winning the classical medal. Having chosen the mercantile profession, he served for two years at Gananoque with Messrs. C. and J. Macdonald, the latter of whom, the Hon. John Macdonald, was a member of the old Legislative Assembly of the Province. Mr. Macdonald then entered the business house of the late Mr. Walter Macfarlane of King St. East. This establishment was perhaps the largest of its kind in the Province of Upper Canada. After remaining there for six years, he found himself compelled, because of failing health, to seek a change of climate. He repaired to Jamaica in 1847, and entered the house of Messrs. Nethersoll & Co.—one of the most considerable on the Island. Mr. Macdonald had intended to devote himself to the work of the Christian ministry in the Methodist Church, but was reluctantly compelled to abandon this purpose by his medical adviser.

On his return the subject of our sketch commenced business on his own account in October, 1849, on Yonge Street near Richmond St., and was the first to attempt an exclusively dry goods establishment on that street. In 1853 he removed to Wellington Street nearly opposite his present capacious warehouses. Thus was laid the foundation, in an unpretending way, of the extensive wholesale and importing house of John Macdonald & Co. After a lapse of nine years Mr. Macdonald built the handsome premises on the other side of Wellington Street. These were subsequently enlarged by the addition of the large pile of buildings which had in former years been termed in succession the North American Hotel and the Newbigging House, on Front Street. Frequent extensions of the warehouses, &c. have been made at a large outlay. The frontage is 100 feet, depth 140 feet; the buildings are six stories in height and cover about two acres. About eighty men are employed, besides the office staff and buyers in the English and American markets. The establishment is certainly the largest in Canada and, will compare favourably with wholesale houses in the larger American cities.

Mr. Macdonald entered public life as member for West Toronto in the Legislative Assembly, defeating the present Lieut. Governor of Ontario by the large majority of four hundred and sixty-two. Re-elected in 1865, the hon. gentleman sat until the Union, when he was defeated for the Commons by Mr. (afterwards Chief Justice) Harrison. In 1875 a vacancy occurred in the representation of Centre Toronto—a constituency set apart in 1872. Mr. Macdonald was invited to become a candidate and gained the seat by acclamation. In 1878, however, when the reaction occurred, he was defeated by Mr. B. Hay, the sitting member at present, by a majority of four hundred and ninety. In politics, Mr. Macdonald has always been an independent Libera1, sitting loose to the ties of party where they appeared to trammel his settled convictions. He opposed the coalition of 1864, and voted against confederation. This attitude towards party, where its claims appeared to conflict with duty is clearly defined in his reply to a requisition, inviting him to be a candidate in 1875. Promising to give the then Government a cheerful support, Mr. Macdonald declined to promise more, and it was to the credit of the requisitionists that they conceded to him in advance "perfect freedom of judgment in deciding upon all questions." [For Mr. Macdonald’s reply, see The Canadian Parliamentary Companion for 1876, p. 678.]

Mr. Macdonald is a Director in a number of business companies, and also Chairman of the Hospital Board. Active too in the cause of education, he has for some years been a Senator of the Provincial University, Visitor of Victoria University, and member of the High School Board. In religious matters especially, Mr. Macdonald has taken a deep and fervent interest. As already hinted, Mr. Macdonald is a member of the Methodist Church to which he has devoted liberally his time and talents. He has long been a member of the Executive Committee of the General Conference and Treasurer of the Missionary Society. Outside his own denomination, his energy and zeal have been conspicuous as an office-bearer in the Evangelical Alliance, the Bible Society, and the Young Men’s Christian Association. Of the last named body, he has been twice President at the United Convention of Ontario and Quebec. Mr. Macdonald is deeply concerned for the moral and intellectual progress of young men. He employs many of them, and has given them the benefit of his prolonged experience in two brochures, "Business Success" originally a lecture, and a practical address, "To the Young Men of the Warehouse." He is a striking instance himself of what energy and perseverance, when directed by the strictest integrity may accomplish for those who are just entering upon the battle of life.

A notice of Mr. Robert Hay, M.P. for Centre Toronto was, inadvertently omitted in its proper place; but it may be appropriately introduced here. Mr. Hay was born in the parish of Tippermuir, Perthshire, in May, 1808. His father was a farmer of moderate means, with a family of nine children. Circumstances, therefore, obliged Robert to leave school at the age of fourteen. He was apprenticed to a cabinet-maker at Perth, where he learned his trade thoroughly, afterwards working as a journeyman. In 1881, he resolved to try his fortunes in Canada and arrived at Toronto in the September of that year. After pursuing his way tentatively for a few years, he entered into partnership with Mr. John Jacques, an Englishman from Cumberland, and the firm, notwithstanding its humble beginnings, progressed rapidly and lasted for thirty-five years. Mr. Hay devoted himself assiduously to business, and has, for years been in independent circumstances. Nevertheless the establishment has not been without serious reverses. Twice, its vast factory and furniture store-houses, were swept away by fire at a loss in the aggregate of $200,000—the savings of twenty years. Notwithstanding these misfortunes, the firm never lost heart or hope, and their progress was only arrested temporarily by them. In 1870 Mr. Jacques retired from the business, which has been conducted by Mr. Hay, with two partners, during the past twelve years. The furniture supplied by this celebrated firm is known and in use all over Canada and in a large portion of the United States. Of late years its reputation has crossed the Atlantic, and many English families have been supplied from the Front St. factory; among them those of Lord Abinger and Mr. Bass, M.P., son of the well-known brewer at Burton-on-Trent.

Mr.Hay has not confined himself to the furniture business solely. In connection with it he owns a large saw-mill, at New Lowell, in the County of Simcoe, which turns out over four millions of feet annually. In addition to it, he is with his nephew, Mr. Patton, the proprietor of a large well-cleared farm of seven hundred acres, about one hundred of which are devoted to potatoes and other root crops, for which the soil is admirably suited. Of late Mr. Hay has turned his attention to the breeding of short-horn cattle, high-class sheep and swine. He also owns two thousand acres of woodland near New Lowell, the timber being used for manufacturing purposes. Mr. Hay is a director of the Credit Valley Railway Company, and of the Electric Manufacturing Co. In politics, he was originally attached to the Baldwin Reformers, but his views on the fiscal policy of Canada led him to join the Liberal Conservative party. He contested Centre Toronto with Mr. John Macdonald, in September, 1878, and as already stated, defeated him by a large majority. In religion, he belongs to the Presbyterian Church of Canada. In three years, should he be spared, Mr. Hay will have been engaged in the manufacture of cabinet furniture for exactly half a century. The indomitable energy which has characterized his long business life, and the success with which it has been crowned, are deserving of special note. Mr. Hay does not, we believe, care for Parliamentary life, because it does not suit his staid and long settled habits. He, therefore, it is stated, intends to withdraw at the next general election.

Another member of the present House of Commons, to whom reference should have been made, is Lieut.-Colonel James Acheson Skinner who sits for South Oxford. He was born in the roya1 burgh of Tain, Ross-shire, in 1826, and educated at the Royal Academy there. At the age of seventeen, Mr. Skinner came to Canada and devoted himself to agriculture. To use his own words he is "a farmer, and proud of being a farmer." He is chiefly known to the public as a zealous and active officer in the Volunteer Militia. Entering the service in 1855, he soon after organized the first Highland Company in Canada. It having been disbanded, he organized a second which he uniformed at his own expense. This company was on duty at Hamilton during the visit of H. R. H. the Prince of Wales. When the 13th Battalion was formed in 1862, Captain Skinner became Major, and Lieut.-Colonel in 1866. He served with the battalion at Ridgeway during the Fenian invasion, and was Brigadier at the Niagara camp in 1873-4. In 1871 Col. Skinner organized and presided over the first Canadian "team" formed to contest at Wimbledon in the rifle matches. He is Vice-president of the Ontario Rifle Association, a member of Council in the Dominion Rifle Association, and President of the Highland Society. In 1874 Mr. Bodwell, M.P., resigned his seat, having accepted the office of Superintendent of the Welland Canal. Col. Skinner was a candidate for South Oxford to fill the vacancy and defeated Mr. J. D. Edgar by over three hundred and fifty majority. In 1878 he was re-elected by a slightly increased majority over Mr. Joseph Gibson. Col. Skinner has always been a Reformer, and consequently is, at present, in the "cold shade" of Opposition.

With this sketch may be terminated the Scottish record in public life. It is confessedly imperfect; but it would have been more complete had the necessary information been procurable. In the concluding volume, it is proposed to devote a chapter to addenda, in which, should the material come to hand, omissions will, so far as possible be supplied. In the meantime, the facts already placed before the reader, will enable him to gauge, with some approach to fulness and accuracy, the vast influence exercised in public life, by the Scot in British North America. [The writer had hoped to give in this chapter a sketch of Senator Donald McInnes, of Hamilton, but has been reluctantly compelled to defer its publication for lack of the necessary information.]


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