The Fathers of Confederation are the 36 people who attended at least one of the Charlottetown (23 attendees) and Quebec (33) Conferences in 1864 and the London Conference of 1866 (16) in England, preceding Canadian Confederation. The following lists the participants in the Charlottetown, Quebec, and London Conferences and their attendance at each stage.
Four other individuals have been labelled as Fathers of Confederation. Hewitt Bernard, who was the recording secretary at the Charlottetown Conference, is considered by some to be a Father of Confederation. The leaders most responsible for bringing three specific provinces into Confederation after 1867 are also referred to as Fathers of Confederation. The provisional government established by Louis Riel ultimately negotiated the terms under which Manitoba entered the Canadian Confederation in 1870. The leadership of Amor De Cosmos was instrumental both in bringing democracy to British Columbia and in bringing the province into Confederation in 1871. The province of Newfoundland entered the Canadian Confederation in 1949 under the leadership of Joey Smallwood, who was then referred to as the "only living Father of Confederation".
|Participant||Portrait||Province (Current)||Charlottetown||Quebec City||London|
|Sir Adams George Archibald||Nova Scotia|
|Sir Alexander Campbell||Ontario|
|Sir Frederick Carter||Newfoundland and Labrador|
|Sir George-Étienne Cartier||Quebec|
|Edward Barron Chandler||New Brunswick|
|George Coles||Prince Edward Island|
|Robert B. Dickey||Nova Scotia|
|Charles Fisher||New Brunswick|
|Sir Alexander Tilloch Galt||Quebec|
|John Hamilton Gray||Prince Edward Island|
|John Hamilton Gray||New Brunswick|
|Thomas Heath Haviland||Prince Edward Island|
|William Alexander Henry||Nova Scotia|
|Sir William Pearce Howland||Ontario|
|John Mercer Johnson||New Brunswick|
|Sir Hector-Louis Langevin||Quebec|
|Andrew Archibald Macdonald||Prince Edward Island|
|Sir John A. Macdonald||Ontario|
|Jonathan McCully||Nova Scotia|
|Thomas D'Arcy McGee||Quebec|
|Peter Mitchell||New Brunswick|
|Sir Oliver Mowat||Ontario|
|Edward Palmer||Prince Edward Island|
|William Henry Pope||Prince Edward Island|
|John William Ritchie||Nova Scotia|
|Sir Ambrose Shea||Newfoundland and Labrador|
|William H. Steeves||New Brunswick|
|Sir Étienne-Paschal Taché||Quebec|
|Sir Samuel Leonard Tilley||New Brunswick|
|Sir Charles Tupper||Nova Scotia|
|Edward Whelan||Prince Edward Island|
|Robert Duncan Wilmot||New Brunswick|
The Queen's role in promoting Canadian unity truly made her the "Mother of Confederation" and at her death Victoria Day, that uniquely Canadian holiday, was created as a memorial day...
Sir Alexander Campbell (March 9, 1822 – May 24, 1892) was an English-born, Upper Canadian statesman and a father of Canadian Confederation.Ardgowan, Prince Edward Island
Ardgowan is a National Historic Site of Canada located in Parkdale, Prince Edward Island, currently a neighbourhood of the city of Charlottetown.
The Ardgowan estate contains the country cottage of William Henry Pope, one of the Fathers of Confederation. In contrast to the majority of islanders, Pope was decidedly pro-Confederation, and hosted delegates and observers of the Charlottetown Conference of 1864 at his house. In this relaxed social setting, participants better understood one another, helping to forge a new national vision.Ardgowan National Historic Site was designated in 1966. The house and five of its original 76 acres were acquired by the national park service in 1967—the centennial of Confederation—to honor all Fathers of Confederation, and to preserve an example of a picturesque rural Victorian cottage of the Confederation Era.
The building and grounds are restored to an 1860s appearance. The grounds are open to the public, while the building houses Parks Canada staff, and is the administrative center for all national park system sites in Prince Edward Island.Canadian Confederation
Canadian Confederation (French: Confédération canadienne) was the process by which the British colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick were united into one Dominion of Canada on July 1, 1867. Upon confederation, the old province of Canada was divided into Ontario and Quebec; along with Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, the new federation thus comprised four provinces. Over the years since Confederation, Canada has seen numerous territorial changes and expansions, resulting in the current union of ten provinces and three territories.Edward Barron Chandler
Edward Barron Chandler (August 22, 1800 – February 6, 1880) was a New Brunswick politician and lawyer from a United Empire Loyalist family. He was one of the Fathers of Confederation.Chandler was born in Amherst, Nova Scotia and moved to New Brunswick to study law. He moved to Dorchester, New Brunswick and served in the colony's government. In 1827 he was elected to the New Brunswick legislature as an opponent of responsible government and later served on the province's Legislative Council (the legislature's Upper House) and in Cabinet serving as leader of the "compact" government that ruled the colony from 1848 to 1854 prior to the institution of responsible government.
In 1836 Chandler became a member of New Brunswick's Legislative Council.
Later, Chandler was a New Brunswick delegate to the conferences in London, Charlottetown, and Quebec that led to Canadian confederation. Though he supported the federal Conservatives of Sir John A. Macdonald he was a cautious supporter who opposed a strong central government.
Chandler was a supporter of railway development and was instrumental as a federally appointed commissioner overseeing construction of the Intercolonial Railway in having its surveys diverted from a direct route between Amherst and Moncton to run through his community of Dorchester. He also supported the policy of reciprocity with the United States. He refused an appointment to the Senate of Canada but accepted an appointment as the fifth Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick in 1878. He died in Fredericton in 1880.
Chandler was a Freemason of Sussex Lodge, No. 480 (England).Chandler's home in Dorchester, Chandler House or Rocklyn, was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1971.Edward Palmer (Canadian politician)
Edward Palmer (September 1, 1809 – November 3, 1889) was a Canadian politician born at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island and resided in Prince Edward Island until his death. He is considered one of the Fathers of Canadian Confederation, despite his opposition to Confederation, as he was a delegate to both the Charlottetown and Québec Conferences.Frederick Carter
Sir Frederick Bowker Terrington Carter, (February 12, 1819 – March 1, 1900) was a lawyer and Premier of Newfoundland from 1865 to 1870 and from 1874 to 1878.George Brown (Canadian politician)
George Brown (November 29, 1818 – May 9, 1880) was a Scottish-Canadian journalist, politician and one of the Fathers of Confederation; attended the Charlottetown (September 1864) and Quebec (October 1864) conferences. A noted Reform politician, he is best known as the founder and editor of the Toronto Globe, Canada's most influential newspaper at the time. He was an articulate champion of the grievances and anger of Upper Canada (Ontario). He played a major role in securing national unity. His career in active politics faltered after 1865, but he remained a powerful spokesman for the Liberal Party promoting westward expansion and opposing the policies of Conservative Prime Minister John A. Macdonald.Hector-Louis Langevin
Sir Hector-Louis Langevin, (August 25, 1826 – June 11, 1906) was a Canadian lawyer, politician and one of the Fathers of Confederation.Jean-Charles Chapais
Jean-Charles Chapais, (December 2, 1811 – July 17, 1885) was a Canadian Conservative politician, and considered a Father of Canadian Confederation for his participation in the Quebec Conference to determine the form of Canada's government.
Chapais was born in Rivière-Ouelle, a small town in Kamouraska, Quebec, and was educated in Nicolet. Following his success as a farmer and merchant, in 1845 he became the first mayor of Saint-Denis-de-la-Bouteillerie, the town he had lived in from 1833. The following year, he married Georgina Dionne; they had six children together.John Hamilton Gray (Prince Edward Island politician)
For the Father of Confederation from New Brunswick, see John Hamilton Gray (New Brunswick politician)
John Hamilton Gray (14 June 1811 – 13 August 1887) was Premier of Prince Edward Island from 1863 – 1865 and one of the Fathers of Confederation.
Gray began his political career in 1862 when he was elected to the provincial assembly as a reformer, despite his conservative roots. He became a leading member of the opposition, with a reputation even among his opponents as a great orator. He impressed the governor so much that he was invited to become a member of the Executive Council. However, his acceptance of the position drew criticism from his reform colleagues, and gained him a reputation for vacillation that followed him for the rest of his career. Gray became the Tory leader in the assembly, but when the Liberals won a majority in 1854, he was once again relegated to the opposition. Two years later, in 1856, the provincial governor dismissed the Liberal Executive Council and replaced them with a government led by Gray.
Gray was born in 1811, the son of Robert Gray, a United Empire Loyalist from Virginia. The elder Gray held a number of important administrative appointments in the early colonial government.
John Hamilton Gray was educated in Charlottetown. He chose a military career, trained in England and was commissioned into the 15th Foot in 1831. He transferred to the 13th Light Dragoons later the same year, the 15th Light Dragoons in 1839, the 1st Dragoon Guards in 1840, the 14th Light Dragoons in 1841, and the 7th Dragoon Guards in 1844.
It was not long before he was asked to participate in the political life of the colony. In 1858 he was elected to represent the district of 4th Queens in the Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island as a Conservative. He was re-elected in 1863.
Gray was Premier minister of Prince Edward Island from 1863 to 1865 and during that time he attempted to alleviate the problems of the tenants by passing the fifteen-year purchase act, but the final solution of this question had to await Confederation. Gray was chairman of the 1864 Charlottetown Conference, which laid the groundwork for the British North America Act of 1867. He supported the entry of the Island into Confederation but when the Island rejected the scheme he left politics, turning the government over to James Colledge Pope.
He then returned to his first interest, the military. He was appointed adjutant-general of the PEI military in 1867 with the rank of colonel. He continued to be an administrator of military affairs until after the eventual Confederation of Prince Edward Island with Canada in 1873.
In 1887 John Hamilton Gray died at Inkerman House in Charlottetown. The name of the estate is in reference to the Battle of Inkerman where his father-in-law Sir John Pennyfeather, had lost honours to an older man. Inkerman Drive which once led to the house, is lined with trees planted by Gray and replacements of the same species, to represent the sides in the Battle. Linden on one side (Russian) and a mixture of white birch, beech, mountain ash and poplar on the other (French and English).John William Ritchie
John William Ritchie (26 March 1808 – 13 or 18 December 1890) was a Canadian lawyer and politician from Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia who is one of the Fathers of Confederation. Ritchie was the son of Thomas Ritchie and Elizabeth Wildman Johnston. He studied law with his uncle James William Johnston and was admitted to the bar in 1831. Appointed to the Nova Scotia legislative council as Solicitor General in 1864, he was a delegate to the London Conference on Canadian Confederation and as such is considered one of the Fathers of Confederation. Appointed to the Senate of Canada in 1867, he was a judge of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia from 1873 to 1882. His younger brother, William Johnstone Ritchie, was Chief Justice of Canada. His daughter was Eliza Ritchie.
Ritchie died at his estate in the Northwest Arm of Halifax and is buried at St. John's Cemetery.Peter Mitchell (politician)
Peter Mitchell, (January 4, 1824 – October 25, 1899) was a Canadian politician and one of the Fathers of Confederation.Robert B. Dickey
For other people named Robert Dickey, see Robert Dickey (disambiguation)Robert Barry Dickey (November 10, 1811 – July 14, 1903) was a participant in the conferences leading to the Canadian Confederation of 1867 and is therefore considered to be one of the Fathers of Confederation.Born in Amherst, the son of Robert McGowan Dickey and Eleanor Chapman, he was educated at Windsor Academy and later studied law with Alexander Stewart. He was called to the Nova Scotia bar in 1834, and to the New Brunswick bar in 1835. He was made a Queen's Counsel in 1863. He served as both judge and registrar of probate in Cumberland County for 20 years. In 1844, he married Mary Blair, one of Alexander Stewart's daughters. Dickey was a director of the Nova Scotia Electric Telegraph Company and consular agent for the United States at Amherst.
From 1858-1867, Dickey was appointed to the Legislative Council of Nova Scotia. In 1867, he was appointed to the Senate of Canada representing the senatorial division of Amherst, Nova Scotia. A Conservative, he served until his death in 1903.
His son Arthur Rupert Dickey served as a member of the House of Commons.
His daughter Mary married the English landscape architect Henry Ernest Milner.Robert Duncan Wilmot
Robert Duncan Wilmot, (16 October 1809 – 13 February 1891) was a Canadian politician and a Father of Confederation.Samuel Leonard Tilley
Sir Samuel Leonard Tilley (May 8, 1818 – June 25, 1896) was a Canadian politician and one of the Fathers of Confederation. Tilley was descended from United Empire Loyalists on both sides of his family. As a pharmacist, he went into business as a druggist.William Alexander Henry
William Alexander Henry (December 30, 1816 – May 3, 1888) was a Canadian lawyer, politician, judge. He was one of the Fathers of Confederation and one of the first judges of the Supreme Court of Canada.
Henry was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Shortly afterward, his family moved to Antigonish. He attended Halifax High School then studied law and was admitted to the bar. He was married twice (1840 and 1850). His two sons were William Alexander Henry Jr., a successful Halifax lawyer and Hugh MacD Henry. The elder W. A. Henry served as a cabinet minister in Nova Scotia in governments led by both the Liberals and the Conservatives. He represented the Antigonish region almost continuously from 1840 to 1867 and was appointed attorney general in 1864.Henry was a strong believer in the benefits that could be derived from a British American union such as free trade and the construction of the Intercontinental Railway. Henry was a delegate to all three Confederation Conferences, and upon approval by the union in the Spring of 1866, he travelled to the London Conference as part of the delegation mandated to compose the legislation. The Nova Scotia delegates voted to accept the Québec Resolutions into the British North America Act but Henry objected to the limitation on the number of Senate seats. He also supported the unsuccessful efforts to have the existence of Roman Catholic separate schools entrenched in the Act. He was one of the attorneys general who helped frame the language. However, it is an unproved tradition that he drafted the BNA Act.After Confederation, Henry suffered defeat in his own district for the first time in 24 years. He returned to private practice in Halifax and was elected mayor of the city in 1870. Although he was denied a judgeship in Nova Scotia, Henry was one of the first appointed to the newly created Supreme Court of Canada in 1875. He died in Ottawa, Ontario.Henry was a Freemason of St. John’s Lodge, No. 161 (England) in Halifax, and affiliated with Civil Service Lodge No. 148 (Ontario) of Ottawa on March 13, 1883.Henry House in Halifax, which served as Henry's residence from 1854 to 1864, was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1969 due in part to its association with Henry.William McDougall (politician)
William MacDougall (January 25, 1822 – May 29, 1905) was a Canadian lawyer, politician, and one of the Fathers of Confederation.William Pearce Howland
Sir William Pearce Howland (29 May 1811 – 1 January 1907), served as the second Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, from 1868 to 1873. He was one of the Fathers of Confederation.Étienne-Paschal Taché
Sir Étienne-Paschal Taché (5 September 1795 – 30 July 1865) was a Canadian doctor, politician and one of the Fathers of Confederation.Born in St. Thomas, Lower Canada, in 1795, the third son of Charles Taché and Geneviève Michon, Taché studied at the Séminaire de Québec until the War of 1812 when he joined the 5th Battalion of the Select Embodied Militia of the Canadian Militia as an ensign. He was later promoted to Lieutenant and fought in the Chasseurs Canadiens. During the war, he started studying to become a doctor and continued his studies in Philadelphia after the war. He obtained his medical licence in 1819 and practised medicine in Montmagny.
Taché was elected to the new Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada in 1841 as a member from Canada East and held numerous posts in successive administrations, including, for a time, premier (1856–1857, 1864–1865).
Taché actively participated in the debate on the potential creation of a Canadian confederation, defended proposals for the new form of government in part because it would serve to reaffirm Canada's link to the British Empire. At the Confederation Debates, he stated that "Confederation was imperative if Canadians 'desired to remain British and monarchical, and ... desired to pass our children these advantages'". These ideas reflected the ideas of the conservative Parti bleu (with which Taché was associated).
Avid supporter of the British Crown, Taché expressed ideas of loyalty even before the debates of regarding the creation of Canada's confederation: "in 1848, he delivered his famous idea of French-Canadian loyalty to the British crown: ... 'we will never forget our allegiance till the last cannon which is shot on this continent in defence of Great Britain is fired by the hand of a French-Canadian'". This can certainly explain why Taché worked with Sir John A. Macdonald and other significant characters who were Fathers of the Confederation and who shared similar views. Therefore, these alliances led to the Great Coalition of 1864 – 'a government led by Cartier, Brown and Macdonald under the premiership of a bleu elder statesman, Sir Étienne-Paschal Taché' - responsible for the Canadian Confederation. For this matter, Taché presided of over the Quebec City conference of 1864.
Sir Étienne-Paschal Taché's loyalty was even officially recognized as an "aide-de-camp to [ Queen Victoria ], [and] held the honorary rank of a Colonel in the army". Furthermore, he left an important legacy, not only regarding the formation of Canada, but also to the province of Quebec's heritage: "Taché is widely credited with coining the provincial motto of Quebec, later adopted by the French-speaking Royal 22nd Regiment [...]: je me souviens ('I remember')."Taché's home in Montmagny, Quebec, was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1990.