Tilley was a strong supporter of both Confederation and the construction of the Intercolonial Railway. He is believed to have suggested the name “Dominion of Canada” for the new country. He was a member of Sir John A. Macdonald’s first government before he was appointed lieutenant-governor of New Brunswick. In contrast to a number of the other Fathers of Confederation, he favoured Prohibition.
I have revised and expanded the Canadian Encyclopedia article on John Hamilton Gray, one of the Fathers of Confederation from New Brunswick. (Not be confused with another Father of Confederation with the exact same name from Prince Edward Island).
John Hamilton Gray served in the New Brunswick Legislative Assembly, in the Canadian House of Commons and on the British Columbia Supreme Court. Remembered as a Father of Confederation, he was a very early proponent of British North American union and attended the Charlottetown and Québec Conferences. Gray was one of the few 19th-century public figures to oppose the discriminatory taxation and exclusion of Chinese immigration to Canada.
I have revised and expanded the Canadian Encyclopedia article on Peter Mitchell, Premier of New Brunswick at the time of Canada’s Confederation in 1867. Mitchell was one of the most colourful characters in 19th century Canadian politics. He distributed rum to electors on the campaign trail, determined the route of the Intercolonial railway by “force of character” and caused an international incident as Prime Minister John A. Macdonald’s minister of Marine and Fisheries by apprehending American fishermen in Canadian waters.
My latest article in the Canadian Encyclopedia is about Andrew Archibald Macdonald, one of the Fathers of Canadian Confederation from Prince Edward Island. Macdonald was one of the Prince Edward Island delegates to the Charlottetown and Québec Conferences that preceded Confederation. Though initially opposed to a federal union, Macdonald changed his mind after the Island faced bankruptcy from its railway debt. He thereafter supported Prince Edward Island’s entry into Confederation, as Canada’s seventh province in 1873. Macdonald outlived all of the Fathers of Confederation except Sir Charles Tupper and wrote extensively about his experiences at the Confederation conferences in the last decade of his life.
I have revised and expanded the Canadian Encyclopedia’s article on Charles Fisher, one of the Fathers of Canadian Confederation from the province of New Brunswick. Fisher led the first responsible government in New Brunswick (1854–61) and was the leading constitutional lawyer of his day. He attended the Québec and London Confederation conferences and contributed to the drafting of the British North America Act (1867) as New Brunswick’s attorney general.
I am currently expanding and revising a series of Canadian Encyclopedia articles on the Fathers of Confederation in preparation for Canada’s 150th anniversary in 2017. Here’s the new article about Sir Étienne-Paschal Taché. He was a member of every government of the United Province of Canada between 1848 and 1857, including two coalitions with John A. Macdonald. He presided over the 1864 Québec Conference and defended the 72 Resolutions that determined the shape of Confederation in 1867.