Alexander Campbell (Canadian senator)

Sir Alexander Campbell KCMG PC QC (March 9, 1822 May 24, 1892) was an English-born, Upper Canadian statesman and a father of Canadian Confederation.[2]

Sir Alexander Campbell

Member of the Legislative Council of the Province of Canada for Cataraqui
In office
Senator for Cataraqui, Ontario[1]
In office
October 23, 1867  February 7, 1887
6th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario
In office
June 1, 1887  May 24, 1892
Governor GeneralThe Marquess of Lansdowne
The Lord Stanley of Preston
PremierOliver Mowat
Preceded byJohn Beverley Robinson
Succeeded byGeorge Airey Kirkpatrick
Personal details
Born(1822-03-09)March 9, 1822
Hedon, Yorkshire, England
DiedMay 24, 1892(1892-05-24) (aged 70)
Toronto, Ontario
Resting placeCataraqui Cemetery, Kingston, Ontario
Political partyConservative
CabinetCommissioner of Crown Lands (Province of Canada) (1864–1867)
Postmaster General (1885–1887)
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada (1881–1885)
Postmaster General (1880–1881)
Minister of Militia and Defence (1880)
Postmaster General (1879–1880)
Receiver General (1878–1879)
Minister of the Interior (1873)
Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs (1873)
Minister of Inland Revenue (Acting) (1868–1869)
Postmaster General (1867–1873)

  Father of Confederation 


Born in Hedon, Yorkshire, he was brought to Canada by his father, who was a doctor, when he was one year old. He was educated in French at St. Hyacinthe in Quebec and in the grammar school at Kingston, Ontario. Campbell studied law and was called to the bar in 1843. He became a partner in John A. Macdonald's law office.[3]

Campbell was a Freemason of St. John's Lodge, No. 3 (Ontario) of Kingston (now The Ancient St. John's No. 3). When the government was moved to Quebec in 1858, Campbell resigned.[4]

He was elected to the Legislative Council in 1858 and 1864, and served as the last Commissioner of Crown Lands 30 March 1864 – 30 June 1867. He attended the Charlottetown Conference and the Quebec City Conference in 1864, and at Confederation was appointed to the Senate of Canada. He later held a number of ministerial posts in the Cabinet of Sir John A. Macdonald and was the sixth Lieutenant Governor of Ontario from 1887 to 1892.[5]

In 1883, he built his home on Metcalfe Street, Ottawa, now known as "Campbell House".

He died in office in Toronto in 1892, and was buried at Cataraqui Cemetery in Kingston, Ontario.[6]

Campbell Crescent in Kingston, a street in the Portsmouth municipal district, is named in his honour.


In 1855, Campbell married Georgina Frederica Locke, daughter of Thomas Sandwith of Beverley, Yorkshire, and a niece of Humphrey Sandwith III (1792–1874) of Bridlington.[6] He left two sons (the eldest was Charles Sandwith Campbell) and three daughters


  1. "Federal Political Experience". Retrieved October 7, 2013.
  2. "The fathers of confederation". Retrieved October 4, 2013.
  3. "Alexander Campbell". Retrieved October 4, 2013.
  4. Michael Jenkyns (July 2017). "Canada's Sesquicentennial – Freemasonry and Confederation". Grand Lodge A.F. & A.M. of Canada in the Province of Ontario. Archived from the original on 5 December 2018. Retrieved 19 December 2018.
  5. "Campbell, Sir Alexander National Historic Person". Parks Canada. 15 March 2012. Archived from the original on 2013-10-04. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
  6. Browning, Thomas Blair (1901). "Campbell, Alexander (1822–1892)" . Dictionary of National Biography (1st supplement). London: Smith, Elder & Co.
Parliament of Canada
Preceded by
office created
Leader of the Government in the Senate of Canada
Succeeded by
Luc Letellier de St-Just
Preceded by
Luc Letellier de St-Just
Leader of the Opposition in the Senate of Canada
Succeeded by
Sir Richard William Scott
Preceded by
Sir Richard William Scott
Leader of the Government in the Senate of Canada
Succeeded by
John Abbott
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