Fathers of Confederation

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.[1][2]

Queen Victoria has been called the "Mother of Confederation".[3] Her role in Confederation is recognized by the celebration of Victoria Day in Canada.

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.[4] The leaders most responsible for bringing three specific provinces into Confederation after 1867 are also referred to as Fathers of Confederation.[1] The provisional government established by Louis Riel ultimately negotiated the terms under which Manitoba entered the Canadian Confederation in 1870.[5] The leadership of Amor De Cosmos was instrumental both in bringing democracy to British Columbia and in bringing the province into Confederation in 1871.[6] 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".[7]

Of the 36 Fathers, 11 were Freemasons, notably Macdonald, but including Bernard, Campbell, Carter, Chandler, Galt, Gray, Haviland, Henry, Pope, and Tilley.[8]

Table of participation

Participant[2]PortraitProvince (Current)CharlottetownQuebec CityLondon
Sir Adams George Archibald Nova Scotia
George Brown Ontario
Sir Alexander Campbell Ontario
Sir Frederick Carter Newfoundland and Labrador
Sir George-Étienne Cartier Quebec
Edward Barron Chandler New Brunswick
Jean-Charles Chapais Quebec
James Cockburn Ontario
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
William McDougall Ontario
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

Historic photographs

See also


  1. "Fathers of Confederation". CanadianHistory. 2008. Archived from the original on 2010-08-21. Retrieved 2010-06-21.
  2. Bélanger, Claude (2001). "Studies on the Canadian Constitution and Canadian Federalism". Department of History, Marianopolis College. Archived from the original on 2010-06-11. Retrieved 2010-06-21.
  3. Bouard, Arthur; Toffoli, Garry (1991). Royal Observations. Toronto: Dundurn Press Ltd. p. 10. ISBN 1-55002-076-5. Archived from the original on July 21, 2011. Retrieved September 14, 2010. 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...
  4. Harrison, Robert A (2003). The conventional man. Canadian Legal History by University of Toronto Press. p. 627. ISBN 0-8020-8842-2. Archived from the original on 2018-03-28. Retrieved 2011-09-02.
  5. The Heritage Centre. "Louis Riel The Provisional Government". Archived from the original on 10 August 2007. Retrieved 23 September 2007.
  6. Frances, Stanford (2002). Canada's Confederation. S&S Learning Materials. p. 44. ISBN 1-55035-708-5. Archived from the original on 2018-03-28. Retrieved 2011-09-02.
  7. Argyle, Ray (2012). Joey Smallwood, Schemer and Dreamer. Dundurn Press. ISBN 9781459703698.
  8. 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 5 December 2018.

Further reading

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