Thomas White (Canadian politician)

Thomas White, PC (August 7, 1830 April 21, 1888) was a Canadian journalist and politician.

The Hon.

Thomas White
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Cardwell
In office
Preceded byDalton McCarthy
Succeeded byRobert Smeaton White
Personal details
Born(1830-08-07)August 7, 1830
Montreal, Lower Canada
DiedApril 21, 1888(1888-04-21) (aged 57)
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Political partyConservative
ChildrenRobert Smeaton White
CabinetMinister of the Interior (1885–1888)
Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs (1887–1888)


He was born in Montreal, Lower Canada in 1830, the son of Thomas White, a leather merchant who came to Canada from Ireland in 1826. White was educated at the High School of Montreal after it opened in 1843, then worked at a number of jobs before entering the printing trade with the Queen's Printer in Toronto around 1850. He moved to Quebec City in 1851 when that office moved there. In 1852, he assisted Stewart Derbishire in editing the Canada Gazette. He married Esther Vine at Quebec in 1853. Later that year, he founded the Peterborough Review with his brother-in-law. He also served as reeve of Peterborough. From 1860 to 1864, he studied law with Sidney Smith at Cobourg but soon returned to journalism. In 1864, he moved to Hamilton and took over the operation of the Daily Spectator and Journal of Commerce. In 1870, with his brother Richard, he bought the Montreal Gazette.

White was first elected to the House of Commons of Canada in the 1878 elections representing the riding of Cardwell. A Conservative, he was re-elected in 1882 and 1887. He served in two ministerial positions in 1887 and in 1888: Minister of the Interior and Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs.

White died of pneumonia in Ottawa in 1888. His son Robert Smeaton White also served in the House of Commons.


  • Thomas White – Parliament of Canada biography
  • "Thomas White". Dictionary of Canadian Biography (online ed.). University of Toronto Press. 1979–2016.
  • The Canadian biographical dictionary and portrait gallery of eminent and self-made men : Quebec and the Maritime provinces volume (1881)
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