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Pictonians in Politics

James D. McGregor, New Glasgow, entered public life in 1890, and served for four years in the House of Assembly. He was returned again in. 1897. In 1900 he was an unsuccessful candidate for the Commons. In 1903 he was called to the Senate, and in 1910 succeeded another Pictonian, the Hon. D. C. Fraser, in the office of Lieutenant Governor of the Province. Mr. McGregor is a grandson of the Rev. Dr. McGregor, and senior partner in the firm of R. McGregor & Sons. He has long been prominent in Church and State. His elevation to the Governor's Chair was a well deserved honor to a worthy citizen.

Matthew H. Fitzpatrick represented the County in the House of Assembly from 1897-1901. In 1901 George G. Patterson was elected along with E. M. Macdonald and C. E. Tanner, and became a member of the Murray Government, but failed of election, in 1906. Robert M. MacGregor, son of the Hon. James D. McGregor, was nominated in 1904 to succeed E. M. Macdonald in the Legislature. He was opposed by A. C. Bell, whom he defeated. He was elected again in 1906 with Charles E. Tanner. John M. Baillie represented county at Halifax from 1906-to 1911. In 1909, R. H. MacKay was elected when Mr. Tanner sought to regain his seat. In the election of 1911, Charles E. Tanner, Robert M. MacGregor and R. H. MacKay were chosen and are the present representatives.

Mr. MacGregor is a member of the Murray Government, and Mr. Tanner Leader of the Opposition.

Reverting to the Confederation period, the County chose as its first representatives to Ottawa, James W. Carmichael, a Liberal, and a man of much ability, who served from 1867 to 1872, and again from 1874 to 1878. Redistribution in 1872 gave Pictou the right to send two members to Ottawa, and James McDonald and Robert Doull, were elected on the Conservative ticket. In 1898 Mr. Carmichael was called to the Senate, but resigned in 1903 and died on May 1, 1903 in his eighty-fourth year.

Mr. Carmichael was the son of James Carmichael and Christian McKenzie, his wife, both natives of Canada, of Scotch descent. He was born at New Glasgow, Dec. 16, 1819. Educated at Pictou Academy, married 1851, to Maria, daughter of Duncan McColl, of Guysboro, N. S., (she died Dec. 1874). Mr. Carmichael was long one of the best and most prominent citizens of Pictou County. He was widely and honorably known throughout Canada, as a business man and as a public man. From 1874-1878, John A. Dawson, represented the county in the Dominion Parliament with Mr. Carmichael.

In 1878, with the return of Sir John A. Macdonald to power, James McDonald and Robert Doull, were once more successful. For many years, Mr. McDonald was in the political arena, As a young man, he showed great aptitude for political life and leadership. He afterwards became one of the most prominent politicians in Canada. Elected by his native county to the Local and Dominion Parliaments, he soon took a leading place as a public speaker and debater. That James McDonald's honor and ability was recognized by his contemporaries is evidenced by the numerous responsible positions which he held. He was Financial Secretary for Nova Scotia, Railway Commissioner in. Nova Scotia, Imperial Commissioner in a crown difficulty in Jamaica and member of several national trade commissions.

In 1878 he became Minister of Justice in the Sir John A.

Macdonald's Government, and three years afterwards was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia. His place in Parliament was taken by John McDougald, C.M.G., who was re-elected in 1882, 1886, 1890 and 1896, retiring in that year to accept the position of Commissioner of Customs for Canada, which he still holds. Robert Doull was the colleague of Hon. James McDonald from 1872 to 1874 and again from 1878 to 1882. In 1882, Charles H. Tupper, now Sir Charles H. Tupper of Victoria, B. C., came in and continued to represent the County until 1904.

Edward M. Macdonald, first appealed to the Electors in 1894 at the Provincial election but was unsuccessful. In 1896 he was a candidate for the Dominion Parliament with the same result. In 1897 he won the election to the House of Assembly, and again in 1900. He resigned to stand for the Dominion House but was again defeated by Adam C. Bell. He was, however, returned to the Legislature unopposed. In 1894, Charles E. Tanner was elected to the Legislature with Wm. Cameron and Alex. Grant. In 1897 he was defeated, but elected in 1901 and 1906. He resigned in 1908 to run for the Federal Seat against E. M. McDonald and was defeated. He sought re-election to the Assembly, but was defeated by R. H. McKay. He was re-elected in 1911. In the general election of 1896, Adam C. Bell was nominated in place of John McDougald and secured election as he did again in 1900. In 1904 Edward M. Macdonald was elected to a seat in the Dominion which he has since held, being re-elected in 1908 and 1911, having now represented the County continuously in Legislature and Parliament for eighteen years.

The first Pictonian in the Legislative Council, was the Hon. James Fraser, Drummond, of New Glasgow, who was appointed in 1867. Mr. Fraser was a man of much force and character and was a leader in Church and State.

He died in 1884, at the advanced age of 82. The next was the Hon. John D. McLeod in 1887. He served as Liberal Leader in the Council. Another Pictonian, a native of Durham, Hon. W. D. R. Cameron of Sherbrooke, became a member of the Council in 1892. In 1864 he settled in Sherbrooke and held office of Registrar of Deeds, from 1869-1902. He died at Halifax April 7, 1914, aged 77 years.

The County of Pictou was represented in the Senate by the Hon. John Holmes, 1867 to 1876. The Hon. R. P. Grant, a native of Scotland, was appointed in 1887. The first Pictonian called to the Senate was, Thomas McKay, of Truro in 1881. Mr. McKay was born at Hopewell, Pictou Co., and was long engaged in mercantile pursuits in Truro, N. S. For seven years he represented the County of Colchester before he was called to the Senate. The next was Clarence Primrose of Pictou, followed by James W. Carmichael of New Glasgow, 1898; James D. McGregor in 1903 and Adam C. Bell, 1911, both of New Glasgow. Thomas Fraser, Rogers Hill, represented California in the Senate for several years. Mr. Primrose, was the son of late James Primrose, a native of Scotland. He was born at Pictou, Oct. 5, 1830. Educated at Pictou Academy and the Univ., of Edinburgh. Became the head of the firm Primrose Bros., Commission Merchants, Lumber and Shipping Agents.

Adam Carr Bell was born in Pictou on. November 11, 1847, and was the son of Basil Bell and Mary Carr. The progenitors of the Bells were natives of Scotland, and the Carrs were from England. Basil Bell was a distinguished man of letters and taught in the Pictou Academy when Senator Bell was born, while on his mother's side, Adam Carr was the first man to mine coal for commercial purposes at the Albion Mines.

Mr. Bell received his education in the New Glasgow Schools, at Mount Allison University and at the Glasgow University, Scotland. Always a studious man of affairs and a strong, logical, graceful speaker with a fine presence and commanding appearance he was elected by the Conservative party for the local house in 1878. In 1886 he was elected for Pictou County at the head of the poll of six candidates, but in 1887 resigned his seat to contest the County as an independent Conservative for the House of Commons, but was defeated For the next nine years he remained out of active politics, but was always interested in the public welfare, and was seen on the platform on several historic occasions. He was the first Mayor of New Glasgow in 1876. In 1911 he was called to the Senate by the Borden Government. His death following soon after his appointment was universally regretted.

Pictou has not only had men to represent her worthily on the floors of Parliament, but has sent out many of her sons to win political honors in other fields. Among the latter may be mentioned Robert Marshall of St. John, New Brunswick. In 1874 he was a candidate for the City of St. John, N. B., in the Provincial elections, but was defeated. In 1876 he was returned for the Constituency and was elected for a second term. He was a member of the Government for some years until his retirement from politics, in 1882. He was born in Pictou County, April 27, 1832. His grandfather, was Robert, commonly called, "Deacon Marshall," who came from Dumfries, Scotland, to Pictou, in 1775, with the South of Scotland people, and settled at the Middle River, where he built the first barn in the county, and where the Presbytery of Pictou held its first meeting.

E. M. Macdonald, senior, son of the late George Macdonald, of West River, and a younger brother of the late A. C. McDonald, was elected the first Dominion member, in 1867, for the County of Lunenburg. He was born at West River, in 1825, and was one of Joseph Howe's chief lieutenants. He was made Collector of Customs for Halifax, in 1870 and died in 1874. He was a brilliant writer and speaker. Dr. Alexander Cameron of Glengarry was for many years a representative for the County of Huntington, in the Local Legislature for Quebec.

Hon. Angus McGillivray, a native of Bailey's Brook, was first returned to Local Legislature for Antigonish in 1878, as a Liberal; and continued a member thereof, with but little interruption until his elevation to the Bench in 1902. He was Speaker of the Nova Scotia Assembly from 1883 to 1886, and a member of the Fielding and Murray Governments.

William A. Patterson of town of Pictou, represented the county of Colchester in the Local House from 1874 to 1886, and again in the Dominion House from 1891 to 1896. Guysboro County had a worthy representative in Halifax in James A. Fraser of McLellan's Brook from 1882 to 1890. He is now Editor of the Eastern Chronicle and Mayor of New Glasgow. D. C. Fraser, afterwards Hon. D. C. Fraser, represented the county of Guysboro for many years. From 1888 to 1891, he was leader of the Government in the Council, when he was elected to the Dominion Parliament from Guysboro. He continued to represent the County until 1904 when he became Judge of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia and in 1906 was appointed Lieutenant Governor for the Province, which office he held until his death in 1910. He was one of the best known and most popular men in the public life of Canada.

In Ontario, Dr. Peter Macdonald, a native of Toney River, represented Center Huron from 1896 to 1904 in the Federal Parliament and was Deputy Speaker in the House of Commons from 1900 to 1904. A. E. Fraser of McLellan's Brook, represented the County of Cumberland in the House of Assembly from 1894 to 1902. The same county was also represented from 1901 to 1906 by Daniel McLeod, who was born near Hopewell.
In 1906 the people of King's County chose a man of Pictou, Chas. A. Campbell, for their spokesman at Halifax. In 1911 the County of Cape Breton selected another, John C. Douglas, a Stellarton boy, to send to the Halifax Assembly, after having had as their Dominion Representative from 1908 to 1911, James W. Maddin of Westville.

In British Columbia, Pictou men have also come to the front. The records of that Province show that Robert Grant of Pictou was elected for Comox County in 1903 and 1907; Neil F. MacKay, a son of the late Alexander MacKay, M.P.P., of Pictou, represents Kaslo; and another, Wm. R. McLean, son of the late D. K. McLean of Pictou, represents Nelson. H. M. Tweedie, was born at Stellarton, son of the Rev. Mr. Tweedie, pastor of the Methodist Church. He represents Calgary Center in the Legislative Assembly of Alberta.

In. Newfoundland, the memory of Hon. A. M. MacKay, a son of Pictou, who achieved distinction in telegraph work is still revered. His political career in Newfoundland, was in many respects unique. For nineteen years he was a member of the House of Assembly, and enjoyed the distinction of never having been defeated. For many years he was a leading member of the Legislative Council.

A Pictou man who has won distinction in distant Australia, is Hon. Simon Fraser, son of William Fraser, of Lorne, where he was born in 1834. He went to Australia as a young man and engaged in bridge and road construction. He became active in public affairs and was elected to the Assembly in 1874, representing the County of Rodney, Victoria, for nine years. In 1886 he became a member of the Council and 1901 he was elected to the Senate. Hon. Senator Fraser, has taken a deep interest in all the public and religious interests of the Colony. He resides at Melbourn, Victoria. Another Mr. Fraser, from Lorne, was Commissioner of Public Works in San Francisco, Cal., for some time. He was a brother of late John Fraser, postmaster, Stellarton.

Pictou has every reason to be proud of the part her sons have played in the political life of the country. Summing up the list we find that she has given to the service of the State two governors of Nova Scotia, a Minister of Justice for Canada, seven Senators, a Chief Justice of the Province, a Supreme Court Judge, Three County Court Judges, two Premiers of the Province, and four Legislative Councilors. The County has had a representative in every Provincial Ministry since 1875.

Pictonians at Home and Abroad, 1914

 

Pictou County


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