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A

Abbott, John (1821 - 1893)
Canadian academic, lawyer and politician; prime minister from 1891 to 1892. An energetic man, he was appointed to the Senate in 1887, serving in Cabinet, and also briefly acted as Mayor of Montreal from 1887 to 1888. In his brief term as prime minister, he pushed for public service and Criminal Code reforms, as well as a reciprocity treaty with the U.S. He resigned in 1892 due to ill heath and died in Montreal the following year.
Visit the National Library of Canada site for more information.

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Aberdeen and Temair, Sir John Campbell Hamilton Gordon, seventh Earl of (1847-1934)
Governor general of Canada 1893 to 1898. Born in Edinburgh, Scotland. He and his wife, Lady Aberdeen, were known for their social justice crusades during their time in Canada and for his favouritism of British and Canadian Liberals.
Visit the Governor General's site for a complete biography.

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Allan, Sir Hugh (1810-1882)
Shipping magnate, railway promoter and financier. Born in Scotland, he immigrated to Montreal in 1826. He rose quickly and within 10 years was a partner in a merchandising firm. From there, he built the Montreal Ocean Steamship Company and expanded into railway building. In 1872, he was accused of buying a government contract to build a railway to the Pacific after it came to light that he had contributed $350,000 to the campaign of the Conservative Party. This led to the Pacific Scandal and the fall of Sir John A. Macdonald's government. Allan had other business interests as well, including communications, manufacturing and mining. He was knighted in 1871.


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Amherst, William Pitt, second Earl of Arakan (1773-1857)
Briefly governor general of Canada in 1835. He was the son of Lieutenant-General William Amherst and heir to Lord Jeffery Amherst and served in several international posts before his appointment to Canada. He resigned upon the fall of the British government.


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Amherst, Jeffery, first Baron (1717-1797)
British commander-in-chief in North America during the Seven Year's War and the conquest of New France. He did not participate in General James Wolfe's siege and capture of Québec, but planned and executed the defeat of remaining French forces in New France in 1760, culminating in the capture of Montreal. He was knighted in 1761, and made Baron Amherst in 1776.
Visit the Blupete site for more information.


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Annand, William (1808-1887)
Nova Scotia premier from 1867 to 1875. A reformer, he was first elected to the Nova Scotia House of Assembly in 1836. He was also the owner of the Novascotian and Morning Chronicle newspapers. He was one of the leaders of the anti-Confederation movement in the province, although his failure to make a strong stand ultimately made Joseph Howe leader of this group.
Visit the Nova Scotia Liberal Caucus site for more information.


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Archibald, Sir Adams George (1814 - 1892)
Canadian lawyer, Justice of the Peace, judge and politician. First lieutenant-governor of Manitoba in 1870; also served as lieutenant-governor of the North-West Territories and Nova Scotia. He was particularly instrumental in reducing tensions involving the Métis people during the Red River Rebellions, and ensured that they would have a say in any governing process in the province.

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Bagot, Sir Charles (1781-1842)
British statesman and governor general of British North America from 1841 to 1843. He entered politics in 1807 and served in a number of government posts in Britain and abroad. In 1817, he negotiated the disarmament of the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain (the Rush-Bogot Agreement). As governor, Bagot worked with Robert Baldwin and Louis LaFontaine to make steps toward responsible government.


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Baldwin, Robert (1804-1858)
Leader of two reform governments from 1842 to 1843 and from 1848 to 1850, he was a key figure in winning responsible government in Canada. He was appointed an executive councillor in 1836 by Upper Canada Lieutenant-Governor Francis Bond Head, but resigned when Head refused to consult them. He was neutral during the 1837 rebellion, and played a leading role in government afterward. He and Louis LaFontaine formed two governments and, in 1849, secured his place in history by formally gaining responsible government, which was later confirmed when Governor General Lord Elgin passed the Rebellion Losses Bill. He was the son of William Warren Baldwin.
Visit the National Library of Canada site for more information.


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Baldwin, William Warren (1775-1844)
Canadian doctor, lawyer and politician. Born in Ireland, he came to Upper Canada in 1799 and settled at York. A successful lawyer, he rose to prominence as an agitator for responsible government, demanding that the principles of the British constitution be applied to Canada. His son also rose to prominence as a reformer.


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Barnardo, Thomas John (1845 - 1905)
Irish philanthropist, entrepreneur and founder of Dr. Barnardo's Homes, a private boarding agency in Britain. Founded in 1870, his agency was responsible for successfully placing the bulk of the orphaned English home children sent to live and work with rural families on the Canadian Prairies. Between 1882 and 1939, this agency sent more than 30,000 children to live and work as cheap labour in Canada.

Bathurst, Henry, third Earl (1762-1834)
British statesman; secretary of state for war and the colonies from 1812 to 1827. He entered parliament in 1783 and succeeded to the earldom in 1794. He held a number of posts in government, and favoured the abolition of the slave trade and restrictions against Catholics in British politics. He opposed the Reform Bill of 1832, however, which gave the right to vote to many in the lower classes. He was also one of the original members of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.

Bédard, Elzéar (1779-1849)
First Mayor of Québec from 1833 to 1834. Son of Pierre Stanislas Bédard, he was at first interested in becoming a priest but ultimately entered law instead. He helped re-launch the newspaper Le Canadien in 1831. An active supporter of the Parti Patriote, he was considered a moderate. In 1836, he was nominated as a judge of the Court of Kings Bench, but was suspended by the governor in 1838. He defended his case in Britain, was re-nominated in 1840 and continued as a judge until 1848.
Visit the Québec National Assembly site for more information.

Bédard, Pierre Stanislas (1762-1829)
Leader of the Parti Canadien. He trained as a lawyer and was first elected to the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada in 1792. In 1806, he helped found Le Canadien, a newspaper that was highly critical of the governor and the Château Clique. In 1810, he was arrested for sedition and held without trial. After he was released, he was appointed a judge of the Court of King's Bench and served there from 1812 until his death.
Visit the Catholic Encyclopedia for more information.


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Bedford, John Russell, first Earl (1792-1878)
British statesman and liberal reformer, twice prime minister. He entered parliament in 1813; his most significant successes as a reformer were gaining equal rights for Catholics in politics and pushing through the Reform Bill of 1832, which extended the right to vote to many men in the lower classes. In 1835, he became home secretary, and from 1839 to 1841 was secretary of state for war and the colonies. He was prime minister from 1846 to 1852, and again from 1865 to 1866.
Visit the Columbia Enclyclopedia for more information.

Belcher, Jonathan (1710 - 1776)
British lawyer, chief justice and politician. Nova Scotia's lieutenant-governor from 1760 to 1763. He was responsible for repealing the unlawful expulsion of Acadians in 1762, although he frequently clashed with the mercantile class of Halifax. He rejected an act allowing a government-sponsored monopoly in Indian trade that government leaders who were also merchants might directly benefit from. His power was eventually undermined and he was forced to leave office.

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Bennett, Richard Bedford, Viscount (1870-1947)
Canadian lawyer, businessman and politician, prime minister from 1930 to 1935. A successful businessman, Bennett entered federal politics in 1911. He became leader of the Conservative Party in 1927. He was elected on a platform that promised aggressive action against the Great Depression. He failed to produce anything of substance, however, until shortly before the election in 1935. In that year, he announced his own "New Deal" of social and financial support legislation modeled on the American program of the same name, but failed to convince voters he was sincere and lost the election. The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council subsequently struck down his New Deal legislation. He left politics and Canada in 1938, and was created a viscount in 1941.
Visit the National Library of Canada site for more information.


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Berger, Thomas (1933 - )
Canadian lawyer, judge and politician who headed the Berger Commission in the mid-1970s to examine the effects that building a pipeline through the Mackenzie Valley in the North West Territories could cause on land occupied by Aboriginals. He also strongly argued in the early 1980s that Aboriginal rights should be included in the 1982 Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which they were.

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Big Bear (1825 - 1888)
Aboriginal chief who lead many Cree lodges on the Prairies during the 1870s. He refused to sign Numbered Treaty Six in 1876, as he believed that the influx of European settlers was helping to wipe out the buffalo and destroy the Cree way of life. He was forced to sign in December 1882 by the virtual extinction of the buffalo, which left his people without their main source of food. His followers were involved in the North West Rebellion in 1885, and though he strove for peace, he was forced to surrender and was found guilty of treason during a subsequent trial. He served two years in prison and died a year after his release due to illness.

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Black, John (1764-after 1819)

Represented the County of Québec in the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada from 1796-1800. Born in Scotland, he arrived in Québec in 1786 and entered the shipbuilding business. From 1794 to 1795, he acted as an agent provocateur for the British authorities. He was captured by a French corsair in 1798, escaped, and returned to Britain to inform the government of French military preparations. He returned to Canada in 1796 and was elected to the Assembly. He gave up his seat for Jonathan Sewell in 1800. The date of his death is uncertain.
Visit the Québec National Assembly site for more information.

Blake, Edward (1833-1912)
Canadian politician and lawyer; premier of Ontario from 1871 to 1872. A successful lawyer early in life, Blake entered politics in 1867. He held seats in the Ontario legislature and the House of Commons from 1867 to 1872 (still possible at the time), at which time he retired from provincial politics. In Alexander Mackenzie's government, he was a minister without portfolio from 1873 to 1874, minister of justice from 1875 to 1877 and president of the Privy Council from 1877 to 1878. He became leader of the Liberal Party in 1880, but lost the elections of 1882 and 1887. He retired from politics in 1891, and was the only Liberal leader who never became prime minister.


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Borden, Robert (1854 - 1937)
Canadian lawyer and politician; prime minister from 1911 to 1920. As Canada's Conservative wartime leader during World War I, he strived to attain greater Canadian independence from Britain. He imposed a controversial conscription bill in 1917 that made military service mandatory. This sharply divided English and French Canadian relations, and he joined forces with the Liberal party to create a Union government in 1917. He also imposed the Wartime Elections Act during the same year, which deprived Canadians of Germanic descent and other ethnic groups the right to vote. However, women received federal voting rights during his rule. He resigned from politics due to failing health in 1920.
Visit the National Library of Canada site for more information.


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Bourassa, Henri (1868 - 1952)
Canadian journalist and politician. Grandson of Louis-Joseph Papineau. Bourassa was a Member of Parliament in Ottawa from 1896 to 1907, and a member of the Québec Legislative Assembly afterwards. He was unafraid to speak out against issues that impacted the culture and language of French Canada like immigration and conscription. He briefly resigned his federal seat as a protest move in 1899 when Parliament didn't debate the issue of sending Canadian troops to fight in the Boer War. However, he didn't believe that Québec should become a separate state, unlike some Québec nationalists of his time. Bourassa believed in a bicultural and bilingual country. In 1910, Bourassa founded Le Devoir, one of the great modern-day French-language newspapers in Canada, and was its editor until 1932.


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Bowell, Sir Mackenzie (1823-1917)
Canadian politician, newspaper owner and Orangeman; prime minister of Canada from 1894 to 1896. Born in England, he immigrated to Canada in 1832. He entered Parliament in 1867 and held several ministry positions before becoming a senator in 1892, which hindered his ability to lead when he was prime minister. In 1896, his Cabinet forced him to resign and from 1870 to 1878 he was Grandmaster of Orange Order of British North America.
Visit the National Library of Canada site for more information.


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Brady, James Patrick (1908 - 1967?)
Métis prospector and leader. A life-long communist, he was a major figure in creating the Métis Association of Alberta and the Northwest Territories and tried to get the Co-Operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) to adopt radical reforms for Aboriginal communities. He disappeared in June 1967 on a prospecting trip.
Visit the Alberta Métis Historical Society for more information.


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Brant, Joseph (1742/43? - 1807)
Mohawk statesman, Loyalist and war chief. Acted as a translator and interpreter for Sir William Johnson, and helped the Missionaries teach Christianity to the Mohawk peoples. He fought as a war chief during the American Revolution. He then worked to form a confederacy of Aboriginal nations to prevent English expansion westward south of the Great Lakes during the decade immediately following the Treaty of Paris in 1783. He failed due to various jealousies and politics within Aboriginal nations at the time, and because both the Americans and British either opposed or betrayed him.

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Brébeuf, Jean de (1593 - 1649, canonized 1930)
Jesuit missionary and patron saint of Canada who came to New France in 1625. He was sent into Huronia on the eastern shore of Lake Huron in 1626 to preach and help convert Huron Aboriginals to Christianity, particularly at a mission on the Ste. Marie Among The Hurons site during the 1630s. He would venture in and out of the region, but finally settled there for good in 1644. The Iroquois - being an enemy of the Huron and the French - captured him in 1649. They brutally tortured and killed him.
Visit the Dictionary of Canadian Biography online for more information.


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Brown, George (1818-1880)
Father of Confederation, newspaper owner and reformer. Born in Scotland, he moved with his family to New York in 1837 and then to Toronto in 1843. He launched the newspaper the Banner in 1843 and the Globe in 1844. Using his newspaper, he helped win responsible government in 1848 and, ten years later, he briefly formed a government with Antoine-Aimé Dorion. In 1864, he became part of the Great Coalition seeking a federal union of the British North American provinces. He was appointed as a senator in 1874, but was shot by a former Globe employee in 1880 and died shortly after from his injuries.
Visit the National Library of Canada site for more information.


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Byng of Vimy, Julian Hedworth George, Viscount (1862 -1935)
British aristocrat, cavalry officer and police chief; Canadian governor general from 1921 to 1926. Byng commanded the Canadian Army Corps on the western front during World War I starting in May 1916 and directed the successful attack on Vimy Ridge in 1917. He became the first governor general of Canada approved with consultation from the federal government. He was notoriously known for his role in the Byng-King affair of 1926. Byng's wife, Evelyn, donated the Lady Byng Trophy to the National Hockey League in 1925 for best sportsmanlike conduct and overall excellence.
Visit the Governor General's site for a complete biography.


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C

Cabot, John (1449/50 - 1498/99
British-Italian explorer. Noted for being the first white man to set foot in what would become Canada. He landed in either Newfoundland or Cape Breton Island in 1497. This land was claimed for Britain, and led to the opening of the North Atlantic fisheries.
Visit the Dictionary of Canadian Biography online for more information.
Visit Pathfinders & Passageways online for more information.


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Calder, Frank Arthur (1915 - )
Canadian politician and businessman. The first Aboriginal member of any Canadian legislature, he was elected to the British Columbia Legislature in 1949. He also became the first Aboriginal Cabinet minister in 1972. Despite his political achievements, he courted much controversy throughout his career. He was forced out of his federal cabinet post in 1973 over his attempt to sue the B.C. government over unsettled Aboriginal land claims in that province (see the Calder Case). He was also partially in favor of the federal government's White Paper on Aboriginal affairs in 1969, which, along with wanting to do away with the reserve system, often put him at odds with many other First Nations leaders. He became an officer of the Order of Canada in 1988.


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Callihoo, Felix (or John) (1882 - 1957)
Aboriginal politician and rights leader. Self-educated Iroquois-Cree who helped to form the Métis Association of Alberta and the Northwest Territories, and also convinced Alberta politicians to pass the Métis Betterment Act in 1938. He became president of the League of Indians of Alberta in 1937 (which would later become the Indian Association of Alberta under his tenure) and he would often travel to Ottawa to push for reforms to the Indian Act. He retired in 1947.


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Campbell, Sir Donald (1800 - 1850)
Scottish colonial administrator. Became lieutenant-governor of Prince Edward Island in 1847, but was highly unpopular in this role. His attempts to reform laws involving the postal service and immigration, among others, met with failure. Died in 1850 after a long illness, apparently stomach cancer.
Visit the Dictionary of Canadian Biography online for more information.


Campbell, Kim (1947 - )
Canadian academic and politician; prime minister from June to November 1993. Before becoming Canada's first woman prime minister, she held vital Cabinet posts, including Minister of Justice from 1991 to 1993 and Minister of National Defence in 1993. She became prime minister when Progressive Conservative leader Brian Mulroney stepped down in June 1993. Campbell bore the brunt of voter dissatisfaction over the sagging economy and unpopular Mulroney-era policies and led the party to a defeat which left the party with only two seats in October 1993.
Visit the National Library of Canada site for more information.


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Carleton, Guy, Lord Dorchester (1724-1808)
British military officer; governor of Québec 1768 to 1778 and 1785 to 1795. He served under General Wolfe at the capture of Québec, he later became governor of the province after British merchants agitated for the removal of his predecessor, Sir James Murray. Like Murray, he was sympathetic to the French Canadians and supported their efforts to restore French civil law and remove barriers to Catholics serving in government posts. He defended Québec successfully during the American Revolution, and helped to settle the Loyalists in the province of Québec after the war, but was unsuccessful in opposing the division of Québec into Upper and Lower Canada as provided by the Constitutional Act, 1791.


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Carnarvon, Henry Howard Molyneux Herbert, 4th Earl of (1831-1890)
British politician; secretary of state for the colonies from 1866 to 1867 and 1874 to 1878. He supervised the drafting of the British North America Act in 1866 and guided it through British parliament. As colonial secretary for a second time, he tried unsuccessfully to create a similar federation in South Africa.


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Cartier, Sir George-Étienne (1814-1873)
Father of Confederation and one of the most influential and important men in Canadian history; twice co-premier of the Province of Canada. A political radical in Lower Canada in his early life, he fought as a rebel in 1837. He was active in politics and, by the 1850s, was the leader of the Bleus in Canada East. He formed two governments with John A. Macdonald from 1857 to 1858 and 1858 to 1862, in which he was co-premier. A strong proponent of Confederation, he ensured that French Canadians accepted the union and continued as Macdonald's key minister after 1867. He often acted as prime minister when Macdonald was ill.
Visit the National Library of Canada site for more information.


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Cartier, Jacques (1491 - 1557)
French explorer and navigator who took part in three voyages to what would become eastern Canada in 1534, 1535 and 1541. He created the first settlements in the area later known as New France and Québec. Hoping to find gold and a passage to Asia, he instead would discover most of what's now Atlantic Canada on his first voyage. On his second and third, he would travel up the St. Lawrence River as far as the Montréal region. Cartier is known as the first white man to establish contact with the Aboriginals, particularly the Iroquois and Mi'kmaq.
Visit the Dictionary of Canadian Biography online for more information.
Visit Pathfinders & Passageways online for more information.


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Castlereagh, Robert Stewart, second Viscount (1769-1822)
British politician; secretary of state for war and the colonies from 1805 to 1806 and 1807 to 1809. He was also foreign secretary from 1812 to 1822, in which he oversaw the signing of the Rush-Bagot Agreement to disarm the Great lakes and Lake Champlain. He was a key figure in the Napoleonic wars and in the Congress of Vienna afterward. He became second Marquess of Londonderry in 1821, but committed suicide the next year.

Champlain, Samuel de (c.1570-1635)
French explorer, founder of Québec and first governor of New France. He travelled to North America several times between 1603 and 1608, and founded a settlement at Québec in 1608. Although this became the centre of the French fur trade, Champlain hoped to make a strong colony in New France. He was first appointed governor at Québec in 1612, and again in 1625. Québec was evacuated after its capture by British privateers. When he returned in 1633, he was again made governor and died there two years later.
Visit Exploration, the Fur Trade and Hudson's Bay Company for more information.
Visit the National Library of Canada site for more information.


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Chapleau, Sir Joseph-Adolphe (1814 - 1898)
Canadian lawyer, businessman, newspaper editor, railway director and politician. Chapleau was Québec premier from 1879 to 1882, and the province's lieutenant-governor from 1892 to 1898. He also founded the Crédit Foncier Franco-Canadien in 1880. He also co-authored the report looking into the 1885 Royal Commission on Chinese Immigration.
Visit the Dictionary of Canadian Biography online for more information.


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Charles II (Britain) (1630-1685)
King of England, Scotland and Ireland from 1660 until 1685. Civil war broke out in England in 1642 between supporters of Parliament (often called "Puritans" for their strict religious beliefs, or "Roundheads") and supporters of the King. By 1646, he was forced to flee to France; his father remained and was executed three years later. In 1651, he returned to Scotland to raise an army and attempt to regain his throne, but was defeated. He was only able to return again in 1660 after the death of the Puritan leader Oliver Cromwell. This period, known as the "Restoration," was characterized by liberalization. Charles became known as "The Merry Monarch."

Charles III (Spain) (1716-1788)
King of Spain from 1759 to 1788 and king of Naples and Sicily 1735 to 1759. Charles was at first neutral in the Seven Year's War, but became a French Ally in 1761. France and Spain lost the war two years later and, by the Treaty of Paris, 1763, Spain lost Florida though it received Louisiana from France as compensation. During the American Revolution, he supported the Americans and regained Florida and Minorca.

Chrétien, Jean (1934 - )
Canadian lawyer and politician; prime minister from 1993 to 2003. He served 27 years in Parliament in 12 different ministerial positions. He was Minister of Constitutional Relations during the early '80s, and was responsible for the drafting of the 1982 Constitution Act. Chrétien won three Liberal electoral mandates thanks in part to a divided opposition and despite social program cuts and government scandals. He led the federalist forces against Québec separation in the narrowly-won 1995 referendum.
Visit the National Library of Canada site for more information.


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Christie, William Joseph (1824 - 1899)
Canadian businessman, Justice of the Peace, chairman and Hudson's Bay Company officer. Indian commissioner during the negotiations of Numbered Treaties Four and Six. During negotiations, many Saskatchewan-based Aboriginals resented him for having ties to the Hudson's Bay Company as chief trader and chief factor during the 1850s and '60s, even though he had retired from the Company by that time. He also worked on securing further adhesions to these treaties with other Aboriginal bands, and chaired the Saskatchewan Board of Health in the 1870s, which was meant to prevent smallpox from spreading among Aboriginal bands.

Clark, Joe (1939 - )
Canadian academic, journalist and politician; prime minister from June 1979 to March 1980. After winning Progressive Conservative party leadership in 1976, he briefly became Canada's youngest prime minister at the age of 39. He immediately introduced a federal budget featuring social program cuts and tax increases. This was defeated in a non-confidence motion in parliament and a new federal election was called. Clark lost the election and eventually lost his party's leadership to Brian Mulroney in 1983. However, in 1991, he became Minister of Constitutional Affairs, where he was responsible for drafting the Charlottetown Accord and gaining its approval from provincial premiers. He was party leader again from 1998 and 2003, at which time he stepped down.
Visit the National Library of Canada site for more information.


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Colbert, Jean-Baptiste (1619-1683)
Leading Minister of French king Louis XIV. Born a commoner, he rose to be comptroller general in 1665. In 1669, he was made secretary of state for naval affairs and made strong efforts to promote mercantilism by protecting and promoting French commerce and colonies. The king's extravagant spending and wars forced him to raise taxation, and was unpopular by the time he died.

Colborne, Sir John, first Baron Seaton (1778-1863)
British soldier, lieutenant-governor of Upper Canada from 1829 to 1836. As governor, his favouritism of British immigrants and the controversial use of public funds ultimately contributed to the Upper Canada rebellion in 1837. In 1836, he was made commander of British forces in the Canadas and defeated the 1837 and 1838 rebellions in Lower Canada.


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Cornwallis, Lieutenant Colonel Edward (1712 or 13 to 1776)
British soldier and governor of Nova Scotia 1749 to 1752. He arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749 with 2,500 settlers and founded the town of Chebucto (later Halifax). His chief challenge was protecting the colony from Mi'kmaq raids and the threat of the French from Louisbourg.


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Craig, Sir James Henry (1748-1812)
Captain-general and governor-in-chief of Upper and Lower Canada from 1807 to 1811. Craig greatly strengthened French Canadian nationalism with his vigorous efforts to suppress political reform that would give more power to the elected Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada. He also suggested measures to assimilate French Canadians. In 1810, he arrested the leaders of the Parti canadien and held them without trial.


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Crowfoot (1830? - 1890)
Aboriginal chief, initially known for being an ally of the Canadian government and was given a prominent role in negotiating Numbered Treaty Seven on behalf of the Plains Indians in 1877. As leader of the Blackfoot people, he was respected by and maintained good relations with fur traders, and made peace with neighbouring Cree tribes. He adopted a Cree, Poundmaker, and was glad to see the North West Mounted Police into the region in 1874 and wipe out the whiskey trade. However, he became disillusioned with the federal government in 1881, when his tribe moved onto poorly maintained and poverty-stricken reserves.


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Dalhousie, George Ramsay, ninth Earl of (1770-1838)
Governor of Nova Scotia from 1816 to 1820, and governor-in-chief of British North America from 1820 to 1828. A soldier until the end of the battle of Waterloo, Dalhousie was an authoritarian governor and, as such, he was frequently at odds with French Canadian politicians. One of his most notable actions during his time in Nova Scotia was the founding of Dalhousie College in Halifax in 1818, which later became Dalhousie University.


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Daly, Sir Dominick (1798 - 1868)
Irish civil servant, colonial administrator and politician. Became Prince Edward Island's lieutenant-governor from 1854 to 1859 after spending time as a provincial secretary in the Executive Legislature of Canada East during the 1840s. While installed in PEI, he was among the first to be chiefly responsible for helping to settle the land grant claims question involving the descendants of Scottish / Irish tenants and absentee British landlords.
Visit the Dictionary of Canadian Biography online for more information.

Diefenbaker, John (1895 - 1979)
Canadian lawyer and politician; prime minister from 1957 to 1963. Despite being a Progressive Conservative, his government was responsible for introducing a series of radical social reforms. His government gave Aboriginal people the right to vote for the first time, and he appointed the first Native person to the Senate. Diefenbaker also named the first woman to Cabinet. However, high unemployment and a devalued dollar gradually eroded his popularity, and he was defeated by Lester Pearson. Robert Stanfield replaced him as party leader in 1967, but he continued to serve as an MP until his death.
Visit the National Library of Canada site for more information.


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Dion, Joseph Francis (1888 - 1960)
Aboriginal teacher, farmer and political organizer. Co-founder of the Métis Association of Alberta (1932) and the Indian Association of Alberta (1944). Dion abandoned Indian status as an adult to become a farmer and a teacher. A conservative reformer, he pushed for Aboriginal self-help through local agricultural initiatives and traditional culture preservation.
Visit the Alberta Métis Historical Society for more information.


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Donnacona (? - 1539?)
Iroquois chief and personal guide to Jacques Cartier. Pointed Cartier to the existence of the St. Lawrence River in 1535 and led him up to Stadacona (now Québec City). In a move that foreboded some of the negative experiences Aboriginals would have with white peoples from thereon in, Donnacona and his two sons were seized against his will by Cartier in early 1536, and shipped to France to regale French royalty with tales of gold existing in the New World. He died in France.
Visit the Dictionary of Canadian Biography online for more information.


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Dorchester, Guy Carleton, first Baron (1724-1808)
See Carleton, Guy.

Douglas, Sir James (1803 - 1877)
Canadian fur trader and politician. Vancouver Island's governor between 1851 and 1863, and British Columbia's governor from 1858 to 1864. During the 1840s, he was in charge of trade for the Hudson's Bay Company and moved company headquarters from Fort Vancouver to Fort Victoria on Vancouver Island. He oversaw the Douglas Treaties during the early 1850s, in which the colony purchased land from the Aboriginals on Vancouver Island for settlement and industrial use. Notably, he was of mixed Scottish and West Indian descent, and was married to a Métis descendent.


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Dumont, Gabriel (1837 - 1906)
Métis leader perhaps best known for his role as "adjutant general" helping Louis Riel during the North West Rebellion of 1885. He was an excellent guerilla leader who helped win the first battle against the North West Mounted Police (NWMP) at Duck Lake in March 1885. After the rebellion failed, Dumont fled to the United States for a period in the late 1880s, where he was employed as a crack sharpshooter in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show.
Visit the Dictionary of Canadian Biography online for more information.


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Durham, John George Lambton, first Earl of (1792-1840)
British politician and diplomat; briefly governor general and high commissioner to North America in 1838. Known as "Radical Jack" for his strong liberal views, Durham was selected as governor with a mandate to investigate the 1837 rebellions in Upper and Lower Canada. He did not remain in Canada for long, resigning just four months after arriving. In his Report on the Affairs in British North America, he made a number of controversial recommendations. Chief among these was reuniting the Canadas to speed up French Canadian assimilation , and introducing representative government.
Visit the National Library of Canada site for more information.


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Elgin, James Bruce, eighth Earl of (1811-1863)
Governor general of Canada from 1847 to 1854. Elgin and Earl Grey, the colonial secretary, believed that granting responsible government to Canada was the best way to solve the political problems there. The first responsible government in British North America was formed in Nova Scotia in 1847, soon followed by Canada. He passed the Rebellion Losses Bill in 1849, despite the fact that he did not approve of it. He also negotiated the Reciprocity Treaty of 1854 with the United States.


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Fidler, Peter (1769 - 1822)
British explorer, fur trader and cartographer. A member of the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) who joined in 1788 as a labourer, he would go on to become the company's chief surveyor and map maker in 1796. He would map out most of Canada's West including: Lake Athabasca and Great Slave Lake (1790-92), the foothills of the Rockies (1792-93), northern Manitoba (1793-95), and the Assiniboine River (1795-96). He would also notably go on to survey lots for the Selkirk Settlement.
Visit the Dictionary of Canadian Biography online for more information.


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Fleming, Sir Sandford (1827 - 1915)
Canadian scientist, inventor, railway surveyor and construction engineer. Fleming was instrumental in promoting the use of railways as a means of connecting communities and shipping goods quickly by land, particularly to Canada's West before it was feasible to do so. He eventually surveyed passages for the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) during the 1870s, and while his proposed northern route through Yellowhead Pass in the Rockies wasn't used, subsequent railways built in the early 20th century took his suggested route. Fleming's railway work also led to his contribution to a new time-keeping system, International Standard Time, which is in use to this day. He additionally designed Canada's first postage stamp in 1851.
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Fraser, Simon (1776 - 1862)
American-Canadian explorer and fur trader. A member of the North West Company, Fraser was selected in 1805 to expand the company's territory west of the Rockies. He founded the first European settlements in current-day central British Columbia, including Fort McLeod and Fort George (now Prince George) between 1805 and 1807. He would take part in an expedition along the river in southern B.C. that would be named after him (the Fraser River). In 1815, he would attempt to retire from fur trading at Fort William in what's now Ontario, but was arrested by Lord Selkirk for not taking action against the North West Company during the 1816 Seven Oaks Incident. In 1818, he was acquitted of his charges. He led a relatively peaceful life from thereon in current day southern Ontario, though he did participate in the 1837 Upper Canada Rebellion
where he sustained a major knee injury. Visit the Dictionary of Canadian Biography online for more information.
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Galt, Sir Alexander Tilloch (1817-1893)
Politician; Father of Confederation. Born in London, he emigrated to Canada in 1835. He became a prominent railway executive and entered politics as a reformer in 1849, representing Sherbrooke from 1849 to 1850, and 1853 to 1867. Galt was a key figure in Confederation from the late 1850s onward, and participated in the Québec and London conferences. He retired from Parliament in 1871, but continued to be active in politics. From 1880 to 1883, he was the first Canadian high commissioner in London, promoting investment in Canadian immigration.
Visit the National Library of Canada site for more information.


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Galt, John (1779-1839)
Scottish novelist and founder of the Canada Company. Asked to help people in Upper Canada who sought compensation for losses in the War of 1812, he had the idea of promoting British settlement in Canada through a land speculation company. The company was founded in 1825, and he came to Canada in 1826. Due to difficulties with the directors of the company, he was fired in 1829 and returned to England. He was father of Sir Alexander Tilloch Galt.


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George III (Britain) (1738-1820)
King of Great Britain from 1760 to 1820. George III is best remembered as the king at the time of the American Revolution and for his bouts of madness, which may have been caused by a hereditary disease. Critics blamed him for the loss of America, although he was not directly involved in the causes of the revolution. He was also accused of attempting to increase the power of the monarchy. His madness first appeared in 1788-1789, recurred in 1801 and became permanent in 1810. His son and heir, George IV, reigned as regent until his death.
Visit the Official Web Site of the British Monarchy for more information.

Germain, George Sackville, first Viscount (1716-1785)
British secretary of state for the colonies from 1775 to 1782. An army officer in his early life, he was disgraced at the Battle of Minden in 1758. He worked hard to return to favour, and was ultimately successful in rising to the position of colonial secretary. He strongly opposed the American Revolution and believed that the British would ultimately win. A series of misunderstandings of the situation there and his quarrelsomeness, however, contributed to the loss of the war. He took the name Germain in 1770 under the terms of a will and was made a viscount when he resigned from office in 1782.

Gladstone, James (1887 - 1971)
Aboriginal and Canadian political activist and politician. He was a member of Alberta's Blood nation who spent a great deal of his life agitating for greater participation between the Aboriginal people and the Canadian government. He also stood for the Aboriginals' right to better education and fought for greater respect when it came to treaty rights. Gladstone was president of the Indian Association of Alberta (IAA), and led three delegations to Ottawa to discuss changes to the Indian Act. In February 1958, he became the first Aboriginal named to Canada's Senate.


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Glenelg, Charles Grant, Baron (1778-1866)
British politician; secretary of state for war and the colonies from 1835 to 1839. Glenelg held a number of political posts prior to becoming colonial secretary. He was in office during the Upper and Lower Canada rebellions of 1837 and 1838, and was severely criticized for his indecisive policy. He resigned under pressure of cabinet colleagues in 1839.

Gordon, Arthur Hamilton (1829-1912)
British politician and colonial administrator, lieutenant-governor of New Brunswick from 1861 to 1866. The youngest son of George Hamilton Gordon, fourth Earl of Aberdeen (later prime minister), he served as his father's private secretary and also held a seat in Parliament for three years. In his office in New Brunswick, he promoted Maritime Union as a way to provide a stronger defence against the United States and to reduce the costs of administration. He was disappointed when Confederation replaced Maritime Union on the agenda at the Charlottetown and Québec Conferences, but supported Confederation despite this. After he left New Brunswick, he held a number of other colonial posts.
Visit the National Library of Canada site for more information.

Gosford, Archibald Acheson, second Earl of (1776-1849)
British politician; governor in chief of British North America from 1835 to 1837. A moderate with a preference for conciliation, Gosford was appointed governor of British North America (excepting Newfoundland) with a mandate to inquire into political problems in Lower Canada. His policy of "conciliation without concession" toward Louis Joseph Papineau and other French Canadian nationalists alienated the British inhabitants of the province without winning the French extremists. It did, however, divide the nationalist movement into moderates and extremists, which reduced support for the rebellions. He resigned on the eve of the rebellion of 1837. He later opposed the Act of Union, 1840.


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Grant, Cuthbert (c. 1793 - 1854)
Métis fur trader, farmer, politician, justice of the peace and leader. Founder of the Métis nation. Of Scottish and Cree or Assiniboine background. He most famously killed governor Robert Semple and 20 of his men in a skirmish at the Red River Colony in 1816 known as the Seven Oaks Incident.
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Gray, John Hamilton (New Brunswick premier) (1814 - 1889)
Father of Confederation, British Columbia Supreme Court judge in 1873, and premier of New Brunswick from 1856 to 1857. Not to be confused with the Prince Edward Island premier with the same name. Gray was an expert in American-Canadian border negotiations and also co-authored the report on the 1885 Royal Commission on Chinese Immigration. He was one of the few people to defend the Chinese people's right to come to Canada.
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Visit the Collections Canada site for more information.


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Grenville, William Wyndham Grenville, Baron (1759-1834)
British politician. Grenville had a number of ministerial posts prior to becoming secretary of the Home Department from 1789 to 1791, and in this role played a part in passing the Constitutional Act, 1791. After this, he was foreign secretary until 1801. He supported giving broader rights to Roman Catholics and as head of a coalition government passed the act abolishing the slave trade in 1807.

Grey, Sir Edward, first Viscount (1862-1933)
British politician; secretary of foreign affairs from 1892 to 1895 and 1905 to 1916. Grey was the main figure behind the completion of the Triple Entente of France, Britain and Russia in 1907. He was criticized for conducting diplomacy in secret, and some have argued that had Germany known of Britain's intention to go to war in defence of France, World War I might not have happened. He was made a viscount in 1916.

Grey, Henry, third Earl (1802-1894)
British politician; secretary of state for the colonies from 1846 to 1852. Grey entered politics in 1826 and served in a number of positions, including secretary at war (1835 to 1839) before becoming colonial secretary. He was a strong supporter of parliamentary reform and Catholic emancipation. His nephew, Albert Henry George Grey, was governor general of Canada from 1904 to 1911.

Guyart, Marie de l'Incarnation (1599 - 1672)
French author, nun and foundress of the Ursuline order in New France. Marie de l'Incarnation traveled to New France in 1639 to set up the first convent in Québec City, after having visions from God about her calling. In Québec, she educated French and Aboriginal girls on religious teachings, among other things. However, while she was frequently visited in her monastery, she lived a relatively cloistered life.
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Haldimand, Sir Frederick (1718-1791)
British soldier and colonial administrator; governor of Québec from 1778 to 1786. The American revolutionary war was fought while he was in office in Québec, and as a result much of his work was directed to keeping the political situation there stable. In addition, he sent raiding parties to the American frontier. After the war, he was responsible for settling the Loyalists. He was sympathetic to the province's French Canadians .


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Harper, Elijah (1949 - )
Aboriginal and Canadian politician. He entered Manitoba politics in 1981 and joined that province's Cabinet in 1986 as Minister without portfolio for Native Affairs. The following year, he became Minister of Northern Affairs for the province. He is most well known, however, for stalling discussion on the Meech Lake Accord in 1990 in the Manitoba legislature, which helped to cause the accord's failure. He opposed the accord on the grounds that it would take away power from the Aboriginals and that it perpetuated a myth that only the English and French founded Canada.


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Harvey, Sir John (1778 - 1852)
English army officer and colonial administrator of more colonies than any other lieutenant-governor in British North America. Harvey fought in the War of 1812 where he became a war hero, and was later part of a five-man commission in England to oversee the creation of the Canada Company in 1825. In 1836, he became lieutenant-governor of Prince Edward Island, where he was confronted with the land tenant issue. The following year he was promoted to New Brunswick, where he oversaw part of the problems surrounding the Maine-New Brunswick border dispute, and in 1841 was sent to administrate Newfoundland. He remained there until 1846, when he received the governorship of Nova Scotia. He was involved with politics in Nova Scotia until his death in 1852.
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Head, Sir Francis Bond (1793-1875)
British soldier, author and colonial administrator; lieutenant-governor of Upper Canada from 1835 to 1839. When he took his post as governor, he selected several moderate reformers to the Executive Council. When he did not consult them, however, they resigned. After this, the relationship was increasingly hostile. In the election that followed, Head became personally involved in the campaign. The result was a victory at the polls, but also ultimate contributed to the extremism that led to the 1837 rebellion. In 1836, he made moves to end the tradition of British gift giving to those Aboriginals covered in the Niagara Treaty. He also tried and failed to set up an Aboriginal colony on Manitoulin Island in present northern Ontario.


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Hillsborough, Wills Hill, Earl of (1718-1793) (first Marquess of Downshire after 1779)
British politician; secretary of state for the colonies from 1768 to 1772. Besides being colonial secretary, Hillsborough held a number of other high government offices. He was secretary of state for the American Department during the Revolution, during which he was opposed to making concessions to the colonists. As a result of the poor outcome of the war, he was highly unpopular.

Hind, Henry Youle (1823 - 1908)
English-Canadian author, geologist and naturalist. Hind was most famous for two expeditions taken into the Red, Assiniboine and Saskatchewan River regions during the late 1850s, and for writing two volumes about them. Wrote six books, 25 pamphlets and 22 articles on subjects ranging from railway policy to geology.
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Hopson, Peregrine Thomas (? - 1759)
British military officer and governor of Louisburg, Cape Breton Island and Nova Scotia. Hopson strongly believed that the British North American colonies of the 1750s could be protected against the French by building strong relationships with the Acadians and Aboriginals. He signed a short-lived peace and friendship treaty with a small band of Mi'kmaq in 1752. He was forced to leave British North America and relinquish all of his posts by 1758 due to poor health. He died the following year.

Horetzky, Charles George (1838 - 1900)
Canadian author, engineer, surveyor, Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) clerk, photographer and office holder. Author of books about Canada's North West including The North-West of Canada (1873) and Canada to the Pacific (1874) that came about, in part, from photographic and geological surveys he undertook of British Columbia. He was also present at Fort Garry during the Red River Rebellion of 1869.
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Howe, Joseph (1804-1873)
Nova Scotian newspaper owner and politician; premier from 1860 to 1863, lieutenant-governor in 1873. A reformer, Howe was frequently at odds with the governors of the day. Because of his work, however, Nova Scotia was the first colony to get responsible government in 1848. He was a strong opponent of Confederation and travelled to London to oppose it. After it was successfully passed and he realized that it could not be reversed, he accepted a position in the federal Cabinet.
Visit the National Library of Canada site for more information.


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Johnson, Sir William (1715? - 1774)
British superintendent of Indian Affairs circa the 1750s and 1760s. He represented the British during with the Niagara Treaty of 1764 with Aboriginals and was involved with other negotiations meant to smooth over Aboriginal and British relations around that time. He also led Aboriginals in skirmishes against the British during the Seven Years War.


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Kempt, Lieutenant-General Sir James (1764-1854)
British soldier and colonial administrator; lieutenant-governor of Nova Scotia from 1820 to 1828 and Lower Canada from 1828 to 1830. In Lower Canada, he was able to reduce the tensions that had arisen between Louis-Joseph Papineau and Governor Dalhousie.


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King, William Lyon Mackenzie (1874 - 1950)
Canadian labour consultant and politician; prime minister from 1921 to 1926, 1926 to 1930, and 1935 to 1948. He was Canada's longest-serving prime minister, spending more than 21 years in the position, and was the maternal grandson of William Lyon Mackenzie, leader of the 1837 Rebellion in Upper Canada. He held many Cabinet posts in Wilfrid Laurier's government, including Labour Minister in 1908. He was also a social reformer, introducing old-age pensions in 1927, unemployment insurance in 1940 and family allowance in 1944. He held off on pushing a controversial conscription bill into the legislature until late 1944. This was to avoid angering voters in Québec, who were stoutly against forced military service. See also the King-Byng affair.
Visit the National Library of Canada site for more information.


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LaFontaine, Louis-Hippolyte (1807-1864)
(also La Fontaine)

Canadian politician; prime minister of the Province of Canada from 1848 to 1851. LaFontaine entered politics in Lower Canada in 1830 as a supporter of Louis-Joseph Papineau, but opposed the violence of the 1837 rebellion. He was arrested in 1838 but was quickly released and became an advocate of moderate reform. In 1848, Lord Elgin asked him to form the first responsible government in the province. His ministry passed the Rebellion Losses Bill and the Amnesty Act, 1849 to forgive the rebels of the 1837 and 1838 rebellions. He retired from politics in 1851 and was created a baronet in 1854.
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Visit the Québec National Assembly site for more information.


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Laird, David (1833 - 1914)
Canadian editor and politician. Appointed lieutenant-governor of the North-West Territories in 1881, and Indian commissioner in Winnipeg in 1898. He was responsible for negotiating Numbered Treaties Seven and Eight in 1877 and 1899 with the Plains Indians, and was an advisor to the Department of Indian Affairs in Ottawa between 1909 and his death in 1914. He was known for his contacts with various Aboriginal chiefs and was respected by them for his tradition of honouring promises made with them.


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Langevin, Sir Hector-Louis (1826 - 1906)
Canadian journalist, lawyer and politician. Considered a Father of Confederation, as he represented Québec's interests at the Charlottetown and Québec conferences in the 1860s. He was secretary of state and secretary of Indian affairs under Sir John A. Macdonald's rule from 1867 to 1869. He was named Minister of Public Works in 1869, and became leader of the Québec wing of the Conservative Party in 1873. He retired from politics in 1896.


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Laurier, Sir Wilfrid (1841-1919)
Canadian politician; prime minister from 1896 to 1911. Laurier began his career as a lawyer in 1864 and entered politics in 1871 in the Québec legislature. He was later elected to Parliament in 1874, and remained there until his death. He became leader of the Liberal Party in 1887, and, in 1896, became prime minister. He was a skillful and practical prime minister, careful to seek compromise and avoid conflict. He misread public opinion, however, when he promoted reciprocity in 1911 and lost the election that year. He remained in Parliament as leader of opposition and he supported Canada's participation in World War I, although he opposed the government imposition of conscription in 1917. This divided the Canadian government, but contributed to his popularity in Québec.
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Lawrence, Charles (1709-1760)
British soldier, lieutenant-governor of Nova Scotia from 1753 to 1756, governor of Nova Scotia from 1756 to 1760. Lawrence was a successful soldier involved in a number of actions against the French in North America. He is most remembered for the deportation of the Acadians in 1755. After this, he was responsible for settling the colony with British subjects.
Visit the Blupete site for more information.


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Liverpool, Robert Banks Jenkins, second Earl of (1770-1828)
British politician; secretary of state for war and the colonies from 1809 to 1812, prime minister of Britain from 1812 to 1827. Liverpool was a conservative politician who opposed parliamentary reform and sometimes suppressed dissent with severe measures such as the suspension of habeas corpus. His actions divided the country and contributed to his own poor health.

Louis XIII (France) (1601 - 1643)
Louis XIII became King of France as a nine-year-old upon his father's assassination. He was responsible for expanding the borders of New France by encouraging settlement westward along the St. Lawrence River from Québec City to Montreal. Louis XIII was also an absolutist who, with the help of Cardinal Richelieu, worked to strengthen the powers of the French Crown at the expense of the aristocracy. His five-year-old son, Louis XIV, became King of France upon his death.

Louis XIV (France) (1638-1715)
King of France from 1643 to 1715. A young child when he became king, Louis XIV did not take full control of government until 1661. Louis XIV centralized the monarchy to the extent that the nobility of the country were dependant upon him. He also reformed the country's finances through his chief minister, Jean Baptiste Colbert. This work was undermined by a succession of wars. A great patron of the arts, he was known as the Sun King for the splendour of his court.
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Lytton, Edward George Earle Lytton, Bulwer-Lytton, forst Baron (1803-1873)
British author and politician; secretary of state for the colonies from 1858 to 1866. Lytton was a sensitive and romantic writer who wrote many novels and political essays. His works were very popular, which helped his political career. He spoke in favour of the Reform Bill of 1832, which extended the right to vote to many men in the lower classes.

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Macdonald, Sir Hugh John (1850-1929)
Canadian politician and son of Sir John A. Macdonald; premier of Manitoba. Beginning his career as a lawyer, Hugh Macdonald entered politics in Manitoba in 1891. In 1896, he was briefly minister of the interior in Sir Charles Tupper's government. In 1899, he was elected premier of Manitoba, but resigned shortly afterward to run in the federal election. He retired after he lost.


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Macdonald, Sir John Alexander (1815-1891)
Father of Confederation; several times co-premier of the Province of Canada, prime minister after Confederation from 1867 to 1873 and 1878 to 1891. Macdonald began his career as a lawyer and entered politics as an alderman in Kingston in 1843. He rose quickly, and, by 1856, was co-premier of the Province of Canada. In 1864, he joined the Great Coalition, which was to seek a federal union of the British North American provinces. In 1867, Confederation was enacted and he became Canada's first prime minister. His administration fell as a result of the Pacific Scandal, but he returned to power five years later and remained prime minister until his death. Macdonald was a shrewd politician, constructing policies as suited the times and using patronage liberally to reward and gain allies, but he was also deeply committed to the unity and prosperity of Canada.
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Macdonell, Miles (c. 1767 - 1828)
Scottish soldier and first governor of Assiniboia. He led the first settlers to the Red River Colony in 1812, after being picked for the role of governor by Thomas Selkirk. However, he was belligerent and this aspect of his personality led to conflicts with fur traders with the North West Company. In 1815, he was arrested by these traders and sent to Lower Canada. He briefly returned to the region in 1817 to become governor once again.
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McDougall, William (1822 -1905)
Canadian politician and Minister of Public Works. Named first lieutenant-governor of Manitoba in 1869; however, a group of Métis physically blocked his arrival, preventing him from ever entering the province. Sir Adams George Archibald would take his place the following year. The Métis severely distrusted McDougall's because, upon being named Minister of Public Works in 1867, he introduced resolutions in Parliament that led to the buying of Rupert's Land - including the Red River Settlement - in 1868.


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McGee, Thomas D'Arcy (1825 - 1868)
Canadian poet, historian, journalist and politician. One of the original Fathers of Confederation. Born in Ireland and originally an immigrant to America, McGee finally arrived in Canada via Montréal in 1857. As a small newspaper publisher for the Irish community, he called for the Confederation, a transcontinental railway, prairie settlement, a protective tariff against the Americans, and the development of a distinctive form of Canadian literature in his editorials. He was elected to the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada in 1858, and eventually took part in the "Great Coalition" leading up to Confederation with John A. Macdonald and George-Étienne Cartier. However, his support of a unified Canada made him very unpopular with Irish nationalists around 1866. His disdain for Irish republicanism not only led to a political downfall, but it may have been the main factor in his tragic assassination on April 7, 1868. It is widely believed that a Fenian carried out the murder, even though the person convicted of the crime, Patrick James Whelan, was never proven to be one.
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McGillivray, Duncan (c. 1770 - 1808)
English fur trader and explorer. A member of the North West Company, McGillivray may have been one of the first white men to cross the Rocky Mountains in 1801 via White Man's Pass. He traded through forts on the North Saskatchewan River for much of his career.
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McKee, Thomas (1770? - 1814)
Canadian army and militia officer, Indian Department official and politician who may have been three-quarters Shawnee. Became Superintendent of Indian Affairs in 1797. Throughout the 1790s, he encouraged and even sometimes participated in Aboriginal attacks on American forts. Later, he was responsible for negotiating the surrender of Aboriginal land for the Crown. By 1805 or 1806, he had joined the British militia, and eventually rose to the rank of major - a rank he held through the War of 1812. While he was often congratulated early during this war for his efforts, his problems with alcohol helped to eventually brand him as incompetent. He was removed from the field, and died in 1814 en route to Montreal.

Mackenzie, Sir Alexander (explorer) (1764 - 1820)
Scottish author, explorer and fur trader. Not to be confused with the Alexander Mackenzie who later became prime minister. In 1787, he became a partner in the newly formed North West Company, and was responsible for exploring much of the northern Aboriginal land covered by current-day Alaska, the Yukon and the Northwest Territories. In 1789, he discovered the large river (the Mackenzie River) running from the Arctic into Great Slave Lake that would be named after him while looking for a water-based route to the Pacific Ocean to help the fur trade. After another expedition that failed to find a river route to the Pacific, he left this region in 1795 to retire from trading and write a book about his journeys.
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Visit the Exploration, Fur Trade and Hudson's Bay Company online for more information.
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Mackenzie, Alexander (Prime Minister) (1822-1892)
Canadian politician and newspaper editor; prime minister from 1873 to 1878. Born in Scotland, Mackenzie immigrated to Canada in 1842. He worked for a time as a stonemason and building contractor, and became an editor of a Reform newspaper in the 1850s. He entered politics in 1861 as a member of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada. He became prime minister after the Pacific Scandal brought down the Conservative government led by Sir John A. Macdonald. His failure to win a second term has been blamed by some on his lack of imagination and leadership in the House of Commons, although he did create the Supreme Court and office of the Auditor General.
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Mackenzie, William Lyon (1795-1861)
Canadian newspaper owner and politician; leader of the Upper Canada rebellion in 1837. Mackenzie was born in Scotland and came to Canada in 1820. In 1824, he founded the newspaper the Colonial Advocate, which he used to criticize the Family Compact. He was first elected to the House of Assembly in 1828, but lost his seat in 1836 during an election in which Lieutenant-Governor Sir Francis Bond Head actively campaigned. This convinced Mackenzie that armed revolt might be the only remaining course of action. The rebellion of 1837 was quickly crushed, however, and he was forced into exile in the United States until he was pardoned in 1849.
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Maitland, Sir Peregrine
British colonial administrator and soldier. After fighting at the Battle of Waterloo in Belgium, Maitland was appointed lieutenant-governor of Upper Canada in 1818. In that role, he was a conservative member of the Family Compact. He so strongly believed in keeping a connection to Britain that he felt that all American and democratic elements in Upper Canadian society had to be assimilated. Less notably, he also was named lieutenant-governor of Nova Scotia between 1828 and 1834.
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Mansfield, William Murray, first Earl of (1705-1793)
British politician and jurist. Mansfield entered law in 1730 and, by 1742, was solicitor general. In 1754, he was appointed attorney general, and, in 1756, became chief justice of the King's Bench. He is regarded as one of the most able chief justices to have held the office and had a major influence on case law. His 1774 judgment ruled that the Royal Proclamation, 1763, was effectively the constitution of the province of Québec.

Marriott, James (1730-1803)
British jurist, politician and author; advocate general of England. Marriott began his career as the protégé, agent and pamphleteer of the Duke of Newcastle. He was appointed the King's Advocate in 1764 and served as such until he was knighted in 1768. He served twice in British Parliament (from 1781 to 1784 and 1796 to 1802), during which he supported the war against the American colonists.

Masère, Francis (1731-1824)
British lawyer and office holder; attorney general of Québec from 1766 to 1769. Born in London, he was called to the bar in 1758. He was opposed to calling an elected assembly in Québec and was drawn into controversies on the side of British merchants over various issues. His 1768 report on possible solutions to the debate over common and civil law in Québec and his anti-Catholic prejudices made him an unpopular man. He returned to England in 1769, but continued to write about Québec.

Meares, Capt. John (1756? - 1809)
British sea captain, entrepreneur and fur trader. Meares was responsible for promoting British economic and political interests along the Pacific coast during the late 1700s. In 1788, Meares wanted to set up a fur trading post on Nootka Sound on Vancouver Island, but found upon his arrival that a Spanish naval force was already occupying the area. The Spanish captured Meares' three ships and their crews. However, many of the 50 Chinese artisans who accompanied Meares on this trip were able to settle in the area and start families.
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Meighen, Arthur (1874 - 1960)
Canadian investment broker, teacher and politician, prime minister from 1920 to 1921 and June to September 1926. He served in Robert Borden's Cabinet and became prime minister following Borden's retirement in 1920. However, his support for unpopular policies such as high tariffs and military conscription during World War I, plus his disdain for worker's strikes, hed to his defeat the following year to William Lyon Mackenzie King. He returned to power for a scant three months in 1926 during the King-Byng affair. He resigned from parliament in 1927, though he would become a member of the Senate in 1932. He would return briefly as Conservative party leader from 1941 to 1942.
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Metcalfe, Charles Theophilus, first Baron (1785-1846)
British colonial administrator; governor general of the province of Canada from 1843 to 1845. After serving in a number of other colonial posts, Metcalfe arrived in Canada in 1843 with instructions to make no move toward responsible government. This provoked the resignation of the ministry of the day, which was headed by Louis-Hippolyte LaFontaine. The elections that followed produced a conservative administration, which he worked with until he left office due to illness.


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Milnes, Sir Robert Shore (1754-1837)
British soldier and colonial administrator; lieutenant-governor of Lower Canada from 1799 to 1808. He served briefly as governor of Martinique in 1795. He left Lower Canada due to ill health in 1805, but remained lieutenant-governor until 1808. He was created a Baronet of the United Kingdom in 1801.
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Montcalm, Louis-Joseph de, Marquis de Montcalm (1712 - 1759)
General James Wolfe's adversary during battle on the Plains of Abraham in September 1759. Like his English counterpart, Montcalm was born into the aristocracy and joined the military at a young age. Also like Wolfe, he died during this battle. He was often bitterly at odds with Pierre Vaudreuil, the governor general of New France, as Vaudreuil was born in the colony and was not part of the French aristocracy. This contributed to leadership rifts when Montcalm was promoted to lieutenant-general in October 1758.


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Monts, Pierre du Gua de (1558? - 1628)
French explorer, fur trader, colonizer and governor of Acadia. A close associate to Samuel de Champlain and the colonizer of the earliest French settlements in Canada. In 1603, he was given a fur trading monopoly in the New World from France and was obliged to settle 60 colonists there each year. He was also to establish religious missions among the Aboriginals. He originally started settlements on Île Sainte-Croix (Dochet Island) and in the Bay of Fundy from 1604 to 1607. He then encouraged settlement in the region known today as Québec City in 1608.
Visit the Dictionary of Canadian Biography online for more information.


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Montgomery, L. M. (Lucy Maud) (1874 - 1942)
Canadian novelist, diarist and poet born on Prince Edward Island. Montgomery wrote Anne of Green Gables (1908), a novel describing the adventures of a young orphaned girl who was sent to live with a married couple in PEI. This novel is notable for being not too far removed from the experiences of real-life home children during the period. To date, Anne remains Canada's best-selling novel of all time, and is the cornerstone of PEI's tourism industry. It was so successful that Montgomery would eventually write many sequels to the book throughout her life. These books additionally spawned two Hollywood movies in 1919 and 1934, a 1964 stage musical, a 1979 Japanese animated cartoon and numerous TV mini-series from the 1950s onward. Montgomery is also noted for leaving behind an extensive social history of life in Canada from 1889 to 1942 in the form of 10 diaries, which have been published in excerpt form since her death.


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Moodie, Susanna née Strickland (1803 - 1885)
Anglo-Canadian novelist, diarist, poet and settler. Sister of Catharine Parr Traill. Born in England where she had a relatively uneventful childhood until her father's death in 1818, Moodie immigrated to Canada with her husband and first child in 1832 to escape poverty. Settling into a cabin in Upper Canada not far from Lake Ontario, she would document her experiences and struggles as an early settler in Roughing It In The Bush (1852), which remains her best-known work. Its sequel was Life In The Clearings (1853). While in England, she worked very closely with the Anti-Slavery Society, was sympathetic to black people and would go on to notably record the lynching of a black man in Roughing It. Despite its origins as a personal diary, Roughing It has become widely regarded as an early masterwork of Canadian literature, and is taught in some high schools and undergraduate university English classes.
Visit the Dictionary of Canadian Biography online for more information.


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Morris, Alexander (1826 - 1889)
Canadian politician and law clerk. Appointed Manitoba's chief justice in 1872, he was the province's lieutenant-governor from 1873 to 1877. Also was lieutenant-governor of the North-West Territories from 1872 to 1876. He presided over the negotiations of Numbered Treaties Three to Six, and in 1880 wrote a book about the treaties in general. Notably, he failed to secure any land for the Métis on the Prairies, which contributed to the unrest behind the Northwest Rebellion in 1885.


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Mulroney, Brian (1939 - )
Canadian lawyer and politician; prime minister from 1984 to 1993. His Progressive Conservative government won two electoral mandates despite having unpopular economic policies. With fairly weak opposition, he introduced Canadians to the much-maligned Goods and Services Tax (GST), the 1988 Free Trade Agreement with the United States (FTA) and its follow-up, the 1992 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). He was also the main force behind the failed Meech Lake and Charlottetown accords in 1987 and 1992. He stepped down as prime minister and retired from politics in 1993.
Visit the National Library of Canada site for more information.


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Murray, Sir George (1772-1846)
British soldier and politician, secretary of state for the colonies from 1828 to 1830. After a long and distinguished career in the army (serving during the Napoleonic wars), Murray was appointed as lieutenant general of Upper Canada. He arrived in 1814, but left soon afterward to rejoin the army, which was about to fight the battle of Waterloo. He did not arrive in time to fight, however, and, by 1823, he had entered politics. In 1828, he was appointed colonial secretary and supported the Reform Bill that extended the right to vote to many lower class men. He had mixed success in Parliament, losing his seat several times, but was in public office until six months before his death.

Murray, James (1721 or 1722-1794)
British soldier and colonial administrator; governor of the province of Québec 1764 to 1766. Murray served under Wolfe at the capture of Québec in 1759 and occupied the city as military governor until the conclusion of the Seven Year's War in 1763. In 1764 he was appointed the first civil governor of the province of Québec. In this post he favoured the French Canadian inhabitants over newly arrived British merchants. The merchants petitioned for his removal, which led to his recall. He was vindicated but did not return to Québec. His recommendations to retain French civil law in the province and to open government positions to Catholics were adopted in the Québec Act, 1774.


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Neilson, John (1776-1848)
Québec newspaper owner and politician. Born in Scotland, Neilson came to Canada in 1791 and soon became owner of the bilingual newspaper La Gazette de Québec/The Québec Gazette. He was in the House of Assembly from 1818 to 1833 and 1841 to 1844. He was a strong supporter of French Canadian rights, and campaigned against several efforts to join Upper and Lower Canada in a union. His views were not as radical as those of Louis-Joseph Papineau, however, and he did not participate in the 1837 and 1838 Lower Canada rebellions. He was in the Legislative Council from 1844 until his death.
Visit the Québec National Assembly site for more information.


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Norris, Malcolm Frederick (1900 - 1967)
Métis leader. A key figure whom helped to found the Métis Association of Alberta and the Northwest Territories, the Métis Association of Saskatchewan, and the Indian Association of Alberta. He was also actively involved in the Co-Operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) and Communist Party, and often warned Native communities about being too dependent on government funding.


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Odell, Jonathan (1737 - 1818)
British spy, poet and politician. Odell was an American church minister living in New Jersey as a clergyman with the Church of England (though he had been originally trained as a doctor). He supported the Loyalist cause in New York circa 1776, even going so far as to work as an information go-between for pro-British spies like Benedict Arnold. As a reward for his loyalty to the British Crown, the New Brunswick government appointed him provincial secretary in 1784 and he immigrated to the new colony to take the position. He died in Fredericton after having an influential political career in the colony.
Visit the Dictionary of Canadian Biography online for more information.


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Oliver, Frank (1853 - 1933)
Canadian politician and Edmonton-based newspaper publisher. Sat in the House of Commons as a Liberal under Sir Wilfrid Laurier, where he was superintendent-general of Indian affairs and Minister of the Interior from 1905 to 1911. He was the successor of Sir Clifford Sifton in the Interior ministry, and as such continued his policies almost up to World War I.


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Palliser, John (1817 - 1887)
Irish author, explorer and hunter famous for mapping out Canada's West between 1857 and 1860. He traveled from Lake Superior through the Canadian Prairies and Rockies into British Columbia's Okanagan Valley for the purposes of surveying the Canadian-American border and some lands north to the Saskatchewan River. His team also discovered and recorded six passes in the Rockies, one of which would be used in the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR). Palliser's Triangle is used to describe an area of the southern Prairies that is extremely dry and susceptible to drought.
Visit the Dictionary of Canadian Biography online for more information.
Visit Pathfinders & Passageways online for more information.


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Papineau, Louis-Joseph (1786-1871)
Québec seigneur and politician; leader of 1837 and 1838 Lower Canada rebellions. Papineau entered politics in 1809 and was at first a moderate seeking to change the power structure of the day, which was dominated by the friends and allies of the governor (the Château Clique). Gradually his views became more radical, and, by the late 1820s, he was using tactics of boycott and obstruction in the House of Assembly to try to force change. The Assembly put forward the Ninety-Two Resolutions of 1834, calling for sweeping changes in government. British authorities rejected these resolutions, which set the stage for the 1837 and 1838 rebellions. Papineau was a key figure in these rebellions, and when they were crushed he was forced into exile. He returned under an amnesty in 1844 and reentered politics in 1848. After this, however, his influence was much reduced, although he did help to found the Parti rouge. His views were often contradictory and sometimes self-serving, supporting for example the seigneurial system while claiming to be a liberal and a republican, but he is still seen as one of the leading figures of Québec history.
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Visit the Québec National Assembly site for more information.


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Pearson, Lester (1897 - 1972)
Canadian academic, diplomat and politician; prime minister from 1963 to 1968. In 1952, he was named president of the UN's general assembly, and introduced the concept of peacekeepers - comprised mostly of Canadian troops - into the 1956 Suez Canal crisis. His work on this front earned him a Nobel Peace Prize in 1957. His conciliatory style of governing as prime minister in the mid-'60s contributed to a government constantly embroiled in scandals and budget fiascos. However, his Liberal government's legacy included universal health care, a new Canadian flag, the Canadian Pension Plan (CPP), and a new immigration act. He retired from politics in 1968.
Visit the National Library of Canada site for more information.


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Peters, Thomas (c. 1739 - 1792)
Black soldier and community leader, born in Sierra Leone, Africa. Attained the rank of sergeant in the Black Pioneers, a group that fought in the American Revolution. When Britain didn't live up to its promises after the Revolution to provide freedom and equality to rebel-owned slaves in America who fought on the British side, Peters journeyed to London in 1790 to present the black case in front of the British government. This trip somewhat indirectly led to the creation of a free state in Sierra Leone, and some 1,200 black Loyalist settlers would travel from Halifax to Africa in 1792 to take part.
Visit the Dictionary of Canadian Biography online for more information.


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Philipps, Richard (1661-1750)
British soldier and colonial administrator, governor of Nova Scotia (including Acadia) from 1717 to 1749. In 1729 to 1730, Philipps allowed the Acadians to take a modified oath in which they did not have to pledge loyalty but simply neutrality. He spent little time in Nova Scotia.


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Pond, Peter (1739 or '40 - 1807)
American author, cartographer, fur trader and explorer. Pond was responsible for being the first white person to travel the Athabasca River in northern Alberta circa 1778. He survived the journey, established trade with the Aboriginals and returned to the region at least twice during the 1780s. He was a great influence on Sir Alexander Mackenzie, who was Pond's second-in-command as a partner in the North West Company and someone who would go onto explore areas to the north opened by Pond. However, Pond was implicated in the murder of two colleagues in the fur trade, and was forced to return to his home in the United States in 1788. Maps that he drew of the region during this time are the earliest to depict what's now called the Mackenzie Basin.
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Pontiac (1720? - 1769)
Aboriginal chief of the Ottawa nation who led an indigenous uprising against the British at Fort Detroit in 1763. He also lead an alliance of First Nations that killed or took captive 46 solders at Point Pelée in current day southwestern Ontario. In 1765, he signed a peace treaty with the British on the understanding that the treaty would not take further land in Indian Territory. Some Aboriginals then turned against him, and forced him into a life of exile until his assassination at the hands of another Native.


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Portland, William Cavendish Bentinck, third Duke of, (1738-1809)
British politician; home secretary from 1794 to 1801, prime minister in 1783 and from 1807 to 1809. During the Napoleonic wars, he was responsible for the suspension of habeas corpus and other measures designed to calm the nervous British public. Portland's second term as prime minister was marred by difficulties between ministers in his cabinet. He suffered an apoplectic seizure in 1809 and died soon afterward.

Poundmaker (1842? - 1886)
Aboriginal chief. As a leader of the Cree people on the Prairies, he resisted signing Numbered Treaty Six in 1876, though he eventually accepted its conditions. During the 1885 North West Rebellion, his followers ransacked the village of Battleford in present day Saskatchewan. Even though Poundmaker personally did not fight, he was found guilty of treason at a subsequent trial. He sentenced to three years in jail, but only served one year. He suffered from serious illness during this time and died within a few weeks of winning his freedom.


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Richelieu, Armand Jean du Plessis, Cardinal (1585-1642)
French cleric and politician; prime minister from 1624 until his death. Richelieu entered the seminary in 1602 and in 1606 was ordained a priest and appointed bishop of Luçon. During the next 18 years, he manoeuvred his rise to Cardinal and chief minister of Louis XIII. As chief minister, he destroyed the power of the Huguenots, the Protestant minority in France, reformed the army and navy, and worked to make France the most powerful nation in Europe. As a believer in mercantilism, this included advancing French interests overseas by promoting the growth of colonies such as New France. He also advanced royal absolutism, which ultimately centralized power in the hands of Louis XIV. The cost of his wars, however, made him unpopular.
Visit the Catholic Encyclopedia for more information.
Visit the Québec National Assembly site for more information.

Riel, Louis (1844-1885)
Leader of the Métis, founder of Manitoba, politician. Educated for the priesthood and for law, Riel rose to prominence in 1869 when the Canadian government was moving to annex the Northwest (previously called Rupert's Land). In 1869 Riel was chosen as leader of the Métis resistance, which ultimately led to the creation of the province of Manitoba in 1870. He was forced into exile for a number of years, and although he was twice elected to Parliament, was expelled from the House of Commons thanks to a motion introduced by Orange leader Mackenzie Bowell. He was granted an amnesty in 1875 on the condition he leave Canada for five years, but spent time in a Québec asylum for several months soon afterward. In 1878, he moved to the United States and became a teacher in 1883. Two years later, Métis living in what is now Saskatchewan asked him to represent them in their land claims with the federal government. He returned to the West and violence soon broke out. This time, the government suppressed the rebellion forcefully. Riel was tried for treason, found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging, despite concerns about his sanity. This judgment divided the nation along religious and cultural lines, and continues to be controversial to this day.
Visit the National Library of Canada site for more information.


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Ripon, George Frederick Samuel Robinson, second Marquis of (1827-1909)
British politician and colonial administrator. A lifelong supporter of liberalism and known for charitable works, Ripon held many posts during his career. Among his most prominent posts was his appointment as governor general and viceroy of India from 1880 to 1884, during which he introduced many reforms popular with Indians. He was secretary of state for war from 1859 to 1861 and 1863 to 1866, and secretary of state for the colonies from 1892 to 1895.
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Robinson, William Benjamin (1797 - 1873)
Canadian politician. Sat in the merged Upper and Lower Canadian legislature from 1841 to 1857, and was responsible for a variety of Aboriginal treaties negotiated with the Canadian colonial government, beginning in 1843. However, he is probably most known for his treaties in the 1850s and 1860s concerning lands on Lake Huron and Lake Superior. He helped the government obtain this land so mining companies could come into the region and begin mineral extraction peacefully without any fear of armed conflict or retaliation from the Aboriginals - which had happened in 1848 with an incident involving the Québec Mining Company.

Ross, John (1818-1871)
Canadian lawyer and politician. Ross served in a number of posts under Robert Baldwin, George-Étienne Cartier and John A. Macdonald. Ross was a supporter of reform, and, after responsible government was won, joined Cartier and Alexander Tilloch Galt to London to lobby for a federal union of the British North American provinces. He became a senator in 1867.
Visit the National Library of Canada site for more information.

Russell, John Russell, first Earl (1792-1878)
British politician; twice prime minister from 1846 to 1852 and 1865 to 1866. Russell entered politics in 1826 and served in a number of ministerial posts before and after becoming prime minister. He was colonial secretary from 1839 to 1841, coinciding with the Act of Union, 1840, and briefly in 1855. During his first term as prime minister, he approved the granting of responsible government in British North America. He was known as a liberal and a strong supporter of reform to extend the vote to more men of the British lower classes.

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St-Laurent, Louis (1882 - 1973)
Canadian lawyer and politician; prime minister from 1948 to 1957. He oversaw the entry of Newfoundland into Confederation in 1949, and improved old-age pensions and extended health insurance. He played a decisive role in contributing Canadian forces to the United Nations mission during the Korean War (1950 to 1953) and the Suez Canal crisis in 1956. While Canada enjoyed a period of immense prosperity under his leadership, St-Laurent was discredited in 1956 when his party tried to pass legislation forcing the construction of a natural gas pipeline from Alberta to central Canada. American businessmen were to be involved in building the pipeline, and opposition critics charged that St-Laurent had caved in to U.S. interests.
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Saunders, Sir Charles Edward (1867 - 1937)
Canadian public servant and plant breeder. Saunders helped develop Marquis Wheat in 1903 at Ottawa's Central Experimental Farm, which significantly expanded the wheat-growing season in Alberta and Saskatchewan. This made it possible to open up more of the Prairies for agricultural purposes, which, in turn, allowed more people to settle in the Canadian West.


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Schubert, Catherine née O'Hara (1835 - 1918)
American-Canadian explorer. Shubert was the first known woman to cross Canada on foot in the 1860s as part of a group of 225 gold seekers known as the Overlanders. Despite a high number of losses to the group due to starvation and fatigue, she and her family survived to tell the tale - despite being pregnant when she made the journey. She also made this trek with her husband and three children aged one to five, starting at Fort Garry in what's now Winnipeg in June 1862. She would eventually cross the Rockies, travel down the Thompson River by raft (where she went into labour) before finally settling in British Columbia's Okanagan Valley near Kamloops with her family, which included her newborn baby girl.

Scott, Thomas (1842 - 1870)
Irish -Canadian adventurer who was executed by a Métis firing squad during the Red River Rebellion for insubordination after being captured with anti-Métis allies in 1870. While Scott is described as a troublemaker and did nothing to endear himself to his Métis captors (which caused his demise), his death was particularly felt in the Protestant province of Ontario because Scott was an extremely anti-Catholic Orangeman (or Protestant). Much of Ontario's anger was directed at Louis Riel for his role in allowing the execution.
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Secord, Laura née Ingersoll
Heroine of the War of 1812, who walked 30 kilometers in June 1813 to warn British forces of an impending American invasion. Two days after her warning, the British and their Indian allies were able to ambush the American forces in question. Today, monuments stand in her tribute in and around Niagara Falls, and a popular chocolate/ice cream company is named after her.
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Selkirk, Thomas Douglas, Fifth Earl of Selkirk (1771 - 1820)
British aristocrat and colonizer. Selkirk purchased land in what is now lower Manitoba (then dubbed Assiniboia) in 1811, and created the agriculturally-based Red River Colony the following year. The colony only lasted until 1815 due to conflicts with local Métis and the North West Company. The creation of Selkirk's colony would have repercussions into 1860s and '70s, when the land eventually reverted back to the Canadian government, not the Métis, which contributed to the unrest behind the Northwest Rebellion in 1885.


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Semple, Robert (1777 - 1816)
Named governor of the territories of the Hudson's Bay Company (including the Red River Colony) by Thomas Selkirk in 1815. Semple is most noted for unwisely challenging a number of Métis and North West Company fur traders in June 1816 during an encounter known as the Seven Oaks Incident. He and 20 of his men were killed during this massacre.
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Service, Robert William (1874 - 1958
English-Canadian poet and novelist. Most famous for writing a series of poems about life in Canada's North during the Yukon Gold Rush, including "The Shooting of Dan McGrew", even though he was nowhere near the region during the actual time period (1897 - 1898) he captured in his work. Instead, he lived in the Yukon between 1904 and 1912. He eventually would leave Canada to settle in France, where he died.


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Sewell, Jonathan (1766-1839)
Lower Canadian jurist and politician; chief justice of Lower Canada from 1808 to 1838. The son of a Loyalist, Sewell opposed the views of the Parti patriote. He favoured the policies of assimilation in the province, including, among other things, Anglicization of the education system and eliminating the French civil code.
Visit the Québec National Assembly site for more information.


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Shakespeare, Noah (1838 - 1921)
Canadian businessman, justice of the peace and politician. A distant blood relative of William Shakespeare, the famous English playwright. Shakespeare was the mayor, postmaster and Member of Parliament for Victoria, B.C., between 1882 and 1888. Originally born in England, Shakespeare entered British Columbia in January 1863, and gradually worked towards a rather controversial political career. Not only was he president of the racist, anti-Oriental Workingmen's Protective Association in 1879, he introduced and succeeded in passing a resolution that restricted Chinese immigration into Canada in 1884-85.

Shelburne, William Petty Fitzmaurice, second Earl of (1737-1805)
British politician, prime minister from 1782 to 1783. Shelburne held a number of posts before becoming prime minister, notably secretary of state for the home office from 1782 to 1783. Always opposed to the American war, he concluded the Treaty of Paris, 1783, granting America independence. He was a reformer and a liberal, yet also one of the most unpopular politicians of his day.

Sifton, Sir Clifford (1861 - 1929)
Canadian lawyer, politician, newspaper owner and businessman. As Canada's Minister of the Interior between 1896 and 1905, Sifton pursued a course of imperialism and assimilation in settling the West. He was instrumental in aggressively promoting the Prairies for settlement to those of Scottish stock over other races, though he did campaign to bring in less-desired settlers from central-eastern Europe. He resigned in February 1905 over the issue of the federal government's involvement in creating separate Catholic schools in the newly formed provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. In addition to the Minister of the Interior post, he was Superintendent General of Indian Affairs during Sir Wilfrid Laurier's government. He also owned the Winnipeg Free Press between 1891 and 1921.
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Visit the Collections Canada site for more information.


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Simcoe, Elizabeth Posthuma née Gwillim (1762? - 1850)
British diarist and artist. In 1782, she married John Graves Simcoe, whom she had 11 children with. She came to live with him in Upper Canada when he was appointed the colony's first lieutenant-governor. Her diaries about her stay in current-day Toronto and Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, form one of the earliest social histories of Canada. Her sketches of Upper Canada within these diaries were also of topographical interest to scholars. However, she wasn't necessarily popular during her stay in Canada due to her ego and belief she was naturally superior to others. Visit the Dictionary of Canadian Biography online for more information.


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Simcoe, John Graves (1752-1806)
British soldier and colonial administrator; first lieutenant-governor of Upper Canada from 1791 to 1796. Simcoe came to North America as part of the British forces fighting the American revolutionary army. He was wounded and returned home, but, in 1791, was returned to Canada. His chief responsibility was settling the Loyalist refugees. In 1793, he founded York, later to become Toronto.


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Smith, Donald Alexander, 1st Baron Strathcona and Mount Royal (1820 - 1914)
Canadian fur trader, railroad investor, bank president and diplomat. Chief commissioner of the Hudson's Bay Company in 1871 and, in 1883, its director and largest shareholder. As HBC director, he was a prime investor in the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) and was invited to drive the railway's last spike in 1885. As a federal Conservative Member of Parliament between 1871 and 1878, he voted against the government of Sir John A. Macdonald during the Pacific Scandal. In 1887, Smith was also the president of the Bank of Montréal, which was closely linked with the CPR. During the Boer War, he financed and equipped a regiment of 500 riflemen that later became known as Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians). He was also named British High Commissioner in April 1896, a position that, along with the HBC governorship, he kept until his death.
Visit the Dictionary of Canadian Biography online for more information.
Visit the Exploration, Fur Trade and Hudson's Bay Company online for more information.


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Stephen, George (1829 - 1921)
Canadian banker, philanthropist and railway president. The first president of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) between 1880 and 1888, Stephen is probably the person most responsible for its swift completion and massive success. It is said that his grace under pressure and overall resourcefulness helped gain the confidence of the project's investors. He also gave away about $1 million throughout his life to various charities and organizations, including Montréal's Royal Victoria Hospital. Stephen was created a baronet in 1886 and was raised to the peerage as Baron Mount Stephen in 1891


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Sydenham, Thomson, Charles Edward Poulett, Baron (1799-1841)
British politician and colonial administrator; governor general of British North America from 1839 to 1841. He was a colonial reformer and favoured liberalized but permanent imperial ties for the colonies. Appointed in the wake of the 1837 and 1838 rebellions and Lord Durham's Report on the Affairs in British North America, he executed the union of the Canadas in 1840. Although he did not implement responsible government, he tried to compose an Executive Council of sitting members of the elected Assembly.


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Sydney, Thomas Townshend, first Baron Sydney, first Viscount Sydney (1733-1800)
British politician. Sydney served in ministerial posts between 1782 and 1789, notably as secretary of state for war and secretary of state for the home office. He opposed the American war.

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Talon, Jean (1625 or 1626-1694)
French colonial administrator, intendant of New France from 1665 to 1668 and 1669 to 1672. Talon began his career in military administration and was soon recognized as intelligent and talented. His chief responsibility in New France was to establish a stable administration, system of justice and economy. He was granted sweeping powers that made him more influential than his nominal superiors, the bishop and the governor. Under his administration, the province consolidated and grew.
Visit the Canadian Museum of civilization site for more information.


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Tecumseh (1768? - 1813)
Shawnee war chief. Like Joseph Brant, he tried and failed to forge alliances with Aboriginal nations in order to protect against U.S. encroachment into Indian Territory. He was present at the Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794, one of the battles that led to the Jay Treaty. He allied himself with the British during the War of 1812, but was killed during the battle of Moraviantown in October 1813 after the British retreated. His death put a virtual end to Aboriginal resistance to the Americans south of the Great Lakes.


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Thompson, David (1770 - 1857)
English explorer, fur trader, cartographer and surveyor. Originally with the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC), he became a member of the North West Company starting in 1797, which gave him support to map out the Canadian West. He was particularly responsible for mapping out the part of the West that might be affected with American expansion under the Jay Treaty: namely, the upper Red River valley and the Rainy River area west of Lake Superior. In 1799, he was given extra responsibility and started to map out lands east of the Rockies, and by 1806 he would start to explore the mountain passes along the Saskatchewan and Athabasca Rivers. Simon Fraser would name the Thompson River in British Columbia after him, mistakenly believing Thompson was the first to find it.
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Thompson, John (1845 - 1894)
Canadian politician; Canadian prime minister from 1892 to 1894. He was asked to become a member of John A. Macdonald's Cabinet in 1885 and spent most of his time as Justice Minister. There, he represented Canada in negotiations with the U.S. and Britain over fishing rights and copyright issues. He was also responsible for overhauling the Criminal Code during John Abbott's tenure during the early 1890's. As prime minister, Thompson oversaw the Bering Sea sealing dispute with the U.S. and setting the North West Territories schooling issue. He died suddenly of a heart attack in England, and is the only prime minister to have died in office.
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Tomkins, Peter (1899 - 1970)
Métis political reformer and community leader. He was instrumental, along with the likes of James Brady, Malcolm Norris and others, in convincing the Alberta government of the 1930s to provide financial assistance for struggling Métis communities. The government started the Ewing Commission in the mid-1930s to look into the problem, and it eventually came up with the Métis Betterment Act in 1938 as a solution. Tomkins also helped set up the first hospital in Grouard, Alberta.
Visit the Alberta Métis Historical Society for more information.

Trudeau, Pierre Elliot (1919-2000)
Canadian politician and writer; prime minister from 1968 to 1979 and 1980 to 1984. A sharp critic of Québec nationalism, he entered federal politics in 1965 and became minister of justice in 1967. In that post, he made a number of changes to liberalize laws on abortion, homosexuality and public lotteries. He was elected the following year during a surge in his popularity that was called "Trudeaumania." He was prime minister during the October Crisis, the Québec referendum on sovereignty-association in 1980, and the patriation of the Constitution in 1982. After retirement in 1984, he intervened on several occasions to help defeat efforts to amend the Constitution.
Visit the National Library of Canada site for more information.


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Tubman, Harriet née Ross (1820 - 1913)
African-American who escaped a life of slavery in the United States by immigrating to British North America. Tubman lived in St. Catherines, Canada West (Ontario), between 1851 and 1858. Considered the "Black Moses" of her people for her work on the Underground Railroad. She went back into the States 19 times to help some 300 slaves escape to a better life in Canada. American plantation owners never caught her during this time, despite placing a $40,000 U.S. bounty on her head. She later worked as a spy for anti-slavery forces during the American Civil War, and remained in America to live with her parents afterward.
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Tupper, Charles (1821 - 1915)
Canadian diplomat and politician; prime minister from May to August 1896. He is Canada's shortest serving prime minister with only two months and a week in the position. He was appointed party leader by the Governor General, and automatically became prime minister after Mackenzie Bowell was forced to resign in April 1896. However, he had to call an election because the ruling Conservative party's five-year term was finished. The public voted against him after years of Tory rule and scandal. Prior to this, he had held many Cabinet positions, and, in 1885, was named Canadian High Commissioner to Britain. He resigned as party leader in 1901.
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Turner, John (1929 - )
Canadian businessman, lawyer and politician; prime minister from June to September 1984. From 1965 to 1975, he held major portfolios in Lester Pearson's and Pierre Trudeau's governments, and won the Liberal party leadership when Trudeau retired in 1984. He automatically became Prime Minister and immediately called a general election, but voters turned against him upon finding out that he and Trudeau had made a series of last-minute patronage appointments. He lost to the Progressive Conservatives and lobbied unsuccessfully against that party's free trade agenda while acting as opposition leader. He retired from politics in 1990.
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Turnor, Phillip (1751? - 1799 or 1800)
English fur trader, surveyor and cartographer. The first member of the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) specifically hired to map out regions of the Canadian interior, which he did between 1778 and 1792. He taught surveying to Peter Fidler and David Thompson in 1789 and 1790. Alexander Mackenzie would also seek out Turnor's navigational advice towards the end of the latter's career.
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Traill, Catherine Parr née Strickland (1802 - 1899)
Canadian author, diarist, teacher and botanist. Sister of Susanna Moodie. Sometimes more famously known by her maiden name, Catherine Strickland. About 15 years before Moodie, Traill documented life in the Canadian wilderness near Peterborough, Upper Canada (Ontario), in The Backwoods of Canada (1836). Her themes of survival and isolation, coupled with her scientific and journalistic eye for detail, would have a pioneering, profound impact on Canadian literature. She also wrote children's fiction and books about Canadian flowers.
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Van Horne, Sir William Cornelius (1843 - 1915)
Railway builder, born and buried in America. Appointed general manager of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) in January 1882. Under his management, construction of the railway proceeded at an incredibly rapid pace. Not only would the Winnipeg-Calgary section of the line be complete by August 1883, the entire project would be finished by November 1885. In 1888, he succeeded George Stephen as president of the CPR and helped transform the railway company into a massive communications and sea transportation venture.
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Vaudreuil, Pierre de Rigaud de Vaudreuil de Cavagnial, Marquis de (1698-1778)
French soldier; last governor general of New France from 1755 to 1760. Born at Québec, he chose colonial service. He rose to governor of Trois-Rivières by 1733, serving there until 1742, then assuming the governorship in Louisiana from 1742 to 1753. During the Seven Years War, he had significant differences of opinion on the conduct of the war with General Montcalm, which had a negative affect on French military efforts. After French forces failed to recapture Québec in 1760, he was forced to surrender Montreal later that year.
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Queen Victoria (1819 - 1901)
British monarch. Queen Victoria ascended to the throne while barely 18 in 1837, and stayed until her death 63 years later - the longest reign in British history. Her reign coincided with a long period of imperialism and expansionism in the British North American colonies. She was a highly secluded Queen following the death of her husband, Prince Albert, in 1861, yet remains one of the most celebrated and visible rulers in Canadian history.
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Wedderburn, Alexander, first Earl of Rosslyn (1733-1805)
British politician and jurist. Born in Scotland, Wedderburn moved to England in 1757. He rose to be Lord Chief-Justice of the Common Pleas, and later, Lord Chancellor, under the title of Lord Loughborough, Earl of Rosslyn.

Whelan, James Patrick (1840 - 1869)
Irish -Canadian tailor in Ottawa arrested, charged and executed for the 1868 assassination of Thomas D'Arcy McGee. Whelan maintained his innocence throughout a sloppy, controversial trial that was rife with procedural errors. Since Fenians were considered to have been behind the assassination plot, and Whelan was never proven to be a member of this order during his trial, some historians believe Whelan wasn't guilty of the crime.
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Wolfe, James (1727 or 1728-1759)
British army officer, commander of the British forces at the defeat of Québec in 1759. Born to a military family, he joined the army at 14. He was popular, but had an explosive temper, which put him at odds with his fellow officers.


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Wolseley, Garnet Joseph, 1st Viscount Wolseley (1833 - 1913)
Became Canada's assistant quartermaster general in 1861 after serving with the British army in India and China, among other places. Promoted to colonel and commander of the Canadian militia in 1865. In 1870, he led the Red River expedition to current-day Winnipeg to help oversee the transfer of land from the Hudson's Bay Company to the federal government.
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