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New Brunswick and Noya. Scotia are proud of
confederation as put by Mr. Howe,” and certain to infuse new elements of discord into the already seething chaos of Canadian politics,” as he now asserts, that gentleman, when leader of the Government of Nova Scotia in 1861, proposed to the Legislature a resolution, which was carried unanimously, declaring that many advantages may be secured by such a union” of the British North American provinces, and authorising the appointment of delegates to promote that object. Notwithstanding the inaccuracies in your leader to which I have ventured to call your attention, I do not know that I would have troubled you with any remarks but for the following passage. You say: “The intimacy and inclination of the Maritime Provinces is not towards Canada, but towards Maine and Massachusetts, and though the men of
their independence, they would probably prefer annexation to the United States, if it could be peaceably effected, to any confederation scheme." Although I am quite ready to admit that a number of interested bankers and political agitators have excited a great deal of prejudice against the proposed confederation, I am bold to assert that a more unfounded imputation upon the loyalty of the people of the Maritime Provinces of all classes could not be published than is contained in the paragraph just quoted. That there are individual traitors in the pay and interest of American annexationists, endeavouring to subvert British institutions in the Maritime Provinces, is quite possible ; but that even an insignificant portion of any class of the people could be induced to
prefer connection with the United States to a union of British America I most emphatically deny. The mischievous influence of such a misconception of the sentiments of British colonists at the present moment cannot be over-rated. The annexationists in the United States who are endeavouring to accomplish the acquisition of British America by political means are stimulated by such statements to persevere in the policy which has already caused the abrogation of the Reciprocity Treaty, while to the same cause may be traced the mad designs of the Fenians upon the British provinces. Can you then, sir, wonder that I should feel indignant at the publication of an unfounded imputation upon the loyalty of my countrymen, especially when it is calculated to encourage the ravages of invasion and waste the blood and treasure both of British America and the parent State ?
Feeling assured that you will willingly give assertion to these corrections of statements calculated to produce very erroneous impressions upon an important question, I remain, sir, your obedient servant,
Prime Minister of Nova Scotia. Alexandra Hotel, Sept. 22.
Note.--An application to the publisher for a copy of Mr. Howe's pamphlet was met by the statement that as yet it was only intended for private circulation.
Howe failed to answer my letter, with the result
that the Star came back into line and supported Confederation.
I then issued a pamphlet in reply to Howe's, sending copies to members of both Houses of Parliament and to the Press. Howe continued silent, and the British North America Act met with feeble opposition, receiving the support of members of both political parties. Lord Carnarvon and I had become great friends on the occasion of my first official visit to England in 1858. He was at that time Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies, his chief being Sir Bulwer Lytton, and Disraeli Chancellor of the Exchequer.
In the Upper Provinces the most prominent men who met us in conference at Quebec were John A. Macdonald, George Brown, Mowat, Galt and Cartier.
Sir John had an extremely attractive personality and was unequalled as a tactician. Without being an eloquent speaker, he was very effective on the floor of the House. His popularity throughout Ontario was very great. His colleague, Sir George E. Cartier, was a man of unfailing industry and indomitable courage, and was easily the most influential man in the province of Quebec. As Sir John said of him: “He is as bold as a lion,” and he exercised a wonderful influence and control over his French-Canadian supporters. He was also a very agreeable personage in every way.
The Hon. George Brown was a writer of great ability, but his oratorical gifts were not very great. As editor of the Toronto Globe he wielded a vigorous pen.
His newspaper was a great power in Ontario. He was defeated at the first general