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In 1913 he left Canada and again took up his residence in England. A great farewell demonstration took place in Amherst. The following letter from the Rev. E. M. Saunders, the author of “ Three Premiers of Nova Scotia,” gives an interesting glimpse of the function :
Halifax: June 25th, 1913. MY DEAR SIR CHARLES,—The interview given by you to the London Post on your arrival at Liverpool is the last we have heard from you since you left St. John.
April gave us five or six days of beautiful weather in which to welcome you to Nova Scotia. Had you known beforehand that it would have been so fine, you might have favoured Halifax with a call. After lunching with you on Monday, I went on the streets and mingled with the people. The demonstration was in every way grand and satisfactory. While looking upon the 2,000 from the Amherst schools each bearing a Union Jack, the contrast in Nova Scotia with the state of the schools and the country previous to the Free Common School Bill of 1865, thrilled me.
I felt like shouting.
Ex-Mayor Chisholm told me of meeting you on Monday evening and of your address to the Halifax delegation. I wondered at your power of endurance in the campaigns of 1896 and 1900, but I was amazed when I saw what you went through on Monday at Amherst.
All rejoiced when it was known that you reached your home at Bexley Heath safely.
In conversation with Dr. Allison, ex-President
of Mt. Allison College, I learned that at their anniversary exercises this year, among other things in his speech on that occasion, he told the audience that in 1863 he and George King went to Amherst on nomination day, and after it was known that you were elected by acclamation, you made a grand speech. You told the assembly that the knowledge you had of other cases in which members went in as you did, and other knowledge, warranted you in being assured that the Opposition would carry the country by a large majority. You also told the electors that there were two great measures which it was your purpose to introduce and carry. One was a free system of education supported by assessments for Nova Scotia, and the Union of the Maritime Provinces the other.
Dr. A. has promised to write out this part of his address for me. In
“ Life" there is no reference to your speech on nomination day. I simply state that you went in by acclamation, and left Amherst immediately for Lunenburg, when you met and defeated Howe. George King became the author of the N.S. School Bill.
With very kind regards in which my wife and daughters unite,
I am, very sincerely yours,
E. M. SAUNDERS.
Sir Charles does not look his great age.
His voice is still clear and resonant, his hearing excellent, and he never uses glasses except when reading. His complexion has a ruddy freshness that is surprising in one of his years.
Courage, forcefulness and tenacity of purpose
are still clearly revealed in those massive features surmounted by a large forehead. The eyes still flash with something of their old fire when the subject under discussion is an appealing one, and there is also a tightening of the lines around an unusually strong chin. It is difficult to realise that over sixty years have elapsed since he delivered his first political speech. The former sobriquets applied to him in an earlier day, “War Horse of Cumberland” and “The Fighting Doctor," have been justly merited.
That a career of such wonderful activity should have gained Imperial honours is no cause for surprise. His record of offices stands : Premier of Nova Scotia, 1867; President of Privy Council of the Dominion of Canada, 1870-2; Minister of Inland Revenue, 1872–3; Minister of Customs, 1873; Minister of Public Works, 1878–9; Minister of Railways and Canals, 1879–84; High Commissioner for Canada in England, 1883–7, 1888–96; Minister of Finance, 1887–8; one of H.M.'s Plenipotentiaries on Fishery Commission, Washington, 1887-8, and to negotiate treaty between Canada and France, 1893 ; Prime Minister of the Dominion of Canada, 1896.
The C.B. was conferred in 1867 and a knighthood (K.C.M.G.) in 1878.
The G.C.M.G. was bestowed in 1886, and was announced to Sir Charles by the Rt. Hon. Frederick Stanley (afterwards Lord Derby) in the following manner :
5 Portland Place : Jan. 30, 1886. DEAR SIR CHARLES, I have the satisfaction of informing you that the Queen, upon my recom
mendation, has been pleased to raise you to the rank of Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St. Michael and St. George.
I congratulate you on the distinction, which will be universally recognised as having been well earned by your great services to the Dominion and to the Mother Country, and it affords me great pleasure to have been enabled, before giving up the seals of the Colonies, to make the communication to you.
In conclusion, let me thank you sincerely for the kindness and courtesy which I have uniformly received from you during my short tenure of office.
-With best wishes, I remain, dear Sir Charles, yours truly,
FRED STANLEY. In 1888 a baronetcy was bestowed, and ten years later a Privy Councillorship. In the latter connection Sir Charles received the following letters :
Government House, Ottawa,
November 11th, 1907. MY DEAR SIR CHARLES, I have written to the King to inform him of your desire to make known to His Majesty how deeply you appreciate the great honour conferred upon you in appointing you a member of his Privy Council. I can assure you, my dear Sir Charles, that no recommendation I have ever had the honour of making for submission to His Majesty has given me so much pleasure as that which I derived from the recommendation which it was my privilege to forward with the full approval of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, that you, one of the Fathers of the Confederation, should be admitted to the Privy Council. As
this honour is the highest to which, in my opinion, a subject of the Crown or mortal man can aspire, it gave me the very liveliest satisfaction to be the medium of conveying to you His Majesty's desire. That you may long enjoy sufficient health to enable you to continue that faithful service to Crown and Empire with which your name is so honourably associated, is the very sincere prayer of yours most truly,
Privy Council Office,
Oct. 17, 1908. DEAR SIR,-A note just received from Lord Knollys contains the following message:
“ The King says he hopes Sir C. Tupper will by all means bring his stick with him when he is sworn in as P.C.”—Yours faithfully,
J. H. HARRISON. Many tributes have been paid by writers in both hemispheres to this grand old statesmannow nearing his ninety-third birthday-one of which may be well quoted here as representative of them all : “ The two aims he always kept in view," said one who knew him well, “as a loyal subject to his Sovereign and as a jealous guardian of the honour of his people, have been the strengthening of the golden link which connects Great Britain with the first and greatest of her colonies, and the holding aloft of the standard of the right of the nation, so that she may prove herself worthy of the proud position she has made her own.”