Sir Samuel Leonard Tilley

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Sir Samuel Leonard Tilley

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Sir Samuel Leonard Tilley was an active delegate of all Confederation Conferences. He was greatly in favor of confederation and was dismayed when his colony, New Brunswick, turned away from the idea. The movement against confederation was pressuring Tilley to dissolve his government party. In 1861 Tilley’s government was defeated by Albert Smith, a leader in one of many anti-confederation groups. Confederation gained a foothold soon after however, in 1866 pro-confederation supporters were returned to power, supported greatly by the arms of the British government who was in favor of confederation.

New Brunswick as a whole was embracing the idea of confederation more readily than before, and under the command of Peter Mitchell, Samuel Tilley was able to bring confederation into New Brunswick with a vote of 31 to 8. With New Brunswick in the embrace of confederation the Fathers of Confederation wanted to call Canada the “Kingdom of Canada”. As Canada sought peace with Americans they thought this may offend them, so Samuel Tilley suggested the title “Dominion”. The inspiration for this title was founded in the bible verse Psalm 72:8: “He shall have dominion also from sea to sea”. The Fathers of Confederation said it was intended to convey dignity upon the federation, and to provide a tribute to the monarchical principle. To this day “Dominion” remains Canada’s official title.

On May 8, 1818 Sir Samuel Leonard Tilley was born into family with an American loyalist background. During his childhood he was educated at the Church of England’s Madras school in Gagetown, New Brunswick for four years, and spent another four years in a grammar school. After his graduation he apprenticed a pharmacist, and in 1838 he started his own pharmacy. During his pharmacy career he met Julia Ann Hanford, they married and had two sons. In 1848 he retired from the pharmacy and thus began, officially, his political career.


Sir Samuel Leonard Tilley


The premiere of Samuel Tilley’s political career began with his support of the temperance movement, a movement pushing for moderation or absolute abstinence of alcoholic beverages. When the New Brunswick branch of the American Sons of Temperance Society was founded in 1847 Tilley held a dominant role in its executive committee. Following the 1848 recession in Britain Tilley was a deep advocate for responsible government. He helped in the founding of the New Brunswick Colonial Association which advocated colonial self-government and other aspects of independance. Tilley sat in the New Brunswick assembly as a member of the Liberal party for many years, during these years he avoided populist oratory; rather choosing logical arguments and statistic to guide his arguments. He was seen by peers as self-righteous but was respected by others for his political decisions and his dedication to morality.


"File:Tilley Et Hanford.jpg." Wikipedia. Library and Archives Canada, n.d. Web. 22 Apr. 2015. ."File:Samuel Leonard Tilley Card.jpg." Wikipedia. Bibliothèque Et Archives Nationales Du Québec, n.d. Web. 22 Apr. 2015. ."Sir Samuel Leonard Tilley." The Canadian Encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Apr. 2015. ."Dominion." The Canadian Encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Apr. 2015. ."Temperance Movement." The Canadian Encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Apr. 2015. .

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Confederation continued


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