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A Canadian 3 cent stamp from 1917 based on Robert Harris's 1884 painting "Fathers of Confederation".

The Fathers of Confederation are the 36 people who attended at least one of the Charlottetown (23 attendees) and Quebec (33) Conferences in 1864 and the London Conference of 1866 (16) in England, preceding Canadian Confederation. The following lists the participants in the Charlottetown, Quebec, and London Conferences and their attendance at each stage.[1][2]

Queen Victoria has been called the "Mother of Confederation".[3] Her role in Confederation is recognized by the celebration of Victoria Day in Canada.

Four other individuals have been labelled as Fathers of Confederation. Hewitt Bernard, who was the recording secretary at the Charlottetown Conference, is considered by some to be a Father of Confederation.[4] The leaders most responsible for bringing three specific provinces into Confederation after 1867 are also referred to as Fathers of Confederation.[1] The provisional government established by Louis Riel ultimately negotiated the terms under which Manitoba entered the Canadian Confederation in 1870.[5] The leadership of Amor De Cosmos was instrumental both in bringing democracy to British Columbia and in bringing the province into Confederation in 1871.[6] The province of Newfoundland entered the Canadian Confederation in 1949 under the leadership of Joey Smallwood, who was then referred to as the "only living Father of Confederation".[7]

Of the 36 Fathers, 11 were Freemasons, notably Macdonald, but including Bernard, Campbell, Carter, Chandler, Galt, Gray, Haviland, Henry, Pope, and Tilley.[8]


Table of participationEdit

Participant[2] Portrait Province (Current) Charlottetown Quebec City London
Sir Adams George Archibald Nova Scotia      
George Brown Ontario      
Sir Alexander Campbell Ontario      
Sir Frederick Carter Newfoundland and Labrador      
Sir George-Étienne Cartier Quebec      
Edward Barron Chandler New Brunswick      
Jean-Charles Chapais Quebec      
James Cockburn Ontario      
George Coles Prince Edward Island      
Robert B. Dickey Nova Scotia      
Charles Fisher New Brunswick      
Sir Alexander Tilloch Galt Quebec      
John Hamilton Gray Prince Edward Island      
John Hamilton Gray New Brunswick      
Thomas Heath Haviland Prince Edward Island      
William Alexander Henry Nova Scotia      
Sir William Pearce Howland Ontario      
John Mercer Johnson New Brunswick      
Sir Hector-Louis Langevin Quebec      
Andrew Archibald Macdonald Prince Edward Island      
Sir John A. Macdonald Ontario      
Jonathan McCully Nova Scotia      
William McDougall Ontario      
Thomas D'Arcy McGee Quebec      
Peter Mitchell New Brunswick      
Sir Oliver Mowat Ontario      
Edward Palmer Prince Edward Island      
William Henry Pope Prince Edward Island      
John William Ritchie Nova Scotia      
Sir Ambrose Shea Newfoundland and Labrador      
William H. Steeves New Brunswick      
Sir Étienne-Paschal Taché Quebec      
Sir Samuel Leonard Tilley New Brunswick      
Sir Charles Tupper Nova Scotia      
Edward Whelan Prince Edward Island      
Robert Duncan Wilmot New Brunswick      

Historic photographsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Fathers of Confederation". CanadianHistory. 2008. Archived from the original on 2010-08-21. Retrieved 2010-06-21.
  2. ^ a b Bélanger, Claude (2001). "Studies on the Canadian Constitution and Canadian Federalism". Department of History, Marianopolis College. Archived from the original on 2010-06-11. Retrieved 2010-06-21.
  3. ^ Bouard, Arthur; Toffoli, Garry (1991). Royal Observations. Toronto: Dundurn Press Ltd. p. 10. ISBN 1-55002-076-5. Archived from the original on July 21, 2011. Retrieved September 14, 2010. The Queen's role in promoting Canadian unity truly made her the "Mother of Confederation" and at her death Victoria Day, that uniquely Canadian holiday, was created as a memorial day...
  4. ^ Harrison, Robert A (2003). The conventional man. Canadian Legal History by University of Toronto Press. p. 627. ISBN 0-8020-8842-2. Archived from the original on 2018-03-28. Retrieved 2011-09-02.
  5. ^ The Heritage Centre. "Louis Riel The Provisional Government". Archived from the original on 10 August 2007. Retrieved 23 September 2007.
  6. ^ Frances, Stanford (2002). Canada's Confederation. S&S Learning Materials. p. 44. ISBN 1-55035-708-5. Archived from the original on 2018-03-28. Retrieved 2011-09-02.
  7. ^ Argyle, Ray (2012). Joey Smallwood, Schemer and Dreamer. Dundurn Press. ISBN 9781459703698.
  8. ^ Michael Jenkyns (July 2017). "Canada's Sesquicentennial - Freemasonry and Confederation". Grand Lodge A.F. & A.M. of Canada in the Province of Ontario. Archived from the original on 5 December 2018. Retrieved 5 December 2018.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit