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HUSTON, JAMES – Volume VIII (1851-1860)

d. 21 Sept. 1854 at Quebec

Confederation

Responsible Government

Sir John A. Macdonald

From the Red River Settlement to Manitoba (1812–70)

Sir Wilfrid Laurier

Sir George-Étienne Cartier

Sports

The Fenians

Women in the DCB/DBC

The Charlottetown and Quebec Conferences of 1864

Introductory Essays of the DCB/DBC

The Acadians

For Educators

The War of 1812 

Canada’s Wartime Prime Ministers

The First World War

Railways and Economic Development
 

Introduction

For journalists such as John Sheridan HOGAN, engineers such as Thomas Coltrin KEEFER and Sandford FLEMING, and politicians such as George-Étienne CARTIER and Alexander Tilloch GALT, railways were both an important symbol of progress and a means of knitting together communities scattered across a territory, a province, or a continent. In 1862 politician Thomas D’Arcy McGEE chaired the Intercolonial Railway conference in Quebec City to discuss a railway that would link the Maritime colonies with the Province of Canada [see The Intercolonial Railway]. Like McGee, the premier of New Brunswick, Samuel Leonard TILLEY, believed that an intercolonial railway presaged great things for British North America:

“At a public dinner on 9 Aug. 1864 he described the intercolonial railway as a stepping-stone to British North American commercial and political union. Statesmen, he argued, should try ‘to bind together the Atlantic and Pacific by a continuous chain of settlements and line of communications for that [was] the destiny of this country, and the race which inhabited it.’”


For more information on the promise of railways and the economic foundations of confederation, consult the biographies in the following lists.

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