Sir Charles, Bart. Tupper - Encyclopedia

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SIR CHARLES TUPPER, Bart. (1821-), British colonial statesman, son of the Rev. Charles Tupper, D.D., was born at Amherst, Nova Scotia, on the 2nd of July 1821, and was. educated at Horton Academy. He afterwards studied for the medical profession at Edinburgh University, where he received the diplomas of M.D. and L.R.C.S. In 1855 he was returned to the Nova Scotia Assembly for Cumberland (disambiguation)|Cumberland county. In 1862 he was appointed, by act of parliament, governor of Dalhousie College, Halifax; and from 1867 till 1870 he was president of the Canadian Medical Association. Mr Tupper was a member of the executive council and provincial secretary of Nova Scotia from 1857 to 1860, and from 1863 to 1867. He became prime minister of Nova Scotia in 1864, and held that office until the Union Act came into force on the 1st of July 1867, when his. government retired. He was a delegate to Great Britain on public business from the Nova Scotia government in 1858 and 1865, and from the Dominion government in March 1868. Mr Tupper was leader of the delegation from Nova Scotia to the Union conference at Charlottetown in 1864, and to that of Quebec during the same year; and to the final colonial conference in London, which assembled to complete the terms of union, in 1866-1867. On that occasion he received a patent of rank and precedence from Queen Victoria as an executive councillor of Nova Scotia. He was sworn a member of the privy council of Canada, June 1870, and was president of that body from that date until the 1st of July 1872, when he was appointed minister of inland revenue. This office he held until February 1873, when he became minister of customs under Sir John Macdonald, resigning with the ministry at the close of 1873. On Sir John's return to power in 1878, Mr Tupper became minister of public works, and in the following year minister of railways and canals. At this time he was made K. C.M. G. Mr Tupper was the author of the Public Schools Act of Nova Scotia, and had been largely instrumental in moulding the Dominion Confederation Bill and other important measures. Sir Charles represented the county of Cumberland, Nova Scotia, for thirty-two years in succession - first in the Nova Scotia Assembly, and subsequently in the Dominion parliament until 1884, when he resigned his seat on being appointed high commissioner for Canada in London. Shortly before the Canadian Federal elections of February 1887, Sir Charles re-entered the Conservative cabinet as finance minister. By his efforts the Canadian Pacific railway was enabled to float a loan of $30,000,000, on the strength of which the line was finished several years before the expiration of the contract time. He resigned the office of finance minister in May 1888, when he was reappointed high commissioner for the Dominion of Canada in London. Sir Charles was designated one of the British plenipotentiaries to the Fisheries Convention at Washington in 1887, the result of which conference was the signing of a treaty in February 1888 (rejected by the U.S. Senate) for the settlement of the matters in dispute between Canada and the United States. in connexion with the Atlantic fisheries. He was created a baronet in September 1888. When the Dominion cabinet, under Sir Mackenzie Bowell, was reconstituted in January 1896 Sir Charles Tupper accepted office, and in the following April he succeeded Bowen in the premiership. On both patriotic and commercial grounds he urged the adoption of a preferential tariff with Great Britain and the sister colonies. At the general election in the ensuing June the Conservatives were severely defeated, and Sir Charles Tupper and his colleagues resigned, Sir Wilfrid Laurier becoming premier. The Conservative party now gradually became more and more disorganized, and at the next general election, in November 1900, they were again defeated. Sir Charles Tupper, who had long been the Conservative leader, sustained in his own constituency of Cape Breton his first defeat in forty years.

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