Saturday, November 26, 2011

House of Commons Mail
Part I
1st - 9th Parliaments (1867-1904)

House of Commons, 1897

This post is the first in a series dealing with mail from the House of Commons. In this part, Parliaments during the reign of Queen Victory are considered.

1st Parliament : Nov.6, 1867 - Sept. 8, 1872

Prime Minister : Sir John A. Macdonald

John Bolton

John Bolton (1824 - 1872) represented the riding of Charlotte, New Brunswick from 1867 to 1872 as a Liberal member. Bolton, born and educated in England, was a merchant at Saint Stephen New Brunswick.

House of Commons Shield postmark, December 9, 1867.
This letter should have been prepaid.

John Bolton, M.P. franking

Jarrett tracing of the House of Commons shield postmark (left)

James Ross

James Ross (1817 - 1895) was the Member of Parliament for the riding of Wellington Centre, Ontario, from 1869 to 1874. Ross was born in Arnage, Scotland and came to Upper Canada in 1836. He was reeve for Nichol township from 1854 to 1859 and warden for Wellington County from 1858 to 1859. He was elected to the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada in 1859 and served until 1861. Ross also served as Crown Lands Agent

From James Ross, Member of Parliament for the Ontario riding of Wellington Centre.
House of Commons, April 6, 1870 to Cumnock, Ontario, April 6, 1870
(Cumnock is an Ontario "ghost town" today)

James Ross MP franking

Ottawa Free Postmark

Jarrett tracing of the House of Commons double circle free postmark (left)

2nd Parliament : March 5, 1873 - January 2, 1874
Prime Ministers:

Sir John A. Macdonald (Conservative/Liberal-Conservative)
Alexander Mackenzie (Liberal)

Charles Henry Pozer

Charles Henry Pozer (1835 - 1884) was a lawyer and land-owner in the Beauce region of Quebec. Pozer served as the Liberal Member of Parliament for the riding of Beauce from 1867 to 1873. In 1876, Pozer was named to the Senate by Prime Minister Alexander Mackenzie.

M.P. Charles Pozer to John Longworth , Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
March 22, 1873

House of Commons
March 22, 1873

3rd Parliament: March 26, 1874 - August 17, 1878
Prime Minister : Alexander Mackenzie
[No covers shown]

4th Parliament: February 13, 1879 - May 1882

Prime Minister: Sir John A. Macdonald

Charles Carroll Colby

Charles Carroll Colby (1827 - 1907) was a lawyer, businessman and politician. Colby was born in Vermont and came to Stanstead, Quebec with his family in 1837. Colby was called to the Quebec Bar in 1855 and practiced law in Stanstead. Colby was elected as a Liberal-Conservative MP in the House of Commons in 1867 representing Stanstead until his defeat in 1891. He served as President of the Privy Council under Sir John A. Macdonald from 1889 to 1891.

Charles Colby to Stanstead, Quebec, May 12, 1882

5th Parliament : February 8, 1883 - January 15, 1887

Prime Minister: Sir John A. Macdonald

Duncan Macmillan

Duncan Macmillan (1837 – 1903) was a lawyer, judge and politician. He represented Middlesex East in the House of Commons from 1875 to 1887 as a Liberal-Conservative member. Macmillan was born in London Township, Upper Canada and studied law at Queen's University with Sir John A. MacDonald. Macmillan was named a judge in the court for Haldimand County.

Duncan Macmillan to Wardsville, Ontario, March 30, 1884

John Henry Wilson

John Henry Wilson (1834 –1912) , born in Ottawa, was a physician, professor and parliamentarian. He studied medicine at the Toronto School of Medicine (later the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto) and New York University. He received his M.D. in 1859 and was appointed professor of anatomy at Victoria College. In 1860, he opened a medical practice in St. Thomas, Ontario. He was elected to the provincial legislature in 1871 and 1875. He was elected to the federal parliament in the federal election of 1882 and was re-elected in 1887. On March 8, 1904, Sir Wilfred Laurier appointed Wilson to the Senate. He represented the senatorial division of St. Thomas, Ontario until his death in 1912.

John Henry Wilson to Wardsville, April 13, 1885

6th Parliament : April 13, 1887 - February 3, 1891

Prime Minister : John A. Macdonald

John George Bourinot, Clerk of the House of Commons

Sir John George Bourinot (1836 - 1902) was the clerk of the House of Commons from 1880 until 1902. He advised the Speaker and other members of the House on parliamentary procedure and wrote the standard Canadian work on the subject. Bourinot was a founding member of the Royal Society of Canada, playing a leading role during the Society's first twenty years.

J.G. Bourinot to Pailsley, Scotland, November 18, 1889
5 cents letter rate to Great Britain

7th Parliament : April 29, 1891 - April 24, 1896

Prime Ministers:
Sir John A. Macdonald (died in office)
Sir John Abbott Sir John Thompson (died in office)
Sir Mackenzie Bowell (died in office)
Sir Charles Tupper (sworn in as prime minister after Parliament dissolved)

Charles Edwin Kaulbach

Charles Edwin Kaulbach (1834 – 1907) was a merchant, ship owner and political figure in Nova Scotia. Kaulbach was born in Lunenburg and represented the riding of Lunenburg for over twenty years, winning elections in 1878, 1883, 1896, and 1900.

Charles Edwin Kaulbach to Lunenburg, April 13, 1892

Enclosed Letter:

James David Edgar

James David Edgar was first elected to the House of Commons in the 1872 federal election. He helped bring down the Conservative government over the railway scandal. Edgar was defeated in the following election, but returned to Parliament through an 1884 by-election.
In the 1880s, Edgar became a vocal opponent of the Protestant Protection Association, an anti-Catholic political party. He argued in favour of tolerance and cooperation between English and French Canadians as well as between Protestants and Catholics. Following the 1896 federal election, Edgar became Speaker of the House of Commons and was given a knighthood by Queen Victoria.

James David Edgar

James David Edgar to his wife who was holidaying at Prout's Neck Maine, July 24, 1891

Prout's Neck was a seasonal summer community. Artist Winlsow Homer had a studio at Prout's Neck and painted this canvas of Prout's Neck in 1900:

John M. Charlton

John M. Charlton ( 1829 – 1910) was the Member of Parliament for Norfolk North, Ontario for 32 years until 1904. Born in Garbuttsville, New York, in 1849, at the age of twenty, he moved with his parents to Ayr, Ontario, and became a farmer. In 1859, he became a manager for a lumber company. Charlton was first elected to the House of Commons in 1871, as member of the Liberal Party.

John Charlton, circa 1879

John Charlton to his brother William Andrew Charlton (Liberal Member of Provincial Parliament) Toronto, February 20, 1896

8th Parliament: August 19, 1896 - October 9, 1900

Prime Minister: Sir Wilfrid Laurier

Charles Fitzpatrick

Sir Charles Fitzpatrick was a lawyer, politician, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, and Lieutenant-Governor of Quebec.He studied at Laval University, obtaining a B.A. and an LL.B. In 1885 he acted as chief counsel for Métis leader Louis Riel at his trial. He was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Quebec in 1890 and to the House of Commons in 1896. He served for six years as Solicitor General of Canada until 1902, when he became Minister of Justice and Attorney General. On June 4, 1906, he was appointed Chief Justice of Canada. He served on the Supreme Court of Canada for 12 years, resigning on October 21, 1918 to accept the position of Lieutenant-Governor of Quebec.

Solicitor-General Charles Fitzpatrick to Miss Snetsinger, Moulinette, December 23, 1896

"My Congratulations"

John Snetsinger had just won the Federal by-election in
Stormont riding on December 19, 1896.

Adam Carr Bell

Adam Carr Bell (1843-1912) was the first Mayor of New Glasgow, Nova Scotia in 1876. Bell was the Conservative Member of Parliament for the Nova Scotia riding of Pictou from 1896 to 1904. In 1911 he was called to the Senate by the Borden Government.

Adam Carr Bell

Adam Carr Bell to Kingston Jamaica, April 22, 1899
2 cent Imperial Penny Postage rate

John Valentine Ellis

John Valentine Ellis (1835-1913) was a newspaperman and politician. He was elected to the House of Commons in 1887 and 1896, representing the New Brunswick riding of City of St. John. He was named to the Senate by Sir Wilfrid Laurier and served from 1900 to 1913.

Ellis was deeply committed to the principles of British liberalism. He advocated such progressive measures as labour unions and a broader franchise which included women’s suffrage. Ellis was described as “a man of unblemished character, and high standing in the community, and the editor of a newspaper highly esteemed for its moderation and independence.”

John Valentine Ellis

John Valentine Ellis to Periers sur Dan, France, May 7, 1900
5 cents UPU letter rate

Richard Reid Dobell

Richard Reid Dobell was elected to the House of Commons for the riding of Quebec West in the 1896 federal election and was re-elected in 1900. From 1896 to 1902, he was Minister without Portfolio in the Laurier government. In 1892 Sir Charles Tupper had referred to Dobell as “one of the leading merchants of Canada.” He was more than just a promoter of local development. In his actions and speeches he expressed a vision of a Canada being born, a country where the founding nations would merge into a homogeneous whole, remaining attached to Great Britain but not alienating the United States. He shared Laurier's doctrine of Canadian autonomy.

Richard Reid Dobell (Privy Council)

Richard Dobell to Montreal, June 3, 1900

9th Parliament: Feb. 2, 1901 - Sept. 29, 1904

Prime Minister: Sir Wilfred Laurier

Henry Robert Emmerson

Henry Robert Emmerson was the Member of Parliament for the New Brunswick riding of Westmorland from 1901 to 1914. Emmerson was the Minister of Railway and Canals in the Laurier cabinet from 1904 to 1907. Prior to his election to the House of Commons, Emmerson had been premier of New Brunswick.

Henry Robert Emmerson to Moncton, February 28, 1902