Friday, January 27, 2017

Spotlight on our Heritage #3: Sir Albert James Smith

Sir Albert James Smith
(New Brunswick Museum,
EDITOR'S NOTE: The following is the third in a series of features prepared for Heritage Week 2017 (February 13 – 20), entitled Spotlight on our Heritage. The blog series celebrates 150 years of history, and reflects upon New Brunswick’s role in Confederation. This particular "spotlight" draws from the Fredericton Region Museum exhibition A Ship Full of Troubles: New Brunswick and Confederation, which was co-curated by STU and UNB graduates Nathan Gavin and Caleb Goguen. 

Sir Albert James Smith 

Albert James Smith was born in Shediac, New Brunswick in 1822 to a family of United Empire Loyalists. He studied law under E.B. Chandler and became a fully-fledged Barrister in 1847. He joined the “Smashers” and was elected to represent his home riding of Westmorland in 1852. 

Smith served without portfolio until he became attorney general in 1862. He was extremely popular among the people of New Brunswick, due to his honesty, compassion, and caring nature. He sparked the Anti-Confederation movement out of fear that the province would lose its political and economic autonomy. In 1865 his movement succeeded, winning 26 out of 41 seats, and became Premier of New Brunswick. 

Shortly after his victory at the polls however, public opinion soon shifted in favour of Confederation, due to church support in favour of union, fear of a Fenian invasion from the United States, and reassuring promises from Pro-Confederation politicians. 

Smith resigned from provincial politics in 1866 after his election loss to Peter Mitchell. He entered into federal politics the following year, and later became the federal Minister of Marine and Fisheries. Smith passed away in 1883, shortly after losing an election for the first time in his political career. 

Join with us in celebrating Canada’s 150 during New Brunswick Heritage Week, February 13 to 20, 2017! 

For more information please visit the NB Heritage Week 2017 web site… or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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