Brown of the Globe - Vol. 1

Brown of the Globe - Vol. 1

Brown of the Globe - Vol. 1

Brown of the Globe - Vol. 1

Excerpt

This is the first of two volumes on George Brown, 1818-1880, Canadian journalist, Liberal leader, and maker of Confederation. The present volume carries him from Edinburgh boyhood to the proprietorship of the powerful Toronto Globe, traces his connection with the all-absorbing contest of the 1840's over responsible government, and describes his entrance into parliamentary life amid the hot religious disputes of the early 1850's. It records his strenuous advance through the jarring sectional politics of the fifties to become the dominant voice of an angry and aggrieved Upper Canada; his successful reconstruction of a defeated, shattered Liberal party, and his winning of that party to policies of north-west expansion and federal union that clearly forecast the subsequent development of Canadian Confederation. The second volume will examine Brown's critically important role in the actual achievement of Confederation, and his later career in the new Dominion, where he still stood high as a Liberal elder statesman, if no longer party leader, chiefly because of the unrivalled power of his Globe.

Almost half a century has passed since the last full-length biography of Brown appeared: that written by John Lewis and published in the Makers of Canada series in 1910. Indeed, before Lewis's book, there had been only a stilted memoir and party tract, The Life and Speeches of the Hon. George Brown, produced in 1882 by Alexander Mackenzie, Brown's loyal follower and heir as Liberal leader. One could contend, therefore, that such a prominent figure in Canadian history decidedly deserves another look. At least we might reasonably contrive to re-examine the great men of our past every fifty years or so. But there is more ground than this for a new biography of Brown.

A substantial number of his private papers have only recently come to light. Used in conjunction with other manuscript collections that are now available in Canadian archives, they pro-

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