“Great Fun…”—A Letter from the Honourable George Brown

The slow process of Canadian Confederation largely progressed by way of debates and conferences— a series of delicate negotiations, deliberations and compromises. The hard work of the politicians paid off after the Charlottetown Conference of 1864, which resulted in a general agreement and a commitment to hammer out more details at a further conference a month later in Quebec City.

But it wasn’t all long hours of serious toil.

The Honourable George Brown, journalist and former member of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada, was one of the most famous delegates to the Charlottetown Conference. Ever since he himself had been converted to the idea of Canadian Confederation, Brown had been deeply involved in the negotiating process. He detailed his engagement with the councils, debates and conferences of Confederation in his correspondence with his wife, Anne. Sometimes, as in the case of the Charlottetown Conference, Brown’s letters are the only record we have of the proceedings, since no official minutes were taken at Charlottetown.

A black-and-white photograph of a man sitting at a desk, holding a letter.

George Brown, ca. 1880 (MIKAN 3213216)

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