Samuel L. Tilley

A Fellow New Brunswick Father Of Confederation

Background Information

Samuel Leonard Tilley was born on May 18, 1818 in Gagetown, New Brunswick. He was one of the Fathers of the Confederation and he attended all 3 of the Confederation Conferences. He grew up to become a pharmacist. He married 2 women over the course of his life. He died on June 25, 1896 in Saint John, New Brunswick.

His parents were Thomas Morgan Tilley (Father) and Susan Ann Peters (Mother).

What He Did

When Tilley joined politics he was part of the "temperance movement" that wanted to moderate the amount of alcohol that people drank.

Tilley was attended all three of the Confederation Conferences and he supported Confederation very much. He was also the New Brunswick Premier 1861-1865 until his government was defeated in the election of that year. While he was premier, Tilley supported his colony going into Confederation and also the construction of the cross-country railway.

During Confederation in 1867 Tilley joined federal politics; he served in the federal McDonald Cabinet as a Minister of Customs (Meaning he was responsible for all the tax collections). In 1873 he became the Minister of Finance until the defeat of the government later in that year. Then, he was chosen as the 4th Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick in 1873 until 1878 where he finally became the Minister of Finance again (as the Tories rose to power again) until he retired in 1885 to become the 7th Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick.

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Fun Fact

Did you know that it was Samuel Leonard Tilley that came up with the name of "Dominion of Canada"? Back when the government was still deciding what to prefix Canada as (among other suggestions like "Kingdom of Canada" which John A. McDonald preferred) Tilley was reading Psalms. He came upon verse 72:8: "He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth" and he got the idea.

Although it was a nice name "Dominion" had been used to name other British colonies such as the "Dominion of New England".

In the end though, Dominion of Canada was chosen.


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