Despatch from Lieutenant Governor Arthur Gordon to Right Hon. Edward Cardwell (13 March 1865)

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Date: 1865-03-13
By: Arthur Gordon
Citation: Despatch from Lieutenant Governor Arthur Gordon to Right Hon. Edward Cardwell (13 March 1865) in UK, Parliament, Correspondence respecting the Proposed Union of the British North American Provinces (London: George Edward Eyre and William Spottiswoode, 1867).
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No. 6.

COPY of a DESPATCH from Lieut.-Governor the Hon. ARTHUR GORDON to the Right Hon. EDWARD CARDWELL, M.P.

(No. 25.)

Fredericton, N.B., March 13, 1865.

(Received March 28, 1865.)
(Answered No.65, April 1, 1865, page 117.)


In my Despatch, No. 21, of the 6th instant, * forwarded by way of Portland, i had the honour of informing you that the result of the elections in this Province had been signally unfavourable to the proposed scheme of Confederation and that several prominent members of my Government had failed to retain their seats in the House of Assembly.

2. I was aware that a feeling hostile to the contemplated changes was widely spread, but I must have greatly underrated its extent and strength.

3. I do not however believe that the popular prejudice in favour of continued isolation and against any alteration whatever in the existing constitution would have sufficed alone to defeat the scheme had it not also encountered the opposition of those who, whilst desirous of effecting a more substantive Union between the British North American Colonies, were hostile to the provision of the particular scheme submitted for their consideration.

4. The rejection of the scheme in Prince Edward Island, the postponement of its consideration in Newfoundland, and the belief that its adoption would be successfully resisted in Nova Scotia, also contributed powerfully to its defeat in this Province.

5. Nor do i think the fact that my existing Government had with a short interval held office for more than ten years, occupied a by any means unimportant place in the list of the causes which have led to its overthrow.

6. The popular decision, however brought about is, at all events, unmistakeable, and for the moment decisive. It was not anticipated by me, and I believe it was as little anticipated either by my advisers or by their opponents.

7. No important elections have taken place since I last had the honour of addressing you, and the numbers at present stand as follows . —

For Confederation Against It Doubtful
5 19 2


8. I anticipate that the resignation of my present Executive Council will be tendered to me as soon as the elections are closed. The last (that for Queen’s County) is fixed for the 22nd instant.

I have, &c.


The Right Hon. Edward Cardwell, M.P.
&c. &c. &c.

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