CCHA Report, 4 (1936-37), 46-71
(1825 - 1913)
By W. L. SCOTT, K.C.
Richard William Scott was born at the Town of Prescott, in Upper Canada, on February 24th, 1825. His father, Dr. William James Scott, though born in England, was an Irishman, a member of a family of Cromwellian origin, once prominent in the County of Clare. The younger branch of the family, to which Dr. Scott belonged, was Catholic, and one Richard Scott, a first cousin of Dr. Scott., was the Financial Agent of Daniel O'Connell in the famous Clare Elections that resulted in the securing of Catholic Emancipation. Dr. Scott, after serving as an army surgeon under Wellesley, in the Peninsular War, was sent with his regiment to Canada, to take part in the war with the United States. Soon after the conclusion of peace, upon being ordered back to England, he resigned and eventually settled down to the practice of his profession at Prescott. He married Sarah, daughter of Lt. Col, Allan Macdonell, a U. E. Loyalist officer, third son of John Macdonell of Leek, one of the three brothers Leek, Collachie and Aberchalder who in 1773 organized the immigration that ultimately led to the settlement and naming of the County of Glengarry. Sarah had two brothers and six sisters. One of the latter was the wife of Simon Fraser, to whom Canada is indebted for the possession of British Columbia. Dr. Scott and his wife were blessed with six sons, of whom Richard was the eldest, and five daughters. The earlier years of Richard's life were spent in his native town and he had many interesting recollections of conditions in those far away days, when so many of what we have come to consider necessities were as yet undreamed of. Not only electric light, but even kerosene was still in the womb of the future and the home-made "tallow dip" was the sole means of illumination. Later, the advent of the candle mold was hailed as a great modern invention. Matches, too, had not been invented and "to strike a light" meant, literally, to obtain it by striking flint against steel and igniting tinder with the resultant spark. To avoid the necessity for this often tedious operation it was customary to endeavour, by banking up with ashes, to keep the fire on the hearth alive all night, or, when that failed, to borrow live coals from some more successful neighbour. Mr. Scott used to recall having frequently been sent as a boy on such errands, and the necessity there was of losing no time on the way, lest the borrowed coals should die out. Hence, it became the custom to say reproachfully to one who was unduly curtailing his visit: "You must have come for fire!"
There were in those days no public schools, properly so-called, and indeed few schools of any kind, save in the larger towns, and Richard, or Dick, as he was familiarly called, received his early education in local private schools, notably in one kept by a Mr. Spiller, a schoolmaster of the old style, rarely if ever met with in these days. In the second year of Dick's attendance, his older sister Eliza came to the school from a rival establishment and, as a newcomer, was placed at the foot of the class, the head of it happening at the moment to be occupied by her brother. The teacher's first question was not answered by the head boy, nor by any of the other children, down to the new arrival at the foot, who answered it correctly and went to the top. Mr. Spiller, unable to control his mortification at the triumph of the pupil of another over his own scholars, seized a ponderous volume that lay on his desk and hurled it at the head of the luckness Dick. Over went the little boy, who falling sideways, carried with him all of the other children, so that the whole class lay sprawling on the floor.
On November 13th, 1838, Dick, then a boy of nearly fourteen, was, for a portion of the time, an interested spectator of the first phase of the Battle of the Windmill, when a party of American filibusters, styling themselves "Patriots," landed on the Canadian shore of the St. Lawrence at Windmill Point, about a mile below Prescott. The landing was disputed by two columns of Canadian militia, one of them commanded by Lt. Col. James Duncan Fraser, the boy's uncle by marriage, and the invaders were driven into the old stone mill, from which, with the aid of artillery, they were. on a later day dislodged and taken prisoners. Hearing that a battle was impending, Dick stole off early in the morning to see what could be seen. He was no sooner missed than his mother despatched a maid-servant post-haste after him with instructions to bring him back. The battle, however, proved too great an attraction for the maid and as she also failed to return, Mrs. Scott went herself and succeeded in capturing her recalcitrant son and restoring him to the safety of the paternal roof. It was the day of the old "brown bess" of limited range, when a battle could be witnessed without any great danger to the spectators. To add to the excitement, there being no hospital in the town, the wounded were brought for treatment to the house of Dr. Scott, which soon resembled a shambles.
William Lyon MacKenzie, the leader of the Upper Canada rebellion, after the evacuation of Navy Island, on January 13th, 1838, had disassociated himself entirely from active hostilities and had nothing to do with the landing at Windmill Point. Shortly before that event, however, in the course of a speaking tour through New York State, he addressed a meeting at Ogdensburg, across the St. Lawrence from Prescott, and Dick, who, despite his age, was taking a deep interest in the events then transpiring, made his way over, attended the meeting and, boy-like, wormed his way through the crowd until he was within a few feet of the speaker. The address evidently made a deep impression on the boy, for he ever afterwards regarded MacKenzie with admiration and esteem. These feelings were no doubt heightened in after years by the knowledge of what had occurred in 1831, on the occasion of the first expulsion of MacKenzie from the Legislative Assembly. Lt. Col. Richard Duncan Fraser, a tall powerful Highlander, came, it is said, to the assistance of the Sergeant-at-Arms, and seizing MacKenzie by the breeches, threw him over the bar of the House. (1) The action was characteristic of the attitude towards MacKenzie of the members of the dominant party of that day, but Mr. Scott always felt humiliated at the thought that a relative of his should have so acted.
In 1858, twenty years after the Ogdensburg meeting, the boy, now grown to manhood, was a fellow member of the Legislative Assembly with MacKenzie, and this personal contact heightened his esteem and regard for the great Liberal leader. Ten years later still, in 1868, when MacKenzie had been seven years in his grave, Mr. Scott was able to be of material assistance to his widow, when she applied to the Ontario Legislature for payment of 4000.00, the balance due to her late husband on an old account. The Government declined to favour the appeal, but left the matter open and Mr. Scott took up the cudgels on her behalf, emphasizing Mr. MacKenzie's great services to the country and expressing his gratification at the opportunity thus afforded him of doing justice to the memory of the dead statesman. The resolution authorizing the payment was carried by only four votes. Of the five members of the Government, three opposed the motion, one supported it, and one did not vote.
It may be that MacKenzie's Ogdensburg address, which so impressed the boy Richard, explains the fact that, when he entered public life in after years, he attached himself to the Liberal party, despite the intensely Tory environment from which he had come.
In 1843, at the age of eighteen, Richard began the study of law in the office of Marcus Burritt of Prescott. His certificate of admission as a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada is dated February 14th, 1843, and certifies that he is entitled to precedence next after Mr. M. C. Cameron. It is signed by the Honourable Levius P. Sherwood, Treasurer of the Society. Richard remained in Mr. Burrit''s office until 1846, when he removed to Toronto and completed his term of five years in the office of Messrs. Crooks, Smith and Smith. The firm was composed of Robert Pilkington Crooks, a Mr. Smith from Coburg and Larrett Smith. Mr. Scott was called to the bar in Easter Term, 1848, and was made a Queen's Counsel on June 26th, 1867, five days before the British North America Act went into force. He was for many years prior to his death the last of the pre-Confederation Queen's Counsel. Upon being admitted, he decided to practise in the Town of Bytown (which in 1854 became the City of Ottawa) and always there-after made that his home. The choice was determined by the knowledge that a branch of the Bank of Upper Canada was about to be opened there, the solicitorship of which was secured for him through some of the directors, who were friends of his father's. Mr. Scott early took an interest in public affairs, was elected a town counsellor in 1850, Deputy Reeve in 1851 and Mayor in 1853. In the general election of 1854 he was nominated as a candidate in the Liberal interests, but, there being two Liberals in the field, incidentally both Catholics, he retired before polling day. The other Catholic Liberal was Mr. Henry Friel, who went to the poll, but was defeated by the Conservative, Mr. Agar Yielding. In his address to the electors, Mr. Scott promised support to the Liberal Hincks-Morin administration and an earnest advocacy of the selection of Ottawa as the capital. The election of 1854 resulted in the formation of the McNab-Morin coalition government, which, before the next election in November, 1857, had become the Cartier-Macdonald (J. A.) government. At this latter election, Mr. Scott ran, as an independent supporter of the coalition government, but chiefly as an ardent advocate of two measures, namely, the selection of Ottawa as the capital and the passing of an act doing justice to Catholic separate schools. His opponent was Robert Bell and the contest was hot and exciting. Mr. Scott was, however, returned, the vote standing 603 for Scott and 574 for Bell. Both of the measures that Mr. Scott so ardently advocated were eventually secured, in each case largely through his own personal exertions.
He has told the story of the Choice of the Capital, in a brochure so entitled, published in 1907. When it was decided to request Queen Victoria to make the selection, the British authorities asked that any city aspiring to the honour should forward, for submission to Her Majesty, a memorandum in support of its claims. The document sent from Ottawa was prepared by Mr. Scott. Early in 1858 it was announced that the Queen had chosen Ottawa, but this was very far from settling the matter. A motion declaring that Ottawa ought not to be the capital, though opposed by the government, was carried by a majority of fourteen. The government treated the vote as one of want of confidence and resigned, but on the defeat in turn of its successor, the Brown-Dorion administration, was soon back again in the saddle.. Naturally, after this experience, the members of the government were not disposed to risk their political lives by a further effort to force the Queen's choice upon an unwilling legislature. When urged, privately, to do so, Mr. J. A. Macdonald laid down two conditions: First, he required to be convinced that sufficient votes had been won over to assure a different result; and, second, he asked for a pledge of general support for the government, from the members representing the constituencies adjacent to Ottawa. For those who were Liberals, compliance with this latter condition meant a change of political affiliations, but they made the sacrifice, and Mr. Scott, for instance, kept the pledge and supported John A. for the next fourteen. years, until released as hereinafter described.
The other condition was even harder to carry out. To overcome a hostile majority of fourteen, it was necessary to change eight votes. Mr. Scott and those who were working with him (of whom the most active was Mr. William F. Powell) actually succeeded in changing nine, and when the matter was again submitted to the Legislature by the Government, the Queen's selection of Ottawa as the Capital was confirmed by a majority of four. This was in February, 1859, only six months after the adverse verdict, and meant that nine members, who had previously voted against Ottawa, had in the interval been won over and now voted in its favour. As a result of the successful issue of the controversy, Mr. Scott and the Premier were soon on the friendliest terms, as is shown by the letters passing between them.
On November 8th, 1861, the forceable removal, in mid-ocean, from the British mail-steamer Trent, by a United States sloop of war, of Messrs. Mason and Slidel, Confederate envoys to Great Britain, brought the relations of the two countries almost to the breaking point and in consequence a wave of patriotism swept Canada and volunteer companies of militia were everywhere springing up. On December 23rd, John A. wrote to Mr. Scott
"Why don't you organize some Companies of Volunteers at Ottawa. We can't exactly recognize 'Irish Catholic Companies' eo nomine, but if Companies are formed of such in reality, though not professedly Hibernian Papists, their services will gladly be accepted."
Mr. Scott was not, however, a military man and nothing appears to have come of the suggestion.
The Capital having been secured for Ottawa, Mr. Scott next turned his attention to the matter of the Catholic separate schools. Prior to the union of 1840 the school system of Upper Canada was in its infancy. Primary schools, where they existed, were provided by private benefaction and their sole sources of revenue were voluntary contributions supplemented by Government grants. In Lower Canada, however, the Protestant minority enjoyed the privilege of regular Government support for their denominational schools, although this was due to the mode of administering the law rather than to any specific legislative authority. In 1841, in the first Session after the Union, a bill was introduced establishing a universal school system for the two provinces, under one superintendent. The result of the bill would have been that the privileges previously enjoyed by the Protestants of Lower Canada would have been greatly curtailed and an agitation was at once begun, led by the Church of England Bishops, for the preservation of these privileges. In order to satisfy this demand, the bill was so amended as to provide for the support of Protestant Schools in Lower Canada, and in order to preserve uniformity, these provisions were made to apply to denominational schools in Upper Canada as well. This was the first statutory recognition of separate denominational schools in the latter province. By this Act of 1841, school commissioners were to be elected at the annual meeting for the election of township and parish officers. The duties of those commissioners included the acquiring of sites for school houses, the appointment of superintendents, the appointment and removal of teachers, the regulating of the course of study, etc. It was further provided that, whenever any number of the inhabitants of any township or parish professing a religious faith different from that of the majority, should dissent from the regulations, arrangements or proceedings of the commissioners, it should be lawful for such persons to signify their dissent to the clerk of the district council, together with the names of those whom they had elected as trustees, who might maintain one or more common schools for their denomination. By an Act passed in 1843, the application of which was confined to Upper Canada, while the right of either Protestants or Catholics to establish their own schools and share in the rates, was expressly recognized, several provisions of the Act of 1841, in so far as they affected Upper Canada, were repealed, impairing very seriously the rights of these minorities. Under this latter Act, a separate school could be established only when the teacher was of a different religious faith. In 1846 an Act was passed confirming and enlarging the rights of the Protestant minority in Lower Canada and, among other things, authorizing the appointment of a Superintendent and Board of Education, especially for Lower Canada. In fact, year by year, the privileges enjoyed by the Protestant minority in Lower Canada were being increased, while those of the minority in Upper Canada were being curtailed. In 1846 Dr. Ryerson, a clergyman of the Methodist Church, was appointed Superintendent of Education for Upper Canada, and, by an Act passed in the same year, control of all schools was given to a Board of Education composed of the Superintendent and six others appointed by the Governor-in-Council. As the law stood at that time, it required twelve Catholic ratepayers to apply for the formation of a separate school, and Catholics living in different sections could not unite for this purpose. The application, moreover, was required to be adressed to the reeve of the municipality or to the chairman of the committee of the school board, officials who were often bitterly opposed to separate schools and who frequently succeeded in defeating the application; and as, moreover, the Superintendent was not favourable, Catholics experienced great difficulties in securing the establishment of their schools and in carrying them on, once established. In consequence, an agitation was launched for such amendments to the law as would render the separate school system workable. As a result of this agitation, an Act was passed in 1855, granting certain concessions, but it was considered so unsatisfactory that Bishop de Charbonnel resigned as a member of the School Board. The inadequacy of this Act may be gathered from the following letter, dated at Quebec on June 8th, 1855, from the Premier, Mr. John A. MacDonald, to Dr. Ryerson, at Toronto:
"Our Separate School Bill, which is, as you know, quite harmless, passed with the approbation of our friend, Bishop de Charbonnel, who, before leaving here, formally thanked theAdministration for doing justice to his Church.
He has, however, got a new light since his return to Toronto, and now says that the Bill won't do. I need not point out to your suggestive mind that, in any article written by you on the subject, it is politic to press two points on the attention of the public.
First: That the Bill will not injuriously affect the Common School System. (This for the people at large).
Second: That the Separate School Bill of 1855 is a substantial boon to the Roman Catholics. (This is to keep them in good humour).
You see that if the Bishop makes the Roman Catholics believe that the Separate School Bill is of no use to them, there will be a renewal of the unwholesome agitation which I thought was allayed. I send you the Bill as passed.
JOHN A. MACDONALD
The battle for justice to the Catholic schools proved equally as strenuous as that for the securing of the Capital and was longer drawn out, although the Catholics of Upper Canada were asking for no more than what had long before been granted to their Protestant fellow citizens in Lower Canada. The Cartier-MacDonald (J. A.) Government professed to be favourable to such a measure, but the Liberal Opposition was flatly opposed to it. The bill was introduced early in each of four consecutive sessions, 1860, 1861, 1862 and 1863 (Mr. Scott having been reelected by acclamation at the general elections of 1861) but owing to vigorous (though chiefly underground) opposition, it was not until the session of 1863 that a vote on the merits of the bill could be secured. In 1860, though introduced on the 16th of March, it was not put on the order paper for second reading until the 16th of May. It got its second reading on the 18th, but could get no further, as the House adjourned on the 19th. In 1861 it was read a first time on the 23rd of March but was never reached for second reading. On the 16th of May the bill was withdrawn, at the request of the premier, Mr. John A. Macdonald, who undertook privately that it would be given preferred consideration in the next session. In 1862 it was introduced on the 7th of April and made better progress. It was debated at great length on the 29th and 30th of April and the 1st of May, when it passed its second reading and was referred to a select committee, upon which the opponents of the bill as well as its supporters were represented. On the 30th of May the Committee reported the bill with amendments and the House ordered five hundred copies to be printed. It made no further progress that session and on the 9th of June the House adjourned. It is noticeable that during these three years, the members appeared to be afraid of the measure, having no doubt in mind the effect that its defeat might have on the situation in Lower Canada; for while there was always an obvious effort to shelve the bill, when it came to an actual vote, as in 1860 and 1862 on motions to give it the six months hoist and in 1862, on the motion for second reading, the bill was always sustained by very substantial majorities. In May, 1862, the Cartier-Macdonald (J. A.) government was defeated and was succeeded by the Liberal Macdonald (J. S.)-Dorion Administration. In the following session (1863) Mr. Scott introduced his bill for the fourth time and it was read a first time on the 27th of February. It came up for second reading on the 5th of March, when a motion to give it the six months hoist was defeated and the second reading carried by a vote of 80 to 22. It was then referred to a select committee, upon which the opponents of the measure were not represented. The Committee reported the bill with unimportant amendments and on the 12th of March it came up for third reading. Several hostile amendments were defeated and the measure was finally carried on a vote of 74 to 30, the House having on this occasion been obliged to divide no less than five times. On the final vote, the majority included, not only all of the French members, but also , a majority of the members from Upper Canada. Among those voting for the bill were almost all of the members of the Liberal government, and Mr. John A. Macdonald, the leader of the Conservative opposition, with most of his followers, among whom were the Grand Master and Grand Treasurer for British North America of the Orange Order, and the local head of the Order for Upper Canada. The Orange support was due, of course, to fear of the effect that the defeat of the bill might have on the Protestant schools of Lower Canada. The passing of the act marked the culmination of a quarter of a century of agitation. It bore the significant title "An Act to Restore to Roman Catholics in Upper Canada certain Rights in Respect to Separate Schools." It made it plain that Catholics might establish and support separate schools, by taxes levied upon their own property, at a rate fixed by themselves, and that all property of supporters of such schools should be exempt from taxation for the support of common schools. In other respects it brought the law governing separate schools more into harmony with that under which other public schools were carried on. The act was not all that the Catholics would have liked, but it was the best that could then be obtained, and it was never accepted as a final settlement. That the members of the hierarchy, however, appreciated Mr. Scott's efforts, is shown by their letters, printed in Appendix A.
Mr. Scott's battles for the Capital and for the separate schools having both been won, the Premier, Mr. John Sandfield Macdonald, not unnaturally, expected that he would now return to his former allegiance and support the Liberal government. Mr. Scott, however, was bound by his pledge to John A., with whom, moreover, he had developed a warm personal friendship and he could not, therefore, see his way to complying with the Premier's wishes. He therefore voted with the Conservative opposition during the remainder of the session of 1863, which greatly angered John Sandfield. In consequence, in the general elections of 1863, when Mr. Scott was again a candidate, the government delayed the Ottawa polling day (as they had then power to do) until the elections in all of the other constituencies were over and the premier and some of his ministers were at leisure to spend some days in Ottawa, working against Mr. Scott. The premier, indeed, even went so far as to threaten to stop work on the Parliament Buildings (then under construction) should Mr. Scott be elected. His opponent, Mr. T. W. Currier, was an influential citizen, the head of an important lumber business and would, in any event, have proved a strong candidate, and Mr. Scott's recent successful advocacy of the rights of Catholic separate school supporters, undoubtedly lost him Protestant support. The government, however, took no chances, leaving no stone unturned to secure his defeat. In this they succeeded, the vote standing 758 for Currier and 571 for Scott.
During the next four years Mr. Scott was out of public life, for the only time in the fifty-five years from his first election in 1857 until his death in 1913.
Following on his retirement from public life (temporary though it proved to be), Mr. Scott decided to indulge his taste for farming and gardening and bought a place in the country, on the Quebec side, about five miles from Ottawa. It consisted originally of four hundred acres, twenty of which he planted as a fruit, flower and vegetable garden. He fondly imagined that farming and market-gardening, as a side line to law, could be made to pay. As was to be expected, he was soon undeceived, learning by bitter experience that "he who by the plough would thrive, himself must either lead or drive." His particular hobby was fruit culture and he was the first person in the vicinity of Ottawa to grow grapes, of which he had fifty-three varieties. It had been previously thought that Ottawa was too far north for grapes to ripen. In 1874, in order to qualify as an Ontario Senator, he was obliged to return to live in Ottawa, and Fairview, as his country place was called, was thereafter used only as a summer residence. It was, however, another twenty years before he succeeded in disposing of the property, which he did for a fraction of what it had cost him. The residence is now a government station for the study of the health of animals.
During the ten years (1864-1874) of their residence in the country the family, though living so many miles away, attended St. Patrick's Church, first in the little chapel on Sparks Street and, later, in the present Church on Kent Street. When it was proposed to erect the new Church Mr. Scott and four or five others personally guaranteed the cost and it looked at one time as though they would be obliged to implement their obligation; but the necessary amount was eventually raised by the congregation.
1867 found coalition governments in power in both the Dominion and Ontario, the former headed by John A. and the latter by Mr. Scott's old adversary, John Sandfield. Sir John (as he had now become) had asked Mr. Scott to be the government candidate in Ottawa for the Federal Parliament, but upon discovering that Mr. Currier, who had been supporting the government, desired to run, he was obliged to withdraw the request and to suggest that Mr. Scott should stand for the local legislature. (2) Mr. Scott did so and was elected by acclamation, and, notwithstanding what had taken place in 1863, gave to the Sandfield government an independent, though not a very cordial, support. As time went on, however, the Sandfield government, and particularly the premier himself, became more and more unpopular, especially in Ottawa, but indeed generally throughout Eastern Ontario.
The next general election took place in February, 1871, and resulted in the return of an almost equal number of supporters and opponents of the government, but the house did not meet until December. Mr. Scott, who was re-elected by acclamation, had been becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the government. Sandfield had always been a Liberal and his government was nominally a coalition, although it had come to be looked on more and more as Conservative, chiefly because of the hearty support it was receiving from Sir John A. Macdonald. Mr. Scott did not consider himself a Conservative, although he had, ever since the pledge given in 1857, been a personal supporter of Sir John. It became known that the opposition intended to nominate him for the speakership, but the government forestalled the move by nominating him themselves and he was elected Speaker without opposition. On December 19th the government was defeated and at once resigned and Mr. Scott was offered and accepted the position of Commissioner (i.e. Minister) of Crown Lands in the Liberal government of Edward Blake. Before accepting, however, he consulted, by wire, a large number of his leading supporters, of all shades of opinion, and they were unanimous in urging him to accept. Sir John was one of those consulted and he wired in reply - "Hincks and I will not offer you advice against taking office." A list of those who advised his acceptance will be found in Appendix C, and anyone at all familiar with the Ottawa of that day, will realize that the list included most, if not all, of the leading citizens.
Mr. Scott's term of office as the responsible head of the Department of Crown Lands was signalized by an enlightened timber policy, framed by him and adopted by the government upon his advice. At Confederation, the Crown lands and timber had been handed over to the control of the provinces, and license holders became alarmed at rumours then prevalent, and apparently not without foundation, that there was to be a change of policy, and that timber limits, the licenses for which were, (as they still are) in form, limited to the year of issue, would be resold at the beginning of each year. Mr. Scott, however, upon assuming office, decided that all licenses not in default should be renewed from year to year. He was, later, asked to discuss the matter with the members of the government of Quebec and did so, submitting a series of suggestions which were put in force in that Province with but few modifications. His suggestions included a schedule of special rates for fixed terms, which worked so successfully in both provinces, that they were retained unchanged for thirty years. Nor was this Mr. Scott's only important service to the lumber trade. He waged relentless war upon the ruinous policy, theretofore followed in both provinces, of permitting squatters to location lands chiefly valuable for the pine and not suitable for settlement. Indeed, he was the first to draw public attention to the incalculable value of the country's timber resources and the supreme importance of their conservation. Had his suggestions been adopted in time, it would have resulted in the saving for posterity of immense wealth that was squandered as the result of the reckless and short sighted policy of his predecessors.
Mr. Scott, while a private member of the Ontario Legislature, had the experience, for a practising lawyer probably unique, of personally laying out and superintending the construction of a line of railway. It came about in this manner. The Brockville and Ottawa Railway Company, empowered to build a line from Brockville, via Carleton Place and Sand Point, to Pembroke, and having constructed its line to a point a little beyond Carleton Place, became involved in serious financial difficulties, necessitating a drastic reorganization. This was authorized by an act put through the Ontario Legislature in 1868 by Mr. Scott. The chief creditors were English bond-holders, who under the new arrangement were given a controlling interest in the stock. Mr. Scott, thereupon, suggested to the representatives of the bond-holders that in his opinion, the only hope of making the road pay was to build a line from Carleton Place to Ottawa. The Company's charter did not authorize this, but Mr. Scott was able to control a company known as The Canada Central, whose charter provided for the construction of such a line. The advice was accepted and Mr. Scott was authorized, ostensibly by the Canada Central Railway Company, but really by the bondholders of the Brockville and Ottawa, to employ a surveyor, mark out a line, and purchase the required land. He engaged George F. Austin, C.E., and the two of them spent many months in locating a line and purchasing land for right of way and station grounds. The present location of the C. P. R. between Ottawa and Carleton Place was the result. A Mr. Stark, C.E., was then selected as chief engineer and the construction of the line was at once gone on with, the necessary funds being promptly furnished by the English bondholders. The work proceeded so quietly that few people believed that a railway was in fact under construction, especially as there had been no demand on the City for assistance, an unheard of thing in those days. Nevertheless the line, 28½ miles in length, was completed and opened for traffic on September 17th, 1870. By that time construction of the Brockville and Ottawa had been completed to Sand Point, and later on, Messrs. McIntyre and Worthington undertook the extension of the line to Pembroke. Before the completion of this section, Mr. Duncan McIntyre, one of the contractors, purchased from the English bond-holders, the Brockville and Ottawa, including the Canada Central, completed the line to Pembroke, and, in 1881, sold it to the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, then just recently incorporated. Ît now forms a portion of that Company's main line. Mr. Scott's connection with the matter led to the appointment of his firm, Scott MacTavish and MacCraken, as C. P. R. solicitors at Ottawa, an appointment now held, after fifty-five years, by the successors of that firm, of which his son and grandson are members!
It was not Mr. Scott's intention, when entering the Blake government, thereby to terminate his support of Sir John. Provincial governments were still a new thing and there appeared no reason why there should be any conflict between the Conservative government of the Dominion and the new Ontario government, which was essentially Liberal. That was not, however, Sir John's view. His private correspondence (some of it still unpublished) shows clearly that he proposed from the start, to do everything possible to defeat the new provincial administration. It shows, further, that his reason for looking favourably on Mr. Scott's inclusion in the new government was because of the hope that this might lead to dissentions calculated to wreck it. While Sir John was, more or less openly, exerting all of his influence against the Blake government, he was, at the same time, writing to Mr. Scott reproaching him for not taking an active part in the support of the Dominion government. The correspondence was closed by a wire from Mr. Scott, dated July 19th, 1872, reading: "It is scarcely consistent or fair to denounce the local government and persistently attack its policy and then revert to our private correspondence and personal friendship. You must see how it affects me." And he concluded that he had been released from the pledge of 1858. In the following year came the Pacific Scandal, which led, in the autumn of 1873, to the defeat of Sir John's government, and Mr. Scott was offered and accepted the portfolio of Secretary of State in the succeeding government of Mr. Alexander Mackenzie, with a seat in the Senate. He remained a member of that government until its fall in 1878 and retained his senatorship until his death in 1913, a period of more than thirty-nine years.
It was in 1875, while a member of the Mackenzie administration, that Mr. Scott introduced, and carried through Parliament, the Canada Temperance Act, better known as the "Scott Act," a local option measure, involving, not total prohibition, but the elimination of the saloon. It was, for long, considered very advanced legislation and was at one time in force over the greater portion of Canada. It was later, however, superseded in popularity by the various provincial local option acts subsequently enacted. Regarding this legislation and the Separate School Act, Cardinal Manning wrote him: "We owe you our hearty thanks, for the example of the Dominion has more weight in the mother country than any other part of the Empire.… May God strengthen you in defending Catholic education. What Pius IX used to call 'The antisocial and antichristian revolution' is aiming full at religious schools. Schools without religion will raise a generation without faith and the roots of the Christian world would be cut through."
Upon the retirement of Hon. Lue Letellier de St. Just in 1877, Mr. Scott succeeded to the leadership of the Liberals in the Upper Chamber, a position that he retained, in and out of office, until his retirement in 1908, save from 1896 to 1901, when first Sir Oliver Mowat (1896-1897) and then Hon. David Mills (1898-1901) superseded him.
It so happened that, in 1874, the leader of the opposition was Sir Alexander Campbell, who had been a lifelong friend of Mr. Scott's and that he was succeeded, in 1887, by Hon. J. J. C. Abbott, an even greater friend. As a matter of fact, however, his relations with his political opponents were always most cordial.
In 1875 Mr. Scott introduced in the Senate, as a government measure, a bill to regulate the construction of marine electric telegraphs, the effect of which was to prevent a monopoly in favour of the then existing cable company, and, notwithstanding determined opposition, the bill became law. In 1879, after the fall of the Liberal administration, a bill to repeal this anti-monopoly act, was introduced and, supported by the Conservative government, passed through the Commons. In the Senate, with the aid of an active lobby, and despite the opposition of the Liberals, it passed through the various stages, including third reading. Then followed the usually perfunctory enquiry of the Speaker - "Shall this bill now pass?" To challenge a bill at this final and formal stage is almost without a precedent in Parliamentary history; but Mr. Scott decided to make one last desperate effort to defeat the measure. He stood up and spoke for fifteen or twenty minutes, urging the rejection of the bill. The speech was described, many years afterwards, by a Senator who had been present, as one of the most effective that he had ever heard in all his life. The result was that, a vote being demanded, the bill was defeated by a majority of two. The occurrence has often been referred to as one of the dramatic incidents of Canadian Parliamentary history. It had, moreover, important eventual results. When, in 1901, Marconi, restrained by an injunction from using a Newfoundland base for his experiments in transatlantic signalling, was about to give up in despair and return to Europe, he was seen by Mr. Alex Johnston, then a Member of the Dominion Parliament, and assured that Canada was free from any monopolistic restriction, and in consequence he selected a Nova Scotia site. Had the repeal measure carried, he would not have been able to carry on those experiments which have meant so much to the human race.
In 1896 Mr. Scott accepted, in the Laurier government, his old portfolio of Secretary of State, a position that he continued to hold until his retirement, in 1908. In the early days of the Boer War, it fell to Mr. Scott's lot to represent the government in its encounter with General Hutton, a British officer, who occupied, from 1898 to 1900, the position of General Officer Commanding the Canadian militia. The incident can be only briefly referred to here. General Hutton, like almost all of his British predecessors, misunderstood his position. He was under the mistaken impression that, as an officer of the Imperial Government, he was not accountable to the government of Canada. In an interview with the General, Mr. Scott, in language which others who were present often referred to as a model of polite but emphatic plain speaking, informed the General that he was a mere servant of the government of Canada and that if he did not obey the orders of his masters, he would be sent home. Surprising as it may seem, Hutton actually expected that the British Government would side with him in the quarrel and refuse to recall him, but of course, upon the request of the Canadian government, he was at once recalled. Similar difficulty was experienced with Lord Dundonald, who was G. O. C., from 1902 to 1904, and in consequence the office was abolished in the latter year. It was not only British Generals, loaned to the Canadian Government, who in those days, misunderstood their position. Successive Governors General were equally mistaken regarding their. powers and duties, and Governors General could not, like mere generals, be summarily dismissed. Accordingly, because of his ability to combine suavity and politeness with firmness and plain speaking, it usually fell to the lot of Mr. Scott to represent the government in encounters with successive governors general. It is, therefore, a tribute to his tact and engaging personality, that he enjoyed the warm friendship of those governors general whom, acting on behalf of the government, he had so often been obliged to put in their place.
In 1905, there was a ministerial crisis over the educational clauses of the bills to establish the new provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. The bills, as introduced by the government, contained provisions safeguarding the rights of the Catholic minorities in the new provinces, in the matter of separate denominational schools. As a protest against the inclusion of these clauses in the bills, Mr. Sifton, the Minister of the Interior, who when Attorney General for Manitoba had been responsible for the abolition of separate schools in that Province, resigned his portfolio and led a revolt of the Liberal members for western constituencies, threatening to defeat the government unless the clauses in question were dropped, a revolt that was not without support from within the Cabinet. Mr. Scott, together with certain other ministers, announced his détermination to resign if the clauses were sacrificed. Eventually, a compromise was agreed upon and the difficulty smoothed over.
In 1908, at the age of eighty-three, Mr. Scott resigned his portfolio and, with it, the leadership of his party in the Senate, a position that he had held almost continuously for thirty-three years. In the following year, he received from the Crown the honour of knighthood.
Notwithstanding his retirement from the government and from the leadership, Sir Richard, as he had now become, continued to take an active part in the work of the Senate. On the 26th February, 1913, he addressed the house for the last time, in a vigorous plea for the abolition of appeals to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. Though apparently in the full enjoyment of physical health and with his mental faculties in no way impaired, he was obliged, soon afterwards, to submit to a major operation, from the effects of which he never rallied. He died on the 23rd of April, 1913, in his eighty-ninth year, surrounded by the members of his family and fortified with the rites of the Catholic Church, of which he had always been a devoted adherent.
Mr. Scott was married, in November 1853, to Miss Mary A. Heron, daughter of John Heron, them of Philadelphia, but later for many years, a resident of Ottawa. The fruits of their union were three sons and five daughters, two of whom, however, a son and a daughter, died in early infancy. The celebration in 1903 of the golden anniversary of their wedding, in which their six children and nine grandchildren participated, brought to Mr. and Mrs. Scott congratulations and good wishes from a wide circle of friends, as well as from the newspapers of Canada, almost without exception.
For many years prior to his vacating office, Mr. Scott had made a practice of taking no holidays and of never leaving Ottawa, save when compelled to do so by urgent business. Work was his greatest pleasure and his only recreation. After his retirement, when he could no longer busy himself with the affairs of a Department, he took a very active interest, not alone in the proceedings in the Senate, to which reference has already been made, but also in various matters of public interest outside of Parliament. A notable example of the latter was the controversy in 1912, over a water supply for Ottawa, into which Sir Richard entered with zest, not only through communications to the press, but by addressing public meetings as well. He advocated filtration, with the Ottawa River as the source of supply, a solution that was eventually adopted, although at the time, the proposal to bring unfiltered water from the Gatineau Lakes, was much more popular. (3)
The great age to which Mr. Scott lived and the mental and physical health and vigour that he enjoyed to the end, were chiefly due to his own study and the intelligent application of what he had learned. Born with weak lungs and a poor digestion, at the age of twenty-five his application for life insurance was refused. This rebuff led him to make a careful study of the subject of hygiene, as the result of which he gave up both drugs and doctors, adopting instead hydropathic treatment of disease, a plain and carefully selected diet, and abundance of fresh air and sunlight. His ideas, since almost universally adopted by the medical profession, were then considered so heretical that he was looked on by the doctors as a dangerous crank. It is difficult to believe that drugs were then considered all important and that fresh air, sunlight and proper diet were generally neglected, but so it was. Mr. Scott had the courage of his convictions, for he brought his six children successfully through the usual childish ailments, including scarlet fever, without medical aid, save in the matter of diagnosis. For the latter half of his life he was a vegetarian and confined himself to two meals a day. Indeed, he was often satisfied with one. On one occasion, during the elections of 1900, he breakfasted early, took the 8.30 A.M. train for Alexandria, where he made two speeches, came back to the city for an evening meeting, and returning home late, decided to cancel dinner. On that day, therefore, Mr. Scott travelled eighty miles and made three speeches, all on one meal, and without any ill effects! It will be observed that Mr. Scott did not die of old age. He fully expected to live to be a hundred and doubtless would have done so, had it not been for an affection, the cause of which is at present unknown to medical science, and against which he could not, therefore, have guarded.
Mr. Scott was of a most kindly disposition and was much beloved by all of those who came into contact with him. He was probably the most accessible minister of the Crown that has ever presided over a federal department. He was always ready and available to do business with all persons having business with him. He was especially considerate towards newspaper men, endeavouring whenever possible, to supply them with any news that he was at liberty to disclose. He habitually treated all persons with the utmost fairness, making no distinction of race or religion. Indeed, he was sometimes criticised by his own co-religionists because he was not prepared, in making an appointment, to put considerations of race and religion above those of merit.
As illustrating Mr. Scott's spirit of fairness, as well as his firmness and tact, an incident may be recalled that took place in 1853, during his term as Mayor of Bytown. As the 12th of July approached, the Orangemen of the County of Carleton announced their intention of organizing a monster parade in the town, and of including Lower Town in their itinerary. Lower Town was the stronghold of lumber jacks, mostly Irish and French Catholics, who were known as "shiners," from the resplendent "soap looks" that they affected, produced by smoothing back the hair at the sides of the temples with a cake of soap. (4) Party feeling ran very high in those days. The "Stony Monday" riot of 1849 was a recent memory and the "shiners" were determined that the proposed walk should not be permitted to take place.
When the day arrived, the Orangemen, chiefly from the surrounding country, gathered to the number of many thousands, all fully armed. The "shiners" were also armed and had, moreover, erected barricades, from the cover of which they threatened to pour shot into the midst of the procession, should it attempt to pass. The situation looked so serious that the government proposed to send additional troops to supplement the regular garrison then stationed at Bytown, and to line with soldiers the streets through which the procession was to pass. Mayor Scott, however, feared that this measure of protection might only tend to precipitate trouble, and prevailed on the authorities to allow him to try more peaceful measures. He first went to the Orange leaders and endeavoured to persuade them to abandon the parade, or at the least to confine it to Upper Town, the Protestant section. Finding them obdurate and recognizing that, however unwisely they were acting, they were within their legal rights in doing as they proposed, he exacted promises that, in return for what protection his authority as Mayor might afford, they would keep their followers out of all drinking places, would do all in their power to prevent a breach of the peace, and would all withdraw from the town before night fall. The Mayor then saw the principal men among the "shiners" and urged on them the desirability of behaving peacably, pointing out that as the Orangement had a legal right to do as they proposed, anyone interfering with them would be thereby putting himself in the wrong. When the procession advanced towards Lower Town, the Mayor, driving himself in a single carriage, placed himself at its head and proceeded to lead it through large crowds of "shiners," apparently prepared to dispute its passage. It was probably a unique instance of an Orange parade headed by a Catholic and by him piloted through an opposing body of his co-religionists.
The Mayor's action and the good advice he had given to both sides, saved the day. All went off peaceably. But had a shot been fired on either side, the result would doubtless have been a fearful riot.
I cannot, in conclusion, do better than to quote the editorial tribute paid to Sir Richard, on the morrow of his death, by the Ottawa Journal, a paper opposed in politics to the party to which he belonged:
"Few public men Canada has known have passed through life more usefully and none more blamelessly than the late Sir Richard Scott. Three fourths of his eighty-eight years were spent in almost continuous public service, characterized always by high ideals, by persistent effort and untiring work.… Throughout his long career Sir Richard Scott was a patriotic Canadian and Imperialist, who stood for honour, fairness and moderation in both public and private life. He has left a notable double legacy to his country - the memory in part of untiring public work of a high type, the memory in part of unstained and unassailed simple-minded integrity, public and private."
LETTERS FROM MEMBERS
OF THE HIERARCHY AND CLERGY
TO MR. SCOTT
RELATING TO THE SEPARATE SCHOOL BILL
Kingston, 13th April 1860
I have to thank you for the copy of your proposed amendment to the present S. S. Bill. As I had received a previous copy through the kind attention -of a friend, I have had time to examine your measure with the attention the importance of the matter demands.
I am happy to be able to say that I approve in the fullest manner the measure you have brought forward. It does not, it is true do away with every grievance, but it relieves the Catholics from the principal difficulties they now labor under and removes the greatest obstacle to the efficient working of our Schools by allowing the union for School purposes of Catholics residing in neigboring municipalities. Another thing in favour of your measure is that, by its unpretending form, it may possibly escape the determined opposition a more lengthy and comprehensive measure would most assuredly encounter from the enemies of free education.
Whatever be the event. you at least, my dear Sir, deserve well from the Catholics of Western Canada, and ungrateful would they be if ever they lost the memory of your efforts to secure to their children the benefits of a good, sound, religious education.
That Heaven may spare you long to continue your career of usefulness is the fervent prayer of your
devoted Servant in Xt.
† E. J. Bp. of Kingston
R. W. Scott, Esq.,
Hamilton, 15th April, 1860
I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter with your accompanying S. School bill amended. I am quite satisfied with your amendments provided it be possible to carry them through the house. They will be perhaps as much as we need expect under circumstances. It would be very desirable to be able to require the ordinary tax collector to collect our school taxes if required by R. C. S. School board and handed over to them. I suppose it will not be possible to restrict the discretionary powers of the Chief Superintendent so as to have more equal justice done to Catholic schools. If I can believe the many complaints which I have heard from different quarters, it happens very frequently that Catholic schools obtain a very trifling share of the Gov't grant in comparison with the aid afforded neighbouring protestant Common schools.
Accept my best wishes for the success of your bill and thanks for your exertions in favour of education.
I have the honour to be your very faithful servant.
† JOHN FARRELL, Bp.
Archéveché, April 28th 1860
The enclosed letter is from a Gentleman of St. Thomas C. W. holding a situation under the Government. He knows by a long experience in school matters how desirable it is to amend seriously the present School Bill.
May I beg of you to remind Hon'ble Allyn and Solicitor General Morrison of their promise to me in reference to amending or rather explaining the law concerning Municipal taxation in regard to church properties in Upper Canada. For some time past Municipalities are taxing heavily the parsonages or residences occupied by clergymen and even church grounds annexed to churches. Several able Protestant Lawyers whom I have consulted say that the spirit of the law is manifestily that not only churches but all parsonages, and all church grounds annexed to churches and belonging to their respective congregations should be exempted of all municipal taxes.
The Ministry has nothing to apprehend on that score, for the law thus clearly interpreted on behalf of all church properties will be very popular among all denominations in U. Canada. Please see the above named gentlemen. In haste.
† Ad. Bp. of Sandwich (5)
R. Scott, Esquire.
Member for Ottawa.
In order to gain time, could not your amendment be passed first in the Legislative Council? I believe Col. Prince would willingly undertake it f you would ask him. If you desire it, I would call on him for that purpose. After seeing you on the St. Louis promenade I met Mr. Arman who made that suggestion which seems to me very good.
† Ad. Bp. S.
Kingston, Regiopolis College, April 24th, 1861
My dear friend,
I thought that I would have had the pleasure of seeing you in Quebec long ere now, but the early recess of the House and my present state of health have forced me to put off my journey for some time. I must however make an effort to get down before the estimates come before the House.
I have yesterday received a few lines from the Hon. John A. MacDonald addressed to Bishop Horan who had left on last Monday for Rome, in which he acknowledges to have received numerous suggestions from the Bishop relating to the Separate School Bill. He acknowledges also to have received a similar minute from Toronto containing the Heads of a Bill as agreed upon between Bishop Lynch and Dr. Ryerson. This assetion of Mr. MacDonald is not altogether correct for I was myself present upon that occasion and both Bishop Lynch and myself suggested amendments to Dr. Ryerson and although we obtained the admission of some others were rejected. I then requested Dr. Ryerson to favor me with a copy of the heads of his Bill in order to show them to Bishop Horan. He did so, and it was after perusing them with great attention he, Bp Horan made the suggestions of which I believe he sent a copy to yourself. John A. also says, "Mr. Scott's Bill is before the house and from the trend I have little doubt that we will be able to settle a Bill satisfactory to all concerned." By the above you see the Ministry are in favor of the Separate School Bill and I hope your Bill will be of such a nature as to terminate forever any further discussion upon the subject.
If you succeed in thus settling the matter you will confer a great boon on the Catholics of Upper Canada for which I hope they will not fail to express their gratitude upon some further occasion.
Believe me my dear friend to be most sincerely
Yours for ever,
and Administrator of Diocese of Kingston
To Richard Scott, Esq., M.P.P.
Kingston, 4th April 186.
I see by the papers that you have already introduced your Separate School Bill - for this all Catholics must feel grateful. I trust you may be enabled to get it through this Session. Two years ago I was quite satisfied with your Bill because I felt that it contained all we could hope to obtain at that time. As our prospects are at present much more favorable I must confess it would not now satisfy me nor do I believe it would give general satisfaction. I am of opinion that we should aim at something more and endeavour to obtain a larger measure of justice. The present administration owe a great deal to the Catholics of Upper Canada, and I believe they are ready to acknowledge the debt and that on the question of Separate Schools they will support our just claims.
I send you a rough draft of the amendments which I think ought to be comprised in any Bill to be proposed this Session. All our grievances will not be remedied even were these projected amendments to become law, but I did not think it advisable to ask for anything more.
The Attorney General for Canada West has promised me more than once that he would give such a measure his full support. With this promise to stimulate us I think it would be losing the favourable opportunity not to make a strong effort to obtain for Catholic youth the advantages of freedom of education. From what I see and hear I do not think a Bill to amend the present Separate School Bill would meet with anything like the opposition with which it would have been received some years since.
I remain, Dear Sir,
Yours very truly
† E. J. Bp. of Kingston
R. W. Scott, Esq., M.P.P.
St. Michael's Palace, Toronto, 28th Apr. 1862
Owing probably to detention of the train, your letter to His Lordship, Bishop Lynch did not arrive here till today. I am confident His Lordship will be highly pleased if your bill should pass. Hon. Mr. Elmsley who has a very complete and practical knowledge of the working of the school bill recommends a few changes if they could be carried with the rest. The following are his suggestions: -
In clause 3 - if possible erase the words "British Subject." In some places there -are very many Germans not naturalized, very desirable trustees. Such are not incapacitated from acting as Common School trustees; there can be no reason therefore for rendering them ineligible as C. Sep. School trustees. Do not however expose the bill to peril by urging this matter of minor importance.
In clause 8 - One trustee would be preferred from each ward in Toronto; in other large cities probably. This is also of minor importance than other things.
Clause 14 should be expunged, if the bill would possibly pass so. A school in York Co. - I think No. 1 Section, was planned and a tax was imposed on Catholics as well as Protestants which will last 20 years, on account of a school house. Yet the Catholics have received no benefit at all from it and will not use it.
In clause 18 say 6 months instead of two. It is often difficult or impossible to start so soon.
The rest of the Bill is believed to be as good as it can be made. Mr. Elmsley says if the Bill should go to Committee he has no doubt he could convince any Committee of honorable and intelligent men that clause 14 should be expunged. If you should be Chairman on that Committee, you would I feel confident, find Hon. Mr. Elmsley a most powerful auxiliary, if you would call upon him to afford his testimony in the matter.
Hoping you will take these things into consideration, and will do as well as you can in regard to these changes,
Believe me Sir,
Yours gratefully & respectfully,
GEORGE R. NORTHGRAVE, PP.
St. Michael's Cathedral,
R. W. Scott, Esq., MPP.
Sandwich, April 28th, 1862
< The new School Bill lately introduced by you in the Parliament, has been received by me in the absence of His Lordship who is now in the Island of Cuba. Agreeably to your direction, I will write to the Attorney General McDonald, asking the assistance of the Govemt. in its passage through the House.
As the new Bill does not seem, so far as I can recollect, materially different from the one of last year, I presume His Lordship, if he were here, would have no objection to give it his approbation.
However permit me respectfully to suggest two or three slight alterations. Section 14. It is desirable that as soon as a separate school is established, the supporters of said school should be exempted from paying rates for the support of Common Schools or Common School libraries etc., imposed before the establishment of such separate school.
Section 16. The average number of pupils attending separate schools, being put down at fifteen or more as a condition to entitle them to a share in the funds granted by the Legislature or in other public grants and allotments etc., should be restricted to ten or twelve at most.
Section 17. Instead of half yearly returns to the Chief Superintendent, I beg to be permitted to suggest a yearly return.
Now in conclusion, allow me, dear Sir, to request you to lay the above suggestions of mine, if you deem it proper, before the Attorney General West.
Hoping that this year the Catholics of Upper Canada shall not be doomed again to disappointment,
your most obt. servant
F. K. BRUGERE, V. G.
Richard W. Scott, M.P.P.
Toronto, March 18th, 1863
My dear Mr. Scott,
I most heartily thank you for your noble efforts to settle finally our school difficulty.
I do hope that your bill will become law, and exhonorate us from the very disagreeable and difficult duty of fighting a religious battle on the political arena of hustings.
Please to accept my dear Sir, the expression of my high esteem and regard.
Yours sincerely in Xt.
† JOHN JOSEPH LYNCH
Bp. Of Toronto.
Kingston, 24th April, 1863.
My dear Mr. Scott,
Allow me to congratulate you on the great success of your Separate School Bill.
Had an adverse majority prevented the passage of your bill, even then you would have had an undoubted right to the love and gratitude of every Catholic parent who is desirous of procuring for his children the inestimable blessings of a religious education.
Now that God has been pleased to bless your honest endeavors, and crown with full success your persevering labors, you will be long remembered by a grateful people as the friend of true education, and your name will be handed down as that of the successful advocate of the Parent's rights to have his children educated and instructed in accordance with the dictates of his conscience.
Thanking you for this signal service rendered to the church and to society.
My dear Mr. Scott,
Very sincerely and gratefully your,
† E. J., Bp. of Kingston.
R. W. Scott, Esq'r, M.P.P.
Quebec, May 6 1863
To R. W. Scott, M.P.
Please accept assurance of perpetual gratitude of Catholics of Canada.
Oakville, March 14th, 1863.
Richard Scott, Esq'r, M.P.P.
My dear Sir,
I congratulate you most sincerely on the happy effects of your past labors, and for which the Catholic clergy and laity of Upper Canada owe you a deep debt of gratitude. May Almighty God spare you long to witness with joy the happy fruits of your new S. School Bill. It is a good one and a great rise to Catholic Education. I hope no obstacle will be thrown in its way through the upper house. I would be glad if possible' to see the vote in the upper house.
Humbly praying to God for your future welfare and happiness, I have the honour to subscribe myself.
Your very obedient Servant,
J. RYAN, C. Pastor.
P.S.- I have had several letters from John White, our member, since the house sat. I did not think he would act as he did - Mr. Foley's act rejoiced me. As for Mr. McGee, of course he could not or would not do otherwise. Thanks to both.-J. R.
Ottawa, June 5th 67
My dear Scott,
You ask me as to your standing with the Govt. in political matters.
Now the situation seems to be this. Personally and as between you & me, you stand as one of my oldest and truest political friends - to whom I must give the preference over all others in this part of the Country - As to the Govt. - we received Mr. Currier's support to Confederation & the general policy of the Govt. during the last Parliament and as he professes still to be ready to support whatever Ministry may be charged with carrying the Act of Union into effect - the Government would of course feel themselves bound to favour his return. But on my arrival here from England, I was assured by every one that Currier had not made up his mind to run at all and that if he did it would be for the local Assembly. I had no difficulty therefore in asking you to stand for the Commons - thinking that the general & local interests of Ottawa could not be in better hands than in those of yourself & Currier - I regretted much to learn the complication between Mr. McGillivray & yourself and now that Currier comes out for the Commons the complications are increased - I think you exercise a wise discretion in making up your mind to go into the Local Legislature, where perhaps you can have a larger field of usefulness in one sense than was open to you in the Commons - I wish you every success.
JOHN A. MACDONALD
R. W. Scott, Esq.
Names of Ottawa electors who 20th and 21st December 1871 wired to Mr. Scott at Toronto advising in favour of his entering the Liberal Government
Sir John A. Macdonald, J. R. Booth,
Sir Francis Hincks, Allan Gilmour,
Francis Clemow, W. G. Perley,
James Cotton, Jas. Skead,
Wm. Fingland, H. F. Bronson,
J. P. Featherston, John Heney,
J. M. Currier, D. C. Beaubien,
J. B. Lewis, C. W. Bangs & Co.,
J. Henri, Eugene Martineau,
E. McGillivray, J. Rochester, Jr.,
J. B. Batson, J. P. Tourgeon,
Thomas Reynolds, Philip Thompson,
Barritt, A. N. Noel,
Patterson, James Warnock,
Henry N. Bate, P. A. Egleson, Sr.,
James Pennock, H. Lapierre.
H. V. Noel,
Also the following from other places:
His Lordship Bishop Walsh, London,
J. J. C. Abbott, Montreal,
H. Abbott, Brockville.
The only advice adverse to Mr. Scott's accepting office was from his wife, who wired:
"Be advised, remain as you are"
Anyone familiar with the Ottawa of the early seventies will realize that the above list includes practically every Ottawa citizen of any importance.
1. Mr. MacKenzie was three times expelled from the Legislative Assembly, on 12th December, 1831, on 7th January, 1832, and on 2nd November, 1832, but on the last occasion he was absent in England. In "William Lyon MacKenzie" by Charles Lindsey, published in 1909 by Morang & Co. Ltd., in "The Makers of Canada" series, at page 215, the following passage occurs: "Alexander Frazer, a man of coarse manners and violent language, publicly threatened to horsewhip Mackenzie from his place in the assembly during the mock trial; and it was said that, within twenty-four hours, he received from Sir John Colborne a promise of the collectorship of Brockville. The promise was faithfully fulfilled." This is stated as having taken place on the occasion of MacKenzie's second expulsion, which was on the 7th of January, 1832, but the statement as it stands is evidently incorrect for the following reasons:
1. It is true that Alexander Fraser (not Frazer) afterwards the Honourable Alexander Fraser, sat in the Legislature as member for Glengarry from 1828 to 1834, but he was never Collector of Customs at Brockville.
2. It is true that Richard Duncan Fraser (no relation of Alexander's), who sat in the Legislature for the County of Grenville from 1830 to 1834, was appointed Collector of Customs at Brockville, but he was appointed on the 30th of December, 1831, a week prior to the second expulsion. If, however, we substitute Richard Duncan Fraser for "Alexander Frazer" and the first expulsion for the second, Mr. Lindsey's statement may be true.
2. See Appendix B.
3. See an account of the incident in The Ottawa Citizen of July 21st, 1937.
4. The term "shiners" was not peculiar to Bytown. The "Bowery Boys" of New York, for instance, were also known by that name, and for a similar reason.
5. The diocese of London was created in 1855, and the Right Rev. Pierre Adolphe Pinsonnault became first bishop. In 1859 he had his residence and the title of the diocese changed to Sandwich. Bishop Pinsonnault resigned in 1866, and the see returned to London in 1869. Evidently this letter was written from the residence of the Archbishop of Quebec.