Dear citizens and voters of New Brunswick,
As your Premier for the greater part of the past 5 years, I would like to thank you, the hardworking and steadfast people along the banks of St. John, for supporting me with your voices and ideas. I stand firmly behind the ideas of a confederation, a union of the British North American colonies, and a Dominion of Canada. As I stand as Premier with a majority, I will represent New Brunswick in the conferences to come that will determine our place in the Dominion. A strong nation in the North has been a part of my dreams for almost 20 years now, and hopefully, it will be yours as well.
I believe that you are all well aware of the benefits of a united nation, that of increased trades, better defences, and most of all, a great railway that will connect all of the previously separated provinces. Our beloved home is, unfortunately, not the best in terms of financial debt, but a union can bring new trade and work opportunities to a deprived economy. Our trade deal with the Americans had ended and Britain had long resorted to free trade, so the only and best option left to us would be to look around us. We have all of our colonies, each with different wants and fears, which a mutual trade relationship could satisfy. And any commercial union will inevitably lead to some kind of political union, one in which I now support. With the trans-colonial railway, we will have an influx of new cultures and produces, and we may freely travel to a place of our choosing. Our industrial settlements will boom from the construction of the railway and the resultant effects, and New Brunswick can then lift itself up as a powerful and responsible province.
The recent Fenian raids on the Indian Island may have hit most of you as an alarming call to get our defences up. For those who are blissfully ignorant, the civil war has just ended in the South, and the States are eying us with pity and dominance. Their “Manifest Destiny” threatens to annex our lands. Fenians are small threats compared to the armies of the Union States, and Great Britain is unable to defend us over such great a border. Only the combined power and statue of a united Canada can stop us from being robbed of our beliefs and cultures. United, we are stronger than any single province fighting on its own. It is necessary, therefore, to bind together the Atlantic and Pacific by a continuous chain of settlements and line of communications, for that was the destiny of this country and the race which inhabited it.
I had owned a pharmacy and I know firsthand the needs of the people and the province. I promise to fight for financial security and the great railway with all of my power. You need not worry about the position of New Brunswick in the new union, as I myself am a loyal citizen of this great province. I have and will advocate for strong provincial governments and equitable distribution of federal money, and the rights and autonomy of the citizens. You know me as one who speaks with logic and numbers, and I will not fail you in ensuring Maritime rights. Our independence is inevitable and nodded on by Her Majesty Queen Victoria, and it will only serve to strengthen our relationship with the Great Empire as more of a friend and less of a servant. Therefore, support me and my government, and we will build a strong country together.
I will soon depart for London to negotiate the terms for the first great country to be on this land, one proclaimed to be “inhabited by barbarians, bears and beavers” only, and in a few months time, we might finally call ourselves with the proudness of one belonging to a free and mighty nation – Canadians. Once again, I wish to thank you deeply for your support, and I will continue to uphold a responsible government serving its people.
S. L. Tilley
“He shall have Dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.” -Psalms 72:8
Wallace, C. M. “Biography – TILLEY, Sir SAMUEL LEONARD – Volume XII (1891-1900) – Dictionary of Canadian Biography.” Dictionary of Canadian Biography, Vol. 12, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 1990, www.biographi.ca/en/bio/tilley_samuel_leonard_12E.html.
“Quebec History.” Sir Samuel Leonard Tilley Father of Confederation, Marianopolis College, faculty.marianopolis.edu/c.belanger/quebechistory/encyclopedia/SirSamuelLeonardTilley-CanadianHistory.htm.