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George Coles

born: P.E.I., 20 September 1810
died: Charlottetown Royalty, P.E.I., 21August 1875
representing: P.E.I.
position: Anti-Confederation

George Coles

Born the son of a farmer, George Coles soon found his own way in life and by the age of 23 became involved in business as a merchant on P.E.I.. Coles also made a name for himself in Charlottetown when he started a successful brewing and distilling business in the city.

In 1842 Coles entered politics on the Island by being elected into the House of Assembly as a Tory. However, by 1847 he moved from the Conservatives to the Reform party. From his position with the Reformers he began the push toward responsible government in the province. With the completion of this goal in 1849, Coles became the first premier of P.E.I. under responsible government. He would be elected to the position of premier three times between 1851-68.

At the Charlottetown Conference, Coles was not enthusiastic on the idea of uniting the British North American colonies. His influence in the Island's government kept the province from joining the initial union. In 1868, Coles had to resign from the premier's position due to the onset of senility.

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