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Sir Alexander Tilloch Galt

born: London, England, 6 September 1817
died: Montreal, Canada East, 19 September 1893
representing: Province of Canada
position: Pro-Confederation

Sir Alexander Tilloch Galt

Son of famous colonizer John Galt, Alexander Tilloch Galt was born in England but didn't give his homeland high regard. In 1835 he emigrated to Sherbrooke, Nova Scotia, to work for the British America Land Company.

Here Galt saw potential for the area of Quebec's Eastern townships, which the British America Land Company was settling, to be linked to the ocean with a railway. Later he also became a contractor for the extension of the Grand Trunk Railway which was pushing westward from Toronto, and in 1849 he became president of the St. Lawrence and Atlantic Railroad.

In his day many railway promoters were also to become politicians and Galt was no exception. In 1849 he was elected into Canadian Parliament as a Liberal representative for Sherbrooke. Galt was a strong proponent of union with the United States of America. For a short period he retired from Parliament but returned in 1853.

In 1858 he joined John A. Macdonald and George-Étienne Cartier on the condition that federation of the colonies be an integral part of their platform and he became finance minister in their government. After Confederation he would become Canada's first federal finance minister.

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