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John Mercer Johnson

born: Liverpool, England, October 1818
died: Northumberland, New Brunswick, 9 November 1868
representing: New Brunswick
position: Pro-Confederation

Born in Liverpool, England, John Mercer Johnson emigrated to Canada with his father while still a child. Johnson received his early childhood education at Northumberland County grammar school before studying law. In 1840 he was called to the New Brunswick bar and began a career as a lawyer.

Johnson entered politics in 1850 after being elected into the provincial assembly to represent his home county of Northumberland. Only four years after entering the assembly, Johnson found a place in the cabinet as solicitor-general. Later in his political life he would serve the positions of attorney-general, post-master general, and Speaker of the Assembly.

At the Charlottetown Conference and the two following conferences discussing Confederation, Johnson argued strenuously that the provincial governments should not hold any power over the county or district courts. This put him at odds with his fellow Fathers of Confederation but in the end he succeeded and won his resolutions. After Confederation, Johnson started into federal politics representing, once again, Northumberland County.

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