MP-1991.12.6 | Sir Francis Hincks, politician, Montreal, QC, about 1875
Sir Francis Hincks, politician, Montreal, QC, about 1875
Anonyme - Anonymous
about 1875, 19th century
Silver salts on paper mounted on paper - Albumen process
5 x 8 cm
© McCord Museum
Keywords: male (26812) , Photograph (77678) , portrait (53878)
Keys to History
While John A. Macdonald, George-Étienne Cartier and Alexander Galt would become better known as fathers of Confederation, Sir Francis Hincks, along with Sir Robert Baldwin, was the most important founder of the Reform Party tradition of French-English cooperation. A newspaper editor in Toronto and Montreal, as well as a railway speculator, Hincks, like so many politicians of his day, brought together the worlds of railways, journalism and politics.
Source : Confederation: The Creation of Canada [Web tour], by Brian J. Young, McGill University (see Links)
Politics was rough-and-tumble in the 1850s. Convinced of the importance of both Toronto and Montreal to Canadian unity, Hincks tried to keep English and French Canadians united.
Hincks bridged the worlds of Montreal and Toronto and replaced Robert Baldwin as leader in 1851. Tainted by corruption, he eventually ceded power to John A. Macdonald.
Hincks exercised his greatest power in the early 1850s. His knowledge of banks, railways and the media allowed him to flourish in several worlds at once.
Born in Ireland, and with a career that spanned journalism, politics and business, Francis Hincks understood the importance of ethnic collaboration in Canadian politics.