PA1-1466 | Urbain Johnson

Urbain Johnson
J. Fraser Gregory
About 1874, 19th century
On paper
10.5 x 6.2 cm
This artefact belongs to: © Centre d'études acadiennes
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Keys to History

Born January 27, 1824, in St. Louis de Kent, NB, Urbain Johnson was from a farming family. Despite little formal education, he held a number of positions in the provincial civil service.

After his first electoral campaign, in 1869, he was elected MLA for Kent, but did not have an easy time of it. The English-speaking population of the area was not too fond of him. Someone even shot him with a revolver, but fortunately he was unhurt. Johnson held his seat until 1882. He was then re-elected in 1895 and held his seat until he retired in 1908.

Johnson sat in the legislative assembly during a tumultuous period in New Brunswick's history. He was one of the members who voted against the Common Schools Act of 1871, which attempted to dismantle the province's confessional school system.

  • What

    Urbain Johnson was an MLA when the Common Schools Act was passed, without his support, by the New Brunswick legislative assembly in 1871.

  • Where

    The location of the studio of photographer J. P. Tuck is indicated on the back of the picture. The studio was on Queen Street in Fredericton, NB, near the Normal School.

  • When

    At the Acadian national convention of 1881, Johnson argued in favour of adopting national symbols distinct from those of the French Canadians, such as choosing the feast of the Assumption as the Acadian national holiday.

  • Who

    Urbain Johnson, an Acadian patriot, was a member of the delegation to the Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste convention held in Quebec City in 1880.