James Colledge Pope

(1826—1885) entrepreneur and politician in Canada

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(1826–85), Prince Edward Island premier 1865–7, 1870–2 (coalition), 1873. A successful entrepreneur in several sectors, particularly shipbuilding, Pope entered politics as a Conservative, becoming premier three times, and in 1873 led the island into Confederation. The decisive factor was the building in the early 1870s of a railway the colony could not afford. Pope's second government had undertaken this project, and the anti-Confederate opposition had argued that it would be the means of dragging the island into Canada. Whether Pope had this motive is uncertain; it seems likelier that as a businessman strongly committed to transportation improvements, he supported the railway project for economic reasons, and was willing to contemplate Confederation as a by-product. Afterwards, he supported Sir John A. Macdonald's party, eventually serving as minister of marine and fisheries. In the early 1880s, overtaken by a form of dementia, he withdrew from politics.

From The Oxford Companion to Canadian History in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: History of the Americas.

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