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A Dominion from Sea to Sea: Sir Samuel Leonard Tilley, Father of Confederation
Queens County Heritage
Gagetown , New Brunswick

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   When Samuel Leonard Tilley
left Gagetown, New Brunswick
at the age of 13 for a career
as a pharmacist, he was
unaware that he would become
New Brunswick’s most
prominent Father of
Confederation.
   Tilley was born May 8,
1818 in a small bedroom off

the main parlour of his
parents’ house in the Village
of Gagetown. The eldest of
many brothers and sisters,
Samuel left home as a young
teenager to apprentice as a
pharmacist in St. John,
eventually establishing a
prosperous apothecary
business with one of his

cousins. In his early
thirties, however, Tilley’s
association with the Sons of
Temperance, an organization
dedicated to prohibition of
alcohol, inspired him to
enter politics. He was
elected to the Provincial
Assembly of New Brunswick and
promoted to the rank of

Provincial Secretary in the
1860s.
   As a staunch supporter of
the growing Confederation
movement, Tilley attended the
Charlottetown, Quebec and
London Conferences and was
rewarded with a federal post
in John A. Macdonald’s first
cabinet. It was Tilley who

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