Portrait of Sir John Alexander Macdonald

Sir John A. Macdonald (1815-1891) was the first prime minister of the Dominion of Canada. His role in creating Canada and the realization of his dream to build a transcontinental railway have fixed his place as a nation builder in Canadian history. He became prime minister of the new Dominion of Canada in 1867. He remained in office until 1873 and then again from 1878 to his death in 1891.

c. 1867
Ontario, CANADA
C-021604, DAPDCAP 35367
© 2007, Library and Archives Canada. All Rights Reserved.

Photograph of International Convention at Quebec

The men pictured here were delegates of the provinces and colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward’s Island and Newfoundland, attending the Québec Conference. Only two observers from Newfoundland were present at the conference, held October 10-27, 1864. C-006350, DAPDCAP 337102, MIKAN 3194512

Jules I. Livernois
Québec, Quebec, CANADA
© 2007, Library and Archives Canada. All Rights Reserved.

Photograph of Convention at Charlottetown, P.E.I.

The first real encounter of politicians and influential persons from the Legislatures of Canada, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island was held in the capital of Prince Edward Island to discuss the union of British North America. This photograph shows delegates of the Charlottetown Conference, held September 1 to 9, 1864. C-000733, DAPDCAP 88360, MIKAN 3192471

G.P. Roberts
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, CANADA
© 2007, Library and Archives Canada. All Rights Reserved.

Photograph of the opening of the Parliament Buildings

Queen Victoria chose Ottawa as the capital of the Dominion of Canada in 1857. In 1859, Thomas Fuller and Chilion Jones won the contract to design the Centre Block of the parliament buildings. The design was reworked in 1863 by Fuller and Charles Baillargé, and construction was completed in 1866. This photograph of the Centre Block was taken in 1866, shortly after its completion. The Parliament Buildings were built in a Gothic Revival style.

Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA
PA-120596, DAPDCAP 202404, MIKAN 3192920
© 2007, Library and Archives Canada. All Rights Reserved.

Portrait of Thomas D’Arcy McGee

Thomas D’Arcy McGee (1825-1868), politician, poet and journalist, emigrated from Ireland in 1842. He actively supported the Reform Party as well as the Intercolonial Railway. He left for the Conservative party in 1863. McGee defended the Canadian Confederation and was opposed to the Fenians and their plans to achieve Irish independence and conquer Canada. McGee was shot outside his house on Sparks Street in Ottawa on April 7, 1867.

C-021543, DAPDCAP 465202, MIKAN 3526201
© 2007, Library and Archives Canada. All Rights Reserved.

Learning Objectives

The purpose of this series of images is to give primary evidence for students to explore on the topic of Canadian Confederation.

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