|Sir Albert James Smith|
(New Brunswick Museum,
Sir Albert James Smith
Albert James Smith was born in Shediac, New Brunswick in 1822 to a family of United Empire Loyalists. He studied law under E.B. Chandler and became a fully-fledged Barrister in 1847. He joined the “Smashers” and was elected to represent his home riding of Westmorland in 1852.
Smith served without portfolio until he became attorney general in 1862. He was extremely popular among the people of New Brunswick, due to his honesty, compassion, and caring nature. He sparked the Anti-Confederation movement out of fear that the province would lose its political and economic autonomy. In 1865 his movement succeeded, winning 26 out of 41 seats, and became Premier of New Brunswick.
Shortly after his victory at the polls however, public opinion soon shifted in favour of Confederation, due to church support in favour of union, fear of a Fenian invasion from the United States, and reassuring promises from Pro-Confederation politicians.
Smith resigned from provincial politics in 1866 after his election loss to Peter Mitchell. He entered into federal politics the following year, and later became the federal Minister of Marine and Fisheries. Smith passed away in 1883, shortly after losing an election for the first time in his political career.
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