John Haggart fonds [textual record]
Record Information – Brief1
John Haggart fonds [textual record]
- Hierarchical level:
- Type of material:
- Textual material
- Found in:
- Archives / Collections and Fonds
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- Context of this record:
Record Information – Details
- Fonds includes:
2 lower level description(s)View lower level description(s)
- Place of creation:
- No place, unknown, or undetermined
- 47 cm of textual records.
- Language of material:
- Scope and content:
Fonds consists of nine (9) letter books which contain personal and political correspondence pertaining to John Haggart's career as Postmaster General and as Minister of Railways and Canals. The letter books have been divided into two series. The first series, Personal and political correspondence, consists of seven of the letter books which document the functional activities and operations of the Post Office and the Department of Railways and Canals. The second series, Ministers private letterbooks, contains the private ministerial correspondence of both Mackenzie Bowell and Haggart as Ministers of Railways and Canals.
Much of the correspondence is of a routine nature, but it does offer insights into the operations and administration of the Department of Railways and Canals under Haggart and Bowell. The fonds also contains a great deal of correspondence pertaining to Haggart's constituency and local political patronage. Finally the correspondence reveals a great deal about changes within the Conservative Party in the 1890s.
- Additional name(s):
- Biography/Administrative history:
Haggart, John, 1836-1913 : John Graham Haggart was born in Perth, Upper Canada in 1836. Originally preparing for a career in law, Haggart took over the family milling business in 1854, eventually developing and overseeing the operation of Perth Mills, in Perth. As a young man, he raised a company of infantry in Perth and served as its captain until the end of the Fenian scare. Haggart began his political career sitting on the Perth Town Council before being elected the town's first mayor in 1866. He was twice defeated in attempts to win election to the Ontario legislature (1867, 1871), but was finally elected to the House of Commons in 1872 for Lanark South, the riding he would serve for the next 41 years. In 1888 Haggart was elevated to cabinet as Postmaster General (1888-1892) and later went on to serve as Minister of Railways and Canals (1892-1896). In 1892 he was made leader of eastern Ontario Conservatives in the House of Commons. With the death of Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald in 1891, Haggart was briefly considered for the national leadership of the Conservative Party. He is perhaps best remembered, however, for his involvement with the 'nest of traitors' being one of the seven cabinet members who resigned briefly from Prime Minister Mackenzie Bowell's cabinet in January 1896. Haggart won local distinction in Perth for his promotion of the construction of a second Tay Canal. Largely fuelled by his own self-interests, the canal was built in three stages between 1882 and 1891. Sarcastically named 'Haggart's Ditch', final construction was halted after it was discovered that Haggart was using unexpended government funds to extend the canal to his own flour mill. A valued cabinet minister, Haggart is credited with improving the financial status of the Intercolonial Railway and oversaw the completion of the Sault Ste. Marie Canal. Following the defeat of the Conservatives in 1896, he finished his career as a vocal member of the Opposition, often very critical and outspoken about Liberal railway policy. John G. Haggart died while still an M.P. in Ottawa in 1913.
- Finding aid:
(No finding aid)
- Additional information:
- Custodial history:
- Previously housed in the attic of Haggart's Perth residence.
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