One of the reasons I love history is because of the connections it forges with people and events that happened many years ago. For me these connections were never more obvious than when I discovered a telegram from Canada’s first Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, sent to T.N. Gibbs of Oshawa (A960.19.5). This year our nation is celebrating 150 years since Macdonald’s efforts to realize the union of the provinces which became Canada. In the telegram Macdonald writes “Do not be beaten, depend upon his answer.” As the telegram is dated August 26, 1867 this likely refers to the first federal election which was held between August 7 and September 20, 1867. In this election T.N. Gibbs, backed by the Conservatives, was locked in a battle with Liberal George Brown in Ontario South. Gibbs eventually won the seat and would become a close confidant of Macdonald. This is a great example of Oshawa’s local history intersecting with events on a national scale and the fact it was authored by Sir John A. Macdonald himself is especially exciting.
~Laura Suchan, Executive Director