The important people of the Canadian Pacific Railway
Sir John A. MacDonald, Right Honorable
Born: January 11th 1815, Glasglow, Scotland Died: June 6th 1891, Ottawa, Canada
Sir John A. MacDonald, was the first Prime Minister of Canada. He approved of the Canadian Pacific Railway idea thinking that it would help build a unified nation. His terms for the Canadian Pacific Railway was that British Columbia had to join the Confederation of Canada, and then the railway would be completed within 10 years of them joining Canada. This quota was not met because of Alexander Mackenzie's delayed response to the railway. It then was discovered that MacDonald was guilty of a scandal. The pacific scandal. When the scandal was uncovered by the opposition [liberals], MacDonald had to resign from being Prime Minister. That's when Alexander Mackenzie stepped up.
After Canada plummeted in a economical downwards spiral under Mackenzie's control, MacDonald was reelected in favor in the 1878 election. Mackenzie had delayed the CPR quite a lot, so when MacDonald was re-elected, he pushed the construction, and was quite concerned in the progress of the construction too.
James Jerome Hill
Born: September 16th 1838, Eramosa, Canada Died: May 29th 1916, Saint Paul, United States
James Jerome Hill, otherwise known as the Empire Builder, was one of the associates of the syndicate formed to finish the Canadian Pacific Railway. He suggested that William Cornelius Van Horne should be a officer of the railway, so it would be finished quicker.
His name being "The Empire Builder" was because between 1883-1889, he built a large amount of track near Minnesota, North Dakota, Wisconsin, and Montana. He also was a very determined man. When not enough industry was at one place at one time, he brought the industry. Usually buying a entire company to place small plants around the railroad. A childhood accident using a bow had blinded James in his right eye. He had been a keen associate of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company.
Lord Strathcona Donald Smith
Born: August 6th 1820 Forres, Scotland Died: January 21st 1915, London, England
Donald Smith was the chosen one to drive the last spike at the end of the Canadian Pacific Railway. He was a financier of the Canadian Pacific Railway, and the leading figure of railroad construction. But, he was never voted the director of the railway because of his animosity with John A. MacDonald. He was voted in to the board of executives in 1883, and stayed their until the completion of the railway. Originally, he would of become the president of the company, but he was exceeded by William Cornelius Van Horne.
Donald drove the last spike into the railway on November 7th, 1885 at Craigellachie, British Columbia. He later grew extremely wealthy through investments and became the Vice President of the Bank Of Montreal in 1882. He was later anointed to Presidency at the Bank of Montreal in 1887. He is the one with the hammer in the Gallery photo of the last spike
Sir William Cornelius Van Horne, KCMG
Born: Februray 3rd 1843, Frankfort, USA Died: September 11th 1915, Montreal, Canada
Sir William Cornelius Van Horne a pioneering Canadian railway executive.Rising to president in 1888, he is most famous for overseeing the major construction of the first Canadian transcontinental railway.Van Horne considered the railway an integrated communications and transportation system and convinced the directors and shareholders to create a telegraph service and an express freight delivery service as a complement to the railway. Van Horne was knowledgeable in nearly every element of the railway industry, including operating a locomotive
He was also responsible for launching the sea transport division of the Canadian Pacific Railway, inaugurating a regular service between Vancouver and Hong Kong in 1891 on the Empress luxury liners and lastly presided over the expansion of the CPR in the luxury hotel business and participated in the design of two of the most famous buildings in the chain, the Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City and Chateau Lake Louise in Alberta. When all construction was finished, he was asked to perform a speech his words were: "All I can say is that the work has been done very well in every way"
Sir Hugh Allan, KCMG
Born: September 29th 1810, Saltcoats, Scotland Died: December 9th 1882, Edinburgh, Scotland
Sir Hugh Allan was officially the richest man in Canada, with a estimated value of $8 million dollars. Hugh Allan was part of MacDonald's Pacific Scandal. He was knighted by Queen Victoria on 1871, before the scandal.
He helped MacDonald in his 1872 re-election by funding him over $350,000 at the time. He formed a syndicate, the Canadian Pacific Railway company, to build the railway. But it was said that the funding of over $300,000 was no more then a bribe for MacDonald to be re-elected, and then he could be contracted for the railway. As the scheme was uncovered, his plans were also soon ruined, as MacDonald stepped down from the seat of power. He died in 1882 by a heart attack while visiting his relatives in Edinburgh, Scotland
Lucius Seth Huntington
Born: May 26th 1827 Compton, Lower Canada Died: May 19th 1886 New York, USA
He was elected solicitor general in 1863, for Canada East. It was him that unraveled the mystery behind The Pacific Scandal. He exposed John A. MacDonald's plot along with Hugh Allan, that eventually led to the resignation of Prime Minister John A. MacDonald. He meant to make a syndicate to continue on the railway, but was claimed by the Conservatives that his sales of his own Copper Mine interest was wrong a while after, he resigned from his position.
He caught on a illness in the late years of his parliamentary career and so moved to New York, America to seek better Medical Treatment. He died in 1886 in New York City.
Born: August 30 1848, New York, USA Died: June 21 1905, Oscawana-On-The-Husdon, Canada
In 1879, he received quite a few contracts to work on the western end of Canada to built the Canadian Pacific Railway. In his time, he built about 27 tunnels out of the 80 that there are and more the 600 bridges that the Canadian Pacific Railroad runs through, out of 3 000 bridges.
Historians estimate that he had brought thousands of Chinese Workers to work on the Canadian Pacific Railway from China, California. and the Fraser Valley. He had once assured the white workers that Chinese and Native workers were only to be hired on conditions that other Caucasian workers were unable to be hired.
Born: January 28th 1822, Logierait, Scotland Died: April 17th, 1892, Toronto, Canada
Alexander Mackenzie, Prime Minster of Canada between 1873 and 1878. He was granted power when The Pacific Scandal was discovered by Lucius Seth Huntington. After Prime Minister John A. MacDonald resigned, he stepped up to power because of the public favor.
Although the bill for the Canadian Pacific Railway was passed during the time he was in office, he was still reluctant to start the railway construction. After he was elected, the economy started a downwards spiral for 0. Although not very liked, he was a very democratic man. Refusing knighthood 3 times in a row, he was one of the only 8 first Prime Minsters not to be knighted. Finally, John A. MacDonald returned to power in 1878 when Alexander was overrated because of the construction progress and the damage to the economy
Louis David Riel
Born: October 22 1844, Winnipeg, Canada Died: November 16th 1885, Quebec, Canada
Louis David Riel, born in 1844 was a active Métis leader, and fought for their rights. In 1885, he lead the Northwest Rebellion against the Canadian Mounted Police. He was commanding alongside with Gabriel Dumont. Louis commanded Métis warriors along with other Natives to attack the North West Mounted Police
At this point, William Cornelius Van Horne had discovered that he had run out of money, so he thought it good to use the railway to send troops over to the scene of the battle. This way, he would make enough money to finish the final hundred kilometers of the railway. Six months after the Northwest Battle, using the government-loaned money, they had finished the railway.
At last with the rebellion crushed, Louis David Riel was formally hanged. Prime Minister John A. MacDonald famously stated: "He shall hang although every dog in Québec shall bark his favour"
It has been said that he was two things: A insane traitor and a hero that fought for freedom.