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Confederation Complete

The following article is from:
The British Colonist (British Columbia) Thursday Morning, July 20, 1871, p. 2

To-day, British Columbia passed peacefully and, let us add, gracefully into the confederated empire of British North America. Perhaps it would be more proper to put it thus: To-day the confederated empire of British North American stretches to the shores of the Pacific, "whose limpid waters," to quote the poetic language of Mr. J. Spencer Thompson, "leave in baptismal welcome the brow of the new-born Province which forms the last link in the transcontinental chain -- the last star in the constellation which is destined hereafter to shine so brightly in the northern hemisphere." To-day the great scheme of Confederation in British North America may be regarded as practically complete. It is true that two islands of the Atlantic (Prince Edward and Newfoundland) still stand aloof. But Confederation can get on without them much better than they can get on without it. They will soon be found […] for a union they have thoughtlessly spurned. To-day British Columbia and Canada join hands and hearts across the Rocky Mountains, and John Bell [?] the younger stands with one foot on the Atlantic and the other on the Pacific -- with his back to the North Pole and his face looking southward -- how far we will not now venture to predict. Let the larger political union which we celebrate to-day be symbolic of a union of parties, of purpose and of action. Let the people of this Pacific Province accustom themselves to think of the Dominion as a second edition of Great Britain, and let all learn to regard each other as a band of brothers upon whom has devolved the honor and the responsibility of laying the foundations of empire. There is a feeling in the minds of some that the day which celebrates the nuptials of British Columbia and Canada at the same time celebrates the divorce of the former from the parent empire, and this feeling may tend to damp the enthusiasm of such as are the subjects of it: and we readily confess that, did not ground for the idea exist, we would sympathise with the feeling it is calculated to beget. Not only is there no ground for the idea, but the reverse is actually true. Instead of the union we celebrate weakening those bonds which connect us with the parent empire, it will impart additional strength and vitality to them. It will release us from the red tape and sealing wax of Downing street, it is true -- but then, it will draw us nearer to the throne. It will do more. It will draw together all the peoples of British North America into one common brotherhood and beget a national sentiment, a sentiment more truly British than would be compatible with isolation and discontent. Let the union we celebrate be suggestive of a drawing together, a harmonizing and a nationalizing of all those sometime discordant elements which have culminated in local faction; and while joining hands with Canada in the grand and patriotic work of building up a second British Empire on this continent, let us join hands among ourselves in a friendly but firm resolve to begin our new political life a united and harmonious band for the purpose of making British Columbia -- what Nature designed her to be -- the Queen Province of the Dominion. With one common nationality, one common interest, one object should now actuate every heart and obliterate all those lines created by the factions of the past.