Library and Archives Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Institutional links

ARCHIVED - Confederation for kids

Archived Content

This archived Web page remains online for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. This page will not be altered or updated. Web pages that are archived on the Internet are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats of this page on the Contact Us page.


James Colledge Pope

Hon. James Colledge Pope

Hon. James Colledge Pope

Pope was born at Bedeque, Prince Edward Island, on June 11, 1826. He started out in his father's business, but soon got into many business dealings of his own including shipbuilding, real estate and the telegraph business. His political career began in 1857 when he ran as a Conservative and won his seat. Two years later he was named to the government's Executive Council.

Prince Edward Island's politicians were deeply divided over the issue of Confederation. When the disagreement caused powerful people in the Conservative party to step down, Pope became the new premier. Pope was not interested in Confederation because he believed that what was being offered to the Island was not enough for its needs.

It was Pope's spending on railway building that led to Confederation. The government owed a lot of money and was forced to make a deal to join Canada or go bankrupt. Pope promised that if he were elected in 1873 he would get an even better deal from Canada. Pope won and kept his promise. He was premier when the Island entered Confederation on July 1, 1873. Pope stayed active in politics until 1881 when health problems finally made him retire. He died on May 8, 1885.

Previous | Next