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.

People

Joseph Roberts Smallwood

Joey Smallwood

Source
Joey Smallwood

Smallwood was born at Gambo, Newfoundland, on December 24, 1900. When he was only five months old his family moved to St. John's. Smallwood dropped out of school before graduating; when he was fifteen years old he apprenticed as a printer at a newspaper in St. John's before becoming a reporter. In 1920 he moved to Halifax, then to Boston and New York City, gaining more experience as a newspaper reporter. After travelling to England in 1926 he returned to Newfoundland.

In 1946 Newfoundland had a National Convention to decide whether to enter Canada or remain a colony of Britain. Smallwood, or "Joey" as he came to be called, believed that Confederation was the right choice for Newfoundland. He became involved in politics to convince his fellow Newfoundlanders to join Canada, and he was a member of the team sent to Ottawa to check out what Canada might offer Newfoundland to join. He became leader of the Liberal party in 1949, and remained premier for almost a quarter of a century. After retiring twice, only to come back twice, he finally retired for good in 1977. Besides politics, Smallwood's main interest was the history of Newfoundland. He started the Encyclopedia of Newfoundland, but died on December 18, 1991 before it was finished.

Previous | Next