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What's New

Prime Minister John Joseph Caldwell Abbott images now on Flickr

Gatineau, March 12, 2012 — Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is pleased to announce that a new set of images featuring the Honourable John Joseph Caldwell Abbott is now available on Flickr. Abbott served as Canada’s Prime Minister between 1891 and 1892.

John Joseph Caldwell Abbott took over as Prime Minister with great reluctance, acknowledging that he was there "because I am not particularly obnoxious to anybody." He succeeded Sir John A. Macdonald twelve days after Macdonald’s death on June 6, 1891.

Prior to serving as Prime Minister, Abbott had established himself as an able teacher, commercial lawyer, businessman, mayor of Montreal, federal cabinet minister and Senator.

Though reluctant to accept the office of Prime Minister, Abbott proved himself to be a capable leader, despite the Langevin scandal exposed during his term. He dealt with the backlog of government business awaiting him after Macdonald's death. Reform of the civil service, revisions of the criminal code, and a reciprocity treaty with the United States were just a few of the issues initiated by Abbott. During his 17-month term, there were 52 by-elections, 42 of which were won by the Conservatives, increasing their majority by 13 seats—an indisputable acknowledgement of Abbott's abilities as Prime Minister.

In 1892 he resigned due to failing health. Abbott died in Montreal the following year.

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