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Hillsborough River: Country Cradle

Birthplace of Canadian Confederation

More on the Hillsborough River:

Hillsborough River:
Splendid isolation

From Away:
Charlottetown relies on world tourism

Country Cradle:
Birthplace of Canadian Confederation

Timeless Timber:
The original forest of Prince Edward Island

Tranquility Base:
How Islanders see themselves

By the 1860s, the maritime colonies and the British government felt that union of these colonies could be beneficial. It was agreed that colonial delegates would meet in Charlottetown, situated at the mouth of the Hillsborough River, in September of 1864 to discuss the issue.

When they learned about the plan for this meeting, some political leaders from Canada East and Canada West, which had been united in 1841 as the Province of Canada, asked to attend.

The Canadians arrived in Charlottetown on the steamship, Queen Victoria. The residents of Charlottetown paid them little attention. Charlottetown was much more interested in a visiting circus that had arrived in town for a short stay.

The Canadians argued in favour of a large union of all the British colonies in North America. Their arguments of improved prosperity and security for everyone were so convincing that the idea of Maritime union was abandoned.

The Charlottetown delegates agreed to meet again in Quebec City on October 10, 1864. It was in Quebec City that details of the Canadian Confederation were actually hammered out. The concept of Confederation, however, was certainly developed in Charlottetown.

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