HOWE, Joseph, Canadian journalist, orator and statesman: b. North West Arm, Halifax, 13 Dec. 1804; d. Halifax, 1 June 1873. He was the son of John Howe, a United Empire Loyal ist, the deputy postmaster-general of Nova Scotia and founder of the Weekly Chronicle. He learned the art of printing in his father's office, contributed his first poem to the Acadian Magazine in 1826, and in 1827 acquired the Novascotian, to which he contributed a re markable series of articles descriptive of rambles in the province and in whose hands it was destined to become the potent instru ment of liberal reforms. A trenchant attack on the magistrates of Halifax in 1835 led to his prosecution for libel, when he defended his own case, was triumphantly acquitted and "found himself') as an orator. The follow ing year he was elected to the assembly for Halifax County. In 1833 he visited England, and was influential in the establishment of the mail steam service with Halifax that was the beginning of the Cunard Line. He became a member of the executive council in 1840, and speaker of the assembly in 1841, both of which offices he resigned in 1843 to take up the editorship of the Morning Chronicle. He was provincial secretary 1848-54, and in the latter year he was appointed commissioner of the provincial railway board. He undertook a recruiting campaign for the British army in the United States in 1855, and the same year was defeated by Dr. Charles Tupper in Cumberland County. In 1862 he resigned from the assembly on his appointment as fishery commissioner. When in 1864 Confederation became a burning question, Howe threw all the weight of his authority and influence against the scheme, visited England to oppose the passing of the British North America Act, and after Con federation had become an accomplished fact, swept the province in both provincial and fed eral sections for repeal. After fighting on for
a time, he bowed to the inevitable, secured bet ter financial terms in the federal bargain for his native province and accepted office in the Macdonald government, first as president of the council and, 1869-73, Secretary of State for the provinces. His acceptance of office was liable to misconstruction by his opponents and it lost him popularity in his native province to which he returned as lieutenant-governor, but had held office for only a few weeks when he died. His death provoked a revolution of feel ing in Nova Scotia and was the occasion of great public sorrow. He had won the battle of self-government; he thought imperially; he had been associated with all the great and far reaching enterprises of his time. In the great est crisis of his life, when he turned his back on his past utterances and took the field against Confederation, he was less than true to him self. But in the influence he wielded by his pen, in his powers as an orator to sway the hearts of the people, in his personal magnetism and dynamic force, in his rare combination of statesman's grasp and insight with prophetic vision, he is the most remarkable figure in the public life of any British colony and "stands out like a splash of scarlet on the drab back ground of Canadian politics.° Consult An nand's 'Speeches and Letters of Joseph Howe' (Chisholm's ed., 1909), and Longley's 'Joseph Howe.'