Photostory #215: They Build Better than They Knew: Charlottetown: Cradle of Confederation
National Film Board of Canada
June 23, 1959
Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography fonds, National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives
On July first Canada celebrates the 92nd anniversary of Confederation: a time when the nation fittingly takes stock of its present, girds itself for the challenges of the future, and re-examines the traditions and historic occasions which make up the colourful tapestry of its history. Any reconstruction of the highlights of Canada's past must include the now famous Charlottetown Conference of September 1864 when the Fathers of Confederation met, and in a friendly exchange of opinion and goodwill, laid the groundwork for the union of all British North America into one vast Dominion stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific. The conference heralded a succession of events which led ultimately to union and Charlottetown, capital city of Prince Edward Island, has ever since been the proud bearer of the epitaph: "The Cradle of Confederation". Above, delegates to the Conference posed for this historic picture on the steps of Government House. Seated (centre) is John A. MacDonald, first Prime Minister of the new Dominion when this country achieved nationhood in 1867. A man of far-reaching vision, and the master architect of Confederation, "Sir John A." as he is often referred to today, stands in the front rank of Canada's national heroes.