Tilley actively promoted railway development and CONFEDERATION. A delegate to the Charlottetown and Québec conferences, he and his Liberal government (elected 1861) were defeated on Confederation in NB in 1865, but were returned to power in 1866 after what amounted to a coup d'état by the lieutenant-governor, Arthur Gordon. In 1867 Tilley resigned from the NB Cabinet and became minister of customs in Sir John A. MACDONALD'S first government. With the fall of Macdonald, 5 Nov 1873, Tilley was appointed, that same day, lieutenant-governor of NB. With Macdonald's return to office in 1878, Tilley became minister of finance, and as such brought in the NATIONAL POLICY tariff in 1879. In 1885, unwell, he retired to Government House, Fredericton, staying on as lieutenant-governor until 1893. Clever and adroit, he was always a sensitive political barometer, and he advised Macdonald in 1868 to pacify NS. Tilley was uneasy about the government's commitments to the CPR in the 1880s, and doubtless would have pulled the plug had he been allowed to do so. Almost the last letter he wrote (sent to Sir Charles TUPPER) was a remarkably shrewd assessment of the 1896 election.
Author P.B. WAITE
Links to Other Sites
Sir Samuel Tilley
Father of Confederation, Sir Samuel Tilley, is profiled at this Library and Archives Canada website.
Sir Samuel Leonard Tilley
This biography of Sir Samuel Leonard Tilley is part of the “Canadian Confederation” website. Includes photographs and other archival resources. From Library and Archives Canada.
Dictionary of Canadian Biography
A searchable collection of detailed biographies of prominent figures in Canadian history. Produced by the University of Toronto, the Université Laval and the National Archives of Canada.