Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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NORQUAY, John, Canadian statesman, born in Manitoba, 8 May, 1841. He is of Scottish and Indian ancestry, and was educated at St. John's academy, Red river settlement, where he gained a scholarship in 1854. Mr. Norquay took an active part in the discussion on the Red river rebellion in 1870, and by the moderation of his views secured the confidence of the authorities as well as of the half-breeds. He was elected to the first Manitoba parliament for High Bluff in 1870, and in December, 1871, was appointed minister of public works and agriculture. He resigned with his colleagues in July, 1874, joined the Davis administration in 1875, and in May, 1876, became minister of public works. In October, 1878, with Joseph Royal, he formed an administration, becoming premier and provincial treasurer. On 27 August, 1886, Mr. Nor-quay resigned the treasurership, and he was appointed railway commissioner on 10 September. He was elected to the Manitoba parliament for St. Andrews in 1874, and re-elected in 1878, 1879, 1883, and 1886. He is the only member that has held a seat in the legislative assembly of Manitoba continuously from its inception till the present time (1888). He has represented the province on several delegations to the federal government at Ottawa, and has secured the enlargement of its boundaries, and an increase of the subsidy from the Dominion. The acts relating to municipalities, drainage, and county courts are among the principal measures that have resulted from his legislation. His vigorous railway extension policy has been of great benefit to Manitoba, , though in pursuance of it, in 1887, in connect, ion with the construction of the Red river valley railroad, it led him into conflict with the Dominion government. This road would connect Winnipeg with the northern boundary of Minnesota, and was regarded as infringing upon the charter rights of the Canada Pacific railway, which had been granted a monopoly of traffic for twenty years from the date of its opening. Notwithstanding the interdict of the Dominion government, Premier Norquay and the Manitoba legislature determined to build the Red river valley railway, and in the mean time the dispute was referred to the British privy council. In January, 1888, Mr. Norquay and the members of his administration resigned.
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