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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MITCHELL, Peter, Canadian statesman, born in Newcastle, New Brunswick, 4 January, 1824. He received a grammar-school education, and after studying law was admitted to the bar in 1848. Subsequently he turned his attention to shipbuilding, and was successful in that pursuit. In 1856 he was elected from Northumberland county to the New Brunswick parliament, and after serving for five years was appointed a life member of the legislative council. He was a member of the executive of that province from 1858 till 1865, when his government was defeated on the question of the confederation of the British American provinces. Mr. Mitchell was then selected with Robert D. Wihnot to form an administration to test the province on confederation, and was appointed president of the executive committee, which office he held until the organization of the Dominion government in July, 1867. Mr. Mitchell was an ardent advocate of the union, and did much by his writings and speeches in and out of parliament to promote it. In 1867 he was made senator, but he resigned in 1872. He held the office of minister of marine and fisheries in the cabinet under Sir John A. Macdonald until 5 November, 1873. He was returned to the Canadian parliament in 1872, re-elected in 1874, and chosen again in 1882 from his native county of Northumberland, and took an active part in the settlement of the fisheries dispute between Canada and the United States in 1878. Mr. Mitchell was three times appointed delegate to Canada and England from New Brunswick, with the view of obtaining the construction of the Intercolonial railway from Halifax to Quebec, and the Confederation of the provinces. He has been president of the Mitchell steamship company, and recently has been active in operations connected with the establishment of the Canadian Pacific railway. In 1885 he bought the Montreal "Herald," and he is now president of the "Herald " publishing company. He is the author of "A Review of President Grant's Recent Message to the United States Congress relative to the Canadian Fisheries, and the Navigation of the St. Lawrence River" (Ottawa, 1870).
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