Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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BALDWIN, Robert, Canadian statesman, born in Toronto, 12 May 1804; died at Spadina, near Toronto, 9 December 1858. He entered upon the practice of law in 1825, and continued this profession during his political career; was elected to the Upper Canada assembly in 1829 as a liberal; visited England in 1836 in the interests of responsible government, and while there endeavored to impress upon Lord Glenelg the need there was of applying the English principle of responsibility to the Canadian executive. Though he found an able advocate in Lord Durham, his mission was a failure, as it was many years before Canada was granted responsible government. On 18 February 1836, Mr. Baldwin was first sworn in as an executive councilor; in 1840 he became solicitor-general, and in 1842 premier and attorney general of Upper Canada in the Hincks-Baldwin administration, which portfolio he re-rained until the following year. In 1848 he resumed office under the Baldwin-Lafontaine government, finally quitting official life in 1851. Though regarded as the father of the reform party in Canada, he was not an extremist, and his political views were more nearly in accord with those of the present liberal-conservatives than with those that were held by the successors of the reform party in Canada.
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