Fonds ID1201 - Alexander P. Paterson

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Alexander P. Paterson

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  • Textual record

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  • 1900-1949 (Creation)
    Patterson, Alexander Pierce, 1870-1957

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2 m of textual documents

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Biographical history

Alexander Pierce Paterson (1870-1957), was a merchant and politician in Saint John, New Brunswick. He was born in Shediac, Westmorland County, the son of Alexander Weldon Paterson (1829-1889) and Mary Elizabeth Harding (1833-[1911]) of Hardingville, Kings County. A.P. Paterson received his education in Chatham and Saint John schools. He married E. Helen Pullen (d.1954) on 5 June 1895 and they had two children: Daphne, who married A.J. Shelfoon of Trenton, Ontario; and Alexander Pierce Jr. (d. 1948), who married Dorothy Ellen Slipp. In 1937, A.P. Paterson received an Honourary LLD from Mount Allison University.

Starting as a bookkeeper, Alexander P. Pierce, also known as Sandy, advanced through the firm of Baird & Peters Ltd., a wholesale grocery business, to became a partner in 1910 and then sole proprietor in 1928. He was a member of several service clubs, the Maritime Board of Trade, and the Maritime Trade Commission, and was president of the Maritime Merchants Association at the time of his death. He was a fervent advocate of the Maritime Rights Movement, which strove to restore the Maritimes to its former position of influence within Confederation. He was a prolific writer on the subject and contributed to several publications. In 1926 he published "The True Story of Confederation". He also was a regular speaker at service clubs and other meetings.

Alexander P. Paterson was a Liberal, elected as 1 of 4 representatives for Saint John in the New Brunswick Legislature in 1935. He was appointed as Minister without portfolio and president of the Executive Council in A.A. Dysart's government in 1935. In 1938 he was appointed Minister of Education and Municipal and Federal Affairs. After his defeat in the 1939 election, he retired from active politics.

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Information about the custody of this record prior to acquisition is incomplete

Scope and content

This fonds consists of the business and political records of A. P. Paterson. The business records include three letter books dated 1900-1909 recording Baird and Peter's business in Puerto Rico importing goods such as molasses. There are also printed advertisements and price lists.

The political records include typescripts of articles and speeches, published pamphlets relating to Maritime Rights and the British North America (BNA) Act, and reports on Royal Commissions. There is correspondence about Paterson's duties as Minister of Education and Municipal and Federal Affairs, and applications for government jobs primarily from Saint John residents and firms with references to a patronage committee. There are articles, correspondence, speeches and drafts of speeches on Maritime Rights and the British North America Act.

There is also a section of printed ephemera which includes poetry from the "Evening Gazette", Saint John, 1889; regulations of Municipal Employment office in Saint John, 1939; an address by Emile Vaillancourt to the Kiwanis Club of Montreal entitled "When Montreal was 200 years old" and a brief by the Canadian Teachers Federation to the Federal Government in 1949.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Acquired from the A.P. Paterson, estate, Trenton, Ontario, 1957


Language of material

  • English

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S 69 A

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No restrictions

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