Patterson, Alexander Pierce, 1870-1957

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Patterson, Alexander Pierce, 1870-1957

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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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