This is a bust of Lord Elgin, the Governor-General at the time of the push towards responsible government.
Tensions south of the border had their influence on those who would lead the country into Confederation. The Civil War served as a lesson to colonial politicians looking for further self government that they needed a strong union among the Canadian colonies.
The Fathers of Confederation came into their own in the 1850s and early 1860s. Not all of them were politicians, but most were. They didn't all get along, but understood the need to work together. During meetings and negotiations in the 1860s, they would eventually bring about the terms that led to Confederation in 1867.
Three of them are gathered in photographic portraits here: John A. Macdonald, George Brown, and George-Etienne Cartier.
The most eloquent of the Fathers was one of their most unusual: Thomas D'Arcy McGee. He had in younger days been a radical in his native Ireland, had fled to the New World, and here had underwent a complete change in his perspective, seeing the value of a Parliamentary system based on British influences where minorities could have a chance to prosper.
McGee would pay dearly for his change of heart. Irish radicals despised him for it, and in 1868 he was assassinated while coming home from Parliament to the boarding house he was staying in near the Hill. The gun used in the assassination is here.
Artifacts of the time, with a photo of Queen Victoria behind. Cartier would take this trunk with him to London for the conferences that would formalize Confederation.
This large banner on a wall shows the reading of the proclamation of Confederation at Market Square in Kingston on July 1st, 1867.