The Month That Was – July 1872

All articles originally appeared in the Ontario Reformer

July 5

What has Mr. Gibbs done to Entitle Him to Re-election

Last week we left Mr. Gibbs voting steadily with the Government in favor of the long and expensive [date] for the Intercolonial Railway, but which Mr. Macdougall, one of the Ministers who ought to know all about it, says $8,000,000 were thrown into the sea –but which later dates to show to be $12,000,000 loss to the country instead of $8,000,000.

But we proceed. On 21st May Sir J. J. A. Macdonald (sic) moved, seconded by Sir. Geo. E. Cartier, – that the salary of the Governor General be fixed at £10,000 sterling (in round numbers, $50,000), per year. Mr. Oliver moved in amendment to make the sum £7,500 sterling, in round numbers, $37,250. Mr. Jones moved to make the salary $32,000. Vote on Mr. Jones’ amendment 59 to 90; on Oliver’s amendment, 59-90; on Sir John’s original motion, 89-60, – on every occasion Mr. Gibbs voting with Sir John and Sir George in favor of the largest sum, while Mackenzie, Thompson (of North Ontario) and the Reformers, voted steadily for the smallest amount.  Thus, through the united influence of the two Sirs in the Commons, an obsequious majority, aided by Mr. Gibbs, was induced to hand over $250,000 of the hard earnings of the working men of the country to each successive Governor-General sent from across the sea to remain here five years…

Sir John and Mr. Gibbs having just shown their disregard for the people’s purse, now proceed outraging the promptings of our better nature by seeking to re-establish the long since abolished barbarous custom of flogging prisoners with the lash. Sir John, seconded by George – humane brace of knights – moved that the flogging bull be read the third time…

Amendment lost: 40-76. Mackenzie and Thomson… vote against the flogging, while the brace of Knights, the Conservatives, and TN Gibbs join together in putting on the lash! Shame on you gentlemen!…


July 5

Mowing Machines Below Cost of Production

The Joseph Hall Manufacturing Company, of Oshawa, are offering some Ohio Junior Mowers, Ohio Mowers, large size; Cayuga Chief Junior Mower and Wood’s Self Rakers, at a price far below cost of production at the present cost of Iron. Machinery cannot be made at anything like present process, and farmers will do well to purchase this year, as the saving will be more than the interest of the money for many years. Labor must be very scares and dear. All wanting Machines will do well to come to Oshawa before purchases. Iron has risen one hundred per cent, and is still advancing.

July 5 1872 p3
July 5, 1872, page 3

July 12

Seventy Thousand Dollars!

This is the amount generally stated to be at the disposal of TN Gibbs, for the purpose of attempting to secure his re-election as representative of South Ontario in the House of Commons. But even this large sum will, we believe, prove themselves [mea], by spurring his bribes, and voting against Sir John’s most obedient automaton. Electors of South Ontario, redeem this riding from the disgrace under which it has lain for the past five years. Prove yourselves free men, and true men, by voting for Truman P. [White].


July 19

12th of July Celebration

On Friday morning last we were awakened at an early hour by the booming of cannon. It surprised us. We rubbed our eyes and began to think, when we remembered that it was the 12th of July, and that the Orangemen and Young Britons were welcoming the anniversary day of the Battle of the Boyne.

At half-past six am, the OYB’s assembled at their lodge room to make arrangements for the procession; and the Orangemen at half-past seven… The OYB’s lead (sic) the procession, headed by their fine fife and drum band, and presented the finest appearance we have ever seen in any procession of the kind here or elsewhere.  The Orangemen followed, beaded by the Whitby Brass Band, they also presented a very neat appearance… Everything passed off in a most harmonious manner, and with credit to the society.  The most pleasing feature of the demonstration was the sobriety with which it was conducted

July 19 1872 p2
July 19, 1872, page 2.

July 26

South Ontario Election

The writ, authorizing the election of a representative of this riding for the House of Commons, has been received by Mr. JH Perry, Returning Officer; and he has issued a proclamation appointing Thursday next, 1st August, as the day of nomination – to take place at Whitby, on the grounds adjoining the Town Hall.  Should Mr. Gibbs not take warning from the signs of defeat now plainly visible, and withdraw from the contest, voting will take place throughout the riding on Thursday, August 8th, at the following polling places:

East Whitby
No 1 – Cedar Dale Warehouse, opposite GTR station, Cedar Dale
No 2 – Town Hall, Columbus
No 3 – School house, Raglan

Whitby Township
No 1 – Toll gate house, gravel road lot 26th, 4th concession
No 2 – Town hall, Brooklin
No 3 – School house, Ashburn

No 1 – Union school house, lot 1, 2nd concession
No 2 – Orange hall, 8th con.
No 3 – Temperance hall, Duffins Creek
No 4 – Town Hall, Brougham
No 5 – School house, Claremont
No 6 – McCreight’s school house, lot 30 3rd concession
No 7 – Bentley’s school house, lot 32, 8th concession

No 1 – Mr Carswell’s office
No 2 – Town hall
No 3 – Pedlar’s Warehouse
No 4 – Smith & McGaw’s livery office

Town of Whitby
No 1 – Mechanic’s hall
No 2 – Skating rink, Dundas street
No 3 – Town hall


July 26


In Harmony on the 25th inst. Mr. Richard Whit, aged 57 years
The funeral will take place this afternoon, at 3 o’clock.

In Oshawa, on the 24th inst., Mrs. Robt. Fursdon, aged 49 years.
The funeral will take place this afternoon at half-past one.

Note: This year, 1872, was an election year, held from July 20 to October 12, 1872, the second federal election held in Canada.  It was commonplace for elections to last longer than one day; according to Elections Canada: “elections were held on different dates in different ridings. The system allowed the party in power to hold elections in a safe riding first, hoping in this way to influence the vote in constituencies less favourable to them. The system even enabled a candidate who lost in one riding to run again in another.”

The result of the election saw Sir John A. Macdonald and his Conservatives returning to form a minority government, and TN Gibbs was re-elected to represent Ontario South.  The Ontario Reformer newspaper leaned left, strongly supporting the Liberal candidate Truman P. White; unfortunately, there are no known existing copies of the conservative paper, the Oshawa Vindicator, from this time.  It would have been an interesting exercise to compare how the two newspapers were reporting this election.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: