Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Joseph Howe (1804-1873)

Journalist, politician.

Nova Scotia’s leading newspaper editor and politician, Howe opposed Confederation in 1866 and was elected to Parliament in 1867 as an anti-unionist. When it became clear that the confederation would not be dissolved, he joined the government as secretary of state. Part of his portfolio was the transfer of Red River to Canada. Howe therefore visited the settlement on a fact-finding trip in October 1869. He insisted he was the first Canadian to read the official records of Assiniboia, which he found most interesting. Howe’s visit exposed the abysmal ignorance of, and lack of interest in, the settlement on the part of most members of the government. William McDougall later charged him with encouraging the Red River Rebellion, an accusation that Howe vehemently denied.

More information:

Joseph Howe by J. Murray Beck (1982-83).

Joseph Howe, Dictionary of Canadian Biography X, 362-70.


Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

Page revised: 18 March 2008

Memorable Manitobans

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