Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Laurier and Norman Nicholson

Sir Wilfrid and wife at the 1908 Quebec Tercentenary. Margaret Nicholson attended the celebrations.

As I write Diary of a Confirmed Spinster, the follow up to the ebook Threshold Girl I am finding out new information.

I've got the story plotted out, and I've written key scenes longhand, and I only need for my cervical disks to heal so I can type away. The story is based on the letters of Tighsolas, the letters of middle class Canadian family in Richmond Quebec in 1908-1913.

Now, in Threshold Girl I wrote a line for Flora, the heroine (a college student in 1911/12). She is being teased by a local shopkeeper about her father.  The shopkeeper asks, "Has Monsieur Laurier given your father his job back." (Her father, Norman, worked on  Laurier's Transcontinental Railway from 1907-1912, but was fired in 1910 for reasons explained in my ebooks.)

Flora thinks, "As if my father knows Prime Minister Laurier personally."

But then yesterday I find out this: That Wilfrid Laurier ran as the Liberal Candidate in Richmond Wolfe in 1891! Yikes. He lost by a few votes. He also ran in Quebec East, where he won and became leader of the Opposition, lent his name to a pivotal era in History, and created a vision for Canada that lasted for a century (and my just be dying right now.) Michael Ignatieff certainly thinks so,considering  an interview he recently gave to BBC Scotland. Ignatieff's grandparents lived in Richmond and knew the Nicholsons.

From wikipedia.

Norman was active in Politics at the local level from 1900 to 1910, but did he vote for Laurier in 1891? I doubt it. He probably voted for Local Man Cleveland.

As you can see, J.N. Greenshields ran for the Liberals in the election before and lost. In 1911, he supports the Tories, not liking Reciprocity, which is Free Trade. He is President of a Textile company by then.

A voting list for the 1904 Canadian Federal Election. Norman kept it so he likely was the invigilator.

A little voting promo. The story of this election is told in Threshold Girl