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- Mitchell, Peter
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Peter Mitchell, son of Peter and Barbara (Grant) Mitchell, was born in Newcastle, New Brunswick, on 4 January 1824. Both his parents had emigrated to the Miramichi from Scotland -- he about 1816 and she in 1818. They married in 1819 and had eight children, including a second son James Mitchell.
Educated at Newcastle Grammar School, young Peter studied law with George Kerr, being admitted to the bar as an attorney in 1847 and as a barrister in 1849. For approximately four years, he practiced law in partnership with John M. Johnson, then started business career in lumbering and shipbuilding. In 1853 he married Isabella (Carvell) Gough, widow of Saint John policeman James Jacob Gough, murdered in 1847. Peter and Isabella had one daughter, Blanche G. Mitchell.
Mitchell was involved with local organizations and institutions. He lectured at the Mechanics' Institute, joined the Northumberland Agricultural and Highland societies, and sat as a director of the Newcastle Grammar School. In 1855 he was appointed a justice of the peace and a justice of the Inferior Court of Common Pleas.
In 1852 Mitchell tried and failed to win a seat in the Legislative Assembly. In 1856 he succeeded. In 1857 he was named to the Executive Council, and in 1861 he sat in the Legislative Council. In 1866-1867 he was premier of New Brunswick. A vocal supporter of Confederation, Mitchell attended both the Quebec and London Conferences. He was also instrumental in securing the North Shore route through Northumberland County for the Intercolonial Railway.
In the post-Confederation era, Mitchell was called to the Senate and appointed first minister of marine and fisheries in the dominion cabinet. Later he sat in the House of Commons as a member for Northumberland County (1871-1878, 1882-1891). His lumbering operations and sawmills on the Miramichi flourished, and he operated passenger vessels under the name Mitchell Steamship Co. He also became editor (1873) and later proprietor (1885) of the Montreal Herald. Peter Mitchell died at Montreal on 25 October 1899.
Source: Hamilton, W. D., Dictionary of Miramichi Biography, p. 236-237.
CAIN No. 158508
Mitchell, Peter, 1824-1899.
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