Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | January 12, 2015

Artifact of the Week. Cornwall Political satire, 1883.


This 1883 political cartoon shows Conservative party candidate A.P. Ross, who made his fortune in the timber trade, chasing Liberal incumbent and miller, William Mack for votes in the 1883 provincial election for Cornwall/Stormont.  Unseen at the bottom of the cartoon a whit wrote “Vote for who ever you like it don’t make much difference.”  Ross won the election, but Mack was returned again in 1886 and sat until 1894.


Taken from the Belden Atlas of 1879.  Mack served at Warden for the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry in 1878 and M.L.A. from 1879 – 1883 and 1886 to 1894.  He died in 1897.

Political commentary in 19th century Cornwall was colourful.  In the 1873 Federal election one local newspaper called a candidate a “snapdragon, a degenerate and mongrel poltician…”  In one municipal election the newspaper said “For the past five years past the administration…of the Town of Cornwall has been a swindle.”


Alex P. Ross, 1831 – 1915, M.L.A. for Cornwall 1883 – 1886.  From the 1946 edition of STORMONT, DUNDAS AND GLENARRY – A HISTORY by John G. Harkness.

The diary of A.J. McGillis, Glen Walter.  Original spelling and grammar maintained.

January 7th, 1910.  –  A & M & M went to Cornwall.

Jan. 8th – A went to Williamstown to buy hay from P. Chisholm.

Jan. 10th  – D & P went to the bush to cut wood, a fine day and just enough snow for good sleighing.

Jan. 11th – A drawed first load of wood home for this year.

Jan. 14th- very cold staid in the house after dinner.

Jan. 15th – a fine day and Faith bought the big B sheep paid $8.50 for him and we bought hay from P. Chisholm out of Tulleys bart paid $8 for it.

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