Alexander Mackenzie was the second Prime Minister and the first Liberal Prime Minister of Canada. (Not to be confused with the Canadian explorer Sir Alexander Mackenzie 1764-1820)
He was born in Scotland where he was a trained stonemason. He left Scotland in 1842 when he followed his sweetheart and her family to Canada. Over the next three years he courted Helen Neil. He married her in 1845 and they had one child.
His political career actually began with the Reform Party which eventually became the Liberal party. Aside from forming the first Liberal administration of the Dominion of Canada, his government is also responsible for establishing the Secret Ballot in 1874, founding the Royal Military College, creating the Supreme Court and the Office of the Auditor General.
His mark can continue to be seen in the buildings he helped erect working as a stonemason. Some of which include: the Welland Canal, Martello Towers at Fort Henry, Episcopal Church and a bank in Sarnia and the Courthouses and jails in Chatham and Sandwich.
Political Career Timeline:
* 1852: Editor of the Lambton Shield, a Reform newspaper
* 1861: Elected to the Provincial Assembly
* 1866 – 1874 Major, 27th Lambton Volunteer Infantry
* 1867 – 1882 Elected to the Federal Assembly, constituency Lambton, Ontario
* 1871-72: MLA Ontario Assembly
* 1873: Became leader of the Liberal Party (originally called Reform)
* 1873 – 1878 Public Works Minister
* 1874: Became Prime Minister when a scandal forced the previous Conservative government to resign. The elections that followed put Mackenzie in power.
* 1878: Lost election
* 1878-1880 Leader of the Opposition
* 1880: Gave up Liberal Leadership remained in parliament until his death
* 1882 – 1892 Constituency: York East, Ontario