Fonds MS-0003;MS-0968 - Thomas Dufferin Pattullo fonds

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Thomas Dufferin Pattullo fonds

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CA BCA MS-0003;MS-0968

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  • 1892-1956 (Creation)
    Pattullo, Thomas Dufferin

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Physical description

10.7 m of textual records;22 maps

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Biographical history

Thomas Dufferin Pattullo was born in Woodstock, Ontario on 19 January 1873, the son of George Robson and Mary [Rounds] Pattullo. He completed high school in Woodstock, studied at the University of Toronto, and after serving for a time on the staff of the Woodstock Sentinel, edited by his father, he took up the editorship of the Galt Reformer in 1896. In the summer of 1897 the Honourable Clifford Sifton, Minister of the Interior, appointed a commissioner and staff to administer the Yukon Territory. Pattullo assumed the position of secretary to the commissioner, Major J.M. Walsh. In April 1899, he became chief clerk in the Office of the Gold Commissioner. In November 1902, he left the service of the Gold Commissioner's Office. Until 1908, he operated a brokerage and insurance business in partnership with W.G. Radford in Dawson City. For a time, he was a member of the Dawson City Council. In 1908, he moved his family to Prince Rupert, B.C. where: he opened a new office for his business. In 1910, he was elected alderman, and then in 1913, mayor of Prince Rupert. In the provincial general election of 1916, he ran as a Liberal candidate and was elected Member of the Legislative Assembly for Prince Rupert. On 30 November 1916, he was sworn in as Minister of Lands in the administration of H.C. Brewster, a position that he held under succeeding Liberal administrations until 20 August 1928. After the defeat of the Liberal government headed by John Duncan MacLean in August 1928, Pattullo assumed the leadership of the Liberal party and the role of Leader of the Opposition in the Legislature. In the general election of 1933, he led the Liberal party to victory, and on 15 November 1933 became Premier and Minister of Railways. On 5 April 1937, Pattullo was made King's Counsel, although he had no formal training as a lawyer. He was granted an honorary law degree by the University of British Columbia in 1937, and also assumed the position of Attorney-General. Pattullo remained Premier until 9 December 1941. Though personally successful in Prince Rupert in the election of 1941, Pattullo did not carry his party to a majority. He tried and failed to form a government, and refused to join a coalition government. Defeated in the general election of 1945, he retired from politics. In 1899, Pattullo married Lillian [Reidemaster] Miles of Toledo, Ohio. They had one daughter, Lillian Doris. Pattullo died on 29 March 1956.

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Scope and content

The fonds consists of private and official correspondence, inward and outward, speeches, accounts, pamphlets, newspaper clippings, reports, memoranda and miscellaneous items. Among the papers is correspondence inward and outward of John Oliver and John Duncan MacLean relating to Liberal party affairs. The Pattullo papers divide into two series. Series I [vol. 1-61] contain papers related to private and public activities of Pattullo from 1892-1956, but contains only five volumes [54-58] of papers related to the years 1933-1941 when Pattullo was Premier of British Columbia. Pattullo's filing system, based on subject categories, has been maintained. Papers within each file are arranged in chronological order. A few files contain papers for more: than one year. For instance, a file relating to one insurance policy might cover the years 1929-1933. All such files have been placed in the volume for the earliest year. Series II [vol. 62-84] contains papers related to Pattullo's tenure as Premier. Material within files is in chronological order. Most of letter analysis is given unless the entire file relates to one subject. In Series II it is not possible, as it is with Series I, conveniently to begin and progress through the papers year by year because the whole body of papers 1933-1941 is filed exclusively on a subject basis, hence more: than one year's correspondence may be in any one file. The filing system is that devised by the Premier's Office. Files are: classified as C" - "Confidential [vols. 62-65], "D" - departmental [vols. 66-67], "F" - federal [vols. 68-71] and "G" - general [vols. 72-73]. Volumes 74-76 contain alphabetical files. Volumes 77-84 contain newspaper clippings related to the years 1933-1941. Fonds also includes correspondence and telegrams with W.L. Mackenzie King and plans for celebrating King's sixtieth birthday.

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File list available. Online Finding Aid

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BCAUL control number: BCA-405

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