The 36 men traditionally regarded as the Fathers of Confederation were those who represented British North American colonies at one or more of the conferences that lead to Confederation on 1 July 1867, including the Charlottetown Conference (September 1864), the Québec Conference (October 1864) and the London Conference (1866–67).
Sir John Alexander Macdonald was the dominant creative mind which produced the British North America Act and the union of provinces which became Canada. As the first prime minister of Canada, he oversaw the expansion of the Dominion from sea to sea. His government dominated politics for a half century and set policy goals for future generations of political leaders.
Maurice Ruddick, coal miner, musician (born 1912 in Joggins, NS; died 1988 in Springhill, NS). After a mine shaft caved in on Ruddick and six other workers, he helped keep his companions’ spirits up by singing and leading them in song and prayer. He later described the experience in "Spring Hill Disaster," the song he wrote about the event. Ruddick and the other "miracle miners" enjoyed public attention briefly after the disaster. For Ruddick, the only Black person in the group, racism dimmed his moment in the spotlight.
Frederick Tennyson Congdon, lawyer, politician, commissioner of the Yukon Territory, MP (b at Annapolis, NS 16 Nov 1858; d at Ottawa 13 Mar 1932). Although Congdon was a dynamic speaker and shrewd organizer, his tenure as Yukon Commissioner was characterized by corruption and controversy.
William Hamilton Merritt, soldier, businessman, politician (b at Bedford, NY 3 July 1793; d at Cornwall, Canada W 5 July 1862). "A Projector," as he styled himself, he epitomized what John Beverley ROBINSON called the defining characteristic of American society, the "anticipating spirit.
William Alexander, Earl of Stirling, poet, courtier, colonizer (b at Menstrie, Scot c 1577; d at London, Eng 1640). Although he never visited North America, he is remembered for his nationalistic foresight, and for providing Nova Scotia with its name, flag and coat of arms.