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280   HISTORY OF CANADA.

the work, taking objection to the expense and to the route pro-posed.

Imperial Encouragement. — In 1850 there was a great railway convention at Portland, Maine, at which delegates from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia were present. Much enthusiasm was manifested, and a scheme was adopted for the building of the European and North American Railway from Portland through New Brunswick to Halifax. New Brunswick strongly supported the project, but Joseph Howe, of Nova Scotia, thought it impossible to raise the necessary capital. Upon his return to Halifax he suggested a further attempt to procure Imperial assistance to an intercolonial line. With characteristic energy he visited England, and by addresses and pamphlets created a strong interest in the British provinces in North America, whose vast resources he most eloquently portrayed. The colonial secretary, Earl Grey, was induced to promise an Imperial guarantee for payment of the interest upon any sum, up to £800,000, which might be borrowed to carry out the work. With such security the necessary funds could be borrowed at a low rate of interest, thus lessening the annual burden upon the provinces.

Colonial Conference at Toronto. —Lord Elgin was in-formed of these proceedings, and at once invited delegates from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia to meet the Canadian government at Toronto. E. B. Chandler and Joseph Howe were the delegates chosen. The meeting took place in June, 1851, and the terms upon which the work was to proceed were arranged with little difficulty. The adhesion of New Brunswick was secured, apparently, upon the understanding that the European and North American Railway (mentioned above) was to form part of the project, and that an effort would be made to procure the adoption of the line by the valley of the St. John instead of what is known as the Gulf Shore line. This latter route is that now followed by the main line of the Intercolonial Railway. As a glance at the map will show, it does not touch either Fredericton, the capital of the province, or St. John, its commercial centre. Before returning to Nova Scotia, Howe visited Montreal and Quebec, and by speeches and interviews with leading men did much to create a cordial feeling among the different provinces.

The Project Fails.—In January, 1852, three members of


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