George Johnson Clarke

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The Honourable
George Johnson Clarke
MLA
15th Premier of New Brunswick
In office
December 17, 1914 – February 1, 1917
Monarch George V
Lieutenant Governor Josiah Wood
Preceded by James Kidd Flemming
Succeeded by James Alexander Murray
Personal details
Born (1857-10-10)October 10, 1857
St. Andrews, N.B.
Canada Canada
Died February 26, 1917(1917-02-26) (aged 59)
St. Stephen, N.B.
Canada Canada
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Bessie

George Johnson Clarke, KC (October 10, 1857 – February 26, 1917) was a New Brunswick lawyer, journalist and politician.

A native of St. Andrews, New Brunswick, George Clarke taught school for a time in Charlotte County before studying law. He was called to the bar in 1885 and set up practice in St. Stephen. He was also editor of the Saint Croix Courier newspaper in St. Stephen. In 1907, he was named King's Counsel.

In 1891, Clarke was an unsuccessful candidate in the Charlotte riding for a seat in the Canadian House of Commons. He served as mayor of St. Stephen from 1898 to 1899 and was Warden of Charlotte County. He was elected to the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick for Charlotte County in 1903 and served as Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick from 1909 to 1914. On January 22, 1914 Clarke was appointed by Premier James K. Flemming to the province's Executive Council as Attorney General and Commissioner of Provincial Hospitals. He served until December 17 of that year when he was appointed Minister of Lands and Mines, a position he held until February 1, 1917.

Highly regarded for his integrity, George Clarke became the 15th Premier in March 1914 when his predecessor, James Kidd Flemming, was forced to resign as a result of a scandal. In addition to his responsibilities as Premier, Clarke also served as the Minister of Lands and Mines during his entire administration.

George Clarke was in very poor health during his time in office and his administration's accomplishments were limited. Because of the health problems, he stepped down as premier on February 1, 1917, handing over the reins of power to James Alexander Murray just before the general election. Clarke had been selected for appointment as the province's Lieutenant Governor but was not able to accept the post due to poor health. Clarke died in St. Stephen a few weeks later.

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Arthur T. Doyle, Front Benches and Back Rooms: A story of corruption, muckraking, raw partisanship and political intrigue in New Brunswick, Toronto: Green Tree Publishing, 1976.
Provincial Government of George Johnson Clarke
Cabinet Posts (2)
Predecessor Office Successor
James A. Murray 'Minister of Lands and Mines'
1914-1917
A. R. Slipp
W.C.H. Grimmer 'Attorney General of New Brunswick'
1914-1914
John B. M. Baxter
Provincial Government of James Kidd Flemming
Cabinet Post (1)
Predecessor Office Successor
W.C.H. Grimmer 'Attorney General of New Brunswick'
1914-1914
John B. M. Baxter
Other offices
Preceded by
James K. Flemming
Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of New Brunswick
1914-1917
Succeeded by
James A. Murray
Preceded by
Donald Morrison
Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick
1909–1914
Succeeded by
Walter B. Dickson