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George Brown almost became Canada's first prime minister. When Sir John A. Macdonald was forming his first federal cabinet, he encountered so much trouble, he almost relinquished the job to Brown.

Scottish-born, Brown came to Canada in 1843 at the age of 25 by the way of New York, where he had published a newspaper. About a year later he founded as a weekly the Globe newspaper, with which his name became inseparably linked. In 1851, he entered the Canadian (Quebec and Ontario) parliament as member for Kent County. Immediately he became embroiled in a bitter fight against separate schools. Eventually he became convinced that Confederation was the only answer to Canada's problems and he went so far  as to join his bitter for, Macdonald, in a coalition to achieve it. Later he resigned from the coalition but continued to fight for Confederation. It was ironical that soon after Macdonald had almost passed to Brown the job of being the country's first  prime minister the Kent electors rejected Brown in the first federal election in 1867. He stayed outside Parliament until named to the Senate in 1873.

On March 25, 1880, he was shot by a disgruntled former employee but lingered near death until he finally died on May 9, the same year.

George Brown