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There were two men called John Hamilton Gray among Canada's Fathers of Confederation.

The elder of the pair was born in Prince Edward Island and educated in Charlottetown but at the age of 19 he entered the British army and spent the greater part of the next 20 years on the battlefronts and patrol trails of Africa and India.

Then, in 1852 he returned to his native island and within a few years entered politics. In 1858 he was elected to the Island House of Assembly and was re-elected in 1863, and served as premier until 1865. As premier of the host province, he was chairman of the Charlottetown Confederation conference.

He retired from politics after the rejection by the P.E.I. legislature of the Quebec resolutions which outlined the terms of Confederation. He returned to active military duties. He had been colonel of the island's volunteer brigade from 1862 on. Appointed adjutant-general of the island militia in 1867, he was later named deputy-adjutant-general of Military District 12 in 1874. He died at Inkerman House, near Charlottetown, on Aug. 13, 1887.