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As a young schoolmaster, Jonathan McCully had a pupil by the name of Charles Tupper. Years later they came together again - as Fathers of Confederation for the Canadian nation.

McCully, an amazingly versatile man who was a teacher, lawyer, editor and judge as well as a politician, was born in July, 1809, in Nova Scotia's Cumberland county. After getting his education locally he took a job teaching school. Later, he switched to the law, being called to the bar in 1837 and opening practice in Amherst. Appointed to the Legislative Council of Nova Scotia in 1847 he served as solicitor-general, commissioner-general for railways and government leader. He moved to Halifax in 1849, where he drifted into newspaper work, becoming eventually editor of William Annand's Morning Chronicle and Nova Scotian from 1857 to 1865.

In that year his advocacy of Confederation brought a change in command and Joseph Howe took over as editor. McCully moved to the Morning Journal, which he renamed the Unionist and used as a renewed champion for his beliefs. In 1867 he was named to the Canadian Senate but resigned three years later to become a justice of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court. He was still on the court when he died at Halifax, on Jan 2, 1877.