Tweedie, Lemuel J.

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TWEEDIE, LEMUEL JOHN, lawyer, and politician. He was born 30 Nov. 1849 in Chatham, N.B., son of Joseph Tweedie and Catherine McGary. He married Agnes Loudoun in Chatham 6 Dec. 1876, and they had four sons and two daughters who survived him. He died in Chatham 15 July 1917.

Of Irish and Scots descent, Lemuel J. Tweedie was educated in Chatham, at the grammar school and the Presbyterian Academy. He studied law with John Mercer Johnson and William Wilkinson and was admitted to the bar in 1871.

His law partner in Chatham for a time was Richard Bedford Bennett, later Prime Minister of Canada and Max Aitken for a time was his office boy. A former supporter of the federal Conservatives, he joined the Liberal Cabinet of New Brunswick Premier Andrew George Blair, serving as Surveyor-General and Provincial Secretary in successive Liberal governments. Tweedie became Premier of the province in 1900 and led the party to a large majority government in the 1903 election.

Tweedie's government allowed women to be admitted to the practice of law in 1906 and supported the development of hydroelectric power at Grand Falls. He also created a Workers' Compensation board, establishment of a teachers’ superannuation fund, and successfully lobbied the federal government to increase subsidies to the province including payment for railway expansion. He led the government for seven years before becoming the 12th Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick, succeeding Jabez Bunting Snowball, holding that position until 1912.

A supporter of educational institutions, Tweedie personally donated academic prizes for students. He served on the Board of Governors of the University of New Brunswick, Mount Allison University, plus the Halifax School for the Blind.

Following the expiration of his term as lieutenant governor, he successfully practised law again in Chatham, and despite failing health he was planning a political comeback in 1917 when he suddenly died at age sixty-seven in his home town of Chatham and was buried in the Riverside Cemetery. His son Frederick served as a member of the provincial assembly.

Daily Times (Moncton, N.B.), 1886, 1900, 1917.
Union Advocate(Newcastle, N.B.), 1871–86, 1900, 1917.
Dictionary of Canadian Bipography Online

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