A Scattering of Seeds: The Creation of Canada
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Subject Profile: T. Phillips Thompson

T. Phillips Thompson

A young T. Phillips Thompson immigrated to Canada from England with his Quaker parents in 1857. He emerged over his lifetime as Canada's Charles Dickens, the social conscience of a nation.

Giving up a career in law, T. Phillips Thompson became a newspaperman working at almost every paper in Toronto. After a stint as the Globe's foreign correspondent in Ireland, covering the tenant land wars of the early 1880s, he returned to Canada as a champion for the cause of the working class and an advocate for social reform.

Thompson spoke loud and strong through his columns and speeches, supporting the vote for the poor, for women, the eight-hour workday and the need for labour unions. He was the only English Canadian journalist to defend Louis Riel during Manitoba's North-West Rebellion of 1885.

T. Phillips Thompson put social justice on the national agenda. His legacy of compassionate journalism continues through his grandson, eminent Canadian author, Pierre Berton.

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