Was Robert Bond really ?Newfoundland?s only statesman??
First elected to Newfoundland?s House of Assembly in 1882, Robert Bond served as a member of government and opposition?and notably as prime minister?in an era filled with challenges that still resonate today. During three turbulent decades, St. John?s burned down, the banks failed, and the drive for economic diversification caused difficult problems (and included railway building, the century?s favoured mega-project). As for external affairs?Bond struggled to negotiate reciprocity with the United States, to navigate tricky issues concerning the French Shore and to deal successfully with imperial powers in London whose priorities could vary greatly from those in Newfoundland.
In this in-depth examination of Bond?s political activity, James Hiller explores the stakes, the rivalries and the competing visions at play during the period, and he highlights the strengths and weaknesses of the man who was often at or near centre stage: Robert Bond, politician, leader and Newfoundland patriot.