Fonds MHCA0006 - J. Watson MacNaught fonds

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Title proper

J. Watson MacNaught fonds

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  • Textual record
  • Graphic material
  • Sound recording

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on provenance of fonds

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  • 1923-2001, predominant 1945-1966 (Creation)
    MacNaught, J. Watson

Physical description area

Physical description

.66 m of textual records
100 photographs
1 audiocassette

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Name of creator

MacNaught, J. Watson (1904-1984)

Biographical history

John Watson MacNaught (1904-1984) grew up in Coleman, Prince Edward Island, one of four sons born to Robert Charles MacNaught (1870-1951) and Emily Morehead (1874-1950). He obtained a B.A. in 1928 and LL.B. in 1930 from Dalhousie University where he met his future wife Eva Palmer (d. 2000), daughter of W.E. Palmer of Halifax. They married 11 May 1932, moved to Summerside from Kensington in 1935 and had two sons, John William Palmer (d. 1996) and David Alexander. After serving as law clerk (1935-41) and then clerk (1941-45) at the Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island, he was elected to the House of Commons in 1945. He was re-elected in 1949 and 1953, but lost his Liberal seat in 1957. Upon his re-election to Parliament in 1963, he was appointed Solicitor General by Prime Minister Pearson and he held that post until 6 July 1965 when he became Minister of Mines and Technical Surveys. He was defeated in the election in November 1965, but accepted a government appointment on 6 March 1966 as Chairman of the Dominion Coal Board. He retired from government services in September 1972. In June 1973, he and his son John purchased the legal firm of Morley M. Bell in Summerside. After the death of J. W. MacNaught, John continued to practice law until his demise in November 1996. The MacNaught family occupied the property at 75 Spring Street, Summerside, from 1957 until 1997.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of newspaper clippings, photos and memorabilia of the political life of J. Watson MacNaught. Scrapbooks of newspaper clippings from 1945-1965 follow his career as Member of Parliament for Prince County, the highlights being the launch of the ferry Prince Nova and the turning of the sod for a tunnel/causeway to the mainland. Documents include his 1923 PEI teachers certificate and 1932-33 legal commissions. A booklet of official arrangements for the Royal Visit in 1964 and the 1972 Pearson funeral program are part of the collection resulting from his years in office. A few photos and a St. Andrew's Day speech reflect his interest in the Prince County Caledonian Society of which he was Honorary President. Also included are some personal papers of his wife Eva and some biographical material pertaining to his son John. RECORDS RELATED TO THE FOLLOWING SUBJECTS ARE ALSO IN THIS FONDS: Northumberland Strait Crossing, Prince Nova ferry, MacNaught House (75 Spring Street), PEI Liberal Party, Royal Visit 1964.

Notes area


Materials in Box #1 are in loose chronological order as determined by archivist and scrapbooks, framed photos and oversize items are in Box #2

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  • English

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Physical description

Includes 7 framed or mounted photographs, 33 portrait photo proofs, 61 other photographs, 5 scrapbooks of newspaper clippings, six published items and 1 audiocassette of a 2001 interview with two nieces

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  • English

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