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 Amor De Cosmos

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Amor De Cosmos

  • Original Name William Alexander Smith
  • Birth 20 Aug 1825 Windsor, Hants County, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • Death 4 Jul 1897 Victoria, Capital Regional District, British Columbia, Canada
  • Burial Victoria, Capital Regional District, British Columbia, Canada
  • Plot Block A, Plot 68, E 32
  • Memorial ID 6365

2nd Premier of British Columbia. A member of the Liberal Party of Canada, he served in this position from December 1872 until February 1874. Born William Alexander Smith to American Loyalist parents, he studied for a time at King's College in Windsor, Nova Scotia and worked as a mercantile clerk. In 1852 he emigrated to Kanesville, Iowa and established a daguerreotype gallery. The discovery of gold in California several years earlier lured him to travel west, settling in Placerville, California, and established a photo studio. In 1854 he successfully petitioned the California State Legislature to have his name changed to "Amor De Cosmos." In 1858 he relocated to Victoria, Colony of Vancouver Island (now part of present-day British Columbia) and founded a newspaper, The Daily British Colonist (now the Victoria Times-Colonist). In October 1871 he entered politics when he was elected to the Canadian Parliament for Victoria and served until June 1882. He supported the merging of the Colony of Vancouver Island with the Colony of British Columbia in 1866 and British Columbia's entry into the Canadian Confederation in July 1871. In December 1872 he became Premier of British Columbia, succeeding John Foster McCreight who had resigned. His various land and mining speculations while Premier forced his resignation in February 1874 and he was replaced by George Anthony Walkem. He continued to serve in the Canadian Parliament. After losing his parliamentary seat in the 1882 general election, he retired from politics. Considered rather eccentric, he developed strange and unusual phobias that intensified as he grew older, and by 1895 he was declared insane. He died at the age of 71.

Bio by: William Bjornstad





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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 17 Sep 1999
  • Find A Grave Memorial 6365
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Amor De Cosmos (20 Aug 1825–4 Jul 1897), Find A Grave Memorial no. 6365, citing Ross Bay Cemetery, Victoria, Capital Regional District, British Columbia, Canada ; Maintained by Find A Grave .