Henry Joseph Clarke

Henry Joseph Clarke, lawyer, politician, premier of Manitoba 1872-74 (b in Donegal, Ire 7 July 1833; d on a train near Medicine Hat, Alta 13 Sept 1889). Admitted to the bar 1855, Clarke practised law in Montréal and spent several years in California and El Salvador.

Clarke, Henry Joseph

Henry Joseph Clarke, lawyer, politician, premier of Manitoba 1872-74 (b in Donegal, Ire 7 July 1833; d on a train near Medicine Hat, Alta 13 Sept 1889). Admitted to the bar 1855, Clarke practised law in Montréal and spent several years in California and El Salvador. A bilingual Roman Catholic, Clarke came to Manitoba in November 1870 to help Lieutenant-Governor Adams G. ARCHIBALD establish the provincial government. Elected an MLA on 30 December 1870, he served as Manitoba's first attorney general from 3 January 1871 until 4 July 1874 and helped to found the province's legal system. After returning to California, where he divorced and remarried, Clarke resumed the practice of law in Winnipeg in 1877 and acted as counsel for 25 of Riel's followers after the NORTH-WEST REBELLION of 1885. A controversial figure, Clarke made many enemies but deserves credit for his support of the Métis.