Parsons, Robert John
Robert John Parsons, journalist, politician (b at Harbour Grace, Nfld, c 1802; d at St John's 20 June 1883). With William Carson and other Newfoundland Liberals, he founded the weekly Newfoundland Patriot in 1833 and became its sole owner and editor (1840). Eloquent and occasionally outrageous in his defence of the Liberal cause, he wrote a satirical putdown of Chief Justice Henry BOULTON in 1835 who sentenced him to jail for contempt of court. This episode won Parsons esteem in Liberal circles. He was elected to the Assembly in 1843 and sat almost continually until 1878. He was a powerful influence, a forceful advocate of RESPONSIBLE GOVERNMENT in the 1850s, and in 1869 one of the leaders of the anti-Confederate campaign.