Ezra Gallivan (1849 - 1914) was the eighth Governor-General of the Confederation of North America, serving from February 1888 to July 1901. Gallivan was the first member of the new People's Coalition to become Governor-General, and was the third Governor-General to resign from office.
Early Life and Political Career
Gallivan was born in Ireland in 1849. His father Patrick Gallivan brought the family to the C.N.A. after the Rocky Mountain War, intending to prospect in the Vandalian copper fields. While in Michigan City, Patrick found work as a railroad yardman at the Indiana Northern railroad. Patrick rose quickly in the fast-growing railroad, and by 1861, he had become president of the company. As a young man, Ezra Gallivan worked in the company's Michigan City offices in the 1870s, where he made the acquaintance of Martin Kelsony and Abraham Lincoln, two of the Indiana Northern's top lawyers. However, what impressed the younger Gallivan most was the poor working conditions of the company's employees. In 1878, Ezra Gallivan joined the People's Coalition, and was disowned by his father. Four years later, at the age of 33, he was elected to his first term as Mayor of Michigan City.
Gallivan's electoral victory made him one of the leading figures in the Coalition's nominating convention in Boston in January 1883. He recognized that incumbent Govenor-General John McDowell of the Liberal Party was unbeatable, so he threw his support behind Councilman Scott Ruggles of the Northern Confederation for the Coalition's nominee for Governor-General. In the 1883 Grand Council elections, McDowell's Liberals won an 82-seat majority in the Grand Council, while the People's Coalition surged ahead of the Conservative Party, winning 45 seats to the Conservatives' 23. The Coalition was now the official opposition, and Ruggles was the Grand Council's Minority Leader.
While Ruggles spoke out against McDowell's domestic policies, Gallivan questioned his military buildup and expansive foreign policy, as well as the growing power of the Confederation Bureau of Investigation. Otherwise, Gallivan concerned himself with the administration of Michigan City and building up the Coalition's party organization in preparation for the 1888 Grand Council elections. Gallivan chose Senator Peter Higbe of the Northern Confederation to manage his campaign, and his organizing paid off at the Coalition's 1888 national convention, which chose Gallivan over Ruggles as its nominee for Governor-General. During the campaign, Gallivan called attention to the failures of many of McDowell's programs, and made frequent allusions to McDowell's advanced age and poor health. The result was a stunning upset victory for the Coalition, which won a plurality of 73 Grand Council seats. Gallivan was elevated to the Governor-Generalship on 19 February 1888 when eight Liberal Councilmen from Indiana cast their ballots for him.
As the head of a minority government, Gallivan had to move cautiously during his first term. This led to acrimony within the P.C. caucus between the radical wing and Gallivan's own moderates. Just as McDowell had called his reform program the Age of Renewal, so Gallivan called his Creative Nationalism. In his inaugural address, Gallivan announced modest goals for his first term, known as the Five Points: reducing inflation and unemployment, curbing the power of the C.B.I., ending unrest in Quebec, and increasing the people's share of the nation's wealth. C.B.I. Commandant Mark Forsyth was retired in favor of Vice-Commandant Norton Kamen, and the C.B.I.'s budget was cut. Public works projects were initiated, which reduced unemployment but increased inflation. In fulfillment of Gallivan's Fifth Point, the National Financial Administration was transformed into a small business investment service, offering loans to startup companies in return for an equity share of from 10% to 49%. Under Administrator Julius Nelson, the N.F.A.'s financings rose from 21 in 1889 to 341 in 1901.
Gallivan's boldest proposal was to hold a plebiscite in Quebec to allow its citizens to decide whether to remain within the C.N.A., to accept associate membership, or to become independent. The results of the Quebec Plebiscite of 6 July 1889 were 5% in favor of the status quo, 54% in favor of associated status, and 41% in favor of independence. Within three months, the Quebec legislature ratified the transfer to associated status.
An additional reform adopted during Gallivan's first term was the disestablishment of the Anglican Church in the C.N.A. in 1888, which may have played a role in Quebec's choice of association rather than independence the following year. Although Sobel makes no mention of Gallivan's religious beliefs, his membership in the Roman Catholic Church doubtless won him the support of Catholics in the C.N.A., particularly in Quebec, and also doubtless cost him support among fundamentalist Protestants. It is also likely that Gallivan's religion played a significant role in luring Catholic immigrants away from the Conservatives, leading to the terminal decline of that party.
Gallivan's isolationist foreign policy led to the end of McDowell's efforts to forge closer ties between the C.N.A. and Great Britain. Gallivan refused to assist New Granada before and during the War of Salvation. Although he allowed New Granadan exiles to settle in the C.N.A. after the Mexican conquest of 1890, he refused to allow them to set up a government-in-exile in Tampa, Georgia in 1891, and did nothing to disturb trade with the U.S.M. However, he did reverse his earlier policy of reducing military appropriations.
Gallivan's policies were successful and popular enough to give the P.C. an outright majority of 98 seats in the 1893 Grand Council elections. However, a sizeable minority of the Grand Council's P.C. caucus formed its own radical caucus under the leadership of newly-elected Indiana Councilman Thomas Kronmiller, with the goal of pressuring Gallivan into supporting more radical domestic policies and a more active foreign policy. In particular, Kronmiller sought war with the U.S.M., both to liberate the conquered territories of Guatemala, New Granada, and Hawaii, as well as to end the repressive dictatorship of Chief of State Benito Hermión and the economic imperialism of Kramer Associates. The Liberals, meanwhile, opposed Gallivan's policy of remaining aloof from the rest of the British Empire.
Sobel has little to say about the legislative accomplishments of Gallivan's second term, other than to note his determination to avoid conflict with Hermión. With the discovery of gold in Russian Alaska in 1896, Minority Leader James Hare criticized Gallivan for not investigating Manitoba for potential gold deposits. Gallivan responded by pointing out Hare's hypocrisy in denouncing government social programs while demanding that the government search for gold. Gallivan originally planned to retire in 1898, and he spent much of 1897 writing a book of memoirs that appeared the following year as Under Fire and Sword. However, he was disturbed by the growing nationalism and militarism in the C.N.A., and particularly by the likelihood that Kronmiller would be nominated by the P.C. for Governor-General.
Late in 1897, Gallivan informed the P.C. central committee that he would seek the nomination for a third term. Although Gallivan gained the nomination, Kronmiller announced that he would not be bound by the convention's choice. In the 1898 Grand Council elections, the P.C. retained its majority in the Grand Council, despite losing 7 seats. However, when the Twelfth Grand Council met on February 16, 1898, Gallivan received the votes of only 71 of the P.C.'s 91 members, with Kronmiller receiving the rest, and Governor Douglas Sizer of Manitoba receiving the votes of the 56 Liberals. Gallivan was able to win a majority vote for a third term as Governor-General, but Sobel does not say how.
The Starkist Terror
Gallivan's third term was dominated by the Great Northern War between the U.S.M. and the Russian Empire. The war began in May 1898 with border clashes between Russian and Mexican troops. The Mexicans swiftly defeated the Russians, and by October all of Alaska except the Aleutian Islands was under Mexican control. Several clashes took place between Mexican and North American troops along the border between Alaska and Manitoba, but Gallivan kept these secret for fear of embroiling the C.N.A. in the war. Gallivan was able to end the clashes by contacting Diego Cortez y Catalán, the President of Kramer Associates.
Nevertheless, the quick Mexican victory in Alaska brought on a war scare in the C.N.A in the fall of 1898. The Manitoban and Northern Vandalian legislatures passed resolutions seeking greater military spending. The Students Defense League denounced Gallivan, claiming that he "works either together with or for foreign powers who would destroy our nation," and S.D.L. leader Frank Mitchell called for his removal "by whatever means necessary." Edward Byrnes of the For North America Movement hinted that it might be necessary to assassinate Gallivan. The Friends of Burgoyne, an organization made up of the descendants of Loyalists in the North American Rebellion, called for Gallivan's resignation, as did Governor Sizer on 10 January 1899.
Gallivan originally hoped that the "belligerency craze" would pass, but when it did not, he gave a speech on the situation on 17 May 1899. He announced that the C.N.A.'s military would be increased, and that confederation militias were prepared for activation in the event of war with the U.S.M., but he also sought to reassure the people that the C.N.A. had nothing to fear. Gallivan's speech succeeded in calming the nation, but the Mexican invasion of Siberia in June reignited the war scare. Then, on 10 July, Liberal Councilman Fritz Stark of Georgia made a speech in the Grand Council in which he claimed to have proof that Gallivan was in the pay of Kramer Associates. Gallivan denied the charge, and claimed that Stark's documents were forgeries. However, Stark's claims led to the outbreak of the Starkist terror, a wave of political violence that swept the C.N.A., with mobs attacking immigrants and burning People's Coalition offices. Assassination attempts were made against sixteen of Gallivan's supporters in the Grand Council, successfully in the case of Dudley Graves of Indiana. Gallivan himself was forced to remain in the Executive Mansion for fear of his life. Over the course of two weeks, 436 people were killed and 13,000 injured, and N. A. £980 million worth of property was destroyed.
Gallivan met with Stark and several members of the Council's Rules Committee on 19 July, and claimed that Stark's documents were forgeries. He requested that the Rules Committee conduct "a full investigation of these slanders at the earliest possible moment." The members of the Rules Committee agreed, and the following day established the Special Subcommittee of the Rules Committee to Investigate Charges of Treason.
Ordinarily, the Special Subcommittee would have been chaired by a member of the majority People's Coalition, but Gallivan requested that a Liberal chair the committee "to remove any doubts as to its impartiality." It seems likely that Gallivan also requested a Liberal committee chairman because the Rules Committee's Coalitionists were all Kronmiller supporters. Councilman Henderson Nelson of the Northern Confederation was chosen to chair the Special Subcommittee.
After a two-week investigation, the Nelson Committee found that the charges were untrue, that the money supposedly paid by K.A. to Gallivan could not be found, that Stark's documents were forgeries, and that Stark had been deceived by John Montalban, a mentally unbalanced clerk at the Mexican embassay in Burgoyne. Stark recanted his accusations in a speech on 6 August, then committed suicide the following day.
Despite the Nelson Committee's findings, the political violence and vilification of Gallivan continued. A play opened in New York City called "The Merry Life of Patrick Henry" which was a thinly veiled attack on Gallivan. The Governor-General initially tried to wait out the attacks, relying on support from moderates and supporters within the Coalition. However, the opposition, made up of nativists, radicals, adherents of the Moral Imperative, imperialists, and students, remained intact. By the summer of 1901, it seemed that the C.N.A. was on the verge of civil war, and Gallivan finally resigned on 24 July 1901, just over two years after the Stark speech.
Following Hermión's ouster in September 1901, the wave of hysteria in the C.N.A. finally abated, and a pro-Gallivan reaction set in. The leaders of the Starkist terror were purged from their positions on newspapers and in universities, and were voted out of office in the local elections of 1902. Some Coalitionists wanted Gallivan to run for a fourth term in 1903, but he had suffered a minor heart attack in September 1901, and claimed to be "too old and worn for such a task." Gallivan did attend the Coalition's 1903 convention, where he was able to prevent Kronmiller from receiving the nomination for Governor-General, which went to Councilman Christopher Hemingway of the Northern Confederation.
Although he declined to serve another term as Governor-General, Gallivan accepted a seat in the Grand Council in 1904. He won re-election in the 1908 Grand Council elections, then resigned in 1910 to accept the position of Chancellor of Burgoyne University. A second set of memoirs titled At the End of the Day was published in New York City in 1912. Gallivan died in 1914 at the age of 65.
Sobel's sources for the life of Ezra Gallivan include his own The Fifth Point: Ezra Gallivan and His Creative Nationalism (New York, 1967), as well as Gallivan's two volumes of memoirs and a collection of letters published by Gallivan's son Bernard as Letters from My Father (New York, 1920). Secondary sources include Harvey Connery's The Early Life of Ezra Gallivan (New York, 1909), Michael O'Shea's A Diplomat in the Family: The Life of Patrick O'Shea (New York, 1922), Howard Arthur's Creative Nationalism (New York, 1939), Armand Fleur's We Leave as Friends: The 1889 Plebiscite (New York, 1945), Allen Watterson's The Great Fear: Starkism in the C.N.A. (London, 1956), Henry Tracy's Gallivan: The Third Stage (Burgoyne, 1961), and Maxwell Stuart's The Trap Is Set: Gallivan in Opposition (London, 1966).
This was the Featured Article for the week of 28 October 2012.
|Governors-General of the C.N.A.|
|Winfield Scott • Henry Gilpin • William Johnson • Whitney Hawkins • Kenneth Parkes • Herbert Clemens • John McDowell • Ezra Gallivan • Clifton Burgen • Christopher Hemingway • Albert Merriman • Calvin Wagner • Henderson Dewey • Douglas Watson • Bruce Hogg • James Billington • Richard Mason • Perry Jay • Carter Monaghan|