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Haliburton, Thomas Chandler

HALIBURTON, THOMAS CHANDLER (1796-1865), British writer, long a judge of Nova Scotia, was born at Windsor, Nova Scotia, in 1796, and received his education there, at King's College. He was called to the bar in 1820, and became a member of the House of Assembly. He distinguished himself as a barrister, and in 1828 was promoted to the bench as a chief-justice of the common pleas. In 1829 he published An Historical and Statistical Account of Nova Scotia. But it is as a brilliant humourist and satirist that he is remembered, in connexion with his fictitious character " Sam Slick." In 1835 he contributed anonymously to a local paper a series of letters professedly depicting the peculiarities of the genuine Yankee. These sketches, which abounded in clever picturings of national and individual character, drawn with great satirical humour, were collected in 1837, and published under the title of The Clock-maker, or Sayings and Doings of Samuel Slick of Slickville. A second series followed in 1838, and a third in 1840. The Attache, or Sam Slick in England (1843-1844), was the result of a visit there in 1841. His other works include: The Old Judge, or Life in a Colony (1843); The Letter Bag of the Great Western (1839) ; Rule and Misrule of the English in America (1851); Traits of American Humour (1852) ; and Nature and Human Nature (1855).

Meanwhile he continued to secure popular esteem in his judicial capacity. In 1840 he was promoted to be a judge of the supreme court; but within two years he resigned his seat on the bench, removed to England, and in 1859 entered parliament as the representative of Launceston, in the Conservative interest. But the tenure of his seat for Launceston was brought to an end by the dissolution of the parliament in 1865, and he did not again offer himself to the constituency. He died on the 27th of August of the same year, at Gordon House, Isleworth, Middlesex.

A memoir of Haliburton, by F. Blake Crofton, appeared in 1889.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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