Monday, February 03, 2014

Black History month: William Peyton Hubbard

At the John A. Macdonald 199th birthday dinner in Toronto last month, among the many costumed participants was a handsome black man who told me he was portraying William Peyton Hubbard, a protege of George Brown. There were some George Browns at the dinner too, 2014 being kinda bipartisan about all this.  Hubbard, a longtime Toronto city councillor, was the city's prominent black politician.

The Hubbard story was new to me, and the DCB has not got to him yet either -- he died in 1935. But he may be emerging as one of the stars of this year's Black History Month events in T.O.

Historicist was on this story years ago and has most of the details. There seems to be a bit of a legend of how Hubbard pulled George Brown from drowning in the Don River and Brown got him into politics. It seems a little implausible, as the story never made The Globe, and Hubbard first ran years after Brown died. Historicist treats it carefully, and there does seem to be basis for the Brown-Hubbard connection, even if the publisher-politician never quite went into the river.

There is a biography of Hubbard, Against All Odds, by his descendant Stephen L Hubbard. You could pick up a used copy online for about $8.
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