Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: James Peterkin Alexander (1835-1912)

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James Peterkin Alexander
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Farmer, MLA (1881-1883), MLA (1886-1888).

Born at Edinburgh, Scotland on 28 June 1835, son of William Alexander, he was educated at the Normal School and University of Edinburgh. He was engaged in mercantile business until 1878 when, owing to losses sustained by the failure of the City of Glasgow Bank, he closed the business and emigrated to Canada, arriving in the Turtle Mountain area of southern Manitoba in November 1879.

He served as a magistrate and coroner for the province, and registrar of deed for Souris County from 1883 to December 1886. When the borders of Manitoba were expanded to include the area where he resided, he was elected to sit in the Manitoba Legislature for Turtle Mountain at a 1881 by-election, serving until the 1883 general election, when he was not elected. He was re-elected in December 1886 but defeated in 1888. In later years he became editor of the Deloraine Advertiser and Registrar of the Boissevain Land Titles office.

In August 1872, he married Margaret Crawford, youngest daughter of William Crawford of Glasgow.

He died at Boissevain on 16 April 1912, allegedly after hearing about the death of his friend J. H. Ross aboard the RMS Titanic.


A Political Manual of the Province of Manitoba and the North-West Territories by J. P. Robertson, Winnipeg: Call Printing Company, 1887.

John Alexander Gemmill (editor), The Canadian Parliamentary Companion, 1887.

Death registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Reprint of Southern Manitoba and Turtle Mountain Country by L. O. Armstrong, annotated by Felix G. Kuehn, Winnipeg: Boundary Commission – North West Mounted Police Association, March 1991. [Archives of the Diocese of Rupert’s Land]

Titanic – The Manitoba connection” by Michael Dupuis, Winnipeg Free Press, 14 April 2012, page J1.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 2 December 2018

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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