The Honourable Charles H. Mackintosh was a prominent journalist and a former Mayor of Ottawa, Ontario. He served as Lieutenant Governor when the Northwest Territories was undergoing a major transition toward responsible government. He also appointed the first and only Premier of the Northwest Territories.
Charles Herbert Mackintosh was born in 1843 at London, Canada West (Ontario). He was the son of Captain William Mackintosh, who had worked in the British Ordinance Department and later served as the County Engineer of Middlesex County, Canada West.
Charles H. Mackintosh was educated at the Galt Grammar School and the Caradoc Academy in Canada West.
On April 7, 1868, he married Gertrude Cook, daughter of T. Cook, a Justice of the Peace at Strathroy, Ontario. They had nine children: Edward Compton, Charles St. Lawrence, Mrs. H.B. Giverin, Mrs. Sanford H. Fleming, Mrs. Frederick W.A.G. Haultain (Marion), Mrs. Elmer Jones, Mrs. Arthur Guise, Mrs. Arthur Robb, and Mrs. William Ritchie.
Beginning his career in journalism as the City Editor of the London Free Press, Charles H. Mackintosh later filled the same position at the Hamilton Times, and he was Editor of the Parkhill Gazette, Managing Editor of the Chicago Journal of Commerce, and owner and Editor of the Strathroy Dispatch. He later became owner and Editor-in-Chief of the Ottawa Daily Citizen from 1874 to 1892 and owner and Editor of the Canadian Parliamentary Companion from 1877 to 1882.
In 1873, Charles H. Mackintosh was elected to the Strathroy Town Council, and he served as the Mayor of Ottawa from 1882 to 1887. He also ran as the Conservative candidate for Ottawa at the federal election of 1882, was elected and served as a Member of Parliament from 1882 to 1887 and again from 1890 to 1893. In 1887, he unsuccessfully contested the electoral district of Russell in Ontario; in 1900, he unsuccessfully contested a local election in Rossland, British Columbia; and at the federal general election of 1904, he unsuccessfully contested the electoral district of Kootenay in British Columbia.
On the advice of Prime Minister Sir John S.D. Thompson, Charles H. Mackintosh was appointed Lieutenant Governor of the Northwest Territories effective October 31, 1893. This appointment was made by Lord Stanley of Preston, Governor General of Canada. At one point, Charles H. Mackintosh's son Charles served as his Personal Secretary and Aide-de-Camp.
As noted previously, Charles H. Mackintosh served as Lieutenant Governor of the Northwest Territories during a period of transition. In 1897, the Northwest Territories Act was amended to provide for an Executive Council or Cabinet and, consequently, a President of Executive Council or Premier. Lieutenant Governor Charles H. Mackintosh appointed the first and only Premier of the Northwest Territories, Frederick W.A G. Haultain. As well, in 1895, he sponsored a Territorial Exhibition at Regina which had the effect of focusing national attention on the Northwest Territories on the eve of a great wave of immigration and settlement which would see that area irrevocably transformed. This exhibition was opened on July 30 by the Earl of Aberdeen, Governor General of Canada.
Following the completion of his service as Lieutenant Governor effective May 30, 1898, Charles H. Mackintosh became Canadian Manager of the British American Mining Corporation at Rossland, British Columbia. He later became a broker and financial agent in Victoria, British Columbia.
Throughout his public career, Charles H. Mackintosh was noted as a writer and pamphleteer. Some of his works are The Chicago Fire (1871), The Financial Panic in the U.S. and its Causes (1873), The Liberal-Conservative Handbook (1876), Potential Resources of British Columbia (1908), and British America's Golden Gateway to the Orient. As well, he was a contributor to the Canadian Magazine and was awarded gold and silver medals during the O'Connell Centenary for a poem entitled "The Irish Liberator."
Charles H. Mackintosh served as a Lifetime Director of the Protestant Home for the Aged in Ottawa; for several years he was Vice-President of the British Empire League in Canada; in 1879, he was elected Chairman of the Dominion Exhibition and President of the Parliamentary Press Gallery in Ottawa; and in 1881, he served as President of the Agricultural Association. He was also a member of the Rideau Club in Ottawa, the Vancouver Club, and the Union Club in Victoria, British Columbia.
Charles H. Mackintosh died on December 22, 1931, at Ottawa, Ontario, and was buried in the Beechwood Cemetery at Vanier, Ontario.