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Peter Cashin: My Fight for Newfoundland
By Peter J. Cashin
Edited and annotated by Edward Roberts

Peter Cashin: My Fight for NewfoundlandBy Peter J. CashinEdited and annotated by Edward Roberts

Hardcover, 399 pages, b & w photos and illustration
ISBN 10: 1-926881-71-0
ISBN 13: 978-1-926881-71-3

Price: CDN$34.95

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Book Description
Peter Cashin was at the centre—the stormy centre—of Newfoundland’s political and public life for more than thirty years. Known to many as “the fighting Major,” in a tribute to his wartime service with the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, he played a decisive role at every major stage in the political drama that transformed Newfoundland from a British Dominion to a Canadian Province.

Peter Cashin wrote a memoir soon after he retired from public life in 1953. Part of it was published shortly before he died in 1977, but it is only now that his account of the years between 1919 and the end of his life has been published. Cashin wrote every word of the memoir, and it is presented in this book just as he wrote it. This is Peter Cashin’s story in his own words, and in his own voice. A man with strong views, he minced no words. The memoir rings with praise for those whom he admired and condemnation for those whom he did not. Frank, fearless, and forceful, he fought against anybody and everybody who threatened the future of his country and his people. Governors, prime ministers, politicians, judges, priests, and merchants—it mattered not to him who they were, but what they stood for.

Peter Cashin cared passionately about Newfoundland and her people. He is one of the giants of our past, a man who dominated the public forum during some of the most crucial years in our history. He is the last of the great men of that era to tell his story. Peter Cashin: My Fight for Newfoundland is an account of the most important years of his life by a man who put Newfoundland and her people at the centre of that life. Anybody who is interested in who we are and how we got to be what we are will be enthralled by it.

About the Authors

Peter J. Cashin, the eldest child of Michael and Gertrude (Mullowney) Cashin, was born on March 6, 1890, in Cape Broyle, Newfoundland. First elected to the House of Assembly in 1923 as a Conservative in Ferryland District, by 1928 Cashin had become minister of finance in the Liberal Administration led by Sir Richard Squires. He soon became aware that Squires was irresponsible with public money and resigned from Cabinet and the Liberal party early in 1932 in protest. Cashin did not stand in 1932, the first time since 1893 that no Cashin contested Ferryland. He played no part in Newfoundland’s surrender of self-government in December 1933, but he soon became a prominent and persistent critic of the Commission of Government that replaced it. He opposed Joey Smallwood’s campaign for Confederation with Canada and became the chairman of the Responsible Government League, leading it into the 1948 referendums. After Confederation, Cashin served in the legislature as an independent and as a member of the Progressive Conservative party, before retiring from public life in 1953. Cashin was married to Blanche Fitzpatrick of Placentia, with whom he had two children, Mary and Michael. He died in St. John’s on May 21, 1977.

Edward Roberts has been involved in public life in Newfoundland and Labrador for more than fifty years, as a journalist, lawyer, and politician. He was a member of the House of Assembly for twenty-three years and served as Newfoundland and Labrador’s lieutenant governor between 2002 and 2008. He has long been passionately interested in the history of Newfoundland and her people.


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