1810 - 1879
Elihu Burritt was an American reformer. Born in New Britain, Conn. in 1810, he was a schooled blacksmith, that studied mathematics, languages, and geography. Hebecame known as "the learned blacksmith." He was an ardent scholar who forged metals and Greek verbs with equal ease. He became an American philanthropist and social activist in many causes, opposing slavery, working for temperance, and trying to achieve world peace. In addition to these social activities he also conducted a weekly paper, The Christian Citizen (1844-51), which became an important organ of pacifism, as he travelled through the U.S. and England to advocate this cause. These accomplishments caused President Lincoln to appoint him as a United States consul in Birmingham, England. During his time in Birmingham he lived in a modest house in the then still rural village of Harborne in a house which he named New Britain Villas that still stands. In 1848, he organized a precursive entity to the League of Nations and /or theUnited Nations which he extolled as the first international congress of the Friends of Peace. This movement convened in Brussels in September, 1848. and there was a second "Peace Congress" that met in Paris in 1849 presided over by Victor Hugo. Burritt attended the "Peace Congresses" at Frankfort on the-Main in 1850, London in 1851, Manchester in 1852, and Edinburgh in 1853. Burritt was also a staunch sponsor and campaigner for cheaper international postal rates and greater intellectual exchange among nations. In this regard he paid for and printed the propaganda envelopes in support of the "Ocean Penny Post" featured below, and used widely throughout England and America. in support of Henniker Heatons' activities. Besides his Lectures and Speeches (1866), he wrote many essays and travel accounts, reminiscent of Cobbett. The erudition of this self-educated blacksmith is also indicated by his translation of Longfellow's poems into Sanskrit. His efforts bore fruit when the U.S. adopted the reduced postal rate with Canada and the British in 1899. Burritt published over 37 books and articles, including Sparks from the Anvil and Ten Minute Talks. In 1847, his pamphlet Four Months in Skibbereen made residents of the United States more aware of the Potato Famine in Ireland.
Sir William Mulock, PC , KCMG
1844 - 1944
Sir William Mulock was born in Bond Head ,about 30 miles north of Toronto in what was then Canada West. He graduated from the University of Toronto in 1863 and was called to the Bar in 1867. He won a seat in the Canadian House of Commons as a Liberal Member of Parliament (MP) and served there from 1882 to 1905. He was instrumental in negotiating an intergovernmental agreement to establish a telecommunications cable linking Canada , Australia and New Zealand and was instrumental in joining Canada and the UK through radio (1903). Advocating government ownership of Bell Telephone, he chaired the 1905 parliamentary inquiry into telephones until Mulock was appointed chief justice of the Exchequer Division of the Supreme Court of Ontario (1905); In 1923, Mulock he was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Ontario, a position he held until 1936. During the period 1931 to 1932, he also served as acting Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. In later years Mulock became rector and Chancellor at the University of Toronto (1924) during which time he joined the Kappa Alpha Society through which he met William Lyon Mackenzie King; giving King his start in politics. As vice-chancellor of the University of Toronto (1881-1900), he was the primary force in federating denominational and professional colleges into the expanded, co-operative university it was to become. He served as Chancellor until his death at age 100 in 1944. The Sir William Mulock Secondary School and Mulock Drive in Newmarket, Ontario, are named in his honour. Sir William Mulock worked very closely with both Hennicker Heaton and Eli Burritt promoting the initiation of the Imperial Penny Postage rates among the various colonies of Great Britain, as well as the inclusion of the United States in adopting the Penny Post/two cent rate. Understanding the significance of this achievement, he then conceived the issuance of the 2 cent commemorative Imperial Penny Postage stamp to coincide with the dates of the initiation of the postal rate domestically and universally.