Christopher Hemingway was the tenth Governor-General of the Confederation of North America, serving from February 1903 to February 1908. Hemingway was a Grand Council member from the Northern Confederation and a consistent supporter of Ezra Gallivan during the Starkist terror. When the People's Coalition met in January 1903 to nominate a candidate for Governor-General, Gallivan threw his support behind Hemingway in order to prevent his rival Thomas Kronmiller from gaining the nomination. Gallivan succeeded, and he led the People's Coaltion to win 83 seats in the 1903 Grand Council elections against Liberal Party leader Henderson Nelson.
Hemingway referred to Gallivan as his "friend and mentor", and the two men would spend two weeks every year fishing off the Georgia coast. Like Gallivan, Hemingway was an isolationist. He successfully opposed Kronmiller's attempt to annex Cuba and Porto Rico. Hemingway also kept the C.N.A. from joining the United British Commonwealth of Nations when it was formed in 1906, though he did accept associated status.
The C.N.A. enjoyed steady prosperity during the Hemingway administration, with the nation's gross national product rising at least six percent each year. Hemingway's most important reform was his amendment of the charter of the National Financial Administration following the retirement of Administrator Julius Nelson in 1904. Starting on 6 August 1904, the N.F.A. had three administrators serving six-year terms, with one being up for re-appointment every two years. Hemingway appointed Hugh Neill and Edward White, who were both bankers, and Maxwell Boatner, a former Governor of Indiana. The three men continued Nelson's policies.
Apart from his reform of the N.F.A., Sobel says that Hemingway had no desire to innovate. He introduced no new measures, started no crusades, and did not call the people to new reforms. "All was going well," Sobel remarks, "and Hemingway saw no need to rock the boat." Hemingway's placidity and conservatism frustrated reformers and disturbed intellectuals, but as Sobel notes, he probably reflected the mood of the nation in his day (a period known to historians as the Years of the Pygmies) as well as Gallivan had in his, and Gallivan himself considered Hemingway a worthy successor. Sobel also describes Hemingway as being fond of crowds and travel, and notes that the governor-general spent four months in 1905 touring the C.N.A.'s six confederations, as well as Quebec and Nova Scotia, and speaking at each confederation capital.
Although Hemingway was, as Sobel says, "the most beloved Governor-General in history," on 6 September 1907, he announced that he would not seek a second term, preferring to retire to the Grand Council to enjoy the company of Gallivan, who had accepted a Council seat in 1904. At the P.C.'s 1908 nominating convention, Hemingway and Gallivan were able to arrange for the selection of Indiana Councilman Albert Merriman, whom Sobel describes as "a carbon copy of Hemingway," as party leader. Thanks to Hemingway's popularity, the P.C. was able to increase its majority in the Grand Council to 90 seats in the 1908 Grand Council elections against Liberal leader Guy St. Just. Kronmiller bitterly referred to Merriman's victory as "the fifth term of King Ezra Gallivan."
Hemingway's memoirs, The Way of the World, were published in New York in 1911.
In addition to Hemingway's memoirs, Sobel's sources for the life and political career of Christopher Hemingway are Arnold Marriot's Years of the Pygmies (New York, 1923), Leland French's In the Shadow of the Giants: The Burgen-Hemingway-Merriman Years (New York, 1969), and Hubert Lodge's Men for Their Age: The Hemingway and Merrimen Administrations (New York, 1971).
|Governors-General of the C.N.A.|
|Winfield Scott • Henry Gilpin • William Johnson • Whitney Hawkins • Kenneth Parkes • Herbert Clemens • John McDowell • Ezra Gallivan • Clifton Burgen • Christopher Hemingway • Albert Merriman • Calvin Wagner • Henderson Dewey • Douglas Watson • Bruce Hogg • James Billington • Richard Mason • Perry Jay • Carter Monaghan|