Howe, Joseph, 1804–73, Canadian journalist and political leader, b. Halifax, N.S. In 1828, Howe became proprietor and editor of the Nova Scotian, which under his direction became the leading journal of the province. In 1836 he entered the provincial assembly and assumed leadership of his reform party; there and in his newspaper he continued his campaign for responsible government until the demands of his reform party were granted in 1848. From 1848 to 1854 he was provincial secretary; from 1860 to 1863 he was premier. Howe worked ardently for education and for an intercolonial railroad to link the Maritime Provinces with Canada proper. Although an early advocate of union, he opposed confederation. Even after confederation had been achieved (1867) he continued his opposition, but realizing the hopelessness of his position, he entered (1869) John Macdonald's dominion cabinet as president of the council, losing by this act many of his supporters in Nova Scotia. When he retired in 1873 to accept appointment as lieutenant governor of Nova Scotia, his homecoming was marked by little enthusiasm. He died soon after assuming office.
See Joseph Howe (ed. by J. M. Beck, 1964); biographies by J. W. Longley (rev. ed. 1926) and J. A. Roy (1935).