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Shukri MohamedSr. MaheenENG4UDecember 17th, 2017                                                                          Emily Murphy                  Emily Murphy played a key role in the progression of women’s rights in Canada. Her immense influence has made a substantial change in the Canadian legal system as well as the country’s history.                   Emily Murphy is a highly relevant and influential character in the progression of women’s rights in Canada and in the context of Canadian history. Murphy was born on March fourteenth, eighteen-sixty-four, in Cookstown, Ontario, to an influential family heavily involved in Canadian politics. She had membership in a well known group of women’s activists known to the world as the Famous Five. Murphy has had many occupations throughout her lifetime, most notably as the first female magistrate in Canada. Murphy had many people she held dear to her, her husband Arthur Murphy was one of them. He was eleven years her senior at the time they met, and the pair met while Murphy was enrolled a private all girls school. Coming from a privileged background and a family that possessed considerable influence as well as interest in Canadian politics, it is not surprising Murphy acquired a great interest in the subject while she was growing up.                  In regards to Murphy’s early life, she was born to Emily and Isaac Ferguson in the Canadian town of Cookstown, Ontario on the date of eighteen-sixty-four. She was born a third child in a family of eight and by the time Murphy was born her parents already had two of her siblings, Thomas Ferguson and Gowan Ferguson. Later on, her three other siblings were born; Harcourt Ferguson, Annie Jessamine Ferguson and William Nassau Ferguson. As a child, Murphy developed a great bond with her two elder brothers, Thomas and Gowan. The children would frequently go on adventures with one another. Murphy had a close relationship with both her parents, more particularly her father as he would often encourage her to live up to her full potential and treated her as an equal to his boys, which was a very unusual practice during the nineteenth century. As she was the daughter of a businessman, Murphy grew up in an upper class and wealthy lifestyle, and because her parents were educated, they knew the importance of gaining knowledge and would often encourage her to receive a formal education. The parents had enrolled their daughter in Bishop Strachan School all girls private school located in Toronto, Ontario. Murphy’s male family members had a lot of prominence and interest in Canadian politics, as well as an influential standing amongst the Canadian politicians of the time. By way of illustration, Ogle R. Gowan, who was Murphy’s maternal grandfather was a politician. Her two older brothers both had meaningful roles, one was a member of the supreme court and the other a lawyer. Because the majority of her male family members were heavily involved and had a lot of interest in Canadian politics, this became a cause for Murphy to acquire a great deal of interest in the subject, also making her very knowledgeable when it came to Canadian politics.                    During Murphy’s years boarding at her school, Bishop Strachan School for girls, she was introduced to her to be husband at the tender age of fifteen. The people responsible for making her meet her future husband were Murphy’s two elder brothers Thomas and Gowan. The man they introduced the young then Ferguson was to was Arthur Murphy, eleven years her senior and a theology student at Wycliffe College located in Toronto. On eighteen-eighty-seven, she married Arthur Murphy at nine-teen years of age while he was aged thirty years old. In later years Murphy moved with her husband to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. A year after the couple have been married, the Murphys gave birth to a beautiful baby daughter, named Kathleen.The couple then had their second child, a daughter named Evelyn, after her Madeline was their third daughter. She was born prematurely and as a result suffered from physical defects, causing her untimely death at nine months old. Doris was the fourth of Murphy’s’ daughters. In Edmonton, she would frequently organize feminist women’s groups and have knowledgeable discussions about the challenges such as gender inequality which women faced during the time.                                            Murphy was quite the influential character of her time, but she is perhaps most known for her occupations, and the extraordinary feats she has reached in the progression of women’s rights through her career choices. Murphy was a social activist, author, journalist, feminist and perhaps most notably she had the honour of being the first female magistrate in Canada and the British empire as a whole. Being a judge as a woman in the nineteenth century was no easy accomplishment and the process had happened in a quite interesting manner. On March, nineteen-sixteen, there had been a trial at an Edmonton court, directed towards several women police officers had pressed charges against for being prostitutes. During the trial several women from the Edmonton Local Council of women were in attendance at court while the evidence against the prostitutes was being presented. The women whom were asked to leave seeked counsel from Murphy on what they should do and she suggested that they should ask the government to be granted permission to create an all women’s courtroom that would primarily consist of trials and cases involving the affairs of women and children, as well as the judge appointed was to be made a woman. As they made the proposal to Charles W. Cross, Alberta’s liberal attorney general, Murphy also asked for a role in the court, she wanted to be granted permission to be the judge of the court. The request has been approved by the attorney general. This was a major step towards the advancement of women’s rights in Canada, the rights that many of today’s Canadian women take for granted.                                         In the history of her career Murphy is most known for her involvement in the group named the Famous Five, made up of five women activists. The group’s members were comprised of Emily Murphy, Henrietta Edwards, Louise Mckinney, Nellie Mcclung and Irene Parlby. The Famous Five was most notable for the Persons Case of October eighteenth, nineteen-twenty-nine. It is considered to be one of the most well known cases in Canada’s history. Because Murphy desperately wanted to be granted the position of senate and since a woman being assigned senate was unheard of during her lifetime, nor were women considered qualified persons for the position, Murphy being appointed senate would be virtually impossible. Also according to the British North America Act, eighteen-sixty-seven, which provides a clear outline of the people who are qualified to be appointed senate, did not include women, implying that women were not people. The Famous Five agreed upon making the rulings of the British North American act have women included in the list of individuals qualified to run as senators.The Famous Five decided they did not want to give up their fight and further pursued it by hiring one of Canada’s best lawyers of the time, who was known as Newton Wesley Rowell. Rowell was quite determined and had a passion to win his case, so it is not surprising to realize that when he presented their case to the Judicial Committee of the privy council that he did in fact convince them. Even though the Supreme Court of Canada had not been pleased with the group’s proposal, the Privy Council overlooked the fact and decided to overrule the Supreme Court.                                Apart from Murphy’s involvement in the group of the Famous Five in which she is most known for, she also was an accomplished author and has written many books under different pen names. Examples of the books she wrote would be, Open Trails written in nineteen-hundred, another novel called Janey Canuck in the West written in nineteen-ten, as well as Seeds of Pine written in nineteen-fourteen and The Black Candle, written in nineteen-twenty-two. Murphy’s most controversial novel, The Black Candle, published by Thomas Allen thoroughly discussed her views on many topics. In this book she wrote about her conspiracy theory called The Ring. In this theory she outlined her beliefs regarding people of colour and non-white immigrants to Canada. According to her theory all non-white ethnic groups, primarily the Chinese, Blacks and Mexicans had come together and had an agenda to corrupt white people and their settlements through the introduction of various drugs. Her solution to the problems she thought these people brought to the country was to get rid of people of colour and and the non-white immigrants entirely, and make Canada, a white dominated nation. Due to her deligent persuasion and xenophobic feelings towards people of colour, Murphy managed to convince the Canadian government to outlaw Marijuana and Hashish, declaring their harmful effect on the Canadian people and stating her conspiracy theory. Making Canada one of the first countries in the world to ban the drug and marking it as one of Murphy’s longstanding historical accomplishments.                                    In conclusion Murphy’s life was one of accomplishments and reaching outstanding feats, from winning the Persons Case in nineteen-twenty-nine as a Canadian feminist, where in women were legally recognized as people under the Canadian legal system, allowing Canada to take its first steps towards the progression of women’s rights in Canada. To being appointed senate as well as Canada’s first female magistrate, and writing several successful novels. Her privileged background and education helped her be poised for success and her male family members, having a considerable influence and standing in the field of Canadian politics initiated her interest in the politics. Overall she is an important figure in the history of Canada and more precisely in the progression of women’s rights that most Canadian women take for granted today.