1835 – He was born and raised in Kingston, Ontario on the 4th of December.
1863 – He was elected as a Conservative Party member and supporter of John A. Macdonald in the Province of Canada’s legislative assembly.
1867 – The Province of Canada became part of the new Canadian confederation. Cartwright was elected to the newly-formed Canadian House of Commons, again as a Tory.
1869 – He broke with the Conservatives over Macdonald’s appointment of Sir Francis Hincks as Minister of Finance, and crossed the floor to join the Liberal Party of Canada.
1874 – In election, Cartwright was appointed Minister of Finance by Prime Minister Alexander Mackenzie.
1878 – Cartwright returned to the opposition bench when the Liberals were defeated in the election.
1879 – He was awarded a knighthood.
1887 – In election, he represented the ridings of Oxford South.
1898 – He also served as a Canadian member of the Anglo-American Joint High Commission to resolve diplomatic problems between Canada and the US.
1902 – Cartwright was appointed to the Imperial Privy Council, which allowed him to use the honorific "Right Honourable".
1909 – He served as Leader of the Government in the Senate .
1911 – He served as Leader of the Opposition in the Senate.
1912 – He died on the 24th of September.