Happy Approximate Birthday, Sir John A!


Picture of Sir John A Macdonald

Did you know... Sir John A. Macdonald's birthdate was recorded as January 11th in his father's journal, and the family always celebrated on that day. However, on the official birth registration, the date given was January 10th. In any case, here are a few tidbits to mark the occasion--with much more to come, as we begin the lead-up to the bicentennial of his birth. Meanwhile, a Happy 199th, Sir John A!

A Few Facts

  • He was Canada's first prime minister.
  • He was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1815. His parents brought him to Kingston when he was five years old.
  • When he was only 19 years old, he opened his own law office at 169-171 Wellington Street (until recently, the location of the Right Spot Restaurant).
  • His first wife, Isabella, was an invalid.
  • He oversaw the expansion of the Dominion of Canada from sea to sea.

Some Notable Canadians Reflect on His Life

  • Matheson, John R., “Address at the Dinner in Honour of Sir John A. Macdonald, 6 June 1991, by the Hon. Mr. Justice John R. Matheson,” Historic Kingston, Vol. 40, 1992.
  • MacDonald, Flora, “187 th Anniversary of the Birth of Sr John A. Macdonald,” Historic Kingston, Vol. 51, 2003.
  • Mulroney, Brian, “An Address on the 100 th Anniversary of Sir John A. Macdonald’s Death, at Cataraqui Ceremony, 6 June 1991, by the Right Hon. Brian Mulroney,” Historic Kingston, Vol. 40, 1992.
  • Segal, Hugh, “What can Non-Partisans and Partisans Learn from Sir John A. Macdonald’s Career,” Historic Kingston, Vol. 52, 2004.
  • Trueman, Peter, “Sir John A. Macdonald and the National Parks,” Historic Kingston, Vol.  51, 2003.

Historic Kingston is the annual publication of the Kingston Historical Society. On the society's website, you will also find a list of libraries and archives that carry Historic Kingston and a publications page that includes some back issues for sale.