John A. Macdonald

From Wikiquote
Jump to: navigation, search
As for myself, my course is clear. A British subject I was born — a British subject I will die.

Sir John A. Macdonald (11 January 18156 June 1891) was the first Prime Minister of Canada. Macdonald served 19 years as Canadian Prime Minister, second to only William Lyon Mackenzie King.


  • As for myself, my course is clear. A British subject I was born — a British subject I will die. With my utmost effort, with my latest breath, will I oppose the ‘veiled treason’ which attempts by sordid means and mercenary proffers to lure our people from their allegiance.
    • February 3, 1891 as the 1891 election was called, fought largely over the issue of free trade with the United States. [1]
  • Let us be English or let us be French... but above all let us be Canadians. [2]
  • Yes, but the people would prefer John A. drunk to George Brown sober.
    • Responding to a heckler. (from John A: The Man Who Made Us by Richard J. Gwyn)
  • He hoped that Britain and Canada would have "a healthy and cordial alliance. Instead of looking upon us as a merely dependent colony, England will have in us a friendly nation, a subordinate but still a powerful people to stand by her in North America in peace or in war." - 1865 [3]
  • I must have another $10,000. Will be the last time of calling. Do not fail me. Answer today.
    • Telegram to Hugh Allan, head of the Canadian Pacific Railway, six days before the 1872 election. The release of this telegram spurred the Pacific Scandal.
  • I get sick ... not because of drink [but because] I am forced to listen to the ranting of my honourable opponent.
    • During the election of 1863, Sir John A. Macdonald threw up during a campaign speech and when his opponent pointed this out, Macdonald shot back with this answer. [4]


  • We must protect the rights of minorities, and the rich are always fewer in number than the poor.
    • Sir John A. Macdonald said this in the privacy of the Quebec Conference of 1864 when they were constructing the Senate.
  • The scheme as a whole has met with almost universal approval.
    • Talking to the legistlature about confederation.
  • I would be quite willing, personally, to leave that whole country a wilderness for the next half-century but I fear if Englishmen do not go there, Yankees will.
    • Letter to Sir Edward W. Watkin-1865.
  • I say that there is a deliberate conspiracy, by force, by fraud, or by both, to force Canada into the American Union.
    • Speech, Academy of Music, Toronto-1891.
  • Anyone can support me when they think I'm right. What I want is someone that will support me when I am wrong.
  • Yes, In my Canada the rich will always be a minority
    • Asked if he believe in minority rights.
  • Ain't I the old devil though?
    • After being read aloud a long list of political mistakes.

External links[edit]

Wikipedia has an article about: