The 200 story nodes created in commemoration of the Sir John A. Macdonald Bicentennial can be searched by more than twenty themes, through the pins on the interactive map and by date on the timeline. 

You're viewing 38 stories about “Significant Locals
Dr. James Sampson Becomes Mayor of Kingston

Dr. James Sampson Becomes Mayor of Kingston


Born in Ireland and educated in medicine at Trinity College, Dublin, James Sampson was a surgeon and educator dedicated to public welfare in Kingston.

Henry Cassady Becomes Mayor of Kingston

Henry Cassady Becomes Mayor of Kingston


Henry Cassady was the first mayor of Kingston to be born locally. His United Empire Loyalist family members were among the earliest settlers of Kingston.

John Counter becomes the first Mayor of Kingston

John Counter Becomes the First Mayor of Kingston


John Counter, the first mayor of the newly incorporated City of Kingston in 1846, was a baker turned entrepreneur.

The Architecture of William Coverdale

The Architecture of William Coverdale


Born in England in 1801, it is unclear when William Coverdale arrived in Kingston though the birth of his son in Kingston is recorded in 1833.

Thomas Kirkpatrick Becomes Mayor of Kingston in 1838 and again in 1847

Thomas Kirkpatrick Becomes Mayor of Kingston in 1838 and Again in 1847


Thomas Kirkpatrick, born near Dublin, Ireland, arrived in Kingston to study law and later became the town solicitor (1839-1846).

Robert Charles Archibald McLean Becomes Mayor of Kingston

Robert Charles Archibald McLean Becomes Mayor of Kingston


Born in Martinique, West Indies where his Irish father was serving in the Royal Artillery, Robert Charles Archibald McLean was a physician and one of the most popular men in Kingston.

William Ford Jr. becomes Mayor of Kingston

William Ford Jr. becomes Mayor of Kingston


William Ford Jr. was born in Ireland and immigrated to Kingston as a young man. He was a keen and successful business owner and active member of many councils, committees and social organizations.

William Sawyer

William Sawyer


William Sawyer was a Canadian-born, self-taught painter and, later in his life, a photographer.

Eliza Grimason. Source: Newland family private collection, reprinted in Lena Newman, The John A. Macdonald Album, Tundra Books, 1974.

Eliza Grimason


Of the several women in John A. Macdonald's life, Eliza Grimason stands out first as a client and later as a confidante and close friend.

Sir Alexander Campbell. Source: Library and Archives Canada

Sir Alexander Campbell

March 9, 1822 - May 24, 1892

Sir John A. had no closer confidant in Kingston than his fellow Father of Confederation, Sir Alexander Campbell.

Legal Apprenticeship


John A.'s formal education ends at age 15, when he begins articling with George Mackenzie, a Kingston lawyer and friend of the Macdonald family.

The unveiling of 'Holding Court.'  L-R: Robert Quaiff (Mayor of Prince Edward County), Daryl Kramp (M.P. Hastings and Prince Edward), Janet Minor (Treasurer of the Law Society of Upper Canada), Ruth Abernethy (Artist), David Warrick (Chair of the Macdonald Project). Source: The Macdonald Project.

John A.'s First Legal Case

October 8, 1834

Macdonald's first legal case ended in a  fistfight with the opposing counsel at the Picton courthouse.

Sir Alexander Campbell. Source: Library and Archives Canada.

Alexander Campbell Becomes John A.'s Second Articling Student


In 1839 Alexander Campbell becomes Macdonald's second articling student (Oliver Mowat is his first). Four years later Macdonald makes him a junior partner.

Sir John A Macdonald circa 1842 or 1843. Artist unknown. Source: Library and Archives Canada.

The Brandt Trial


In the autumn of 1839, John A. defended Abraham Brandt, a Mohawk man, against the charge of murder in the brutal beating and death of fellow Mohawk man, John Marrikell. John A.

Sir John A. and Queen's University

December 18 1839 - October 16, 1841

On Dec. 18, 1839, the day after the bill was introduced to the Legislature for the establishment of a Presbyterian college to train ministers, a meeting was held in St.

Henry Smith Jr. Source: Library and Archives Canada.

Henry Smith Jr.


Henry Smith Jr. is an immigrant from England and three years older than John A. Macdonald.

Bellevue House. Source: Library and Archives Canada.

Bellevue House

1840 - present day

Once home to John A. and his first wife, Isabella, Bellevue House, an architectural gem and a National Historic Site, was officially opened as a museum by Her Majesty the Queen in 1967.

Confederation Celebrations in Market Square on July 1, 1867. Source: Queen's University Archives.

John A.'s Community Presence


Apart from is career in law and politics, Macdonald was a visible and active presence in 19th century Kingston society.

Students with home-built car, Queen's University, Kingston, ON circa 1916 by Clifford M. Johnston. Source: Library and Archives Canada.

Queen's University

October 16, 1841 - present day

Sir John A. Macdonald attended and participated in the earliest Kingston meetings that led to the establishment of what is now Queen's University.

Sir John A. circa 1856 by F.S. Richardson. Source: Library and Archives Canada.

The Trust and Loan Company


In 1843 Macdonald helped secure the charter for the Kingston-based Trust and Loan Company, a mortgage bank.

Possibly the earliest photograph of John A. Macdonald, circa 1840s. Source: Library and Archives Canada

Alderman Macdonald


In the municipal election on March 28, 1843, Macdonald ran for his first political post and was elected to Kingston's town council. He was carried from the tavern by his supporters, atop a chair.

Statement of Marriage between John A. Macdonald and Isabella Clark. Source: Library and Archives Canada.

John A. Marries Isabella Clark

September 1, 1843

In the summer of 1843, John A.'s cousin, Isabella, arrived in Kingston from England. Before long, Macdonald was courting her.

Kingston City Hall and Market circa 1910. Source: Archives of Ontario.

Kingston's City Hall

1844-present day

Designed by famed architect George Brown and now a National Historic Site, Kingston's majestic City Hall was completed in 1844. Even today City Hall commands the Kingston skyline.

Sir John A. Macdonald, date unknown. Source: Library and Archives Canada.

The 1844 Election Platform

October 14 & 15, 1844

In 1844, an election was called in the Province of Canada. John A. stood as the Conservative candidate for Kingston. His platform was about building roads and infrastructure.

Sir John A. and Kingston General Hospital

May 30, 1849

As Kingston grew, so did the need for medical care. In May 1846, Macdonald presented a memorandum to the Governor General requesting the establishment of a hospital and £300 was awarded.

Kingston Penitentiary circa 1906. Source: Library and Archives Canada.

George Brown's 1849 Report on Kingston Penitentiary


Macdonald denounces George Brown's 1849 report on Kingston Penitentiary and accuses Brown of bias. His defence of warden Smith, father of his close friend Henry Smith, is unwavering.