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John A. Macdonald

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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 1815 – 6 June 1891) was the first Prime Minister of Canada.

Sourced quotes

  • 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]
Simple: As for myself, a British citizen I was born and a British citizen I will die. With my hardest effor, with my last breath as I die, I will oppose the hidden treasons which attempts by shameful means and bribes to lure our citizens away from Britian.
  • Let us be English or let us be French... but above all let us be Canadians.[2]
Simple: There are different groups of people in Canada, but we should all be Canadians first.
  • 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]
Simple: He hoped that Britain and Canada would have a strong alliance. And instead of them looking at us as a merely self-governing colony, England will see us a friendly nation and ally, a submissive, but still strong people to stand by her.
  • 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]
Simple: I get sick...not because I get drunk, but because I have to listent to my opponent talk.

Unsourced quotes

  • 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.
Simple: Almost everyone has agreed/accepted the plan (for 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.
Simple: For the next 50 years I would be willing to leave the west as a wilderness, but I fear if we do not settle it, the Americans will.
  • 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.
Simple: I believe there is a plan by violence, fraud, or both to force Canada to become part of America.
  • 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.


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