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Macdonald, John Sandfield

MACDONALD, JOHN SANDFIELD (1812-1872), Canadian statesman, was born at St Raphael, Glengarry county, Ontario, on the 12th of December 1812. He was admitted to the bar in 1840, and settled in Cornwall. In the same year he married Miss Waggaman, the daughter of an American senator from Louisiana. In 1841 he was elected to^the Canadian parliament for Glengarry, which seat he held for sixteen years. In 1842 he joined the Reformers in the cry for constitutional government, and from 1852 to 1854 was Speaker of the house. He was always uncertain in his party allegiance, and often attacked George Brown, the Liberal leader. Indeed, he well described himself as ,"the Ishmael of parliament." In 1862 he was called on by Lord Monck, the governor-general, to form a ministry, which by manifold shifts held office till February 1864. In the debates on federation he opposed the measure, but on its passage was in 1867 entrusted by the Conservatives with the task of organizing the provincial government of Ontario. He ruled the province with economy and efficiency, but was defeated in December 1871 by the Liberals, resigned the premiership, and died on the 1st of June 1872.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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