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The first general store in South Lancaster was built by John and James Dunlop, and the latter was postmaster. When James Dunlop gave up the post office to William McIntosh, a young clerk came to work there. His name was John Sandfield Macdonald, and he was destined to become the first premier of Ontario and to fill other positions of distinction.
John Sandfield Macdonald was born in St. Raphael's in 1812, and was educated in the local schools. He ran away from home two or three times, and finally went to Cornwall and found a job as stable boy. But he was ambitious, and eventually took up the study of law. After being called to the Bar, he set up practice in Cornwall. In later years he was a frequent visitor at the home of his brother, Ranald. (Dec. 12th is Ontario's first Premier's 199th Birthday)
From a Book by Dorothy Dumbrille
Obituary for Margaret Cameron of Long Sault, genealogist & Hugh Pearson MacMillan, founding force of Glengarry Historical Society and writer of the Adeventures of a Paper Sleuth
Graveslab, IONA Scotland
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Finlaggan Councillor, Castle Tioram, Clan Donald International
Visit her website at emswritecraft.com
Clan Donald Canada. This past year the AGM was in Cornwall, Sep. 9/10, 2011. Guest Speaker was myself talking
mainly about the pursuit of genealogy info, applied to my interest in Glengarry County.
Here is a copy of my speech.
The 2012 Glengarry Highland Games were held August 3rd & 4th, 2012 in Maxville, Glengarry County, Ontario, Canada.
This year the featured clan was Clan Donald. August 4th I was invited to speak and my topic was Ional and its relevance to Clan Donald and Glengarry County. - See my IONA webpage
If you are interested in Macdonalds - Clan Donald, visit their updated website at www.clandonaldcanada.ca
Happy 200th Birthday December 12, 2012 to John Sandfield Macdonald, Premier of the United Canada's and 1st Premier of Ontario
Glengarry County was established in 1792. The first settlers, United Empire Loyalists' Herkimer's Batteau Company, Kings Royal Rangers (New York) and the 84th Regiment of Foot, arrived in 1783.
In 1786 500 settlers arrived from Glengarry, Scotland and were the first to settle inland, away from a river.
By the early 1800's the population of Glengarry was primarily Scottish but began to change when French Canadian settlers arrived. They had left neighbouring communities in Quebec due to land shortages.
"Farming was the main occupation of Glengarry families and although the county is well watered by the Raisin, the Baudette and the Delisle Rivers, as well as several branches of the Rigaud River, the land did not produce too many
rich farms and it became customary for the young men to winter in the lumber shanties to supplement their income. The men also left for parts of the United States and the western provinces seeking a more lucrative way of life."
Story of the Week
For Glengarry, the election marked the rise of a remarkable business and political family The county now had only one member to elect (instead of two, as under the old system), and the lucky candidate, who easily defeated Dr. Grant,
was a promising 28-year old Cornwall lawyer, John Sandfield MacDonald John Sandfield was born at St Raphael's, the son of an emigrant from Knoydart He attended the Eastern District Grammar School at Cornwall, qualified as a lawyer,
and set up his practice in Cornwall He represented
Glengarry in the Legislative Assembly till 1857; he was then succeeded by
his brother Donald Alexander, commonly known in Glengarry as Donald
Sandfield, who represented Glengarry till 1875.
The circumstances were these. Under pressure from home, administered through the new. Governor-General, the Ministry had brought forward measures of defence.
They proposed to raise and equip, at the cost of Canada, 50,000 men. They proceeded, if my memory serves me, by the introduction of a Bill, and that Bill was rejected by a
very small majority (61 to 54), composed of Sandfield Macdonald and a few others, described as "Ishmaelites." Upon that vote Mr. Cartier at once resigned, as I thought in too much
haste. I met him as he walked away from the Parliament House in the afternoon, and expressed regret. He said, with set teeth, clenched fist, and sparkling eyes, "Ah! Well, I have saved the honour of my
country against those 'Grits' and 'Rouges;' traitres, traitres." Mr. J. A. Macdonald, afterwards, took the matter very quietly, merely remarking that the slightest tact might have prevented the occurrence.
So I thought. Canada and the
Macdonald, John Sandfield(1812-1872), prime minister of Canada (1862-64) and [p.441] prime minister of Ontario (1867-71), was born at St. Raphael, Upper Canada, on December 12, 1812, the son
of Alexander Macdonald. He was educated at the grammar school in Cornwall, Upper Canada; and in 1840 he was called to the bar of Upper Canada. In 1841 he was elected to represent Glengarry in the
Legislative Assembly of Canada, and he sat for this constituency continuously until 1857, and from 1857 to 1867 he sat for Cornwall. His course in politics was independent and somewhat erratic.
He leaned at first toward Conservatism, but in 1844 he sided with the Reform leaders against Sir Charles Metcalfe (q.v.), and he was henceforth rated as a Reformer. From 1849 to 1851 he was solicitor-general
in the second Baldwin-Lafontaine administration; but he was not included in the Hincks-Morin government, and was relegated in 1852-54 to the position of speaker of the Assembly. He opposed the MacNab-Tach?
and succeeding Liberal-Conservative governments; but, being a Roman Catholic and an advocate of the ?double-majority? principle, he was not in harmony with the wing of the Reform party led by George Brown (q.v.).
He was included in 1858 in the short-lived Brown-Dorion administration as attorney-general west; but this was merely a temporary rapprochement, and when Sandfield Macdonald was invited to form a government in 1862,
George Brown was not a member of it. As first minister in the Macdonald-Sicotte government (1862-63), and in the Macdonald-Dorion government (1863-64), he carried on the administration with considerable adroitness under
difficult circumstances; but his defeat in March, 1864, and the subsequent defeat of the Tach?-Macdonald ministry in June, 1864, brought about the deadlock from which issued Confederation. Sandfield Macdonald opposed
Confederation, and fought against it vigorously; but once it had become an accomplished fact, he accepted it, and in 1867 he was persuaded by Sir John Macdonald (q.v.) to undertake the prime ministry of Ontario. He formed in
Ontario a coalition government, known as ?the Patent Combination?; and for over four years he administered the affairs of the province with great prudence and economy. At the end of 1871, however, he was defeated in the House by the
Liberals under Edward Blake (q.v.), and resigned. His health, never robust, had given way; and he died soon afterwards at Cornwall, Ontario, on June 1, 1872. In 1840 he married a daughter of the Hon. George Waggoman, United States
senator from Louisiana; and had three sons and
Taylor, Brit. Am., vol. 1; Dent, Can. port., vol. 4; Rose, Cyc. Can. biog. (1886); C. Clarke, Sixty years in Upper Canada (Toronto, 1908); Sir J. Pope,
Memoirs of the Rt. Hon. Sir J. A. Macdonald (2 vols., Ottawa, 1895); J. C. Dent, The last forty years (2 vols., Toronto, 1881); Goldwin Smith, Reminiscences (Toronto, 1910);
W. S. Wallace, ?Political History of Ontario,? in Shortt and Doughty (eds.), Canada and its provinces, vol. 17 (Toronto, 1914).]
Sandfield had seen Christine whenever he
could act as a royal messenger. Passing through Baltimore he would pose as
a relative and thereby obtain time with her. In the fall of 1840 they
eloped and were married in New York.
Yet as for Sandfield Macdonald, in the Ontario
that William Davis spoke for, "we have never been afraid to be Canadians
first ... the ultimate priority is to ensure the existence of a stable and
unified Canada." As the constitutional debate progressed, this implied
fundamental co-operation between the Government of Ontario and the
Government of Canada. From 1976 to 1981, William Davis and Pierre Trudeau
went "hunting in pairs", not unlike John Sandfield Macdonald and John A.
Macdonald from 1867 to 1871.
There is (or was) a painting of John Sandfield at
Cornwall, showing him standing with a hand in a trowser pocket. J. S.
brought a friend to see his picture. The friend commented, "Aye, John
Sandfield 'tis the vera first time I ever saw a lawyer with his hand in
his own pocket."
Descended from the ancient Highland family that settled in Glengarry in 1786. B. at St. Raphael, Ont., 20 Dec., 1812. Ed. under Dr. Urquhart at Cornwall. Called to the Bar of U. C. in Trinity Term, 1840. Created Q.C., 1849.
Is a Bencher of the Law Society, U. C. and Lieut.
Col. commanding Cornwall Reserve.
John Sandfield Macdonald was nicknamed Old Rosin the Bow, was a fiddler and one of most popular ways to keep in touch with constituents was to play at family weddings, etc He would play Scotch selections on his Cremona.
If the remarkable decision in 1797 to endow a provincial university had proven to be ahead of its time, and in conflict with the denominational proclivities of the colonial society, the bold decision by Premier Sandfield Macdonald's
government in 1868 to terminate all grants for
denominational colleges offered the province an opportunity to make a
second start in shaping a workable public policy framework for post
secondary education in Ontario.
Neighbours of the McGregors of St. Raphaels were the John Sandfield Macdonald family; the Honourable John Sandfield Macdonald was born in December, 1812 within sight of the Bishop's house and the church.
On one occasion, the fire at the Macdonell cabin went out during the night and the boy was sent across the fields for coals.The home still stands but is no longer used as a dwelling. John Sandfield was a restless youth.
He attended the school at St. Raphaels but, as he matured, developed the habit of running away in search of adventure. His energy and ambition, even then, asserted themselves, making him dissatisfied with his farm duties-
When his family, deeply concerned, appealed to "Little Sandy" McGregor, for help in the problem, Sandy set out to locate the boy, and to bring him home. He found him, and gave him a sound talking to, emphasizing his duty to his
parents and the virtues of settling down to study and getting an education then put a dollar in the youth's hand, and wished him luck When John Sandfield was at the peak of his success and popularity, he took pleasure in telling how
the lecture, and the dollar given him by Little Sandy McGregor, had marked the turning-point in his behaviour and had made him realize his responsibilities.
From a Book by Dorothy
John Sandfield Macdonald 1837 Journal at the National Archives, transcribed from original be Evelyn Goulet
John Sandfield Bust in the Parliamentary Library