Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 35.djvu/52

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Macdonald
Macdonald
46

their mission was the treaty of Washington, which was signed on 8 May 1871. Macdonald acted at once as an imperial commissioner and the prime minister of the colony most concerned, and his position was consequently delicate. In July 1872 he was made a privy councillor of the United Kingdom, and was sworn in in August 1879.

By 1873 the conservatives had lost their popularity in the country, and were easily defeated on the question of the alleged fraudulent opportunities given to Sir Hugh Allan for the employment of American capital in the building of the Canadian Pacific railway. Macdonald completely cleared himself of any personal reeponaibility, in a memorable speech (6 Nov. 1873), hut he could not stay the reaction, and he was succeeded by Alexander Mackenzie, at the head of a liberal ministry which lasted from 1873 to 1878. Macdonald's conduct during Mackenzie's administration was not factious, and he contributed largely to the reform of the legal system, helping the ministers to pass the Insolvent Act end the act constituting the supreme judicial court of the Dominion.

In October 1878 Macdonald, who was a convinced protectionist, defeated the ministry on a proposal to introduce an indiscriminating protective tariff which made no exception even in the case of importations from England. Thereupon Macdonald returned to office, holding the posts of premier and minister of the interior. He was defeated at the time for his old constituency of Kingston, but easily found another seat. He remained in power from 1878 until his death in 1891, exchanging his office as minister of the interior for the presidency of the council and superintendent-generalship of Indian affairs, 17 Oct, 1883. Macdonald visited England in 1880 with the ministers of railways and agriculture, and finally arranged the contract for the construction of the Pacific railway. He paid another visit in 1884, when he attended the conference held in London for the purpose of forming the Imperial Federation League, and was generally recognised as a pioneer of the principle of imperial unity. In November 1884 he was created G.C.B. In 1865 the university of Oxford had conferred on him the degree of D.C.L., and the Canadian universities were liberal in bestowing their honours upon him. Macdonald died at his residence, Earnscliffe Hall, near Ottawa, on 6 June 1891. Besides having been once premier of the old Canada of two provinces for a brief while, he had been during a period covering in all twenty years prime minister of the Dominion of Canada. During his final administration (1878-91) he was regarded as the foremost statesman on the American continent. His sphere of activity was the organisation of civilisation throughout Canada. His devotion to protection and his insistence on Canada's need of a high tariff excited some ill-feeling in England, but this was more than overborne by the general sense of his passionate loyalty. One of his latest public utterances was a warning to his countrymen (1890) that Canada could not stand alone.

Macdonald married in 1843 his cousin, Isabella Clark, daughter of Alexander Clark of Dalnavert, Inveness-shire. By her he had two sons, one of whom, Mr. Hugh John Macdonald, born in 1851, survives. In 1807 he married Susan Agnes, the daughter of Mr. T. A. Bernard, a prominent official in Jamaica. After Macdonald's death his widow was raised to the peerage of the United Kingdom as Baroness Macdonald of Earnscliffe ; and on 16 Nov. 1892 a white marble bust erected to his memory was unveiled in the south aisle of St. Paul's Cathedral, London, by the Earl of Rosebery, secretary of state for foreign affairs.

[See Life and Times of Sir John Macdonald, by E. G. Collins; Macdonald's Speeches; Archer's Hist. of Canada ; Dent's Hist. of Canada ; Dent's Canadian Portrait Gallery; Appleton's Cyclopædia of American Biog.]

H. B.-e.

MACDONALD, LAWRENCE (1799–1878), sculptor, born at Boneyview, Findo-Gask, Perthshire, 15 Feb. 1799 (baptism register of Findo-Gask parish), was son of Alexander Macdonald, a poor violinist (Irving, Eminent Scotsmen), and Margaret Morison, his wife. He was apprenticed as a mason with Thomas Gibson, who was then building Murray's Royal Asylum, Perth, and about this time he carved the arms of Robert Graeme on the front of Garvock House. Coming to Edinburgh with an introduction to James Gillespie Graham the architect [q. v.], who proved a helpful patron, he worked as an ornamental sculptor, and on 26 Feb, 1822 entered the Trustees' Academy, Edinburgh (minute-book of the board of trustees). Early in the winter of the same year he went to study in Rome, where he executed several busts, among others that of the Duke of Atholl ; and in 1823, along with Gibson, Severn, and other artists, founded the British Academy of Arts in Rome, of which he continued a trustee till his death. In about four years he returned to Edinburgh, and there produced busts of Professor John Wilson and George Combe, the phrenologist. In 1829 he sent his bust of John Marshall, M.P., to the Royal Academy, and he was a frequent contributor to the suc-