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1881 Sir John A. Macdonald First Canadian Prime Minister Signed Personal Letter—Full JSA

Lot Number 1818

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Surely the “Right Honourable” Sir John Alexander Macdonald (d.1891) would be greatly pleased if he could see what his actions have wrought. A political office holder for nearly fifty years, Macdonald was instrumental in the establishment of the Canadian Confederation. Founded on 7/1/1867, Canada has blossomed into one of the world’s great nations. Macdonald’s lengthy and productive political career culminated on the very same 7/1/1867 date, with him being named the first Prime Minister of Canada, a position he held until his death in 1891.


Pay homage to this Canadian “George Washington” with this 2/9/1881 handwritten letter. Penned on letterhead from Macdonald’s Ottawa home “Stadacona Hall”, this ancient document is marked “Private” in Macdonald’s hand. Watermarked “A Pirie & Sons 1880”, this 8x10 sheet of paper is folded to 5x8, with writing covering two pages. Despite multiple original period compacting folds, this 19th Century letter remains sturdy and fairly clean with bold written content.


This letter is addressed to “The Hon. Mr. Justice Johnson, Montreal”, who was most likely Francis Goodschall Johnson, a judge of the Superior Court. The letter’s content is summed up by Macdonald’s statement “It does certainly seem absurd that three fourths of the judicial work should be done in Montreal, and that the Chief Justice should reside in Quebec”. Spanning 4” at the bottom of the second page of writing, Macdonald’s stately signature shows remarkable (“8-9”) strength. Full photo LOA from JSA.

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