Macdonald remains ‘a towering figure’

On today’s date in 1867, Prime Minister John A. Macdonald married his second wife, Susan Agnes Bernard, the sister of his secretary.

After his first wife, Isabella Clark, died in 1857, he spent almost a decade devoted to politics before remarrying on Feb. 13, 1867. This set the stage for a hot year, with the creation of Canada on July 1, along with Sir John A.’s knighting and appointment as prime minister of the new country.

Canada’s first prime minister has been featured on many stamps. As recently as last month, Macdonald was featured on a Canada Post stamp, which marked his 200th birthday.

Designed by Louis Gagnon at Montreal’s Paprika and printed by the Canadian Bank Note Company with lithography in five colours, the earth-toned stamp features a portrait of “Sir John A.”, inscribed to the bottom-left, with the dates “1815-2015” in large numbers on the top-right. A vintage photo of Macdonald is brought together with an elegant but modern design, creating a contemporary look at a prominent figure that has been featured on many stamps over the past 100 years.

At the unveiling last month, Canada Post CEO Deepak Chopra said this stamp continues to capture and commemorate the key architects of Canadian history.

“Two hundred years after his birth, Sir John A. Macdonald remains a towering figure and this stamp celebrates his legacy,” said Chopra.

The self-adhesive stamp measures 32 mm by 40 mm and is available in booklets of 10.

Other stamps Macdonald was featured on include a 1927 1-cent stamp marking the 60th anniversary of Canadian Confederation (Scott 141) and a 1973 1-cent definitive stamp (Scott 586).

He is also depicted alongside former Prime Minister Wilfred Laurier on a 1927 12-cents stamp (Scott 147). Again, he is among the Fathers of Confederation on a 1917 3-cents brown commemorative stamp (Scott 135) and 1927 2-cents green commemorative stamp (Scott 142), which marked the 50th and 60th anniversary of Canada’s confederation. The stamp designs are based on a painting of the Charlottetown Conference in 1864 by Robert Harris.

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