OTD: John A. Macdonald marries second wife

On today’s date in 1867, prime minister John A. Macdonald married his second wife, Susan Agnes Bernard, who was his secretary’s sister.

After his first wife, Isabella Clark, died in 1857, Macdonald spent nearly a decade devoted to politics before remarrying in 1867.

Soon after his second wedding, Canadian Confederation took place and Macdonald was knighted and appointed as prime minister of the newly formed dominion.


Canada’s first prime minister has been featured on many Canadian stamps, the most recent of which – issued in 2015 – marked his 200th birthday.

Designed by Louis Gagnon, of the Montreal-based graphic design and marketing studio Paprika, and printed by the Canadian Bank Note Company using five-colour lithography, the stamp features a portrait of Macdonald.

It’s inscribed to the bottom-left side with “SIR JOHN A. MACDONALD” and to the top-right with the dates “1815-2015.” The word “CANADA” is inscribed at the top.

At the unveiling in 2015, Canada Post CEO Deepak Chopra said this stamp captured and commemorated 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,” added Chopra.

The stamp measures 32 millimetres by 40 millimetres and is available in booklets of 10 stamps.

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