Eliza Grimason's Influence

1821-1916
Eliza Grimason. Source: Newland family private collection, reprinted in Lena Newman, The John A. Macdonald Album, Tundra Books, 1974.Pinterest
Eliza Grimason. Source: Newland family private collection, reprinted in Lena Newman, The John A. Macdonald Album, Tundra Books, 1974.

In an age of female subservience, Eliza Grimason was a populist leader in the Kingston community. As a Protestant Irishwoman, she was a member of St. Andrew's Presbyterian church, and one wonders whether she interacted there with that other member of the congregation who advocated women's rights, Agnes Maule Machar. Probably, she influenced Macdonald's political ideology. Certainly, Macdonald respected women like Eliza for their achievements and he was the first Canadian politician to propose the concept of the vote for women in his proposed Franchise Bill (1885) and "securing the complete emancipation of women." Her funeral in 1916 was a major event; her gravestone is located next to Macdonald's.