John A. Manages a Legal Office in Napanee

1832
Sir John A Macdonald circa 1842 or 1843. Artist unknown. Source: Library and Archives Canada.Pinterest
Sir John A Macdonald circa 1842 or 1843. Artist unknown. Source: Library and Archives Canada.

In 1832, George Mackenzie opens a branch office in Napanee and sends 17-year-old John A. to manage it. The young Macdonald at first appears awkward with clients, until Mackenzie advises him in a letter: “I do not think you are so free and lively with people as a young man eager for their good should be. A dead-and-alive way with them never goes.” Macdonald keeps the letter for many years and, heeding its advice, soon becomes well known for his wit and easy charm.