John A.'s Accent

1820-1891
Macdonald's home in the Bay of Quinte region. Source: City of Kingston.Pinterest
Macdonald's home in the Bay of Quinte region. Source: City of Kingston.

Macdonald is often played on TV and in live theatre with a thick Scottish accent. But Alexander Campbell, his law partner and political ally for more than 50 years, observes that John A. is “in tone of voice and manner as thoroughly a Bay of Quinte boy as if he had been born there.” Several contemporaries note his slightly English accent. Even British Prime Minister Disraeli fails to detect any Scottishness in his voice, noting instead “no Yankeeisms except a little sing-song occasionally at the end of a sentence.”