John A.'s Community Presence

1841-1849
Confederation Celebrations in Market Square on July 1, 1867. Source: Queen's University Archives.Pinterest
Confederation Celebrations in Market Square on July 1, 1867. Source: Queen's University Archives.

Apart from is career in law and politics, Macdonald was a visible and active presence in 19th century Kingston society. As Ged Martin argues, early on in Macdonald's career, he cultivated the reputation of being an affable populist and a "friend of every man." While often attributed to his innate personality, this affability was also motivated by a sense of strategic political action. Macdonald's corporate affiliations included the National Loan Fund Assurance Society of London; Board of Directors of the Beacon Life and Fire Assurance Company; Director of Commercial Bank of Midland district. In the community, he was a Life Governor of Kingston General Hospital; a member of the Masonic, Odd Fellow, and Orange lodges; President of the St. Andrew Society; and an active member of the St. Andrew's Church. Macdonald endorsed the construction of the Customs House, County Court House, and Post Office, cooperated in the establishment of Kingston General Hospital, supported the creation of the Presbyterian Queen's College (now Queen's University), and petitioned for the Roman Catholic Regiopolis College.