John A's Finances

1864-1869
Empire Life (former Commercial Bank), 259 King St. East, Kingston, ON. Source: City of Kingston.Pinterest
Empire Life (former Commercial Bank), 259 King St. East, Kingston, ON. Source: City of Kingston.

John A.'s long-term law partner A.J. Macdonell died in 1864 and it is soon discovered that the law practice is insolvent. Three years later the collapse of the Commercial Bank, of which Macdonald is a director, sees his overdraft of $80,000 transferred to an unfriendly bank in Montreal. Macdonald’s long-time secretary and biographer Joseph Pope comments that by 1869, when the  Prime Minister is 54 years old, "I do not think he was worth one shilling in the world."