MacDonald stood up to speak to the House of Commons but seemed pale and started to choke. He then threw up on his desk! In response to the grumblings that he had been drinking too much, he retorted that his opponent was making him sick! This is only one of the many incidents during Sir John A MacDonald’s life which made him one of Canada’s most colourful politicians.
Sir John A MacDonald had a quick-witted sense of humour and he wasn’t afraid to make fun of himself. For instance, George Brown’s newspaper accused him of having few lucid moments because he drank too much. In his speech the next day Sir John made fun of himself and said “In one of my lucid moments, I am going to tell you that …..”
Sometimes, however, Sir John was a little bit too colourful! For instance, Hugh Allan wanted the job of building the railway so he was paying MacDonald huge amounts of money for the election. In return for these payments he was given the job of building the Pacific Railway. After that MacDonald had to resign and disappeared for six months. Even his wife didn’t know where he was. And then he returned and was re-elected!
From the beginning of his life right up to the very end, Sir John A MacDonald was a lively man. For instance, when he was seventy years old he and his wife rode on the very, very front of a train’s engine. What a man!