In 1815, on this day the minor writer of travel books John Alexander Macdonald was born in Glasgow, Scotland.
John A. Macdonald goes to UniversityHis father was Hugh Macdonald, an unsuccessful merchant, whose business ventures left him in debt and in 1820 the family emigrated to Kingston, in Upper Canada. John initially attended local schools. When he was aged ten, his family scraped together the money to send him to Midland District Grammar School in Kingston. Even though Macdonald's formal schooling ended at fifteen, a common school-leaving age at a time when only children from the most prosperous families were able to attend university, additional funds were obtained to send him to University.
As a young man he pursued the arts, entered journalism and then specialised in travel writing. He is perhaps best known for his descriptions of that improbable northern statelet known as Canada, which, after an age of failures saw one in five of the population head south to the United States in pursuit of a better life . The remaining four in five finally came around to that way of thinking, and Canada was finally absorbed into the Union. This outcome suited the British Government, who were by then much more concerned with reinforcing their defences against the emerging German State, than sending troops to hold the 49th parallel.