By Louise Reynolds
Agnes Macdonald's inner most papers are used for the certain examine of Canada's "first lady," who grew to become Sir John A. Macdonald's moment spouse at the eve of Confederation. The author's well-researched telling of Agnes's tale paints an image of a politically astute, clearly adventurous lady who needed to swap her variety because of her place within the public eye, yet who however retained her personal evaluations and lived her existence with braveness and integrity.
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Additional resources for Agnes: The Biography of Lady Macdonald
Little help came from the settlers who were primarily concerned with making a living. But in 1851, the Bishop of Toronto invited all the Anglican churches in his district to send lay members to the annual meeting of the Church Society in an attempt to get them more involved. To Hewitt, such involvement seemed natural, and, as soon as he was settled, he had taken on the post of church warden. Other influential members of the community had also begun to take more of an interest in their church, and, by the time Theodora and Agnes arrived in Barrie, Trinity Anglican Church looked after not only the spiritual needs of its members but also filled an important social need in helping people to know each other better.
There seemed no way of stopping the spread of the disease. The Board of Health could only advise people to limit their diets to arrowroot pap made with water and 'more or less brandy'. Walter Stewart, Theodora's brother-in-law, who was working in the Board of Health, wrote to her with his own personal suggestions for dealing with the epidemic: Tell Hewitt to advise something like this to all his friends. Let each street be divided between as many residents as possible. Let each have a portion of things such as Brandy, Vinegar, Turpentine, Arrowroot, Sugar and Mustard deposited with them for those who may require it at a moment.
Through one of her English cousins, Jane Nutt, whose husband had a small living at Mendup, near Bristol, Theodora had secured for Hewitt a letter of introduction to James Patton, a lawyer in Barrie, Canada West. Hewitt's other arrangements were now complete, reported Theodora's sister, and he would shortly be on his way. 33 For the moment, Richard would wait in Jamaica, but it was hoped that his wait would not be long. Theodora and Agnes, too, were looking forward to the day when they could join Hewitt, but it was acknowledged that Richard's turn should be first and that while they waited in England, mother and daughter would profit from getting to know their relatives there.