You’ll Never Die, John A!

Why was there not a small well-knit group of able ministers, with one recognized principal, to whom he could surrender his leadership? His work was done. He had created the Canadian nation. For three desperate years he had been defending it against inward disintegration and outward attack. Only a little over a year ago, a general election had been triumphantly won. There was still ample time for a new leader to take over, before the government would have to go to the country once more. And if he was ever to retire, this, in all probability was his last real chance…

The best and most reliable of Macdonald’s captains had gone. He was virtually the solitary active survivor of his generation of British North American politicians. How could he give up now? He would have to hang on, for a while at least. He would have to finish the toilsome and ungrateful job of reconstructing the Cabinet once again…

— Donald Creighton, The Old Chieftain, pp. 505-506

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