Born March 12: Sir John J.C. Abbott
By Michael Baadke
Canada’s fourth prime minister, Sir John Joseph Caldwell Abbott, was born March 12, 1821, at St. Andrews East, Lower Canada (now Quebec). He studied law at University of McGill College and became an authority on commercial law.
Abbott had a successful practice in Montreal and taught law at McGill for many years, also serving as dean of the law faculty.
Abbott was elected to the legislative assembly of the province of Canada in 1857, though a dispute over the election took two years to resolve. He would later serve as attorney general, mayor of Montreal, and in the House of Commons.
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He was a Conservative Party member of the Senate when Prime Minister John A. MacDonald died 1891, and Abbott was chosen to succeed him.
He served in the office for less than a year and half before stepping down for health reasons. He died Oct. 30, 1893.
Sir John J.C. Abbott was honored on a 3¢ rose lilac stamp issued Nov. 3, 1952 (Canada Scott 318).
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