The Life of William Archibald Mackintosh

Many people deserve credit for building the Queen's Economics Department into one of Canada's leading departments, and many more deserve credit for building Queen's University into one of Canada's leading institutions of higher learning. But none can take more credit on either score than W. A. Mackintosh.

Mackintosh was born in 1895. He entered Queen's in 1912, left with both a B.A. and an M.A. just four years later, then returned in 1920 with a Ph.D. from Harvard and two years of teaching experience at Brandon College.

Mackintosh became Head of the Department of Political and Economic Science in 1927, at the age of just 32.

After a seven-year wartime stint in the service of the nation, he returned to Queen's in 1946 to serve as Dean of the Faculty and then, from 1951 to 1961, as Principal.

Mackintosh wrote numerous books and articles, primarily about Canadian economic history and economic policy. His The Economic Background of Dominion-Provincial Relations, published in 1940, was the classic work on the economic history of Canada up to that time.

In 1967, Mackintosh was awarded the very first Innis-Gérin medal by the Royal Society of Canada. This is the Society's highest honour for a Social Scientist. Harry Johnson and Mac Urquhart were later winners. On the occasion of his being awarded the medal, Professor Kenneth Taylor gave this tribute. In 1971, after Mackintosh's death, Mac Urquhart gave a longer tribute.