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MACALLUM, ARCHIBALD, educator and author; b. 1 Aug. 1824, in Killmichell, Argyll, Scotland, son of Donald Macallum and Mary Macalpine Barramollach; m. Maria Adams and, after her death, Mary Biggar in 1859; d. 29 June 1879, at Hamilton, Ont.

Archibald Macallum was about six years old when his family came to Upper Canada and settled in the township of East Hawkesbury. He received little formal education before entering, in 1847, the Normal School in Toronto where he obtained the first first-class certificate granted in Canada West. The next year he was appointed senior teacher at the Model School in Toronto. He received a ba from the University of Toronto in 1864, an ma in 1866, and an llb in 1877.

In 1853 Macallum declined the principalship of the new Central School in Hamilton and recommended that his assistant, John Herbert Sangster, be appointed. Macallum took instead the office of master of the Model School in Toronto, but in 1858, when Sangster resigned from the Central School, he accepted a second offer of the position. He became superintendent of schools in Hamilton in 1870 and inspector in 1871. During his term as inspector, the first collegiate institute (called at first the grammar school) and seven public elementary schools were constructed.

Macallum was one of the founders of the Teachers’ Association of Canada West (later the Ontario Educational Association), in 1861, and served as its vice-president until 1865. He was recognized as a forward-looking teacher and he spoke against racial discrimination, gave support to equal opportunities for women, encouraged women teachers to join the Educational Association, and suggested the need for commercial education, sewing for girls, and other innovations regarded as “frills and fads.” In an address in 1862 he also advocated the use of corporal punishment only as a last resort and instead of expulsion.

Macallum was the author of four textbooks which appear to have enjoyed considerable popularity although they do not seem to have been authorized. Nine editions of his Literary extracts were published in three years and the preface to the second edition states that 3,000 copies were sold in ten days. Active in the Centenary Church in Hamilton, he was one of the two Canadian members of the International Sunday School Lesson Committee formed in 1872 and was a member of the board of the Wesleyan Female College (later called the Hamilton Ladies College).

At the time of his death in 1879 Macallum was president of the St Andrews Society and he had been active in forming the Caledonia Society in Hamilton. He was a member of the Masonic order and an office-bearer in the Scottish Rite. He served as director of the Canada Fire and Marine Insurance Company, the Hamilton Street Railway Company, and the Canada Loan and Banking Company. He was survived by his wife, one son, and four daughters.

Freda F. Waldon

Archibald Macallum, An eclectic grammar, practical and analytical of the English language . . . (Hamilton, 1867); Manual of dates with brief notes, in Canadian, English, ancient and modern history, for the use of public schools in the Dominion of Canada (Hamilton, 1870); Synopsis of natural history; in explanation of the author’s chart of natural history (Toronto, 1857). Archibald Macallum and J. M. Buchan, Literary extracts to aid pupils who are preparing for examination in English literature for admission to high schools . . . (Toronto, [1878]; 9th ed. Toronto, 1881).

Hamilton Board of Education, Proceedings of the Board of Trustees for Common Schools for the City of Hamilton, I–IV. Hamilton Public Library, clipping from an unidentified Hamilton newspaper, 30 June 1879, obituary of Archibald Macallum. Documentary history of education in Upper Canada (Hodgins), VII, 283; VIII, 254; IX, 161–62; XI, 16, 168, 279, 282; XIV, 53. Cyclopædia of Can. biog. (Rose, 1888), 738–39. Register of the University of Toronto for the year 1920 (Toronto, [1920]). E. C. Guillet, In the cause of education; centennial history of the Ontario Educational Association, 1861–1960 (Toronto, 1960). J. G. Hodgins, The establishment of schools and colleges in Ontario, 1792–1910 (3v., Toronto, 1910), I, 72–107. J. H. Smith, 1853–1903, the Central School jubilee re-union, August 1903; an historical sketch (Hamilton, 1905). L. T. Spalding, The history and romance of education (Hamilton), 1816–1950 ([Hamilton, 1950]). Toronto Normal School, 1847–1897, jubilee celebration, 1897 . . . (Toronto, 1898).

General Bibliography

Cite This Article

Freda F. Waldon, “MACALLUM, ARCHIBALD,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 10, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed May 30, 2023, http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/macallum_archibald_10E.html.

The citation above shows the format for footnotes and endnotes according to the Chicago manual of style (16th edition). Information to be used in other citation formats:

Permalink:   http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/macallum_archibald_10E.html
Author of Article:   Freda F. Waldon
Title of Article:   MACALLUM, ARCHIBALD
Publication Name:   Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 10
Publisher:   University of Toronto/Université Laval
Year of publication:   1972
Year of revision:   1972
Access Date:   May 30, 2023