Frontenac County GenWeb: Historical Events

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Frontenac County GenWeb

Historical Events in Frontenac County 1600-1900


    • 1650 - Typhus epidemic
    • 1670 - Remy de Courcelle, Governor of New France, first travelled the river from Montreal to Lake Ontario, a trip that took his party of 56 volunteers a matter of ten days. 1
    • 1673 - Frontenac, who had succeeded Courelle as Governor, established a trading post in the mouth of the Cataraqui River that flows into Lake Ontario. Originally called Fort Cataraqui, it was later renamed Fort Frontenac by LaSalle, and eventually became the city of Kingston. 1
    • 1686 - Hydrogrrapher Jean Deshayes shows the section of the river that is studded with islands as "Lac des Mille Isles" (Thousand Islands) while the Indians called the islands "Manitoana" (Gardon of the Great Spirit). 1
    • 1690's -
      • Frontenac served a second term as Governor of New France. 1
      • During this time there was an Indian battle at Toniata, believed to be Tar Island and the shore just across the narrows from it. 1


    • 1758 - The British captured and destroyed Fort Frontenac during the Seven Years' War1
    • 1760 - The British captured these ships in August and took possession of the fort at Pointe au Baril. The French moved their guns to Isle Royale (now Chimney Island) at Fort de Levis. They held out against the British for 2 days until they surrendered August 25. This proved to be the last stand the French made in Canada. 1
    • 1763 -
      • Peace Treaty by which France ceded Canada to Great Britain. This gave Great Britain the provinces of Quebec and Ontario, and Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. 1
      • For the next 20 years there was no effort at colonization due to the American Revolution in the United States. 1
      • Thousands of British loyalists were branded traitors and fled to Quebec and Nova Scotia or fled to England and the West Indies, to seek protection under the British flag. Britain hurried to populate the Maritime colonies and Canada when the outcome of the Revolution became apparent.1
    • 1776 -
      • June 19 Sir John Johnson raised the Kings Royal Regiment of New York.
      • In July the American rebels or "patriots" issued the Declaration of Independence and people were forced to take sides, in some cases brother against brother. The patriots arrested British sympathizers and seized their property; they drove their livestock off the farms of the Loyalists and sold their property using the proceeds to finance their cause.1
    • 1780 - The Royal Yorkers were added as a second regiment of the Kings Royal Regiment of New York.
    • 1781 - Sir Guy Carleton arrived in New York to take charge of the evacuation of British troops and the 45,000 Loyalists who had taken refuge there.1
    • 1783 -
      • General Haldimand who was now Governor-in-Chief of Canada concentrated on the area west of Montreal for settlement. More than 3,000 Loyalists were on the army rations' list. In the summer he sent the Surveyor-General of Quebec, Major Samuel Holland, to report on the land north of the St. Lawrence River. 1
      • Kingston Township was granted to provincial troops to the King's Royal Regiment of New York or Jessup's Loyal Rangers.2
      • October of this year Captain William Redford Crawford negotiated between the British government and the Mississauga Indians for the purchase of the better part of eastern Ontario. In return for clothing, guns and powder, and Red Cloth. This purchase included the southern three fertile ranges of townships in Frontenac, Lennox, Addington, and Hastings counties.2
    • 1784 -
      • In the spring General Haldimand issued instructions for the townships to be laid out, fronting on the river and numbered.
      • In mid June the Loyalist settlers began their trip up river to their new homes in the wilderness. They were met by Major Edward Jessup and Captain Justus Sherwood who held a lottery to distribute land grants. Field officers received 1,000 acres, captains received 700 acres, subaltern, staff, or warrant officers received 500 acres, non-commissioned officers received 200 acres, privates received 100 acres and each member of their families received 50 acres. Single men received 50 acres. The lots were numbered with corresponding ballots prepared. 1
      • After much discussion, Haldimand declared that lots would be drawn fairly and that exchanges of property would be allowed after the draw. As they drew for their new homes, they were required to take their oath of allegiance. 1
    • 1788 -
      • MIDLAND created in 1788 as Mecklenburg District, renamed in 1792, abolished in 1849
      • By the late 1780's the townships of Pittsburgh and Loughborough were surveyed and opened to settlement. 2
    • 1789 - The Loyalist settlers and their sons and daughters were entitled to add the letters U.E. (for unity of Empire) after their names. 1
    • 1791
    • The Constitutional Act was passed with named Upper Canada (Ontario) as a separate province with Lieutenant-Governor John Graves Simcoe as its first head. 1
    • 1792 -
      • MIDLAND created in 1788 as Mecklenburg District, renamed in 1792
      • John Graves Simcoe subdivided the four districts into 19 counties and changed the district names. 1
      • J.G. Simcoe organized the militia.1
      • J.G. Simcoe issued a proclamation offering free land grants to anyone who would swear an oath of loyalty to the King. They only had to pay fees for passing and recording the patents. 2
    • 1795 - Land Certificates were replaced by land patents.1
    • 1796 - In the late 1790's new townships were formed including Clarence, Bedford, Hinchinbrooke, Portland. 2
    • 1797
      • Robert Prescott, Governor-in-Chief of Canada 1797-1807.1
      • Hinchinbrooke and Bedford were reserved for school lands. 2 which impeded their settlement for approximately 30 years.


    • 1812 -
      • This marked the beginning of the War of 1812. People in Frontenac County had close family or friendly ties with U.S. citizens but the war turned many against each other once more. It was like a civil war. There was fear that the Americans would conquer their property as Britain was involved in the Napoleonic War. A Canadian regular army did most of the fighting but every man was expected to participate in the militia. 1
      • A group of American riflemen and militia crossed the lake from Sackets Harbour, wound their way through the Thousand Islands, and attacked Gananoque, wounding four and taking 8 prisoners. The raiders seized the arms and ammunition and burned the storehouse. They looted Col. Stone's residence and wounded Mrs. Stone. The bullet lodged in her hip, laming her for life.1
    • 1814 - By this time, the Napoleonic War was over and Britain sent troops to Canada, sending fleets of ships which dominated the Atlantic coast. Both sides were happy to make peace. The Treaty of Ghent was signed December 24.1
    • 1815 - Many settlers who came were Scottish, arriving in September on 4 ships from Glasgow. 1
    • 1816 -
      • Again the size of land grants was increased. Land was offered to civilians from Great Britain and Ireland, with free passage to Canada and the offer of 100 acres of land. Their sons were given 100 acres upon reaching the age of 21. Food rations were also provided for the first few months in Canada. Implements were sold to them for half the cost. They also had to pay a deposit of 16 pounds for himself and 2 guineas for his wife, which would be refunded after 2 years of settlement. 1
      • Apparently the year of 1816 was known throughout the area and into the U.S. as “the year without a summer”. It snowed in the summer, crops were ruined, people were in very dire straits. Here is a link to a site which talks about this series of weather disasters. It talks a lot about the States but is very relevant to Ontario and the surrounding areas. For more information on this go to The Weather Doctor . This information was sent by Lori English. Thanks, Lori.
    • 1830 - Circuses and menageries exhibiting at Kingston and Brockville were must-see attractions that drew local families into those towns from the 1830s on.2
    • 1843 - George Brown was commissioned to build the town hall in Kingston.
    • 1847 - Approximatelly 90,000 emigrants, mainly from Ireland, lost 16,000 people to a typhus epidemic on sea and on arrival to Canada lost an additional 1400.
    • 1849 - MIDLAND created in 1788 as Mecklenburg District, renamed in 1792, abolished in 1849. This district included Frontenac 1792-1849, Addington 1792-1849 (merged with Lennox County in 1800), Lennox 1792-1849 (merged with Addington County in 1800), Hastings 1792-1839 (transferred to Victoria District), and Prince Edward 1792-1831 (transferred to Prince Edward District)
    • 1874 - The Canadian Lead Mining and Smelting Co. Ltd. composed almost entirely of English stockholders commenced operation with a capital of $100,000.2
    • 1877 - The assets of the Canadian Lead Mining and Smelting Co. were sold to the Frontenac Lead Mining and Smelting Company for $462, but once they realised the limits of the lead deposits, they auctioned off the assets ten years later, September 1887. 2

    Source 1: "Leeds and Grenville County, the first two hundred years", by Ruth McKenzie
    Source 2: "Rear of Leeds and Lansdowne, The Making of Community on the Gananoque River Frontier", by Glenn Lockwood

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