The 200 story nodes created in commemoration of the Sir John A. Macdonald Bicentennial can be searched by more than twenty themes, through the pins on the interactive map and by date on the timeline. 

You're viewing 11 stories about “Military Presence
Kingston City Hall and the Market Battery, 1857. Source: Queen's University Archives, William Sawyer fonds.

Kingston: A Geopolitical Location


Following the arrival of the United Empire Loyalists (UEL) in the 1780s, sensitivity between the Americans and the British over their mutual frontier was to have implications for Kingston for the n

Watercolour by George St. Vincent Whitmore in 1836 of the interior of Fort Henry. Source: Library and Archives Canada, Peter Winkworth Collection of Canadiana.

Military Pressence in Early Kingston


The 1830s and 1850s witnessed a burgeoning military presence in Kingston.

John A. Joins the Local Militia


As an able male, Macdonald is required to join the local militia. They train on the Cricket Field, just south of the present-day Frontenac County Court House, a few days each summer.

Site of the Battle of the Windmill, Prescott. Source: Library and Archives Canada.

Nils von Schoultz


The most prominent criminal case in Macdonald's law career involves Nils von Schoultz, leader of a band of American-based raiders who attack near Prescott during the Rebellion of 1837.

Unsuccessful Invasion of Kingston

Unsuccessful Invasion of Kingston


By 1838, numerous secret societies of trained and armed Americans had formed with the intention of liberating Upper Canada from British rule.

In the left corner, the windows of the rooms turned into jail cells at Fort Henry have been barred. Watercolour by Lt. George St. Vincent Whitemore of the Royal Engineers, 1841. Source: National Archives of Canada.

The 1838 Escape from Fort Henry

June 29, 1838.

On June 29th, 1838 the prisoners of the Rebellion in Upper Canada escaped through one of Fort Henry’s underground chambers.

Wellington Terrace

Wellington Terrace


“Capt. Jackson’s new stone buildings” were mentioned in July 1842.

Charles Dickens on Fort Henry

Charles Dickens on Fort Henry

May, 1842

On his 1842 visit to Kingston, Charles Dickens made the following observations, recorded in American Notes, about Fort Henry: "There is a bomb-proof fort here of great strength, which occu

City Hall and Martello Tower circa 1916 by Clifford M. Johnston. Source: Library and Archives Canada.

Martello Towers


The four British military fortifications called Martello Towers that still "guard" Kingston today, were constructed in 19th century Kingston.

Kingston City Hall and the Market Battery, 1857. Source: Queen's University Archives, William Sawyer fonds.

Kingston at Mid-Centry: An Overview

1850 - present day

By 1850, the future of Kingston was being determined by several factors.

Crimean cannon in City Park. Source: City of Kingston.

Crimean War Cannons at the Sir John A. Statue in Kingston's City Park

1853 - present day

The two cannons flanking the Sir John A. statue in Kingston's City Park were captured in the Crimean War (1853 – 1856) as English trophies of war.