The Kingston “Indians”

1837
Plan showing islands in Rice Lake circa 1875. Source: Library and Archives Canada.Pinterest
Plan showing islands in Rice Lake circa 1875. Source: Library and Archives Canada.

In 1837, the “Kingston” Mississauga were granted title to their present location, Alderville, in Alnwick Township to the east of Peterborough. Their long-standing presence in the Kingston region had been established much earlier. Following the American Revolution, by the Crawford Purchase of October 9, 1783, the British had acquired Mississauga lands fronting Lake Ontario and as far to the interior “as a man can travail [sic] in a day” to accommodate the Loyalist settlers and their Mohawk allies. Some Mississauga retreated into the backcountry, others lingered on in the Kingston area until the mid-1820s when they were converted to Methodism by Peter Jones (Kahkewaquonaby) and moved to a mission established on Grape Island in the Bay of Quinte. There they stayed until 1837 when pressure on resources prompted their relocation to Alderville, together with the Mississauga from the Bedford reserve who had not joined the Grape Island mission. In 2013, Kingston City Council approved the recognition and commemoration of the role of the Mississauga in the history of the region and the municipality.