The Macdonald Family Arrives in Kingston

1820-1830
Fort Henry, Point Frederick and Tete du Pont Barracks, Kingston, from the old redoubt (1841), Lieutenant Philip John Bainbrigge (1817-1881), a Royal Engineer posted to Canada from 1836 to 1842. Source: Library and Archives Canada.Pinterest
Fort Henry, Point Frederick and Tete du Pont Barracks, Kingston, from the old redoubt (1841), Lieutenant Philip John Bainbrigge (1817-1881), a Royal Engineer posted to Canada from 1836 to 1842. Source: Library and Archives Canada.

When the Macdonald family arrived in Upper Canada in the 1820s, Kingston was rough and rude with a reputation drunkenness and prostitution. It was also one of the most important settlements in Upper Canada because of its strategic location at the intersection of the St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes. With a population of about 3,500, Kingston was home to Fort Henry, a naval shipyard, some handsome and substantial homes, some good schools, shops, St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, a newspaper and at least 78 taverns.