The Crawford Purchase

Street Address : 1 Ontario Street
Period: 1750-1800

The Crawford Purchase or “Gunshot Treaty” of 1783 was initiated by Sir Frederick Haldimand and is a major event in Kingston’s cultural and geographic development. Recognizing that the land upon which the Mohawk wished to settle was previously occupied by the Mississauga, Haldimand instructed that negotiations take place in an effort to make a deal with the current residents. By October of 1783, Captain William Crawford, formerly of the Royal Regiment of New York, acted on behalf of the British Government and reported his success: The elderly chief Mynass of the Mississauga had been summoned to Carleton Island, where he (and company – other Onandaga Chiefs) agreed to sell their land. The precise extent of the territory referred to by the agreement was vague. While Crawford claimed that it spanned from the Toniata or Onagara River (a tributary of the St. Lawrence, below Gananoque) to a river in the Bay of Quinte, including the islands, the Mississaugas recollection of the terms was that they had surrendered their rights to an area determined by how far the sound of a gunshot carried.

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