Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | February 9, 2016

Artifact of the Week. Sir Alexander Mackenzie, land grant, Stormont County, Cornwall Township.


Vellum land grant to Sir Alexander Mackenzie given for 450 acres of land on Lots lettered D and E and east half of D in the front concession, or Eastern Boundary of Cornwall Township and lying between the south of the Raisin River (next to Major Gray, on an estate that would become Inverarden.)


The reverse side of the land grant, which was printed on a form which states that all natural resources found under the soil, such as minerals belong to the crown.


This tract of land was originally intended to be granted to his father and uncle, Lieutenant Kenneth Mackenzie and Captain John Mackenzie both of the King’s Royal Regiment of New York, July 9th, 1796.  His father died in 1780, while John settled in Glengarry County.

D’Arcy Boulton’s signature is on the left hand side.


Sir Alexander Mackenzie’s signature.

This document was also signed by Peter Russell, and Lieutenant Governor Francis Gore.

Entered, August 8th, 1807.

The wax seal displaying the Coat of Arms of the Province of Upper Canada is missing.

There is no record that Mackenzie actually lived in Eastern Ontario, but he did receive plots of land throughout the Eastern District.  Historian Royce McGillivray, in his work DICTIONARY OF GLENGARRY BIOGRAPHY, believes, however, that there is a very good chance that Mackenzie did visit the area as he had relatives here.  He goes onto state that John G. Harkness in his history of the United Counties “…mentions that Spanish John Macdonell met him in Cornwall.”  (pg. 459)

The document was donated to the museum in 2010 by Mabel MacLean of Sumerstown, Ontario.

MacGillivray offers a tempting hint at how Mabel MacLean UEL obtained the document.  Apparently John McKenzie had a seizure and drowned while fishing with tow of the McLean brothers, and his body was buried in Salem Church, Summerstown. (pg. 463)

This is just one of a number of early land grants in the collection of the Cornwall Museum.  The includes grants to such people as Sir John Johnson, the Reverend John Strachan and Black Loyalist Cato Prime.


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