Kenora Before 1836

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Kenora Before 1836

Kenora is a situated on the north shore of the Lake of the Woods. The City of Kenora is as old as the century dating from January 1 2000. It was created with the amalgamation of the three constituent muniipalities, the Town of Kenora (formerly known as Rat Portgae), Keewatin and Jeffray Mellick.

Little is known of the Lakes first residence prior to the coming of the White Man.

When the French arrived they found the Mosonis (or Moose People), a sub-tribe of the Cree (They lived in the Rainy Lake area up to Hudson Bay) and the Cree. The Dakota Sioux Tribes had gained control of most of what is now Minnesota and well entranched in the Dekotas. The would conduct raids into the Lake of the Woods area. The Algonquins (including the Ojibway (Chippewa), Cree, Ottawa, Sac, Fox, Illinois, Potawatomi, Shawnee, Miami, Kickapoo, and Menominees) conducted their own raids and in the 1770 had driven out the Sioux.

According to written records first white man to visit the Lake of the Woods was Jacques De Noyon around 1688. In 1732, Pierre La Verendrye established Fort St. Charles on the North West shore of the lake. In 1736 Jean Baptiste La Verendrye, Father Aulneau and 19 others were massacred by Sioux. The Fort was abandoned in 1763.

Opening the West

The Hudson Bay Company, incorporated by Royal Charter in 1670 was granted a trading monopoly over the Hudson's Bay" watershed, known as Rupert's Land. From its headquarters at York Factory on Hudson Bay, it controlled the fur trade throughout much of what is northwest Canada. Undertaking early exploration, its traders and trappers forged relationships with many groups of First Nations. It had for many years been successful in securing the goodwill of the various tribes. Other than fur traders there were few visitors to the west.

1760 - 1763

150 years of French British conflict in North America ended in the Seven Years' War and the British conquest of Canada. Governor Pierre de Rigaud de Vaudreuil, Marquis de Vaudreuill surrendered New France (what is now Quebec, and other French territories in North America) to a British invasion force at Montréal by the Articles of Capitulation on 8 September 1760. New France was under military occupation and military rule until a definitive treaty of peace was negotiated. That theaty, the Treaty of Paris was signed on 10 February 1763 by France, Britain and Spain. By the terms of the treaty, Britain obtained the French possessions of Ile Royale (Cape Breton Island), Canada (Quebec), and the Great Lake Basin and the east bank of the Mississippi River. Britain received Florida from Spain. France retained fishing rights in Newfoundland and the Gulf of St Lawrence, acquired the small Gulf islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon and had her lucrative West Indian possessions, trading centres in India and slaving station on the Île de Gorée (in present-day Senegal) restored. Britain would later lose the southern North American colonies in the American Revolution. The northern colonies would become the modern country of Canada.

At the time of the Treaty of Paris, France held territory included the Great Lakes Basin and territory "running from a corner of Pennsylvania, along the Ohio River, westward, to the Bank of the River Mississippi, and northward to the southern boundary of the Merchants Adventurers of England Trading into the Hudson's Bay". The drafters of the Treaty of Paris beleived the that the Mississippi River flowed north to the Arctic sea and hence the western most boundary of British North america would be the center of the Missippi River. Later in the 1880s, Ontario would lay claim claim to the land West of what is now Thunder Bay, stating that it had originally been part of Upper Canada which, in turn became the former province of Quebec. In Ontario's opinion, this old Treaty between France and England established Ontario’s boundary due north from the western most end of the Mississippi River. As the Mississippi River has its beginning somewhere near Wadena, Minnesota, a line drawn due north from there places Ontario’s western most boundary somewhere near where it lies today, about 50 kilometers west of Kenora (Rat Portage).

Royal Proclamation of 1763

The Royal Proclamation of 1763 was issued October 7, 1763, by King George III following Great Britain's acquisition of French territory in North America. It forbade all settlement past a line drawn along the Appalachian Mountains. The Royal Proclamation continues to be of legal importance to First Nations in Canada. It eventually ensured that British culture and laws were applied in Upper Canada after 1791, which was done to attract British settlers to the province.

The Quebec Act of 1774 formally known as the British North America (Quebec) Act 1774

This Act of the Parliament of Great Britian included several components:

-The colony's territory was expanded to take over much of what is now southern Ontario, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, and parts of Minnisota,
-Reference to the Protestant faith was removed from the oath of allegiance and a guarantee of the free practice of the Catholic faith,
-It restored the use of the French civil law for matters of private law except that in accordance with the English common law, it granted unlimited freedom of testation.
- It maintained English common law for matters of public law, including administrative appeals, court procedure, and criminal prosecution,
-It restored the Catholic Church's right to impose tithes.

The Treaty of Paris 1783

This treaty signed in Paris by representatives of King George III and representatives of the United States of America on September 3, 1783, ended the American Revolutionary War. Britain acknowledged the United States to be sovereign and independent. The treaty set the boundaries between the British Empire and the new country.

Constitutional Act of 1791

Drafted by William Grenville, secretary of state for the colonies, provided for the division of colonies into two sections, Upper Canada and Lower Canada. Grenville explained Great Britian's motivations for the partition was "to reduce "dissensions and animosities" among two :"two classes of men, differing in their prejudices, and perhaps in their interests,". The act provided for an elective Assembly which could raise taxes for local expenditures. Member's of the Lesgislative Council, the assembly's upper house in both divisions were appointed for life

In 1821, there was a merger of the Hudson's Bay Comany and the North West Company

In 1823 the International Boundary Commission surveyed Lake of the Woods for the US/Canada Boundary. David Thompson, Surveyor, and John Bigsby, Secretary, for the British, Joseph Delafield, Agent, and James Ferguson, Surveyor, for the US. Map rejected by the Hudson's Bay Company. In 1824 David Thompson and his son Samuel repeat survey of Lake of the Woods finding North West Angle. Map resulted in final definition of boundary. In 1825 Ludwig Tyarks, surveyor for the British, confirmed that the North West Angle is more north-westerly than Rat Portage.

Sources may be found at Kenora Bibliography