"Pirate" Johnston 1782-1870

At nearby Wellesley Island on the night of May 29-30, 1838, a band of Upper Canadian rebels and their American supporters burned the Canadian steamer "Sir Robert Peel." The attackers, about thirteen in number, were led by William "Bill" Johnston, a former Canadian who had fled to the U.S. during the War of 1812. He became a trader and smuggler and, in 1838, was appointed Commodore of the "Patriot" army. He participated in several attacks upon Canada during the Rebellion and subsequently settled in Clayton, New York, where he became keeper of a lighthouse.


In the waterfront park, Water Street, just east of Main Street, Gananoque

Region: Eastern Ontario

County/District: United Counties of Leeds and Grenville

Municipality: Town of Gananoque