Ontario's Historical Plaques 

Discover Ontario's history as told through its plaques

2004 - Now in our 15th Year - 2019

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"Pirate" Johnston 1782-1870

'Pirate' Johnston 1782-1870

Photo by Alan L Brown - Posted March, 2006

'Pirate' Johnston 1782-1870

Photo from Google Street View ©2010 Google - Posted December, 2010

Plaque Location

The United Counties of Leeds & Grenville
The Town of Gananoque
On the water's edge at the parking lot
at the foot of Clarence Street

Coordinates: N 44 19.453 W 76 09.889


Plaque Text

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" navy. He participated in several attacks upon Canada during the Rebellion and subsequently settled in Clayton, New York, where he became keeper of a lighthouse.


Rebellion of 1837

Gananoque Plaques

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