A Present from the Past - Local History Books


Special Collection Shelves

For the past few weeks, we’ve been looking at online books for historical and genealogical research--including vintage titles, newer titles, and reference works about Canadian history. Today we feature a smorgasbord of books about Kingston and Frontenac County. The following links from the Internet Archive will open in the “read online” format—just click and browse. If you prefer a different format (e.g. for a slower Internet connection, or to download to your computer or mobile device, or to listen to an audio version) see our June 5th entry. Enjoy!


Starr, George L. Old St. George's: Being the Story of a Church and Its Ministers in an Historical Centre of Upper Canada. Kingston, Ont: R. Uglow, 1913.

The Frontenac [hotel], Thousand Islands, St. Lawrence River. Frontenac, N.Y: Frontenac Hotel Co, 1904.

The Kingston Vehicle Co., Limited: Manufacturers of "Frontenac" Buggies, Spring Wagons and Phaetons. Kingston, Ont: The Company, 1897.

Haddock, John A. A Souvenir of the Thousand Islands of the St. Lawrence River: From Kingston and Cape Vincent to Morristown and Brockville.... Alexandria Bay, N.Y: J.A. Haddock, 1896.

A Volunteer on the Expedition. An Impartial Account of Lieut. Col. Bradstreet's Expedition to Fort Frontenac. London : T. Wilcox, W. Owen, M. Cooper, Mr. Cook, 1759.

Barker, Edward J. Observations on the Rideau Canal. Kingston, Ont.: British Whig, 1834. –descriptions of the locks, towns, landscape, tolls, etc. along the newly-built Rideau Canal.

Canniff, William. History of the Settlement of Upper Canada (Ontario): With Special Reference to the Bay Quinté. Toronto: Dudley & Burns, 1869.

Counter, Charles A. Woman's Rights: Being the Celebrated Lecture Delivered in the Kingston City Hall on November 13th, 1877. Kingston: s.n., 1877.

Forsyth, Frederic G. Rise of the United Empire Loyalists: A Sketch of American History. Kingston, Ont: British Whig, 1906.

History of the Ancient Frontenac Chapter No. 1 G.R.C. Kingston, Canada: Together with By-Laws of Ancient Frontenac & Cataraqui Chapter No. 1. Kingston, Ont.: s.n., 1889.

Machar, Agnes M. Kingston and Its Vicinity: Historical Sketch of Kingston. Kingston, Ont., 1884.

Machar, Agnes M. The Story of Old Kingston. Toronto: Musson Book Co, 1908.

Merwin, Samuel, and E L. Blumenschein. The Road to Frontenac. New York: Doubleday, Page & Co, 1901.

Parkman, Francis. Count Frontenac and New France Under Louis XIV. Toronto: G.N. Morang, 1901.

Pearson, William H. Recollections and Records of Toronto of Old: With References to Brantford, Kingston and Other Canadian Towns. Toronto: W. Briggs, 1914.

Shannon, James. Hard Times in Ontario: A Pretty Story, Certainly. Kingston, Ont.: Daily News Office, 1872. – A lively argument about the way Crown Land was being managed; the rights and difficulties of settlers in Ontario.

Shortt, Adam. Early Records of Ontario: Being Extracts from the Records of the Court of Quarter Sessions for the District of Mecklenburgh (afterwards the Midland District) : with Introduction and Notes. Kingston, Ont: Daily News Office, 1900. – These court decisions 1789-1818 include the names of many residents who lived in Kingston-Frontenac during this early time-period.

Smith, William L. The Pioneers of Old Ontario. Toronto: G.N. Morang, 1923.

Wallace, W S. The United Empire Loyalists: A Chronicle of the Great Migration. Toronto: Glasgow, Brook & company, 1914.


C. M. M. Recollections of a Beloved Pastor [Reverend Robert David Cartwright]. Kingston : [Daily] News, 1845.

Cartwright, Robert D. The First and Last Words of a Pastor to His People. Kingston, Ont. : s.n., 1843.

Colby, Charles W. The Fighting Governor: A Chronicle of Frontenac. Toronto: Glasgow, Brook & Company, 1915.

Gourlay, Robert. Address to the Jury, at Kingston Assizes, in the Case of the King V. Robert Gourlay for Libel: With a Report of the Trial &c. Kingston, Ont.: Printed at the Gazette Office, 1818.

Gourlay, Robert. Chronicles of Canada: Being a Record of Robert Gourlay, Esquire, Now Robert Fleming Gourlay : No. 1, Concerning the Convention and Gagging Law, 1818 : Mr. Gourlay's Arrest and Trial, & c., & c., &c. Ingersoll, Ont.: s.n., 1857.

Le, Sueur W. D. Count Frontenac. New York, Toronto [etc.: Oxford University Press, 1926.

Loizeaux, Paul J. The Last Twenty-One Days of the Convict Daniel Mann Sentenced to Death on the 10th November, 1870, Executed on the 14th of Dec. Following: Being a Simple Narrative of the Author's Interviews with Him. Kingston, Ont.: Printed by William Lightfoot, Wellington Street, 1871.

Memorials of the Life and Ministry of the Rev. John Machar, D.d. Late Minister of St. Andrew's Church, Kingston. Toronto: Campbell, 1873.

Simpson, John. Essay on Modern Reformers: Addressed to the People of Upper Canada : to Which Is Added, a Letter to Mr. Robert Gourlay. Kingston, Ont.: Stephen Miles, 1818.— Gourlay was a radical, charged with seditious libel.  Learn more:  S.F. Wise's article about Robert Fleming Gourlay, in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography.

Young, Archibald H. The Revd. John Stuart, D.D., U.E.L., of Kingston, U.C., and His Family: A Genealogical Study. Kingston, U.C.: Whig Press, 1920.


Dupuis, N F. An Address Delivered to the Teachers' Association, County of Frontenac and City of Kingston. Kingston, Ont.: The Association, 1877.

Flynn, Louis J.  At school in Kingston, 1850-1973 : The Story of Catholic Education in Kingston and Eistrict, 1973.

Grant, George M. The University Question. Kingston, Ont.: s.n, [1901.] More debate about the public funding of Queen’s University.

Report of the Resolutions Adopted at a Great Public Meeting of the Inhabitants of Kingston, Wednesday Evening, 6th March, 1861: With the Speeches Delivered on the Occasion. Kingston, Ont.: Creighton, 1861. --This public meeting, attended by many prominent Kingston citizens, centered on the question of whether university/college education should be localised in Toronto.

Watson, John. The University and the Schools; an Address Read Before the Queen's University Council and the Kingston School Board, and a Synopsis of the Discussion of This Address by the Members Present. Kingston, Ont.?, [1861]  Toronto university/college education was to be government-funded, while education in Kingston was not.


Cameron, George F, and Charles J. Cameron. Lyrics on Freedom, Love and Death. Kingston : W. Shannon, Princess Street, 1887.

Cameron, George F, and Oscar F. Telgmann. An Entirely New and Original Military Opera in Three Acts, Entitled: Leo, the Royal Cadet, 1889.

Roy, James A. Christ in the Strand and Other Poems. Kingston, Ont: Jackson Press, 1900.

Sangster, Charles. Hesperus and Other Poems and Lyrics. Montreal: John Lovell, 1860.

Sangster, Charles. The Saint Lawrence and the Saguenay, and Other Poems. Kingston, C.W: Creighton, 1856.


Cartwright, Richard. Remarks on the Militia of Canada. Kingston, Ont.: Daily News, 1864.

Douglas, Jones D. F. Tactical Notes Compiled for the Use of the Gentlemen Cadets of the Royal Military College of Canada. Kingston, Ont, 1882.

Merrill, George. Canada's Gallant Volunteers of 1837-38: Roll Call Winter of 1890-91 : List Prepared Through the Patriotic Efforts of George Merrill of Belleville. Kingston, Ont: British Whig, 1891.

Snider, C H. J. In the Wake of the Eighteen-Twelvers: Fight and Flights of Frigates and Fore-'n'-After in the War of 1812-1815 on the Great Lakes. London: John Lane, 1913.

Viger, Jacques, and J L. H. Neilson. Reminiscences of the War of 1812-14: Being Portions of the Diary of a Captain of the "voltigeurs Canadiens" While in Garrison at Kingston, Etc. Kingston, Ont.: s.n., 1895.

  View the complete list of Present from the Past posts. It's like a KFPL reference collection for your desktop--the next-best thing to being here!


Thank you so much, Chris. I'm glad you enjoyed "browsing the bookshelves" online!

Thanks, Jo for compiling this great resource list. How nice to have one-stop shopping!