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Home - introductions to the site
Search - a searchable database of letters/essays/etc.
Genealogy - short biographical information of each family member
Photographs - various images pertaining to the McQuesten family
Thesis - essays on the McQuestens and lifewriting by Mary Anderson
Timelines - a chronological list of events in the McQuesten family and corresponding historical events

1673 - 1860

Left Decoration 1673-1860 1861-1900 1901-1914 1915-1991 Right Decoration

Date McQuesten Timeline Historical Events
1673   La Salle founds Cataraqui, now Kingston, Ontario
1675 Born, William McQuesten I. He emigrated to New England from Scotland via Ireland to New England (d.1769). The Iriquois begin attacks on tribes friendly to the French.
1700   The 1st Masonic Lodge in Can., St. Paul's Lodge, is established in Montreal.
1732 Born, William McQuesten II, in Massachusetts (d.1902).  
1757 Born, David McQuesten (d.1829)  
1760 Born, Margaret (Fisher) McQuesten (d.1833).  
1765   The 1st Presbyterian Church in Canada is founded in Quebec by George Henry.
1790   The 1st Protestant Church in Ont. is dedicated at Williamsburg (Lutheran).
1795 Born, Thomas Baker, Portsea, England (d.1887).  
1801 Aug. 7, Born, (Dr.) Calvin McQuesten born in Bedford N.H. (d. Oct. 20, 1885). Marries three times and has 2 sons, (Isaac and Calvin) and establishes Hamilton's first foundry with cousin John Fisher in 1835. Emigrates to Hamilton in 1840's and purchases "Willowbank" ("Whitehern") in 1852.  
1806 Mar. 13 Born, John Fisher in New Hampshire, cousin of (Dr.) Calvin McQuesten on mother's side, in partnership with McQ.(and two others) establishes Hamilton's first iron foundry in 1835 at James and Merrick Sts. mfg. threshing machines. He becomes a member of City Council and mayor in 1850.  
1806 Thomas Baker goes to sea aboard the HMS Antelope, at 11 yrs. old. In war of 1812 he serves in British Navy on Great Lakes on the HMS St. Lawrence. In 1815 he becomes a Lieutenant. Also serves in Napoleonic wars. In 1870 he is awarded the rank of Commander and granted a pension.  
1812   June 1, U.S. President James Madison declares war against Britain.
1814   July 20, The Bloody Assize is held in Ancaster, Ont. Eight Canadians hanged for treason.

July 25 & 26, The Battle of Lundy's Lane, a bitter 2 day battle ensues before the Americans withdraw to Fort Erie-neither side can claim victory.

Oct. 10, The HMS St. Lawrence is launched at Kingston, Ont. A 3-deck warship, it is the largest wooden ship ever built on fresh water, and never fires a gun in war. It is used in the war of 1812.

Nov. 5, The American forces destroy their base at Fort Erie and retreat across the Niagara R.

Dec. 24, The Treaty of Ghent is signed by U.S and Britain. Each gives up properties and boundaries of 1783 are restored.

1815   Jan 10, Britain prohibits Americans from settling in Can.

May 29, An Order-in-Council declares Canada open to U.S. citizens for commerce.

1817 Thomas Baker begins training for ministry in Congregational Church. In 1835 accepts appointment from London Missionary Society and emigrates to Canada to become the first minister of the first Congregational Church in Upper Canada at Kingston. In 1846 moves to Brantford, 1858 to Newmarket, 1867 to Toronto.  
1818   Dalhousie University is established in Halifax. The Cornerstone is laid May 22, 1820.
1819 Rev. Thomas Baker marries Sarah Hampson (1799-pre 1835). They have 8 Children. The Toronto General Hospital is founded.
1820   May 6, The Br. Govt. rules that the Church of Scotland is entitled to support in Upper Canada, which is already supporting the Church of England as the official Protestant religion in Can.

Aug. 20, The Coronation of King George IV is scheduled, 11 months before the actual event. He is ill.

1821   McGill University in Montreal is founded by royal charter.
1825 (Dr.) Calvin McQ. Graduates with teaching certificate, Bradford Academy.  
1827 (Dr.) Calvin McQ. Enters Bowdoin College to study medicine.  
1829   Jan. 29, McGill University Montreal, is opened.

Feb. 9, The First Temperance meeting in Canada is held at Montreal.

Nov. 27 The Welland Canal is opened from Port Dalhousie to Port Robinson Ont., extended to Port Colborne 1833, enlarged 1850.

1830 Dr. Calvin McQ. Graduates Doctor of Medicine & opens practice in Sanbornton, N.H.  
1831 Dr. C. McQ. marries Margarette Barker Learned/Lerned (1809-1841).  
1832 Dr. C. McQ. moves practice to Brockport, N.Y. and also opens pharmaceutical business. Wacousta by John Richardson first published.
1833   Hamilton is incorporated as a city, the oldest in Ont.
1834 Aug. 15, Born, Calvin McQuesten Jr. (d. Aug. 25, 1834). Toronto is incorporated as a city.
1835 Dr. C. McQ. moves to Hamilton with $1500 to join his cousin John Fisher in Hamilton's first foundry at James & Merrick Sts. as McQuesten & Co. in manufacturing threshing machines. It later became Sawyer-Massey & Co.

Thomas Baker begins Ministry at Congregational Church in Kingston, Ont. He Later moves to Toronto.

Hamilton's first foundry "McQuesten & Co." is opened by Dr. Calvin McQuesten, John Knox Fisher, Joseph Janes, Priam hill, at James and Merrick Sts. It is horse-powered in the basement with a bellows. They manufacture the first threshing machines in Canada. In 1843, McQuesten & Fisher become equal partners. The foundry eventually becomes the Sawyer-Massey Co.

The Erie and Ontario and the Hamilton and Port Dover Railways incorporated.

Canada's first Insane Asylum is built in St. John, N.B.

1837 The McQ. foundry is endangered by threats from Anti-American sentiment, high in Hamilton.

Oct. 27, Born, Calvin Brooks McQ. (d.Feb. 19, 1912).

1837 Queen Victoria (1819-1901) Queen of Great Britain and Ireland, and Empress of India 1876-1901, succeeds to the throne on death of her uncle Edward IV. Marries her cousin, Prince Albert in 1840.

Upper Canada rebellion.

Anti-American sentiment is very strong in Hamilton, threats are made to the McQuesten foundry and owners.

1838   John Gartshore establishes his foundry in Dundas, and his son Alexander moves to Hamilton in 1870 and begins manufacturing heavy castings for railway carriages and other vehicles. They attend Central Presbyterian Church, are good friends of the McQuestens and spend some vacations together.
1841 Jun. 10, Born, James Barker McQ. (d. Jun. 29, 1841).

July 13, Dies, Margarette Barker (Learned/Lerned)

The Insane Asylum is built in Toronto.
1844 Sept. 9, Dr. C. McQ. marries Ruth Estimate Baldwin (1816-51) ("Esther" "Esty"). Mar. 5, George Brown founds the Toronto Globe. In 1843 he founds the Banner at Toronto, which holds Presbyterian and Reform views.

Nov. 8, Knox College opens in Toronto in connection with the Free Presbyterian Ch. of Canada-the result of a split in the Presbyterian Church

1845   June 17, Paul Kane leaves Toronto on a painting expedition of Canada's west. In 1846 he set out from Fort William with the H.B.C. spring fur trade brigade. He sketches the Metis Buffalo Hunt on an excursion S. from Upper Fort Garry and continues sketching as he crosses the Rockies.
1846   June 9, Hamilton, Ont. receives a city charter.

July 15, The 1st issue of the Hamilton Spectator is published.

Oct. 22, The 1st telegraph co. in Canada is established, the Toronto, Hamilton, Niagara, and St. Catharines Electro-Magnetic Telegraph Co. The 1st line opens from Toronto to Hamilton, Dec. 19. By 1881 it has been taken over by Western Union of the U.S. Marconi's first experiments with wireless telegraphy take place in 1895-1899; however, it is conceived in N. America by Samuel Morse in 1837.

Hamilton has 65 taverns, 11 beer shops, only 49 stores.

1847 Nov. 26, Born, Isaac Baldwin McQ. (d.Mar. 7, 1888). June 2, John A. Macdonald enters the cabinet for the 1st time as Receiver-General.
1848 Rev. Thomas Baker marries Mary-Jane McIlwaine (1809/10-1882). A free smallpox vaccination for the poor is instituted at Hamilton City Hall in response to an epidemic.
1849 Oct. 10, Born, Mary-Jane Baker, only child of 2nd marriage of Rev. Thomas Baker (1795/6-1887) and 2nd wife Mary-Jane McIlwaine (1809/10-1882). Later changes name to Mary Baker (d. Dec. 7, 1934).

Nov. 12, Born, David McQ. (d. Dec. 8, 1854).

1850   John Fisher, cousin and partner of Dr. Calvin McQ., is elected mayor of Hamilton

Mar. 12, The bridge over the Desjardins Canal, Hamilton, collapses, throwing a train into the water, 70 deaths.

1851 April 27, Dies, Ruth Estimate (Baldwin) McQ. Primogeniture, in which the eldest son receives the father's property where no will has been left, is abolished. Now all property is to be divided equally among all children.
1852 Oct. Dr. C. McQ. purchases "Willowbank" for £800, later named "Whitehern." Oct. 24, The Toronto Stock Exchange opens.
1853 Dec. 22, Dr. C. McQ. marries Elizabeth Fuller (?-1897) no children. Apr. 12, The Grand Trunk Railroad (GTR) amalgamates with five smaller railroads.

Apr. 16, Toronto Locomotive Works is completed, the 1st locomotive is built in Canada.

May 9, Canada's right to dispose of Clergy Reserves is approved by Br. parliament. In 1854 a bill is introduced to secularize Clergy Reserves and divide them among cities and counties in proportion to population.

Susanna Moodie publishes Roughing it in the Bush.

1854   MacNab St. Presbyterian Church is first built as a wooden building at MacNab & Hunter Sts. A stone building is constructed within a year and the cornerstone is laid in April 1856 by Isaac Buchanan. Dr. Calvin McQuesten donates funds and arranges financing for the new Free Church.

St. Paul's Presbyterian Church replaces St. Andrew's on James St., which is officially dated as 1833. St. Paul's architect is William Thomas and it is built in the Decorated English Gothic Style.

1855   Jan 1. Ottawa is incorporated as a city.

May 30, The Hamilton and South Western Railroad is chartered.

June 25, The Great Western Railroad puts steamers Canada and America into service between Hamilton and Oswego, N.Y.

Oct. 20, Toronto becomes new capital of Canada.

Dec. 3, the Great Western Railroad is opened from Hamilton to Toronto.

1856   Apr. 16, Gov. Douglas announces the first discovery of gold in B.C. All gold is declared property of the Crown.

Oct. 27, First passenger train goest from Montreal to Toronto on the Grand Trunk Line. In Nov. line is completed from Guelph to Stratford and from St. Mary's to Sarnia. Now GTR consists of 3200 km (2000 mi.) in Canada.

1857 Dr. C. McQ. retires with $500,000 in investments. He sold his mfg. co. to his three Sawyer nephews. He goes on to devote his time to Church development. 1857 June 10, A Bill is passed to put Canada on the decimal (dollar) system of currency, effective Dec. 31 midnight.

Dec. 31, Ottawa is the new capital of Canada, chosen by Queen Victoria.

1858 St. Paul's Presbyterian Church is constructed. Dec. 20, The 1st sod is turned for construction of the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa. The foundation stone is laid by Prince of Wales on Sept.1, 1860, and the maple leaf is first used as Canadian Symbol.
1859   Paul Kane publishes Wanderings of an Artist among the Indian Tribes of North America.
1860   The Crystal Palace in Hamilton is opened by Edward, Prince of Wales, built of wood and glass, it stood on 22 acres in what is now Victoria Park, modeled on the structure in London, designed by Albert H. Hills, Hamilton architect. It is condemned in 1891 and the buildings sold.

Left Decoration 1673-1860 1861-1900 1901-1914 1915-1991 Right Decoration

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Copyright 2002 Whitehern Historic House and Garden
The development of this website was directed by Mary Anderson, Ph.D. and Janelle Baldwin, M.A.
Please direct questions and comments to Mary Anderson, Ph.D.

Hamilton Public Library This site was created in partnership with and is hosted by the Hamilton Public Library. Canada's Digital Collections This digital collection was produced with financial assistance from Canada's Digital Collections initiative, Industry Canada.