Soldier Settler Sinner reveals the complex life of Captain Charles MacDonald, an officer and gentleman in the Royal Marines during the Napoleonic Wars. Born in 1789, Charles emigrated from Northumberland, the coldest and least populated county in England to settle eventually on the Bay of Quinte in the mid-1830s. He was known among the farmers and fishermen of the Bay as someone who, unlike them, “always had money in his pocket.”
He was active on three continents turning this tale into a ripping travelogue as he cheated death in island battles in the Caribbean, outbreaks of tropical disease, mutiny, hazardous sea voyages, and a cholera outbreak in Quebec City upon arrival in the New World.
Scandal followed Charles as his moral shortcomings were exposed. Women brought him love and wealth but also disgrace and finally peace. The twists and turns of this saga demonstrate why some historians have branded Charles the man “who didn’t want to be found.” Lucky to escape death as a young man, he survived and sired 17 children throughout his adventures. not all with the same woman. Among MacDonald’s descendants was the Ontario painter, Manly MacDonald, and the author of this book, Jane Simpson.
Soldier, Settler and Sinner features dozens of photographs encompassing MacDonald’s life in England, the West Indies and finally, the quiet shores of the Bay of Quinte. The foreword is provided by Vern Whalen, author of Point Anne: History of a Cement Factory Village.
Soldier Settler Sinner
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Story teller at heart.
Jane Simpson is a retired nurse, living in Kanata, Ontario with her husband and dog. Throughout her career, she held administrative positions in health care and lectured at the University of Ottawa. She is a lifetime member of the Hastings County Historical Society, a member of the Marilyn Adam Genealogy Research Centre and a member of the Capital Crime Writers in Ottawa.
Her interest in her MacDonald family arose while spending summer holidays with her grandparents by the Bay of Quinte. She knew who her great grandparents were but nothing of generations before them. Her grandfather was a cousin of Manly MacDonald, the painter who provided essential documents for Charles Macdonald’s remarkable story. She is the great-great-great granddaughter of Charles MacDonald.
Jane has published excerpts of a mystery novel in the anthology, Strangers in a Small Room and a short story about her dog in the US. She was a member of Rick Taylor’s writing group in Ottawa.