Thomas McKee

Thomas McKee (c. 1770 – 20 October 1814) was a Canadian soldier and political figure.

Often identified as a portrait of his father Alexander, this is probably Thomas McKee because the uniform is that of an officer of the 60th Regiment of Foot of the 1790s.[1]


McKee was born in the Ohio Country around 1770. He was the son of Alexander McKee (c. 1735–1799), an important official in the British Indian Department, and the grandson of Thomas McKee (c.1695–1769), a veteran of King George's War and the French and Indian War as well as a business associate of George Croghan. His great-grandfather Alexander McKee (d.1740) immigrated to Pennsylvania from County Antrim, Ireland, around 1707, and was a veteran of the Battle of the Boyne. The identity of Thomas McKee's mother is unknown; she may have been a Shawnee woman, or possibly a white captive named Charlotte Brown who had been raised among the Shawnees.[2]

In 1788, the Ojibwa and Ottawa granted him a lease for Pelee Island for 999 years. In 1791, he became a member of the 60th Regiment of Foot of the British Army at Detroit. Three years later, he was part of the Siege of Fort Recovery.[3] eventually reaching the rank of Captain in 1796. In the same year, he became superintendent of Indian affairs for the Northwestern District. In 1797, he also became responsible for the Amherstburg region and he was elected to represent Kent in the 2nd Parliament of Upper Canada. McKee was reelected in 1800 to represent Essex. Around 1806, his duties with the 60th Foot ended, he joined the local militia and served as a Major in the militia during the War of 1812. In 1814, he was accused of grave misconduct, having gotten drunk and allowed his native followers to become drunk and disorderly.

He died near Île des Cascades in Lower Canada in 1814 while travelling to Montreal.


  1. ^ Nelson, p. 159
  2. ^ Nelson, p. 63.
  3. ^ Hogeland, William (2017). Autumn of the Black Snake : the creation of the U.S. Army and the invasion that opened the West (First ed.). New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. p. 321. ISBN 978-0-374-10734-5. LCCN 2016052193. OCLC 974612291.