On July 13, 1799, the township of Rawdon was officially founded by letters patent. The first territory established north of Montréal by the British Government, the concession was bounded to the southeast by the seigneuries of Saint-Sulpice (Saint-Jacques) and Lachenaye, to the northeast by the township of Kildare, and to the west by the townships of Kilkenny (Saint-Côme) and Chertsey.
However, no document allows us to establish with certainty the presence of settlers in Rawdon before 1815. At most, we note the presence of a few French-Canadian settlers near Kildare, in the eastern part of the first range. At that time, the Lords of Saint-Sulpice and Lachenaye had conceded unspecified lots of their seigneuries to tenants, or censitaires. The latter had settled in the first range, at the northern end of the parish of Saint-Jacques (northern limit of the Seigneury of Saint-Sulpice).
Apart from the presence of these few settlers, the Rawdon region remained a hostile territory where only a few Algonquins and trappers practised hunting. One of the first texts dealing with the region comes from the Surveyor General of Lower Canada, Joseph Bouchette, in 1815:
"Rawdon…is a full township, of which very little has yet been granted or even surveyed. The surface of it is uneven, in many places rocky, but in others having extents of good land upon which grain might be raised with profit, and on some few hemp and flax. On the uplands the greater part of timber is maple, beech, and birch; cedar and spruce fir abound on the lower ones. It is watered by several small streams."
Joseph Bouchette, A Topographical Description of the Province of Lower Canada, London, 1815, page 246
This short description tends to confirm that no settlers were living in Rawdon at that time in 1815. When the surveyor mentioned the possibilities of cultivation, he was referring to the future, not the present; no land was therefore yet cultivated.