His travels in America led him to publish a book, Atlantic and Trans Atlantic Sketches, Afloat and Ashore, in 1852.
"It is related that the first night, while stopping with Gov. Doty on the island, the captain occupied the ground floor, with an open window, against which a large wooden tray was placed, to be upset if a bear should poke in his nose; and, sure enough, a bear came and awoke the captain, who seized his gun, and they had bear steak for breakfast the next morning. He purchased extensive amounts of land throughout the Island, to include the property at the end of Keyes Street. In addition to residing at this location, he also bred cattle and other animals there. MacKinnon's pride was his horse, "King of Cymbry" which was shipped from England in 1854 with highly bred beef cattle, a Durham bull (referred to as "Menasha Mac"), sheep, and chickens. The land on which St. Patrick's Church was built was a gift from MacKinnon. He improved roads, constructed a crib bridge across the north channel of the Fox River, and cut a road through the dense forest on the Island. Nicolet Boulevard was originally named "MacKinnon Avenue" and extended from Lake Winnebago to Little Lake Butte des Morts."
Capt. MacKinnon died in 1877 during a return visit to Great Britain. He was 59.
His sons became noteworthy in Menasha, as well- Duncan T.H. MacKinnon, founder of the MacKinnon Excelsior Factory (wood shavings used for stuffing carriage seats), and the other, Falkland MacKinnon, became a foreman and manager of the Menasha Wooden Ware and later worked in the lumber business in Wausau.
Sources: History of Northern Wisconsin (1881); Memories of Doty Island: A Link Between Two Cities (1999); History, Winnebago County, Wisconsin: Its Cities, Towns, Resources, People (1908)
Memories of Doty Island: A Link Between Two Cities (1999); History, Winnebago County, Wisconsin: Its Cities, Towns, Resources, People (1908)