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AfriGeneas Canada Research Forum

Slavery in Canada

Wow, what a wonderful site. Congrats Lisa. I realize that I am coming into this topic a bit late but please allow me to share the little I do have to offer.

Both sides of my family escaped slavery in the American South and made their way to freedom here in the Niagara Region of Ontario Canada. My father's family (Bell/Tyrell)came to Canada sometime after a marriage documented in my family Bible as having taken place in Culpeper Virginia in 1849. It was suggested to me just this past week that these folks were amoung those brought to St.Catharines Ontario by Harriett Tubman although I have no proof of that as yet.
My mother'side of the family (Bowser/Butler)has been better documented and begins with the escape of Peter-born in Maryland in 1797, escaping and going "to sea" for several years, and then being part of the original Wilberforce Settlement.

I am currently trying to locate where all my ancestors once resided and would appreciate any assistance your readers might be so kind as to offer.

Slavery in Canada? We know that the first recorded "black" in Canada was Mattieu da Costa who came with the expedition of Pierre de Gua, sieur de Montis, which founded Port Royal (Montreal) in 1605. He is not believed to have been a slave as he served as an interpreter for the French with the Micmac Indians.

The first documented "slave" introduced into Canada was a six year old boy eventually named Oliver LeJeune who was taken by David Kirke a privateer who, with the blessing of King Charles 1, was making raids on the young French colony. The year was 1628.

Some attention has been called to wether slavery existed in Canada prior to or after Confederation. Consider the following two newspaper ads from early Niagara.

Upper Canada Gazette 1797: wanted to purchase: A negro girl from 7 to 12 years of age of good disposition- For further particulars apply to the subscribers.

York (Toronto)1806: To be sold.A black woman named Peggy, aged about forty years; and a black boy her son, named Jupiter, aged about fifteen years, both of them the property of the subscriber.

How long was the "Holocust"? One reader suggests that slavery in Canada only lasted 20 yrs. This country can't speak a common language let alone be nailed down to when this or that happened

I believe Lisa covered all the name changes this country went through in those early years. We've never been able to settle things here. Witness the half French/half English status of our government! I'd rather speak Mohawk myself.

For a truly informative view of how things were and are, contact Mrs. Wilma Morrison at . and by all means if your planning a trip to Niagara, consider staying with my wife and I at

I hope to share info with a lot of you in the future.

Rick Bell,
Freedom Trail Heritage House B&B.

Messages In This Thread

Slavery in Canada
Re: Slavery in Canada
Re: Slavery in Canada
Re: Slavery in Canada

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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