38836Re: Free Persons of Colour was Slavery in Upper Canada?
- Jan 1, 2009One can also find, with only a little hunting, the cabin of the man
on whom "Uncle Tom" of Uncle Tom's Cabin was based. "The Queen's
Bush", west of Shelburne on the Bruce Peninsula, was an area settled
by free blacks in the early to mid-nineteenth century and a frequent
destination of escaped slaves from the US. Collingwood was the
extreme northern terminus of the Underground Railway and I've been
told that it employed a number of blacks in the shipyards. Some of
them, it's said, worked,on Confederate commerce raiders which were
built there. Ironic, no?
As to the sale of "Canadian slaves" to the US, I should think it was
regerded, while a scandal, much like the sale of livestock or
the 'disciplining' of one's wife and children: a private matter
generally of interest to no one but the participants. Sadly, many
decent Canadians and Americans probably rgarded it that way too.
I have met a black [Afro-Canadian person of colour] who told me that
her ancestor, an escaped slave, originally settled in Holland Landing
at the foot of Lake Simcoe but moved on into the bush around Willow
Creek Depot because he feared being captured and returned south by
slave hunters. I don't know the law here on it but certainly in the
US it was a federal offence to interfere with the efforts of bounty
hunters to return slaves to their rightful owners.
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