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Re: 1812 A question about slavery

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  • BritcomHMP@aol.com
    Was this an accurate portrayal? Were there black units in the British Army and was there a concern amoung blacks living in Upper Canada that they might be
    Message 1 of 14 , Nov 9, 2009
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      Was this an accurate portrayal? Were there black units in the British Army

      and was there a concern amoung blacks living in Upper Canada that they might

      be captured by Americans and forced into slavery?






      The Black of the British army were the West India Regiments, the 1st and the 5th were involved in the War of 1812 being present at the battle of New Orleans. There were certainly individual black soldiers in various British regiments but there was no method of identifying them as black on the standard forms so they were just listed like any other soldiers. Then of course there were the militia units.
      As part of the terms of the Treaty of Ghent the British were to return US property which included slaves but British officers refused to return them (particularly those who had served in the Colonial Marine) on the basis that a slave could not serve as a British soldier and they were by dint of their service now free men.

      Cheers

      Tim







      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Ray Hobbs
      List: On black soldiers in the British Army in the early 19th century see the excellent MA Thesis for Nottingham University, UK. Here are the details: John D
      Message 2 of 14 , Nov 9, 2009
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        List:
        On black soldiers in the British Army in the early 19th century see the excellent MA Thesis for Nottingham University, UK. Here are the details:

        John D Ellis, "The Visual Representation, Role and Origin of Black Soldiers in British Army Regiments During the Early Nineteenth Century."
        Presented as part of the requirement of the MA Degree in Nineteenth Century Culture and Society.
        University of Nottingham, September 2000.

        While not the 'last word' on the subject, it is certainly the most comprehensive to date.
        You're welcome :-)
        Ray H
        AdC to Col Williams
        CFNA

        To: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com
        From: BritcomHMP@...
        Date: Mon, 9 Nov 2009 09:02:22 -0500
        Subject: Re: 1812 A question about slavery


































        Was this an accurate portrayal? Were there black units in the British Army



        and was there a concern amoung blacks living in Upper Canada that they might



        be captured by Americans and forced into slavery?



        The Black of the British army were the West India Regiments, the 1st and the 5th were involved in the War of 1812 being present at the battle of New Orleans. There were certainly individual black soldiers in various British regiments but there was no method of identifying them as black on the standard forms so they were just listed like any other soldiers. Then of course there were the militia units.

        As part of the terms of the Treaty of Ghent the British were to return US property which included slaves but British officers refused to return them (particularly those who had served in the Colonial Marine) on the basis that a slave could not serve as a British soldier and they were by dint of their service now free men.



        Cheers



        Tim



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



















        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Anna Snipes
        http://www.amazon.ca/Queens-Bush-Settlement-Pioneers-1839-1865/dp/1896219853   Only Melancthon township (the north-western most township, which was, at the
        Message 3 of 14 , Nov 9, 2009
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          http://www.amazon.ca/Queens-Bush-Settlement-Pioneers-1839-1865/dp/1896219853
           
          Only Melancthon township (the north-western most township, which was, at the time of settlement, in Grey County) in Dufferin was part of the Queen's Bush.  Some of our earliest settlers were black, though it is difficult to prove their status as freed slave or escaped slave. But the lion's share of organized black settlement in this region was in Oro township.
           
          Was the descendant that you met one of Ghant's?  Don't recall the first name--will post more resources and a photo from the museum tomorrow.
           
          Anna Snipes
          Dufferin County Museum and Archives

          --- On Sun, 11/8/09, petemonahan <petemonahan@...> wrote:


          From: petemonahan <petemonahan@...>
          Subject: 1812 A question about slavery
          To: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Sunday, November 8, 2009, 4:15 PM


           



          Further to the question of free blacks in Upper Canada:

          There was one 'line' on the Underground Railroad which ran as far north as Collingwood, on Lake Huron. The first black to serve on the Great Lakes freighters in any capacity other than Second Cook is from Collingwood and, ironically, it is almost certain that black shipyard workers helped build Confederate surface raiders there.

          There was also a scattered community of free blacks in living in Dufferein County in an area known locally as "The Queens's Bush". At least some - I met the descendant of one such - moved there from further south to escape the danger of being kidnapped back to slavery in the US. Richard "Piepaw" Pierpont was granted land in Oro Township, where only the African Baptist church now marks the black settlement, but spent his many of his later years as an homeless itinerant in the Queen's Bush.

          Just as blacks arriving in UC from the US were deemed free, blacks taken back across the border by force were often sold as slaves whatever their previous status here. And, while I believe this practice was rare it was certainly perceived as a real danger by UC blacks. In fact, there is one case - whose details escape me now - of a female black being rescued from jail (in St Catherines?) by other free blacks of the town before her kidnappers could take her south. An instructive tale which puts paid to the notion of blacks, slave or free, as hapless victims! [I suspect Mr Kevin Windsor can supply the corroborative details.]

          perhaps more than you needed to know, but a neglected area of Canadian history IMHO.

          Peter Monahan








          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Ed
          Tim, I believe that some of the Colonial Marines, enlisted after the date the treaty was ratified, were returned to their masters. When I get home, I ll check
          Message 4 of 14 , Nov 9, 2009
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            Tim,

            I believe that some of the Colonial Marines, enlisted after the date the treaty was ratified, were returned to their masters. When I get home, I'll check my sources but I think Cockburn had a minor riot on his hands due to his following the terms of the treaty.

            Cheers,

            Ed Seufert

            --- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com, BritcomHMP@... wrote:
            >
            >
            > As part of the terms of the Treaty of Ghent the British were to return US property which included slaves but British officers refused to return them (particularly those who had served in the Colonial Marine) on the basis that a slave could not serve as a British soldier and they were by dint of their service now free men.
            >
            > Cheers
            >
            > Tim
            >
          • BritcomHMP@aol.com
            I believe that some of the Colonial Marines, enlisted after the date the treaty was ratified, were returned to their masters. When I get home, I ll check my
            Message 5 of 14 , Nov 9, 2009
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              I believe that some of the Colonial Marines, enlisted after the date the treaty was ratified, were returned to their masters. When I get home, I'll check my sources but I think Cockburn had a minor riot on his hands due to his following the terms of the treaty.
              -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

              Just so Ed. The thinking of some of the officers was that it mattered not one jot when the men enlisted, the fact that they had enlisted ment that that de facto they could not be slaves. Cockburn was somewhat more 'pragmatic'.











              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • larrylozon
              John, The 8th (The King s) Regiment of Foot, also referred to diminutively as the 8th Foot and 8th King s, was an infantry regiment of the British Army, formed
              Message 6 of 14 , Nov 9, 2009
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                John,

                The 8th (The King's) Regiment of Foot, also referred to diminutively as the 8th Foot and 8th King's, was an infantry regiment of the British Army, formed in 1685 and retitled the King's (Liverpool Regiment) on 1 July 1881.

                As infantry of the line, the 8th King's peacetime responsibilities included service overseas in garrisons ranging from British North America, the Ionian Islands, India, and the British West Indies. The duration of these deployments varied considerably, sometimes exceeding a decade; its first tour of North America began in 1768 and ended in 1785.

                When arriving in North America the 8th (The King's) Regiment of Foot supposidly had blacks in it's ranks. The regiment served in numerous conflicts during its existence, notably in the wars with France that dominated the 18th and 19th centuries, the American War of Independence, the War of 1812,...
                for more info visit www.warof1812.ca/8thregt.htm, www.liverpoolkingsregimentassociation.org.uk, etc.
                .........................

                I believe the black soldier who said he was fighting in the War of 1812 at the 1812 Great Canadian Victory Party at St. Lawrence Hall in Toronto was Ivor Christenson who was a member of the 8th (or King's) Regiment in the Canadas(http://8th_regiment.tripod.com/index.html) and later Ivor was trying to form Runchey's Free Men of Colour Regt.

                ..................

                "There are signs of industry and thrift and comfort, everywhere; signs of intemperance, of idleness, of want, nowhere. There is no tavern and no groggery; but there is a chapel and a schoolhouse. Most interesting of all are the inhabitants. Twenty years ago, most of them where slaves who owned nothing, not even their children. Now they own themselves; they own homes and farms, and they have their wives and children about them. They are enfranchised citizens of a government which protects their rights. They have the great essentials of human happiness, "something to love, something to do, and something to hope for" and if they are not happy it is their own fault."

                The above was written by regarding the Elgin Settlement, by Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe (1801-1876) who was appointed by Abraham Lincoln to report on the Commission on the Canadian Negroes. His report became part of the Congressional debate on the Fourteenth Amendment.

                The Elgin Settlement, also known as Buxton, was the last of four organized black settlements to come into existence in Canada. The black population of Canada West and Chatham was already high due to the area's proximity to the United States. The land was purchased by the Elgin Association through the Presbyterian Synod for creating a settlement. The land lay 12 miles south of Chatham. When news of the Elgin settlement spread, white settlers became worried, and attempted to block its development with a petition. Regardless of sentiment, plans for the settlement went ahead and many of Buxton's settlers feared for the life of William King due to the resistance of whites.

                South Buxton Ontario a small town located in Chatham-Kent, Ontario. The population is approx. 78. The majority of the population is retirees. South Buxton has only two roads and a single church. It is near the South Buxton raceway. The closest towns are North Buxton and Merlin. South Buxton was a large settlement at the end of the underground railroad and the church, St. Andrew's, was built by escaped slaves for Rev. William King. A liberty bell cast in 1800 was used to signal the beginning of church service until the 21st century. The bell originally was rung every time a freed slave reached South Buxton. South Buxton was once larger, but as rural Ontario developed into urban Ontario the population decreased.

                For more info visit: http://www.buxtonmuseum.com/index.html, etc.
                ....................

                I hope this helps
                L2



                --- "John Matthew IV" wrote:

                I attended the 1812 Great Canadian Victory Party at St. Lawrence Hall in Toronto this weekend.

                It was a theatric presentation that had many characters from the early 19th century as they went all the way to the 1837 Rebellion.

                One of the characters was a black soldier who said he was fighting in the War of 1812 because he didn't want the Americans to capture him and force him into slavery. He was even working on creating a unit of other black soldiers to fit for the British.
                Slavery was legal in Ontario then. There were slaves living in Toronto up to 1832 when it was abolished in the British Empire, so I wondered about this.
                Was this an accurate portrayal? Were there black units in the British Army and was there a concern amoung blacks living in Upper Canada that they might be captured by Americans and forced into slavery?
              • a10rca
                This has been covered well. Here is my two cents, or three/4. Peter has combined two stories. One is of Chloe Cooley, dragged to the States kicking and
                Message 7 of 14 , Nov 9, 2009
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                  This has been covered well. Here is my two cents, or three/4.

                  Peter has combined two stories.
                  One is of Chloe Cooley, dragged to the States kicking and screaming in the year leading up to the Emanicipation Act of 1793. She provided the human face to push through the legislation. Not sure what happened to Miss Cooley once she was returned.
                  The other story is the Moseby case of 1837 in Niagara when an escaped slave was being returned to the States as a horse thief (he had indeed stolen a horse to escape slavery in Kentucky and the horse was found later abandoned by Moseby).
                  Before he could be returned to the US, hundreds of local blacks besieged the jail for weeks. When authorities attempted to move Moseby, the crowd descended. Moseby escaped but two other black citizens trying to rescue him were killed and dozens arrested.

                  I think the original question has been answered.
                  I agree with the 'A Stolen Life' recommendation and Mr. Altoff's 'Amongst my Best Men' is another great title. You should read Simcoe's views on slavery and the actions of Guy Carlton at New York when he refused to turn over 'property' to George Washington and his officers at the close of the American War of Independence. Also check out the James Somerset case of 1772. Just finished the 'Hemingses of Monticello', not a quick read but powerful stuff.

                  The US Federal Fugitive Slave Law of 1793, (coincidence? probably not) made the progressive anti-slavery laws of Northern States all but toothless. Thankfully, freedom loving Americans, including magistrates and others enforcing federal laws, chose to ignore the act. The British banned the trade in 1807 and the United States followed suit. However, the British more and more aggressively pursued their ban (with better and better benefits for the Royal Navy lads) while it was largely ignored in the United States. Thousands more people were imported into the States and thousands more freedom seekers made their way to the RN during the War of 1812 (as Tim pointed out) and in the following decades thousands more would make their way to Canada with the help of friendly Americans.
                  All the while, during the War of 1812 slavery as an institution was not abolished in Upper Canada and for a short time at the beginning of the war a small number of slaves in Canada made their way to open Michigan; until that loop hole was tightened by American authorities.
                  Blacks served on both sides, as did Native people but the numbers heavily lean in the direction of the Crown forces. Another example of British brutality and the vagaries of war or the sincere actions of an industrializing, mercantile, enlightened, world power?


                  Thankfully, slavery had nothing to do with wars or conflict in North America from 1776 to 1865. Slavery had very little to do with the economy, just as oil had no role in the international economy or warfare from 1865 until today. For proof, Google Dubai or the causes/location of 20th century wars. Also, land has never been a factor; particularly if occupied by Indians.

                  Sorry for the silly bit. I think this is an incredibly important facet of the war; it gets its own article in the Treaty of Ghent, (Article X). As mentioned already, it can be hard to track who the black troops and sailors on both sides were but I think a little digging will flesh out who these folks were.

                  Hypocritical endnote. I really enjoy driving my car. However, I hope one day we talk about the oil industry like we speak of slavery today and the commissioners even did in 1814, as a terrible institution 'irreconcilable with the principles of humanity and justice'.

                  Jim


                  --- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com, Anna Snipes <annasnipes@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > http://www.amazon.ca/Queens-Bush-Settlement-Pioneers-1839-1865/dp/1896219853
                  >  
                  > Only Melancthon township (the north-western most township, which was, at the time of settlement, in Grey County) in Dufferin was part of the Queen's Bush.  Some of our earliest settlers were black, though it is difficult to prove their status as freed slave or escaped slave. But the lion's share of organized black settlement in this region was in Oro township.
                  >  
                  > Was the descendant that you met one of Ghant's?  Don't recall the first name--will post more resources and a photo from the museum tomorrow.
                  >  
                  > Anna Snipes
                  > Dufferin County Museum and Archives
                  >
                  > --- On Sun, 11/8/09, petemonahan <petemonahan@...> wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  > From: petemonahan <petemonahan@...>
                  > Subject: 1812 A question about slavery
                  > To: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com
                  > Date: Sunday, November 8, 2009, 4:15 PM
                  >
                  >
                  >  
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Further to the question of free blacks in Upper Canada:
                  >
                  > There was one 'line' on the Underground Railroad which ran as far north as Collingwood, on Lake Huron. The first black to serve on the Great Lakes freighters in any capacity other than Second Cook is from Collingwood and, ironically, it is almost certain that black shipyard workers helped build Confederate surface raiders there.
                  >
                  > There was also a scattered community of free blacks in living in Dufferein County in an area known locally as "The Queens's Bush". At least some - I met the descendant of one such - moved there from further south to escape the danger of being kidnapped back to slavery in the US. Richard "Piepaw" Pierpont was granted land in Oro Township, where only the African Baptist church now marks the black settlement, but spent his many of his later years as an homeless itinerant in the Queen's Bush.
                  >
                  > Just as blacks arriving in UC from the US were deemed free, blacks taken back across the border by force were often sold as slaves whatever their previous status here. And, while I believe this practice was rare it was certainly perceived as a real danger by UC blacks. In fact, there is one case - whose details escape me now - of a female black being rescued from jail (in St Catherines?) by other free blacks of the town before her kidnappers could take her south. An instructive tale which puts paid to the notion of blacks, slave or free, as hapless victims! [I suspect Mr Kevin Windsor can supply the corroborative details.]
                  >
                  > perhaps more than you needed to know, but a neglected area of Canadian history IMHO.
                  >
                  > Peter Monahan
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >
                • Ed Seufert
                  According to James Pack in his book The Man Who Burned the White House , Cockburn upon receiving notice of the treaty, issued the following orders. it is my
                  Message 8 of 14 , Nov 9, 2009
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                    According to James Pack in his book "The Man Who Burned the White House", Cockburn upon receiving notice of the treaty, issued the following orders.

                    'it is my direction that all the negro men, women and children of every description who have been received on board the Dragon since her arrival on the coast of Georgia, be forewith discharged into the Albion preparatory to an examination I have ordered to take place of the whole of these people now in the squadron , to ascertain if any or how many of them fall within the meaning and intent of the 1st Article of the Treaty lately concluded between Great Britain and America."

                    He also issued orders for the evacuation of Tangier island in the Chesapeake and that not a single negro was to be left except by his own request if he had joined the British forces prior to the ratification.

                    Nicolas in his "Historical Record of the Royal Marine Forces" says that between the time of the ratification of the treaty in Washington and the announcement at Cumberland Island, many slaves had deserted their masters and had joined the Battalions. That "many of these unhappy men were given up to the American Commissioners after they had worn the British Uniform. Although there were but few instances where this occurred, it was sufficient to cast a stigma upon the character of the British nation; and it would have been better to have paid treble their value, than submit to so disgraceful a treansaction."

                    Cheers,

                    Ed Seufert, Cpl
                    1812 Royal Marines

                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: BritcomHMP@...
                    To: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Monday, November 09, 2009 3:40 PM
                    Subject: Re: 1812 A question about slavery


                    I believe that some of the Colonial Marines, enlisted after the date the treaty was ratified, were returned to their masters. When I get home, I'll check my sources but I think Cockburn had a minor riot on his hands due to his following the terms of the treaty.
                    ----------------------------------------------------------

                    Just so Ed. The thinking of some of the officers was that it mattered not one jot when the men enlisted, the fact that they had enlisted ment that that de facto they could not be slaves. Cockburn was somewhat more 'pragmatic'.

                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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