Previous Pioneers of Ontario (1923) Next

 

STRONG DRINK, RELIGION AND LAW 307

risky thing to insult them. They were particularly touchy on any matter relating to their colour.

"In the days before the Civil War destroyed the slave-holding aristocracy of the South, some of the Southern planters occasionally came up to the Lake Simcoe country to hunt deer. When one of these Southern hunting parties reached Belle Evart a big negro from Edgar, his eyes blazing with savage hate, jumped on a member of the party, a Southern youth, and would have torn him limb from limb had not others interfered. The explanation of the attack was that the negro had been this white man's slave and, while a slave, had been cruelly horse-whipped by his master.

V "They were good axe-men and useful at loggings," said Mr. Smith, "but poor farmers. The land they chopped over on their own places as a rule soon grew up again as thick as before. But they were good workers when employed by others. One of the community, Mrs. Banks, had a rare skill with herbs and was the `medicine man' of the neighbourhood. When sickness occurred, the whole community came to see the sick one and incidentally to share in the pro-visions they knew the whites would supply."

Mr. Smith, from whom these particulars of the Edgar negro settlement were obtained, was the grandson of a man who had his wrist disabled at Quatre Bras just before Waterloo. As partial compensation for military service the grandfather received the grant of an Oro bush lot, and to this he removed in 1831. In moving to his farm this old soldier had to follow the


Previous Pioneers of Ontario (1923) Next