Previous Slavery in Canada (1899) Next

 

CHAPTER I.

SLAVERY IN CANADA PREVIOUS TO THE ARRIVAL OF THE LOYALISTS IN 1783.

Slavery in Canada, as that extensive province was formerly defined, was of French institution. The first slave sale recorded in the colony was that at Quebec of a negro boy from Madagascar by David Kertk in 1628 for fifty half-crowns.' Kertk, the son of a Scotch father and French mother, and born at Dieppe, had gone to England ; and with several ships fitted out with the assistance of two brothers and other relatives, under a commission from the English king, had done serious damage to French interests at Port Royal, Quebec, and other points on the Atlantic seaboard.

In a local history, reference is made to the presence of Indian slaves at Montreal in 1670.' These slaves were known as Panis, members of a distant tribe, once numerous but greatly reduced in numbers by the attacks of more powerful Indian nations.' Captured in war, and offered for sale by their captors at low prices, they had been purchased by Canadians at Detroit and other outlying posts, whence some of them had been carried towards the

 

 

•• First Things in Canada" In Colonial records Kertk is generally known as Sir David Kirke.

 

2 .• Memo'ues de la Societe Historique de Montreal.' 1869• p. zoo.

Parkman alls them Pawnees, tot Drake, in his "History of the Indians of North America," shows the Paths, or Tonicas, to have been a distinct tribe. In speaking of the origin of the •• calumet,- or peace-pipe. in his •• Voyage dans I'Amerique, Charlevoix says that some Indians told him that it was given by the sun to Paris, a nation upon the Missouri. A few captives of other tribes were included in Canada under the name Paths.


Previous Slavery in Canada (1899) Next