Previous Slavery in Canada (1899) Next

 

CHAPTER II.

SLAVERY IN CANADA AFTER THE ARRIVAL OF THE
LOYALISTS IN r783.

In preceding pages African slavery has beet shown to have been established by France in Quebec in 1689. Its presence in Nova Scotia, some sixty years later, and its gradual extension under the tacit permission of law and sanction of society have also been illustrated by numerous instances. Having thus reached a position of partial establishment, it seemed possible that the immense Loyalist inrush of 1783-85 would lead to its acceptance as an inevitable part and parcel of the social arrangements of the several colonies, and secure for it a permanent place in British American life.

Of the great number of Negroes arriving in the remaining British provinces with the Loyalists, a large section consisted of freedmen, most of whom had escaped from rebel masters at the South. British generals—Sir Henry Clinton in particular—had offered protection to all such slaves fleeing within their lines, and numbers of these had reached New York after having served the British in various capacities. One Negro corps, the Black Pioneers, had rendered military service ; and nearly even' Loyalist corps, it is said, had representatives of the African race in its ranks as musicians, buglers and pioneers. The vigilance and soldierly conduct of one of these, Black Barney, a bugler in the Queen's Rangers, a Loyalist regiment settled at the close of the war in New Brunswick, on one occasion in Virginia saved a portion of the corps and called for a warm tribute from Colonel Simcoe, the


Previous Slavery in Canada (1899) Next