Previous Slavery in Canada (1899) Next

 

34   NOVA SCOTIA HISTORICAL SOCIETY.

from the West Indies. One other slave is known to have borne the name of Matthews, attorney-general of the island, her owner ; another had been brought from the \Vest Indies, a gift to a member of the family with which she had come. Another Negro was killed in 1791 by a blow dealt him, it is said, with a spade as he was endeavoring to force his way into a building in which a public ball was being held. For this man's death a citizen of Sydney was " excluded for killing a slave" by the Masonic lodge of that place, and was brought to trial before the supreme court in august, 1792. By the court he was '• honour-ably acquitted," and at a later period was reinstated in membership among his Masonic brethren.

A very slight advance in the number of slaves took place in the vast northern province of Canada during the first twenty-five years after its conquest by England. Registers of births, marriages and deaths, with other documents of the period, bear witness to the maintenance of slavery, but afford slight evidence of its expansion through the importation of new laborers.

The diary of General Haldimand, appointed governor of Canada in 1;;8, contains several references to slaves which show that official to have exercised a somewhat paternal authority, in spite of his reputation for stern military precision. In 1778 a business man at Montreal sought permission from him to sell a Negro for a debt due him by the slave's master ; at Quebec, in the same year, another Negro. in view of services rendered to government, prayed for liberty ; and in 1783, Plato, another slave at Quebec, asked to be allowed to join his own master, from whom he had, it is probable, been separated during the border-strife of the Revolution.'

" Canadian Archives"


Previous Slavery in Canada (1899) Next