46 NOVA SCOTIA HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
ever any master or mistress shall liberate or release any person subject to the condition of a slave from their service they shall at the same time give good and sufficient security to the church or town wardens of the parish or township where they live that the person so released by them shall not become chargeable to the same, or am• other parish or township."'
This bill, which reflects so much credit upon the first legislators of Upper Canada, was passed on the 9th of July, 1793, but not without strong opposition. During the Revolutionary war many slaves had been purchased from the Indians at a low price, and the holders of these desired to reject the bill entirely. The greatest resistance," wrote the lieutenant-governor to the Secretary of State—Dundas, " was to the Slave Bill, many plausible arguments being brought forward in respect to the dearness of labour and the difficulty of obtaining servants. Some, possessing Negroes, knowing that it was question-able if any subsisting law authorized slavery, wished to reject the bill entirely; others wished to supply themselves by giving leave to import for two years."' In his address at the close of the session Lieutenant-governor Simcoe gave expression to the great relief he felt at being no longer liable to be called upon to sign permits for the importation of slaves.' Canadian legislators saw thus early, as did Southern leaders during the Kansas conflict more that a half century later, that any restriction upon slavery presaged its destruction.'
t Cannif's " Settlement of Upper Canada.-
"Canadian Archives' 'Sgt.
" Transactions of Canadian Institute." Vol. L, Toronto.
It is but justice to our neighbors across the boundary fine to say that previous to this Act in Upper Canada two state at least of the American Union—Pennsylvania and Rhode Island—had adopted similar measures ; and that in this they were followed in 1,.99 by New York with a provision for gradual emancipation, which on Jul- 4th, t 817, resulted in the complete abolition of Negro slaver- in that important section of the country.