140 NOVA SCOTIA HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
and carried back to the American side of the border—on reaching again the Canadian side " leaped on shore, rolled himself in the sand, and even rubbed it into his hair in the wildness of his delight at finding himself once more on free soil ".
A special effort for the settlement of some of these freed slaves was made in I85o. The principal promoter of the movement was the Rev. William King, a native of Londonderry, Ireland. who in 1846 had been sent as a missionary to Canada by the Free Church of Scotland. During a residence in Louisiana he had married a planter's dauzhter, who at her father's death inherited fifteen slaves. On the death of Mrs. King the disposal of these slaves depended upon her husband, the minister, then rector of a college. Their estimated value in the slave market was nine thousand dollars, but he refused to sell them ; and placing them for a time upon a plantation gave them the proceeds of their own labors. In 1848 he brought them to Western Canada, thus securing to them their freedom. Having found in the province a great number of fugitive slaves—many of them very ignorant and in great poverty—he in 1850 presented their position to the Presbyterian Synod, at the time in session in Toronto, succeeded in enlisting the sympathies of its members, as well as those of other denominations, and secured the co-operation of Canadian anti-slaver- societies. In June of that year a company was incorporated, called the Elgin Association, and a prospectus was issued for the " social and religious improvement of the colored people of Canada". The public was asked to take stock to the value of twenty thousand dollars, and with the money obtained nine thousand acres of land in the county of Kent were purchased from the government, to be sold to colored settlers at the rate of from two to three dollars per acre. This tract the Elgin Association, so-called from Lord Elgin, the Governor-general, who favored the enterprise, had