Monday, February 15, 2010

Black Settlers of Eastern Canada

William Hall was the son of African American refugees who settled in Nova Scotia after the War of 1812. During the Indian Mutiny, Hall became the first Canadian winner of the naval Victoria Cross. He was the third Canadian to win the Victoria Cross.

  THE Nova Scotia government has a website that highlights Hall and other Black Nova Scotians
to check it out click here.

Black History in Canada is hard to come by. Not because it didn't happen but because the stories are not told in the mainstream historical vehicules.
The history of Black people in PEI is well told by the;
The Black Islanders Co-operative.

The Black Islanders Co-operative’s intention is to share its information with the public. It does not vouch for the accuracy of the information. The research information is the genealogical summary of a research project undertake by the Black Islanders Co-operative. It was gathered through research and member contributions.

Black History
The Saint John, New Brunswick Connection

Black people were in the Province of New Brunswick even before its earliest settlements. They came as Indian captives, explorers, workers in the fur trade and early industries but the majority arrived after the American Revolutionary War both as free blacks and slaves.

The British had offered all blacks freedom if they fought on the side of the British - hundreds of them managed to escape from their owners and fought against the Americans. At the end of the war, many of them were shipped to Nova Scotia which at that time included what is now New Brunswick. Here they were given grants of land but they were half the size of the grants which were given to the white Loyalists and the grants were a fair distance away from any sizable town. One of those New Brunswick settlements was Willow Grove. It is approximately 16 miles from Saint John and originally there were about 500 people sent there. Life in a new country was very hard and it was especially difficult for people living so far from the main centre. The winters were long and bitter and there were many hills to transverse on a walk between Saint John and Willow Grove. But by standing together and hard work they survived and many of their descendants still live in Saint John today.

Measha Brueggergosman
A shining example of the of the contribution the descendants of these
early Black Canadian settlers of New Brunswick.

Measha Brueggergosman

Measha Brueggergosman (née Gosman) was born to Anne Eatmon and Sterling Gosman in Fredericton, New Brunswick, becoming at least the eighth generation of her family in Canada. At the time of the American War of Independence, African Americans were offered their freedom if they fought for the British, and many accepted, heading to Canada—especially the Maritime provinces.

Also see Buxton Settlement 


Hazel said...

Great post, thanks!

Hazel said...

Hello again,
If you search on for Black Canadians, you will find a wealth of resources.