The Early Free Blacks And The United States Of Their Respective Emancipation And Abolition Laws

1310 Words Mar 28th, 2016 null Page
This essay aims to look at the early free blacks in both Canada and the United States of America, prior to the establishment of their respective emancipation and abolition laws. Primarily it will look at the black Loyalists who arrived as free people in Nova Scotia following the American Revolution in 1783, as well as free blacks in pre-Civil war America. The essay will compare the population of freed blacks, their origins, as well as the efforts of both the British and the Americans to move these free blacks to settlements in Africa.
Canada’s first large-scale introduction to free blacks came at the end of the American Revolution. Lord Dunmore, the Royal Governor of Virginia, declared in 1775 that “any indented servant, Negroes, or others, (appertaining to Rebels,) free that are able and willing to bear arms”, which brought many escaped Patriot slaves to the side of the British (Murray). When the British inevitably lost the war, what 3,500 freed blacks were not reclaimed by their former masters, or sold off to plantations in the West Indies, were recorded in the Carleton Book of Negroes and brought with white Loyalists to Nova Scotia, which included New Brunswick at the time, as free people. They arrived in Shelburne, Port Mouton, Halifax, Annapolis Royal, Saint John, and Fort Cumberland. (Canada’s Digital Collections)
By 1775, Birchtown, Nova Scotia, located just outside Shelburne, was home to the largest free black population in the world outside of Africa, with…

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