Lecture 6: African- Americans: Fugitive Slaves and Free Blacks

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13 Jan 2011
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Lecture 6: African- Americans: Fugitive Slaves and Free Blacks
-freedom seekers:
-Nova Scotia
-the Refugee Movement, 1813-1816
-Upper Canada
-the pull of the North Star
-migration experiences: the Underground Railroad
-impact of the US Fugitive Slave Law
-settlements
-reception
-communities
-schooling
-came for their freedom, as they crossed the border became official Brit subjects, as no legal
racial distinctions
-but encountered racism, prejudice in Canada
-though law colorblind, the social system definitely was not
-the Refugee Movement, Sept. 1813-1816, to Nova Scotia
-during/after the War of 1812
-had fled their slave owners, had been reassured by Brits if they fled to them and
supported them, they would be assured their freedom/rights after the war
-just like during the American Revolution in 1776, to weaken the enemy
-first brought to the port of Halifax, promise to assure their freedom and a future
-initially in refugee camps nearby, by the war’s end in 1814, there were about
2000
-were welcomed, esp. for labour, esp. for Halifax as a naval base
-easily found good wages
-but by 1815, as more came in, grimmer prospects, as the war
economy went away
-ppl preferred to hire whites for the fewer jobs
-asked for land, authorities slow to grant land, and only
small lots on 10 acres vs. 100 acres usu.
-Brit hoped that they would be able to feed
themselves, but not prosper, and become
cheap labour
-but didnt happen, as numerous crop
failures, widespread hunger
-little support to the refugees
-most abandoned farm lots
-turned to the fringes of
Halifax, built
up communities
like the Black Loyalists
from 1776
-churches
-persistent discrimination
-tech. had poli rights, if the men had land
-but werent allowed locally to exercise their rights
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