The African Refugees
A breif history of how they came to Canada
Who were the Black Loyalists?
The Black loyalists are African slaves who joined the British army in 1775-1783 in “The american war of independence” in exchange for freedom and land.Once the war ended in 1784. Half of the Black loyalists got no land and some only got 1 acre. when they were promised 100 acres.They still did get freedom though they were given freedom certificates for themselves and their families to leave.Many Loyalists went to Canada and some went back to their home town in Africa.Some Black loyalists never got a freedom certificates so,they risked their lives and went to Canada as “Black refugees”.Later on they found a tree filled area with a small clearing which is now known as Birch town.Many loyalists couldn’t make a living as farmers so they had to get jobs as maids or cleaners and got paid very little.Later on, they got better jobs such as builders and teachers, and made a decent amount of money.
Interactions with other communities.
Once the Loyalists and Refugees settled in, they started to build shelter called “Pit houses” it was hard to make and took a lot of work, other communities that lived nearby decided to help them. The loyalists and the other communities told stories while they sat together and the other communities taught some loyalists english, sometimes french. Many white people though thought of them as personal workers and not real human beings, they were thought as slaves. Some went so far to change the new law they did a huge rampage for the government to change the law of no more slavery in 1834. Some communities were good friends with the Black loyalists (e.g some Asians) and some people didn’t really agree with the Black loyalists joining them in Canada (e.g some Christians).Manly the Black loyalists were treated as fairly as other communities, most of the communities went as far as helping them cook,clean,farm, or work. many communities had good relationships with the Black Loyalists,some hated them, and some would fight with them mentally and many times physically.
Why did africans make the decision to immigrate to Canada.
Many of the African slaves fought with the british and earned the right of having freedom, they fought for their families right of freedom.a small percentage of people ran away from their homes and sailed to Canada many died in shipwrecks,of starvation,or drowning.Many never fought with the British and escaped from slavery by going in The Underground Railroad which led them to Canada. Some were enslaved and risked their lives and run away to Canada for either reuniting with family,jobs,freedom and more.Many were lucky if they were sold to another person they would try running away Africans who got lucky stayed in safe houses until they were healthy or old enough to leave. A lot of Africans followed the north star and went to north america (Canada).Most refugees would follow someone who would lead them to freedom.
Interaction with British refugees.
When British refugees came to Canada, some Loyalists believed they were British army forces coming to take their earned freedom and enslave them. Many Loyalists were so afraid that they wouldn’t even speak to them, whenever they would see a British refugee they would silently pass them or if they tried to interact with the Africans they would just walk off hoping they won’t follow them. Many Loyalists even tried to attack the British a few times.A few Loyalists and refugees were very upset that British came to Canada.Even some British were unhappy seeing the loyalists and refugees around.Many refugees pulled guns out to British who looked threatening never actually shooting. Most of the time they just avoided the British and only some got into an extreme measure.
How did Africans changed the perspective of slavery.
Refugees and Loyalists told stories about how much force,torture,dehydration, and starvation they encountered/suffered while they were enslaved. Many other communities had the same stories while they were in war,abused and many more problems.They all didn’t have proof but a small percentage did have scars,bruises,wounds.They even had wiping marks,dog bites, and infection from open wounds,sunburns,and a small amount of people even had cancer! Many communities have noticed them and had a new perspective on slavery.Some people were so upset of slavery they helped some slaves run away to Canada.After hearing sadder stories than their own African women decided to make the black cross they were nurses who help and healed wounded African soldiers, a strong alliance.
A Black loyalist fighting with the British (drawing from during the war)
A African family reaching Canada (drawing)
Inside a pit house (inside one of the Birch town's pit houses)