Governor of Virginia Offered freedom, equality, land & provisions to all enslaved Africans that would take up arms and fight for Britain Those that did fight for Britain were called Black Loyalists
His Proclamation was the first mass emancipation of slaves in American history
To deter slaves from running away, slave owners would beat their runaway slaves and wash their wounds with salt. There was a letter printed in a newspaper claiming that the British were planning on selling slaves to the West Indies sugar plantations. The Virginia Assembly also declared that the penalty for runaway slaves was death, but if they turned themselves in they would pardoned.
The Royal Ethiopian Regiment was the first black fighting unit of the Revolution. They were trained in musket shooting and formation marching They had special uniforms with the insignia “Liberty to Slaves” embroidered on them.
Lord Dunmore’s policy became an economic warfare policy. Plantations were supporting the rebels and as slaves were escaping this was weakening the enemies economy The Patriots also had to use soldiers to guard their plantations, instead of using them for battles Some of the escaped slaves were put to work on captured plantations to grow food for the British.
Sir Henry Clinton issued the Philipsburg Proclamation in 1779 It expanded Dunmore’s Proclamation. It stated that any runaway slave, from any colony, would be issued their freedom, whether they fought for Britain or not. Clinton issued the Black Pioneers to be formed.
In 1779, the British formed 2 military groups: 1. The Black Pioneers 2. The Black Cavalry Troop The Guides and The Black Brigade formed later
They served as scouts, raiders and military engineers. They dug fortifications, built huts and accommodations The Black Brigade were guerillas that conducted raids, stole supplies and assassinated Patriots across New Jersey. Their leader was Colonel Tye
Born a slave His birth name was Titus Was one of the original leaders of the Ethiopian Regiment He was the most feared Loyalist in New Jersey He was the most effective and respected black soldier of the American Revolution Tye died of a muskeet shot to the wrist
Congress issued a lottery-based draft law that increased Black soldiers in their army It stated that free males, between 16 and 50 years of age were to be enrolled into militias & military companies
When the American victory became certain, thousands of people of African descent, free and enslaved, made their way to one of the last British strongholds, New York.
Agreements were made between: 1. Sir Guy Carleton ( The British Commander) & 2. George Washington (The new President of the USA)
The agreement they made was to allow those enslaved and free people, who joined the British before 1779, to be removed to British owned territories. Others who joined after 1779, were given back to their owners or sold to the West Indies
When the war ended the Treaty of Paris was being drafted, all blacks leaving New York were issued certificates of freedom. Their names were also recorded in a log book known as Carleton’s Book of Negroes
The Black Loyalists were offered the same as the White Loyalists: Freedom, equality, land & provisions for 3 years. They arrived in the Maritimes between 1783 and 1785. White Loyalists also came to the Maritimes and brought their slaves with them
Shelburne (Port Roseway) Birchtown Preston Halifax Brindley Town Tracadie Annapolis Weymouth Sydney Area Lincolnville Memorial in Tracadie
Approximately 40,000 new people arrived in Nova Scotia, which tripled the population. 3,500 were Free Black Loyalists 1,500 were slaves, & indentured servants of White Loyalists Majority settled in Shelburne County (1,500) Indentured servants and slaves settled in Shelburne. Free blacks settled in Birchtown
Birchtown was settled in 1783 by the Stephen Blucke, commander of the Black Pioneers Blucke was ordered to organize the clearing and construction of Shelburne and to settle the Black Loyalists in Birchtown 1,200 Black Loyalists settled there.
They called their settlement Birchtown after Samuel Birch, the commander in New York who signed their freedom certificates Birchtown, at its peak, was the largest free Black community in the world, outside of Africa One of the certificates of freedom signed by Samuel Birch
The land they received was rocky, infertile and was covered with thick forests. Most of the white loyalists were town merchants and never cleared land before. The Black Pioneers had experience in clearing land and cutting down trees; therefore, most of the brute labour was left up to them.
The Black Loyalists were the last to receive land Many did not receive town lots Many could not afford to have their land surveyed and therefore, could not build on it. They did not receive the proper tools to clear their land or to build shelters. Their settlements were in isolated communities that were far from main towns.
Log cabins were the most common shelters, but you needed time & $ to build them Black settlers could not afford them, as they had to contribute 3 days of work per week in order to receive rations. Birchtown became known as “the land of huts” because not many foundations were built
Most of the Black Loyalists were from the Southern parts of the USA and were not familiar with harsh winters They did not know how to build shelters to combat the winter months They had simple huts, with wicker walls and birch bark for roofs In 1787, many white loyalists were leaving the area and abandoning their homes. The magistrate seized the homes for not paying taxes and tore them down instead of letting of the black settlers move in.
In most jobs, blacks only received about a ¼ of the wages a white man would receive. Blacks were considered valuable employees because many of them were skilled tradesmen, who would accept lower wages to get a job. White employers could easily exploit them as the law did not protect them The fishing industry was the most attractive career for blacks because it was the one job where they were paid the same was whites.
Another name for Shelburne was Blacktown Blacks were denied the right to vote or have a trial by jury Blacks were given harsh punishments for small crimes. For example, a man was sentenced to have 350 lashes for stealing a few small items. Another man was whipped all over town (20 lashes at 5 stops) and sentenced to 5 years of indentured servitude Banishment and forced labour were common punishments One man was sentenced to force labour for “eyeing a man’s potato patch too hungrily”
They were banned from dances and gambling Offenders were convicted and thrown in jail They were eventually banned from any non- religious gatherings Repeat offenders had their homes seized White Loyalists blamed Black Loyalists from taking jobs away from them by accepting lower wages. They were angry about not getting their land surveyed in the time promised to them Racial tensions arose
David George was the leading Baptist minister among blacks He is known as the founding father of the Baptist church in the Maritimes. He started to baptize whites, which outraged the whites A white mob went to David George’s the next day and tied ropes to the house and pulled the house down. They then did the same to his followers’ homes They destroyed the black homes and beat them out of town Many blacks fled to Birchtown, leaving all their belongings behind
David George hid in a swamp, but was found and beaten. He eventually fled to Birchtown. The white mob wanted to hang Marston, the man responsible for land distribution, but he was warned and fled. The population of Birchtown doubled. The mob still attacked black travelers the next month until Halifax sent in troops to restore order
This was known as North America’s 1 st race riot
In 1789, there was a wide-spread famine in North America that was caused by a series of harsh winters and poor harvests. Many still did not receive their land, and those that did, received infertile land. Blacks suffered the most, as they were the last to get aid.
Nova Scotia earned the nickname Nova Scarcity because the population tripled with the arrival of the loyalists & the British stopped supporting them which caused extreme poverty in the province. Most of the White Loyalists left Nova Scotia to return to the USA The Black Loyalists did not have that option; if they left they risked being put into slavery or facing death. The Blacks became dependent on charity, as their white employers left taking jobs away and they still did not receive suitable farmland
Many turned to theft to prevent starvation, but the punishments were harsh: - Many were whipped severely - One woman was executed for stealing a bag of potatoes in Halifax - Alicia Wiggins was also executed for stealing a used dress, despite the fact that she was pregnant - Many faced fines that they could not afford which turned them into indentured servants.
Many blacks became sharecroppers. This was when they would work on a white man’s land and give him ½ their crops The sharecropper would have to save seed for next season’s crop This made them stay in constant debt. The white land owners would give the black sharecroppers land that was not cleared. Once the blacks made the land into suitable farm land, the white land owners would move them to another part of their land that was not cleared.
Often blacks became indentured servants to pay off debts. Most were tricked into longer contracts, as they could not read or write. Parents who couldn’t support their children, would often indenture them, so they could learn a trade. Some masters would sell their servants as slaves to outsiders of NS Some blacks were kidnapped and sold off to the West Indies
Many blacks decided that Canada was not the Promise Land they thought. Thomas Peters was selected to go to London, England with a petition of grievances While in England he met with the Sierra Leone Company
The Sierra Leone Company was formed by a group of abolitionists, who wanted to help the homeless blacks of London They were looking for free blacks to relocate to Sierra Leone, Africa
The company sent John Clarkson, an agent, to Nova Scotia in 1791 to recruit free, Christian blacks Blacks were promised free passage and were granted land when they arrived in SL. They planned for 500 to go, but 1100 signed up He appointed David George, Thomas Peters and John Ball to act as his deputies. Clarkson recorded many of the Black Loyalists stories in his journal
1,190 Black Loyalists left Nova Scotia in 1792 and sailed to Sierra Leone, Africa.
She was born a slave to a Patriot She soon escaped and joined the British She was given her certificate of freedom Her certificate was taken from her, by someone who claimed to want to see her papers She then went to work as a servant to Jesse Gray Jesse sold her to his brother, but bought her back when he left for NS. She thought that he was going to sell her in NS, so took her children and ran She was found in Birchtown and was taken to court She found 2 witnesses that stated she did build forts for the British As they testified for her, whites were burning their homes, and one of their children was murdered Gray testified he just lost his bill of sale for her. It was considered that Gray proved his ownership and he sold Mary. He also sold one of her daughters and kept another one as his slave.
Arrived in Annapolis at the age of 10 She established herself as a baggage carrier She would meet ships at the port and transport their bags in her wheelbarrow She also woke people up in their Inns so they could depart in time She then became the police department for Annapolis, keeping the wharf under control. She is considered Canada’s 1 st female police officer
She was from South Carolina was recorded in the Book of Negroes She settled with her husband in Guyborough County. Soon later, her husband left her. Henry Hedley offered her to with him to be a companion for his wife. After 1 week, he charged her room & board, which she could not afford. She agreed to become indentured to him for 1 year to pay off her debt. Lydia could not read and write and Henry tricked her by getting her to sign a contract for 39 years. He then sold her Dr. Bolman of Lunenburg, who was a very cruel master While she was in her last month of pregnancy, Bolman pushed her to the ground and stomped on her stomach After 3 years with him, she escaped to Halifax where she met John Clarkson Clarkson recorded her story in his journal Lydia left for Sierra Leone in 1792 John Clarkson’s journal entry that tells Lydia’s story