What Did The Bow Tie Mean For The Underground Railroad? (Suits you)

A “bowtie” pattern instructed slaves to dress up in fine clothes — usually provided by people in safe houses along the railroad — so they could pass as free blacks in the city. The squiggly “X” pattern was an instruction not to travel in a straight line, where it would be easier to get caught.

What does the bow tie quilt represent?

BOWTIE QUILT PATTERN. Some feel this quilt symbol was a signal to the escaping slaves to dress up. Freed blacks and others would meet escaping slaves and give them fresh, new clothing, so that they could blend in with the other black people living in the area.

What is the Underground Railroad quilt code?

A quilting pattern often overlooked in today’s society is the Underground Railroad quilt code. Used during the time of abolition and the Civil War, this visual code sewn into the pattern of quilts readied slaves for their upcoming escape and provided them directions when they were on their way to freedom.

What does the Log Cabin mean in the Underground Railroad?

A Log Cabin quilt hanging in a window with a black center for the chimney hole was said to indicate a safe house. Underground Railroad quilts, a variation of Jacob’s Ladder, were said to give cues as to the safe path to freedom.

What does the flying geese quilt pattern mean?

Flying Geese: A signal to follow the direction of the flying geese as they migrated north in the spring. Most slaves escaped during the spring; along the way, the flying geese could be used as a guide to find water, food and places to rest.

What is the message behind the Monkey Wrench quilt square?

Monkey Wrench: A signal to gather all the tools required for the fleeing slave’s journey, meaning the physical tools, as well as the mental and spiritual ones.

How old is the bow tie quilt pattern?

The Bow Tie was rarely used by Amish, but some rare examples of their use do exist. The pattern dates to the 1880s and was first published by the Ladies Arts Company in 1895. Like so many quilt patterns, it had other names: Colonial Bow Tie, Peekhole, True Lovers’ Knot, Dumbbell.

What did slaves use quilts for?

When slaves made their escape, they used their memory of the quilts as a mnemonic device to guide them safely along their journey, according to McDaniel.

What did slaves use as a compass?

Night sky illustration of the Big Dipper, or Drinking Gourd, in relation to the North Star and Little Dipper. As slave lore tells it, the North Star played a key role in helping slaves to find their way—a beacon to true north and freedom.

How many trips did Harriet Tubman make during the Underground Railroad?

Harriet Tubman is perhaps the most well-known of all the Underground Railroad’s “conductors.” During a ten-year span she made 19 trips into the South and escorted over 300 slaves to freedom. And, as she once proudly pointed out to Frederick Douglass, in all of her journeys she “never lost a single passenger.”

What was a symbol for freedom for runaway slaves?

Nash, a professor of history at the University of California at Los Angeles, who pointed out that it was abolitionists who made the Liberty Bell a symbol of the nation’s freedom.

What is a freedom quilt?

It is believed that quilts were designed and used to communicate information to African slaves about how to escape to freedom using the Underground Railroad. Slaves named these quilts… Freedom Quilts.

What were some signals on the Underground Railroad?

Certain Songs were sung as symbols of Underground Railway members. “All Clear” was conveyed in safe houses using a lighted lantern in a certain place as this symbol. Knocks on doors used a coded series of taps as symbols of identity. Certain items, such as a quilt, were hung on a clothesline.

How do you cut flying geese quilt blocks?

Basic Flying Geese – Produces 1 Block

  1. On the wrong side of 2 dark 3 ½” squares, draw a guideline from corner to corner.
  2. Place 1 dark square right side down on a light 3 ½” x 6 ½” rectangle. Sew along the guideline. Using a rotary cutter and ruler, trim ¼” from the seam.
  3. Repeat step 2 with the other 3 ½” dark square.

Why do geese fly together in AV formation?

First, it conserves their energy. Each bird flies slightly above the bird in front of them, resulting in a reduction of wind resistance. The birds take turns being in the front, falling back when they get tired. The second benefit to the V formation is that it is easy to keep track of every bird in the group.

How do you press flying geese?

Press open the red triangles on each half square gray unit.

  1. Take a H beige small square and align on the corner of your red half square.
  2. Stitch on the two dotted lines beginning on the corner.
  3. Cut on full line.
  4. Makes two flying geese rectangles.
  5. Press open the beige triangle on each unit.

Pathways to Freedom

Follow the Drinking Gourd Music The Language of Quilts Language of the Railroad Teacher Tips

Abolitionist Movement primary sources; Underground Railroad primary sources; Underground Railroad sites may be found on the Iowa Culture mobile app; John Brown Freedom Trail 1859; Abolitionist Movement primary sources; Underground Railroad primary sources; Abolitionist Movement primary sources

This is a bible quilt that Harriett Powers createdHarriet Powers was a slave who made beautiful and important quilts. She was born in 1837 in the state of Georgia. Today, you can see two of her quilts on display at great American museums. They are the Smithsonian Institution and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. These quilts are more than a hundred years old.Quilters have long honored Harriet Powers for her work.Many have copied her style to create quilts of their own.This quilt is one of them.It includes a portrait in cloth symbols of Harriet Powers herself.Harriet Powers: A Darling Offspring of Her Brain,
Quilts had many layers of fabric.To join them all together, people used to sew a string through all the layers and tie it off with knots.Tobin and Dobard found some quilts that had unusual knot patterns.To make a quilt secure, people used one or two knots.Yet some of the quilts the two researchers found had knots that were tied as many as five times — much more than would be needed to keep the quilt together.As they thought about this, they realized that the knots might have been a way of telling escaping slaves a pattern of travel between safe houses or hiding places.The more knots, the greater the distance, they thought. This method of knotting also had roots in the belief systems of the Ibo people in Africa.In that culture, people tied five knots in a piece of cloth to ask for protection from the spirits around them.Tobin and Dobard also knew that Africans who were brought into this country grew up with coded information all around them.They were used to seeing the symbolism in many different objects.For example, the quilt pattern called Bowtie looks like an “X” on its side.This X-shaped symbol was very common in African culture.Some feel this quilt symbol was a signal to the escaping slaves to dress up.Free blacks and others would meet escaping slaves and give them fresh, new clothing, so that they could blend in with the other black people living in the area.Some people question whether quilts were actually used as a form of secret communication.They say that there is little in writing or oral reports that says this is true.However, others, such as Tobin and Dobard, think otherwise. After all, they say, the Underground Railroad was built on secrecy.No one would have written down information like this, or told too many others.If the secrets were well known, lives would be at stake.What do you think?Make your own Secret Quilt Message »

Breaking down quilt ‘slavery codes’

HomeGarden | The Sun In his Wheaton, Maryland, home, author Raymond Dobard displays a quilt made by Ozella McDaniel. Dobard’s book, “Hidden in Plain View: A Secret Story of Quilts and the Underground Railroad,” examines how different quilt patterns were allegedly used to aid slaves in their escape plans from the plantation. Photograph by Kristen E. Conway of the SHNS In 1999, the novel “Hidden in Plain View” was released to critical acclaim. Jacqueline Tobin and Raymond Dobard told the story of a Charleston, South Carolina, woman’s family legend concerning slaves in South Carolina who wove codes into quilt patterns in order to aid others attempting to elude capture on the Underground Railroad.

  1. In recognition of Black History Month, the episode was recently repeated on television.
  2. Her thoughts on the subject: “It’s exciting to ponder about the possibilities.” The Civil War and the suffering of slavery are at the heart of what we’re talking about in the end.
  3. As an example, consider the following code: “By turning the wagon wheel in the direction of Canada, the bear’s paw track brings the team to the crossroads.
  4. Shoofly instructed them to dress in cotton and satin bow ties and travel to the cathedral church where they would be wedded and exchange double wedding rings.
  5. The wagon wheel design signaled that slaves should begin packing, as if they were about to embark on a journey in a wagon of their own.
  6. The crossroads motif, which was denoted by a “X” through the square, was intended to be a nod to Cleveland.
  7. Shoofly was a design that alluded to an African American tradition in which individuals would scatter in separate directions before reuniting at a central location.
  8. The double wedding ring pattern as we know it now did not exist in the antebellum south.
  9. It’s possible that the flying geese, a pattern of triangles pointing in different directions, was a reference to springtime, the time of year when geese flew back north, as the optimum time to flee.
  10. The squiggly “X” design served as a warning not to go in a straight path, where it would be more difficult to avoid being apprehended.
  11. The north star pattern served as a navigational aid, instructing people to proceed in the direction of Canada and freedom.

“Tumbling blocks” was the design of the final quilt to be draped; this signified that it was now time to say goodbye. The blocks represented the arranging of packed boxes in preparation for a voyage.

‘The Underground Railroad’ is a Masterpiece—Which is Why You Shouldn’t Binge It

I shared my surprise and delight on Twitter a few days ago when I learned that the legendary Barry Jenkins had created a show that we could just turn on the television and watch. There is no need to purchase a ticket. There will be no waiting in line. There will be no waiting for weeks or months before it ever makes it to a theater in Baltimore. What an exciting moment to be living, to be sure. For those who are unfamiliar with Jenkins’ work, he is the director of Moonlight and If Beale Street Could Talk (andMedicine for Melancholybefore that).

  • On television, it’s not uncommon for a famous filmmaker to “direct” one episode or two and then step back and allow other directors manage the rest of the show’s production.
  • Jenkins directed all 10 episodes of the show, which was clearly a labor of passion for him.
  • It was conceivable to binge.
  • But I’m here to tell you not to make the same mistake I did.
  • It’s also a really intense experience.
  • Jenkins has indicated that he was well aware that he was running the risk of slipping into that trap when he adapted the novel, yet he felt compelled to do so.
  • Of course, he placed his faith in himself, as he should have.
  • He also has the ability to discern when to watch and when to look away from a film because of his filmmaking abilities.
  • In that sense, it is diametrically opposed to exploitation.
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Throughout the novel, the story follows the saga of Cora (the remarkable Thuso Mbedu), who begins her life as a slave on a Georgia plantation and eventually manages to escape via an underground train (the novel’s conceit is that the Underground Railroad was actually an underground train), all while being pursued by a complex, tortured, and ultimately malicious slave catcher named Ridgeway (Joel Edgerton, incredible here).

  1. A weird and interesting character in the picture is Homer (Chase Dillon), Ridgeway’s grim-faced, pint-sized sidekick.
  2. Homer’s age is never specified, however he looks to be between 9 and 10 years old.
  3. He’s very solemn and motionless for a youngster of his age, which is unusual for him.
  4. It’s more like being an employee.
  5. (One thing the series implies is that there are some individuals who are simply drawn to violence—Ridgeway is unquestionably one of them.
  6. Cora is able to escape with her ardent, optimistic lover Caesar (Aaron Pierre), who has surreptitiously taught himself to read and write, in violation of the plantation’s restrictions, and the two of them end up in South Carolina.
  7. As the second episode begins, it appears that they have discovered a sort of paradise—there are English courses and lavish parties, and Cora is free to wander the streets in her most recent finery—but this is only the beginning.

In one instance, the series emphasizes the fact that black people can never rely on white people to provide them with their independence.

There is no break in the action of the series.

It’s upsetting to witness someone we’ve grown to care about being dehumanized in this manner.

To understand Cora’s plight and the depravity of those who attempt to enslave and torment her, we must feel the entire extent of her suffering.

As a spectator, it’s critical to be there for Cora’s experiences, both positive and (for the most part) negative.

Take it all in.

Additionally, we must recognize and appreciate the artistic brilliance of Jenkins’ vision.

So, by all means, watch The Underground Railroad right away. However, you should take a few days break between episodes. Jenkins, as well as Cora, have earned it.

Dan Haar: Meet the ‘precocious’ CT sixth-grader with a breakout role in

Chase W. Dillon was only nine years old when he landed the job of a lifetime in Hollywood, as the studious sidekick to a vicious slave-catcher in the pre-Civil War South — who was actually a slave owned by his white owner — in the film The Slavecatcher. Chase was ten years old when the film “The Underground Railroad” was made. The film was written and directed by Barry Jenkins, who won the Academy Award for Moonlight. Despite being just 11, the Soxth grader who lives in the Hartford region is receiving positive reviews and speculation in the entertainment industry about his being nominated for an Emmy for his performance in the Amazon Prime limited series, which premiered Friday.

In addition to being one of the most prominent actors in a 10-part epic directed by one of the most exciting directors working today, he is also a young Black man coming of age in the George Floyd, Black Lives Matter era, with his own personal experience of racism, who is playing one of the more complex roles in a production that exposes the most brutal chapter in American racial history, “The Help.” Chase Dillon and his family, however, are not overwhelmed when they are introduced to one another on a crowded playground on a May afternoon after lessons in his Catholic parochial school.

  • Chase’s calm, outgoing personality, his adult-like comprehension of the importance of what he’s doing, and his matter-of-fact confidence in the direction his career is headed were exactly the characteristics Jenkins was looking for when he chose him as a candidate for the position.
  • “When I read the script, I had the distinct impression that it was me.
  • “I was confident in my ability to deliver it.” His mother, Metashar Dillon, a business consultant and businesswoman who is also a food security campaigner and a previous owner of hair salons (some of which were in New Haven), told me while we were discussing how Chase got the position.
  • The charity and entrepreneurial endeavors he and his parents are involved in include Kingdom International Economic Development Corporation, which operates food drives in New Britain and New Haven, as well as the TIGRE entertainment company.
  • “I’m in charge of the acting and singing instruction.”

‘A haunting, precocious performance’

With a mix of historical fiction and fantasy — there is a genuine subterranean railroad, faithful to the 2016 novel by Colson Whitehead, which received the Pulitzer Prize for literature — “The Underground Railroad,” which is part historical fiction and half fantasy, hits a personal chord with Chase. It was via his father, Wesley Dillon, that the family’s history was traced back to the Republic of Cameroon in West Africa, and subsequently to slavery in the United States. “As I worked on ‘The Underground Railroad,’ I learned more about the history of my own society,” Chase explained.

The plot of the film follows a slave named Cora, who is played by South African actress Thuso Mbedu, as she escapes from a Georgia farm and makes her way toward freedom.

See also:  What Do Agents Do For Underground Railroad? (Suits you)

Jenkins creates a lot of suspense in a short amount of time.

It’s like I’m showing you his heart in small pieces, you know?” A Time Magazine writer praised Chase W.

Dillon’s portrayal as Homer as “a spooky, precocious performance,” and said he was “the show’s most mysterious figure.” Others have praised him for his performance, calling it ” amazing,” ” mature,” ” intriguing,” and ” a standout.”

A voice in racial justice

During our conversation, Chase, clad in a dark suit and black crew-neck shirt as we speak, outlines how he envisions “The Underground Railroad” starting racial justice in the same manner that “Roots” started cultural history decades before. “I believe that the tale of Black history, as well as the story of what is happening right now, will spread like wildfire throughout the world. “And I believe it will cause everyone to open their eyes,” he stated emphatically. The greater picture isn’t visible to certain people since their eyes are closed.

He’s been singled out, either because of his modest stature, or perhaps because of his acting accomplishments.

“I’ve also been referred to as a racist slur.” “I now have the ability to inform others about it and to be a voice for them,” he explained.

Launched by a dream

Chase, who is dressed in a black suit and a black crew-neck shirt as we speak, says how he envisions “The Underground Railroad” kindling racial justice in the same way that “Roots” began cultural history decades ago in the same manner that “I believe that the tale of Black history, as well as the story of what is happening right now, will spread like wildfire throughout the world.” “And I believe it will cause everyone to open their eyes,” he added of the event.

  • “Some folks have their eyes closed, and they aren’t seeing the larger picture.
  • One aspect of this is his own education, which he received in primarily white environments.
  • A child approached one of Chase’s Black friends at school and told him to “stop struggling, stop resisting, put your hands up,” Chase recounted.
  • I’ve also been called derogatory names because of my race.

‘Nicest director I’ve ever met’

They all had a great time while filming “The Underground Railroad” in Georgia, where Amazon Productions rented a house for the family for many months, including both parents and Chase’s twin brothers, Cyrus and Darius, who are now five years old. Chase has an older brother who is now an adult, as well as a sister who is now enrolled in medical school. In the words of Metashar Dillon, “Mr Barry Jenkins made certain that families were taken care of.” With a trap door in the historic house, Chase, who was accompanied on the set by a tutor for his schoolwork, marveled that they were filming “The Underground Railroad” while “staying in a place where slaves used to hide away.” Brad Pitt serves as executive producer for the film.

He was really polite on set, and he clearly cared for his actors.” “As well as his staff,” Metashar Dillon continued.

Chase’s character exhibits expressive glares and looks, as well as a particular body language, which he claims Jenkins moulded but did not command on the set of the film. In the event that I needed to put something in, I just asked him, ‘Hey, can I do this?’ “Can I go ahead and do that?”

‘It’s recess for me’

Chase had a good feeling about winning the job after his reading when his agency phoned him right away to tell him that the casting directors were gushing about him. Chase recalled how he shouted his lungs out when Jenkins contacted Metashar’s cell phone to inform him that Chase had landed the part months later. “Don’t scream right now, we’ve got a lot of work to do,” Jenkins instructed him over the phone, according to the mother and son. Chase intends to pursue a career in acting, writing, producing, and directing for the rest of his life, in addition to pursuing a medical degree.

  • For the record, I don’t think I’ll ever get weary of acting, to be really honest with you.
  • He doesn’t identify names, but when I question him, he admits that he has spoken with actors such as Will Smith about the industry.
  • The opportunity appealed to Chase because “I’m an extremely nice and gregarious person.” “I believe that if something happens, it happens.
  • Nonetheless, I’m not in the mindset of “Oh my God, this has to happen.” [email protected]

Our Cause

MyNiceTie’s fundamental aim has always been to enhance the lives of individuals while also making the world a better place. In our project toWise Up, Suit Up, and Stand Up, we hope to encourage men of all ages and backgrounds to begin on their own journey of self discovery (wisdom up), get their own lives in order (suit up), and join the ranks of men working to effect significant change in the world (stand up) (stand up). The phrase “stand up” perfectly reflects the core of our mission. Every individual’s experience of standing up will be unique, and we encourage men to look for groups, individuals, and causes to support.

The organizations we chose are those whose ideals are consistent with our goal.

Stand with KIVA

MyNiceTie’s involvement with KIVA dates back to the inception of our firm. Ben Buie, the creator of Tom’s Shoes, was inspired by the pioneering work of the company and realized that his business model needed to encompass more than simply the merchant and the consumer. He wished to aid individuals who were suffering from poverty, particularly those who were prepared to work and determined to improve their circumstances. In order to do this, MyNiceTie has financed 20% of our earnings to businesses in developing nations at a rate of 0% interest for the past 14 years.

As a pioneering microfinance organization, KIVA links individuals (as well as businesses) with regular people who are in need of loans.

Some are peanut manufacturers who require as little as $25 to purchase the equipment they require to become profitable.

Meet some of the people who have benefited from MyNiceTie thus far. We “stand up” by sacrificing a portion of our profits until the loans are repaid, and businesses in developing nations are provided an opportunity that would otherwise be unavailable.

Stand with Other Nonprofits

MyNiceTie launched a fundraising campaign to benefit Operation Underground Railroad in 2020. (O.U.R.). In order to combat child sex trafficking, O.U.R. has assembled a team of former law enforcement officers, members of the military forces, and agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. They collaborate with local law enforcement to design operations to infiltrate sex trafficking organizations, collect victims, apprehend criminals, and rehabilitate victims. They also provide training to local law enforcement.

  • is supported by donations from people and businesses such as MyNiceTie.
  • The members of O.U.R.
  • We are happy to be able to make a contribution to their efforts.
  • tie now and show your support!

Other Nonprofits

If you are aware of a charitable organization that shares the same ideals as MyNiceTie, we would be delighted to host a fundraiser for them using some of our gorgeous ties. You may get out to us by email at MyNiceTie.com or through social media.


You may help MyNiceTie collect money for a good cause by referring us to an organization that shares our beliefs. We’d love to host a fundraiser for them using some of our gorgeous ties. Alternatively, you may reach out to us at MyNiceTie.com or through social media platforms.

To Canada and Back Again: Immigration from the United States on the Underground Railroad (1840-1860)

The MA Public History Program at Western University students created this video.

Fugitive or Free?

Prior to 1850, runaway slaves who managed to make their way from the southern United States to the northern states were regarded to have gained their freedom. However, with the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850, the northern states were no longer considered a safe haven for fugitive slaves. Slavecatchers may be able to apprehend and return escaped slaves to their respective masters. In addition, anyone who had escaped slavery by emigrating to a free state years previously may be deported back to servitude under certain circumstances.

The same threat existed for all free blacks, regardless of race.

Once they had crossed into Upper Canada, all men, women, and children were free to go wherever they wanted.

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LC-USZC4-4550 is the Library of Congress’s catalog number for this item.

The Underground Railroad

In the United States, the Underground Railroad was a network of safe houses operated by abolitionists in both free and slave states, as well as Canada and the United Kingdom. Slavery was abolished because of the efforts of those who assisted slaves on their way to freedom – free blacks, Quakers, and other campaigners – who risked their lives fighting against it.

Despite the fact that there was never a true railroad, safehouses were referred to as stations, and those who lived in them were referred to as stationmasters. Those who guided fleeing slaves on their way to freedom were referred to as conductors.

New Land, New Life

In Canada West (previously Upper Canada), black males were granted the ability to own property and vote if they satisfied certain qualifications regarding ownership of property. It was possible for all black people to make a living, get married, and establish a family. Building a new life in Canada was made possible thanks to the help of the Canadian government and abolitionist organisations in both Canada and the United States of America. Refugees were permitted to purchase land at a discounted cost, and educational subsidies were made available to them.

Did You Know?

The province of Upper Canada was renamed Canada West in 1841, and now it is a component of the modern-day Canadian province of Ontario.


When escaped slaves first arrived in Canada West, the vast majority of them chose to live near the United States border. Because of this, they were able to remain closer to family relatives who were distributed around the United States. During this time period, white folks acted in a largely neutral manner toward them. When fugitive slaves began to arrive in greater numbers in the United States around 1840, white residents began to feel threatened. Some people were concerned that these escaped slaves would be unable to work and would be forced to rely on government help instead.

The petition was eventually signed by over 100,000 people.

Creating Community

Black immigrants settled in a variety of towns and communities, including Hamilton, St. Catharine’s, Windsor, and Toronto, as well as other locations. The Chatham-Kent region of Canada West has the highest population of black immigrants and refugees, according to the United Nations High Commission on Refugees. In the 1820s, a handful of all-black towns were formed in the United States. William Wilberforce, a former slave who created Wilberforce, was the world’s first community of this type. The Dawn Settlement was established in 1834 by escaped slave Josiah Henson.

  1. Later, the towns of Wilberforce and the Dawn Settlement were either abandoned or incorporated into other cities.
  2. The Buxton Mission is still in operation today in the town of North Buxton, Ontario.
  3. Some claimed it was the most effective means of protecting oneself, while others were concerned that it was contributing to the continuation of inequality.
  4. Elgin Settlement, located in what is now Chatham, Ontario, was established in 1849.

The Elgin Settlement as seen on a map from 1860. William King collection/e000755345, courtesy of Library and Archives Canada.

Josiah Henson

Black immigrants settled in a variety of towns and communities, including Hamilton, St. Catharine’s, Windsor, and Toronto, as well as other cities. The Chatham-Kent region of Canada West was home to the highest number of black immigrants and refugees. In the 1820s, a number of all-black towns were formed around the United States. Wilberforce, created by former slave James C. Brown, was the world’s first colony of this type. The Dawn Settlement was founded in 1834 by escaped slave Josiah Henson.

  1. Later, the towns of Wilberforce and the Dawn Settlement were either abandoned or acquired by neighboring communities.
  2. It is still possible to visit the Buxton Mission in North Buxton, Ontario.
  3. Those who supported it felt it was the most effective means of protecting themselves, while those who opposed it claimed it was perpetuating inequality.
  4. Located in what is now Chatham, Ontario, Elgin Settlement first opened its doors to residents in 1849.
  5. This is an 18th-century map of the Elgin Settlement.

Making Their Mark

Wherever they landed across Canada, black immigrants who arrived to the country via the Underground Railroad made significant contributions to the well-being of their respective communities. Many of them went on to become farmers, raising crops such as wheat, peas, tobacco, and hemp. Others were experienced tradespeople who worked as blacksmiths, shoemakers, and wagon makers, among other things. The majority of black women, like their white counterparts, did not have jobs outside the house. They cared for their children or earned a living as seamstresses and washerwomen in the factories.


Mrs. Mary Ann Shadd Cary (1823-1893), the daughter of an Underground Railroad “station master,” was an abolitionist pioneer and advocate for black refugees who came to Canada during the American Civil War. C-029977 is the number assigned by Library and Archives Canada. A number of publications were established in order to raise awareness of the opportunities available to black people in Canada, to disseminate news, and to advocate for the abolition of slavery. One of the early black newspapers in Canada, The Voice of the Fugitive was established in Sandwich, Canada West, in 1851 and was one of the country’s first black publications.

Following that, Mary Ann Shadd Cary started another newspaper, the Provincial Freeman, which she published until her death.

Shadd Cary was the first black woman to be elected to political office in the United States.

The Voice of the Fugitive was one of the first periodicals in Canada West to be published in order to raise awareness of the possibilities and services available to African-Americans. Amistad Research Center/American Missionary Association Archives ama0015 (Voice of the Fugitive, 1851).

Did You Know?

Mrs. Mary Ann Shadd Cary (1823-1893), the daughter of an Underground Railroad “station master,” was an abolitionist pioneer and advocate for black refugees who fled to Canada during the American Civil War. A copy of the C-029977 is available at Library and Archives Canada. Many publications were established in order to raise awareness of the opportunities available to black people in Canada, to disseminate news, and to advocate for the end of slavery, among other purposes. One of the oldest black journals in Canada, The Voice of the Fugitive was established in Sandwich, Canada West, in 1851 and was one of the country’s first.

Mary Ann Shadd Cary went on to start a second newspaper, the Provincial Freeman, a few years later.

Shadd Cary was the daughter of Abraham Shadd, who was the first black man elected to political office in Canada.

A publication called Voice of the Fugitive was one of the first to be published in Canada West to raise awareness of the possibilities and resources available to African-Americans.


While on the surface, life looked to be far better in Canada, this newfound independence had its limitations. Despite the fact that slaves were granted freedom in Canada, they were nevertheless subjected to racism, persecution, and discrimination. Blacks were pushed away from Canada as a result of these beliefs, while other circumstances drew them back towards the United States over time. The passage of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, which ended slavery, resulted in a significant improvement in the conditions of black people in the United States.

Those who remained in Canada continued to make contributions to their communities, and over time, they were successful in breaking down many racial barriers.


Upper Canada’s John Graves Simcoe signs the Act Against Slavery into law in the year 1793. The British Emancipation Act of 1834 formally abolishes the system of slavery across the British Empire, with the exception of the colonies. The Dawn Settlement is established near Dresden, Canada West, in the year 1842. The Elgin Settlement, Canada West, is established in 1849. The Fugitive Slave Act is passed in the United States of America in 1850. Sandwich, Canada West, is the site of the inaugural publication of The Voice of the Fugitive newspaper in 1851.

Henry W.

The American Civil War began in 1861.

The American Civil War comes to a conclusion in 1865. Josiah Henson passes away in Dresden, Ontario, in the year 1883. – In Washington, D.C., Mary Ann Shadd Cary succumbs to her injuries. What If I Told You?

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