CBC Digital Archives CBC butterfly logo

CBC Archives has a new look: Please go to cbc.ca/archives to access the new site.

The page you are looking at will not be updated.

Black refugees in Ontario

The Story

Prof. Daniel Hill continues in the second of a 1979 four-part series of interviews on black history in Ontario with CBC Radio's Bill McNeil. Hill talks about the community volunteer groups that worked so hard to help black refugees arriving in Ontario on the Underground Railway in the mid-19th century, why Ontario was their main destination, the basis of the black community in Canada and the prosperous black settlement of Buxton near Chatham, Ont.

Medium: Radio
Program: Voice of the Pioneer
Broadcast Date: April 8, 1979
Guest: Daniel Hill
Host: Bill McNeil
Duration: 8:46

Did You know?

• Lt.-Gov. John Graves Simcoe outlawed slavery in Upper Canada in 1793. Although it did not emancipate all slaves, it was nonetheless pioneering legislation that made Upper Canada the first jurisdiction in the British Empire to abolish the practice.

• While the British Parliament banned the trade in slaves in 1807, it was not until 1834 that all slaves in the empire were finally emancipated. Slaves in the U.S. were not fully emancipated until the passage of 13th Amendment to the constitution in 1865, at the conclusion of the Civil War.

• In a report to Abraham Lincoln, Samuel Gridley Howe wrote of the Buxton settlement: "Twenty years ago, most of them where slaves who owned nothing, not even their children. Now they own themselves; they own homes and farms, and they have their wives and children about them. They are enfranchised citizens of a government which protects their rights."




Celebrating Black History more