Fugitive Slave Movement National Historic Event

Windsor, Ontario
John Anderson, the fugitive slave in Canada, 1861 © Forbes / Musée McCord Museum / M994X.5.185
Fugitive slave John Anderson, 1861
© Forbes / Musée McCord Museum / M994X.5.185
Poster for a talk on fugitive slaves in Canada © Library and Archives Canada | Bibliothèque et Archives CanadaJohn Anderson, the fugitive slave in Canada, 1861 © Forbes / Musée McCord Museum / M994X.5.185
Address : Windsor, Ontario

Recognition Statute: Historic Sites and Monuments Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. H-4)
Designation Date: 1925-05-15

Other Name(s):
  • Fugitive Slave Movement  (Designation Name)

Importance: Canada as a haven for refugee slaves, 1850-65

Plaque(s)


Existing plaque:  Windsor, Ontario

From early in the 19th century, and particularly after the passage of the American Fugitives Slave Law in 1850, the towns along the Detroit River served as major terminals of the network of routes by which thousands of slaves reached Canada. Once in Canada the fugitives were often aided by philanthropic societies and individuals in securing land, employment and the necessaries of life. In some cases separate colonies were established for former slaves. By 1861 an estimated 30,000 fugitive blacks resided in Canada West, but more than a half of them returned to the United States following emancipation.