Black Militia Units in Upper Canada, 1812-1850 National Historic Event

Queenston, Ontario
The Battle of Queenston Heights, 13 October 1812, during which Black militiamen played a role as infantry. (© Library and Archives Canada / Bibliothèque et Archives Canada, C-000276.)
The Battle of Queenston Heights, 13 October 1812.
(© Library and Archives Canada / Bibliothèque et Archives Canada, C-000276.)
Address : 14184 Niagara Parkway, Queenston Heights National Historic Site of Canada, Queenston, Ontario

Recognition Statute: Historic Sites and Monuments Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. H-4)
Designation Date: 2014-07-07
Dates:
  • 1812 to 1815 (Significant)
  • 1837 to 1850 (Established)

Other Name(s):
  • Black Militia Units in Upper Canada, 1812-1850  (Designation Name)
Research Report Number: 2010-28, 2011-31, 2011-48

Importance: A step towards the acceptance of Black people to share in the duties and rights of British subjects

Plaque(s)


Through their service in the militia, Upper Canadians of African descent showed their determination to share in the duties and rights of British subjects. During the War of 1812, many served in regular units or joined the segregated Colored Corps, which worked on fortifications and fought at Queenston Heights and other battles of the Niagara campaigns. They also served during the Upper Canada Rebellion and many were kept on strength until 1850. When considered in proportion to the population, Black men volunteered in large numbers, a testament to their belief in Canada as a haven for those formerly enslaved.