Mary Ann Shadd National Historic Person
Mary Ann Shadd was designated a national historic person in November 1994.
Historical importance: Newspaper editor and leader of Black Refugee Movement.
Commemorative plaque: 177 King Street East, Chatham, Ontario
Born in Wilmington, Delaware, Mary Ann Shadd became a prominent activist in the Underground Railroad refugee communities of Upper Canada during the 1850s. Arriving in 1851, she taught refugee children and urged skilled Blacks to seek haven in Canada from the increasingly dangerous conditions in the United States. In 1853, Shadd established the Provincial Freeman, an influential newspaper which encouraged self-reliance and argued for the rights of Blacks and women. The paper waged war on slavery and bigotry, becoming the leading voice of the refugees in Canada.
The National Program of Historical Commemoration relies on the participation of Canadians in the identification of places, events and persons of national historic significance. Any member of the public can nominate a topic for consideration by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.