On 24 March 1837, #blackmen in Canada were given the right to vote, adding to its attraction as a destination. The #SlaveTradeAct outlawed the #slavetrade in the #BritishEmpire in 1807 and the #Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 outlawed slavery all together. This made #Canada an attractive destination for many #refugees fleeing slavery in the United States, such as minister Boston King.
The Anti-Slavery Society of Canada estimated in its first report in 1852 that the "coloured population of Upper Canada" was about 30,000, of whom almost all adults were "fugitive slaves" from the United States.
St. Catharines, #Ontario had a population of 6,000 at that time; 800 of its residents were "of #African descent". History
One of the more noted aspects of Black Canadian history is that while the majority of #AfricanAmericans trace their presence in the United States through the history of slavery, the Black presence in Canada is rooted almost entirely in voluntary immigration. Despite the various dynamics that may complicate the personal and cultural interrelationships between descendents of the #BlackLoyalists in #NovaScotia, descendents of former American slaves who viewed Canada as the promise of #freedom at the end of the #UndergroundRailroad, and more recent immigrants from the #Caribbean or #Africa, one common element that unites all of these groups is that they're in Canada because they or their #ancestors actively chose of their own free will to settle there.
First black people in Canada
The first recorded black person to set foot on land now known as Canada was a free man named Mathieu de Costa. Travelling with navigator Samuel de Champlain, de Costa arrived in Nova Scotia between 1603-1608 as a translator for the French explorer Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Monts. The first known black person to live in what would become Canada was a slave from Madagascar named Olivier Le Jeune, who may have been of partial #Malay ancestry. As a group, black people arrived in Canada in several waves. The first of these came as free persons serving in the French Army and Navy, though some were enslaved or indentured #servants.