Slaves’ descendants keep pride alive in North Buxton, Canada
FOUR years before the Civil War broke out [in the United States, 300 blacks-most of them former slaves from Southern plantations -strode quietly and proudly along the streets of the Canadian city of Chatham to vote in the Court House. They had journeyed ten miles from Buxton, an area settled six years previously by 15 freed slaves of Louisiana educator William King. When the voting ended that day, the incumbent Provincial Parliament member from the area, who had won his seat two years previously on an anti-Negro-immigration platform, had been defeated in the first demonstration of political black power on the North American continent.
Through the Civil War years Buxton enjoyed an economic and social advancement almost miraculous for people who until a few years before had been forcibly denied the right even to marry or to learn to read. In the descendants of Buxton’s settlers, the heritage of an amazing adventure in freedom lives today.