Benjamin Drew wrote about the blacks in Canada 1856 in his 1856 book "A NorthSide View of Slavery. The Refugee: or the Narratives of Fugitive Slaves in Canada. Related by themselves, with an account of the history and condition of the colored population of Upper Canada "
"The colored population of Upper Canada, was estimated in the First Report of the Anti-Slavery Society of Canada, in 1852, at thirty thousand. Of this large number, nearly all the adults, and many of the children, have been fugitive slaves from the United States"
Some Narratives from the book:
Dresden is situated at the head of navigation on the Big Bear Creek, just above the bend in the river which indents the lands of the Dawn Institute. It is in the gore of Camden, being part of the township of Camden. The village contains about 100 whites and 70 blacks
William Henry BradleyThis is my name since I left slavery: in slavery I was known as ABRAM YOUNG.I left Maryland with my wife and two children in 1851. While body-servant, I was well used--while a farm-hand, had more hardship.In Baltimore, I was acquainted with Mr. M--L. N--.
I look at slavery as the most horrid thing on earth. It is awful to think of the poor slaves panting for a place of refuge, and so few able to find it. There is not a day or night that I do n't think about them, and wish that slavery might be abolished, and every man have his God-given rights.
I have prospered well in freedom. I thank the Lord for my success here. I own fifty acres of land, bought and paid for by my own energy and exertions, and I have the deed in my house.
If there were a law to abolish the use of liquor as a beverage, it would be a good thing for Canada.I own two span of horses, twelve head of hogs, six sheep, two milch cows, and am putting up a farm barn.
There is a great deal of prejudice here. Statements have been made that colored people wished for separate schools; some did ask for them, and so these have been established, although many colored people have prayed against them as an infringement of their rights. Still, we have more freedom here than in the United States, as far as the government law guarantees. In consequence of the ignorance of the colored men, who come here unlearned out of slavery, the white people have an overpowering chance. There are many respectable colored people moving in, but I have not much hope of a better state of things. Public sentiment will move mountains of laws.Steam-engines do n't work harder than a man's heart and veins, when he starts from his master, and fears being overtaken. I do n't understand how an honest man can partake of any principle to carry him back.
If a man could make slaves of mud or block, and have them work for him, it would be wrong,--all men came of the hand of the Almighty; every man ought to have life, and his own method of pursuing happiness.Mr. Scoble is doing all he can for the benefit of the colored people. His plans are all for their good, but they do n't seem to see it, and so do n't help along as they might