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The Underground Railroad and Black Rights In Canada

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by

Charlene Bayes

on 12 November 2013

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Transcript of The Underground Railroad and Black Rights In Canada

The Underground Railroad and Black Rights In Canada
Underground Railroad
Harriet Tubman:
Harriet was born as a slave in Maryland and abused when she was young. One case was when a owner instructed her to catch a runaway boy, she refused, and the man hit her over her head with a two-pound item...and from then on she would have seizures and major narcoleptic episodes through the rest of her life. On September 17th. 1849 Harriet escaped to Philadelphia, a free state. In the following December Harriet received news that her family was going to be sold. She returned back secretly to bring her family to safety. She brought 60- plus slaves to freedom, in the next few years, alone, and earned the name of Moses, on the underground railroad. Moses freed the Israeli's from Egypt, as she freed the Africans from their masters.

Harriet Tubman was a conductor of the underground railroad, traveling and risking her own safety for people in slavery. The underground railway saved an estimated 100,000 slaves but it is difficult to know the exact amount for no records where kept to protect anyone who could be caught. Harriet fought through the unjust laws for her people, even though she had serious health problems and emotional pain of depression (known; from her head injury most likely).
~A small biography about someone who traveled through the underground railroad to Canada.~
By Charlene Bayes, Kayley Cymbaluk, Emma Turner, and David Kim

The first black man to set foot in Canadian soil was Mathieu Da Costa a free man who was hired as a translator for Samuel De Champlain's 1605 excursion.
Mathieu Da Costa: one of the most fascinating (and elusive) figures in early Canadian history. We don't know a lot about him. But we do know enough to know that he qualifies as the first Black known to have visited Canada. Da Costa was a free Black African who in the early 1600s was employed as a translator by French and Dutch traders and explorers.

The Underground Railway
The underground railroad was a series of secret routes and safe houses used by the black slaves of the 19th century in the United States to escape to free states and Canada. With the aid of abolitionists and their allies, they escaped. Even with the Underground Railroad, less than 1000 slaves escaped from all slave-holding states each year. The Fugitive Slave Law of 1793 made the Railway thrive. The responsibility of catching the runaway slaves was put on the officials of the states from which the slaves came from. The underground railroad was not literally underground or a railroad. The reason that it was considered "underground" was because it was a underground resistance. The "railroad" part came in by the use of rail terminology in the code. It contained meeting points, secret routes, transportation, and safe houses. Assistance was provided by abolitionist sympathizers. Without the presence of free black residence, there would have been almost no chance for fugitive slaves to pass into freedom unmolested.
The Anti-black Campaign was a movement in February of 1909-1911, that brought about the same discrimination that had allowed slavery to exist, when hundreds of black men from Oklahoma moved to the Canadian prairies. By 1911, the newspapers in Winnipeg had predicted that the government would no longer allow 'Negro immigrants into Canada.
"Black History Canada - Mathieu Da Costa." Black History Canada - Mathieu Da Costa. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Nov. 2013. http://www.blackhistorycanada.ca/events.php?id=21
Black Rights in Canada
"Black History Canada - Timeline 1600-1700." Black History Canada - Timeline 1600-1700. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Nov. 2013. http://www.blackhistorycanada.ca/timeline.php?id=1600
It was through the dynamic created by the resistance of Africans, both enslaved and free, and the position of others opposed to slavery based on ideas of equality, that the abolition of enslavement was finally achieved throughout the British controlled world, including Canada, on August 1, 1834 and following a graduated period by 1838 in other countries (eg, Jamaica)

The Underground Railroad
Since the people who associated with the Underground Railway knew only their own operation, and not the whole plan, it reduced the risk of them being found out. The 'conductors' who ran the runaways would often move the station to different location, such as a secluded barn, and then later they would pretend to be a slave and go to a plantation so that, once they became a part of it they could direct the runaways North. As soon as they were informed of a safe route the runaways would travel at night to the different stations, mostly in small groups of two or three, but there are mass escapes recorded. Though it was especially dangerous for woman and child, most participated and the one of the most famous and successful escapes recorded from a woman, was that of Harriet Tubman .
Enslaved Africans fought against being taken and held captive in Africa, fought against enslavement while in slave ships and during their confinement before sale and once they were sold. It was through these acts of resistance that some slave owners had to reconsider the slave system, the independence of Africans and why they would not accept this status. Their resistance brought into question the ways in which people thought about Africans—they were bright and capable and not content with slavery.
Bibliography
1605: First black man in Canada
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Underground_Railroad, Wednesday, 06, 2013,November 2013
Abolition of Enslavement in Canada
http://blackhistorycanada.ca/timeline.php?id=1900, Thursday, 07, November, 2013, Winner of the Black Web Award for Best Black Canadian Site, 2008
"Black History Canada - Credits." Black History Canada - Credits. Ed. James H. Harsh, Laura Bonikowsky, Lorraine Snyder, Marshal Letcher, and Myriam Fontaine. TD, n.d. Web. 07 Nov. 2013. <http://www.blackhistorycanada.ca/credits.php>.
Harriet Tubman Biography-

http://www.biography.com/people/harriet-tubman-9511430
Full transcript