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Reverend Dr. Michael Willis (1799-1879), Principal of Knox College and later a Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Canada, was the first President of the Anti-Slavery Society of Canada.
C.S. Ogden, Autograph Letters
Mary Ann Shadd (1823-1893) was an educator, abolitionist, author, publisher and journalist. She became a leader and spokesperson for refugees who had left the United States for Upper Canada after the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850. In 1852, she published A Plea for Emigration to encourage American Blacks to emigrate to Canada. She was the first woman in Canada known to have published a newspaper, the Provincial Freeman. During the American Civil War, she was an enlistment recruiter for the United States Army.
In the years prior to the American Civil War, there were several court cases initiated by American citizens who attempted to reclaim as their property refugees who had fled to Canada. This memorial to Queen Victoria, entitled "Coloured Inhabitants of Upper Canada," protested against the return of refugees to the United States.
RG 5 B 3, vol. 12, item 1553
This popular book by Harriet Beecher Stowe had a profound influence on the development of the anti-slavery movement in Canada. Dr. Alexander Milton Ross later wrote that "It excited the sympathies of every humane person who read it in behalf of the oppressed. To me it was a command; and a settled conviction took possession of my mind that it was my duty to help the oppressed to freedom."
Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Toronto, 1853
The Reverend Dr. William King (1812-1895), a minister in the Presbyterian Church in Canada and a founder of the Elgin Settlement in 1849, was recognized as one of the foremost leaders of the anti-slavery movement in Canada.
Daniel G. Hill fonds
This book, published in the United States, described the life of refugees in Canada.
Benjamin Drew, The Refugee, or, The Narratives of Fugitive Slaves in Canada, 1856