Ontario Visual Heritage Project


Simcoe's Plan

War of 1812


Baldoon Mystery

A Place of Refuge


Elgin Settlement

Talbot Road

Bothwell's Boom

Civil War


Black Mecca

Chatham-Kent Museum


In the 1800's Chatham-Kent became known as a place of refuge for many fugitive slaves who escaped from the United States. The land was rich in natural resources and far enough away from the border that it was relatively safe from slave hunters.

Once the blacks came to Canada their journey had just begun.  They had to learn to rid themselves of their slave mentality and take their place as equals in society.

Chatham became an epicenter for this and was quoted as "the coloured man's Paris". Chatham enticed both free blacks and slaves from all over North America to settle along the Thames.


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Length: 11 minutes
Page 6: A Place of Refuge