Black Loyalists in New Brunswick
Among the Loyalists who were transported to the shores of New Brunswick by the British after their defeat by revolutionary Americans were several hundred African Americans. Like their counterparts who went to what is now Nova Scotia, among this group were formerly enslaved men, women and children who had been granted their freedom in exchange for joining the British side during the revolutionary war.
In the colony that soon became New Brunswick, slavery was still legal. Many African American Loyalists had to become indentured labourers to survive in this new situation. Many others took up the opportunity offered them in 1791 to move yet again, this time to Sierra Leone in Africa where many Black Loyalists established a new colony on the coast of Africa where they lived free of slavery.
The stories of New Brunswicks Black Loyalists are captured in the brief biographies of eight individuals—men, women and youths—presented by author Stephen Davidson. Through their experiences a picture emerges of the narrow limits to the freedom which the Black Loyalists were able to experience in a predominantly white and highly racist colony.