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18th century

1709

King Louis XIV formally authorizes slavery in New France, thus laying the legal foundation for slavery in the colony.

1734

Marie-Joseph Angélique, a slave born in Portugal, is tortured and hanged in June for causing the fire that burned down a substantial portion of the city of Montreal.

1775-1783

The Thirteen Colonies wage the American War of Independence against Britain and form a new country called the United States of America (1776).

1783

The American Revolution ends and United Empire Loyalists – both white and Black – who wish to remain loyal to Britain move to Canada.

1790

An imperial statute allows Loyalists to enter Upper Canada from the United States without paying duty on their slaves if they obtain a licence from the Lieutenant Governor.

1793

Chloe Cooley, an enslaved woman in Upper Canada, is forced to cross the Niagara River when she is sold to a new owner in New York state. Her resistance leads to the passage of the 1793 Act limiting slavery in Upper Canada that prevents the importation of slaves and allows for the gradual emancipation of children of slaves born after this date.

1793

The first Fugitive Slave Law is passed in the United States, providing for the capture and return of runaway slaves.

17th century

18th century

19th century

20th century

21st century

Come to the cabin!

Come to the cabin!

Learn about Josiah Henson, recognized for his contributions to the abolition movement and for his work in the Underground Railroad, at Uncle Tom’s Cabin Historic Site in Dresden
Online exhibits

Online exhibits

Ontario’s stories are compelling and informative. Explore some of them through our online exhibits