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Amherstburg, Ontario

Amherstburg, Ontario was a critical gateway for runaway slaves who turned the Canadian border into a source for their freedom. Approximately 2,000 black men, women, and children found refuge in Canada after the War of 1812 and many settled in Amherstburg. Many of the men and women who came to Amherstburg brought knowledge of tobacco cultivation with them when they fled Kentucky and Virginia. In 1827, the tobacco industry in Amherstburg failed and both black and white planters suffered. Economic instability aggravated already tense racial conditions, prompting the creation of Canada’s first black churches.

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This program was funded by the U.S. Department of Education Underground Railroad Educational and Cultural Program.