A Stolen Life: Searching for Richard Pierpoint

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Dundurn, Nov 15, 1999 - Biography & Autobiography - 144 pages

Richard Pierpoint or Captain Dick, as he was commonly known, emerges from the shadows of history in A Stolen Life: Searching for Richard Pierpoint. An African warrior who was captured at about age 16, Pierpoint lived his remaining years in exile. From his birth in Bundu (now part of Senegal) around 1744 until his death in rural Ontario in 1837, Pierpoint’s life allows us to glimpse the activity of an African involved in some of the world’s great events.

"We are indebted to the authors for breathing life into this man, who though taken from his home early in his life still was able to make a significant contribution to the early history of Upper Canada. He fought, farmed and became a giant to the Black community. We thank you for a wonderful story of this often forgotten segment of Canadian history."

— Wilma Morrison, Norval Johnson Heritage Library, Niagara Falls

"Everybody knows about the Underground Railroad and the great many Black souls who emigrated to Canada via this route, but very few people know the brave Black men and women who put their lives on the line in defence of this country."

— Ivor Christopher, Re-enactor, Runchey’s Company of Coloured Men

"A well-researched and highly readable chronicle of Richard Pierpoint’s life in Africa and North America — as a slave, a soldier, and as a pioneer in Upper Canada’s wilderness. ... a vitally important contribution to Canadian Black history."

— Linda Brown-Kubisch, Author, Missouri


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1 The Wellspring
2 The Time of Terror
3 A Piece of Property
4 The Rhythm of War
5 A Man of Colour
6 Partners in Obscurity
7 Home on the Grand
8 The Journey Home
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About the author (1999)

Editor Peter Meyler is the co-author of A Stolen Life: Searching for Richard Pierpoint, which tells the story of one of Ontario's first African settlers. He has written numerous articles about Ontario's black history, which have appeared in such publications as The Beaver, the Toronto Star, Share and Families.

Peter operates his own business providing forms management, graphic design and writing services to both the private and public sector. He was born in Fergus, Ontario, along the banks of the Grand River, and went on to study graphic design at Sheridan College in Oakville. Currently, Peter lives in Orangeville, Ontario, with his wife, Wendy, and daughters Lacadia and Laynna.

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