Black Then: Blacks and Montreal, 1780-1880's

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McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP, 2004 - History - 225 pages
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A sixteen-year-old slave boy who finds freedom in a most unusual way, a teenage prostitute who does not, a business manager of the 1790s, a four-year-old boy placed as a servant, a respected activist of the 1830s, a fugitive Kentucky slave who makes a name for himself as a jockey and horse trainer - these are some of the people we meet in these thirty stories about black life in and around Montreal between the last days of slavery and the early years of Confederation. The black experience in Montreal during these eighty-odd years, a time in which the city grew from a colonial backwater into the metropolis of a new country, has remained largely unknown. These stories begin to fill that gap. Black Then is intended for readers of all ages. Some stories drive home the historical fact of Canadian slavery, a truth still widely ignored, but for the most part, they are tales of how ordinary people managed to cope - or not - with daily life. Based on original research, these engaging stories bring to light a wealth of previously neglected historical information.
 

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Contents

1 The Truth about Rose
3
2 Toujours LAmour
8
3 Mister Whisky Himself
15
4 If You Say So
22
5 Charlotte She Got the Ball Rolling
25
6 One Amazing Amazon
33
7 Charity Didnt Do It
35
8 The World Turned Upside Down
39
19 Things Youve Got to Wonder About
107
20 Gabriel Be an Angel and Blow That Horn
112
21 Bad News Lewis
120
22 Taking Care of Robert
127
23 Philomènes Third Birthday
129
24 Jericho
135
25 The Centaur
139
26 Trial of the Century
148

9 The King of France
42
10 Just Julia
46
11 Isaac the Impossible
48
12 Cold Case
50
13 Home at Last
55
14 A Whole New Light
59
15 Trim the Gardener
65
16 Agent of the Liberator
76
17 The Valentines Day
85
18 Messing with Dragons
89
27 Mr Wood as a Matter of Fact
151
28 Cooks Place
158
29 Same Old Song
167
30 The Perfect Crime
172
The End for Now
180
DOCUMENTS
187
Sources
211
Further Reading
221
Illustration Sources and Permissions
223
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Frank Mackey is the author of Steamboat Connections: Montreal to Upper Canada, 1816-1843, and Black Then: Blacks and Montreal, 1780s-1880s.

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