Birchtown
Black Loyalists

1783


Photographs of
Memorial

Birchtown
Shelburne County
Nova Scotia


GPS location:   43°44'42"N   65°22'47"W




Most Black Loyalists in New York at the end of the American Revolution were evacuated to Nova Scotia with the bulk of other Loyalists. There were roughly 4000 black refugees brought to Nova Scotia in 1785. The community of Birchtown had about 1,500 people and at the time was the largest community of free blacks outside Africa...
Source:
    http://www.americanrevolution.org/blackloyalists.html




When the end (of the American Revolution, 1776-1783) came, the top British commanders kept their word to the King's Black soldiers. In November 1782, Britain and America signed a provisional treaty granting the former colonies their independence. As the British prepared for their final evacuation, the Americans demanded the return of American property, including runaway slaves, under the terms of the peace treaty. Sir Guy Carleton, the acting commander of British forces, refused to abandon black Loyalists to their fate as slaves. With thousands of apprehensive blacks seeking to document their service to the Crown, Brigadier General Samuel Birch, British commandant of the city of New York, created a list of claimants known as The Book of Negroes...
Source: A Monument to George Washington's Slaves
    http://www.blackcommentator.com/washingtons_slaves.html



Black Loyalists Memorial, Birchtown
Photographed on 19 August 2003


Black Loyalists Memorial, Birchtown
Photographed on 19 August 2003


Black Loyalists Memorial, Birchtown
Photographed on 19 August 2003


Black Loyalists Memorial, Birchtown
Photographed on 19 August 2003


Black Loyalists Memorial, Birchtown
Photographed on 19 August 2003


Black Loyalists Memorial, Birchtown: plaque, upper half
Plaque upper half (above), lower half (below)
Black Loyalists Memorial, Birchtown: plaque, lower half
Photographed on 19 November 2002


Black Loyalists Memorial, Birchtown
Photographed on 19 November 2002


Black Loyalists Memorial, Birchtown
Photographed on 19 November 2002


Black Loyalists Memorial, Birchtown
Photographed on 19 November 2002


Black Loyalists Memorial, Birchtown
Photographed on 19 November 2002


Location map: Black Loyalists Memorial, Birchtown
Map showing the location of the Black Loyalists memorial
Birchtown, Shelburne County, Nova Scotia


Black Loyalists Memorial, Birchtown
Photographed on 19 August 2003


Thanks to Ms. Rosalie Selig.


Clipping from the Shelburne Coast Guard, 29 October 2002
— The Shelburne Coast Guard, 29 October 2002





Links to Relevant Websites

Black Loyalist Heritage Society
    http://www.blackloyalist.com/


Birchtown Home to First Black Heritage Site
    http://www.gov.ns.ca/news/details.asp?id=20000128002


Birchtown Plaque
    http://nsgna.ednet.ns.ca/shelburne/main/BirchtownPlaque.php


Birchtown History
    http://www.nsaccess.ns.ca/~birchhall/heritage.htm


Birchtown Archaeology
    http://museum.gov.ns.ca/arch/sites/birch/


Black Loyalist History
    http://nsgna.ednet.ns.ca/shelburne/main/BlackLoyalistHistory.php


Boston King Boston King was one of the many enslaved African Americans,
perhaps as many as 100,000, who risked punishment and even death to reach
the British lines and a chance at freedom ... Boston, along with others, formed
a black community in Birchtown, six miles outside of Shelburne, Nova Scotia...
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part2/2p60.html


A Monument to George Washington's Slaves
When the end (of the American Revolution, 1776-1783) came, the top British
commanders kept their word to the King's Black soldiers. In November 1782,
Britain and America signed a provisional treaty granting the former colonies
their independence. As the British prepared for their final evacuation, the
Americans demanded the return of American property, including runaway slaves,
under the terms of the peace treaty. Sir Guy Carleton, the acting commander
of British forces, refused to abandon black Loyalists to their fate as slaves.
With thousands of apprehensive blacks seeking to document their service to the
Crown, Brigadier General Samuel Birch, British commandant of the city of New York,
created a list of claimants known as The Book of Negroes...
    http://www.blackcommentator.com/washingtons_slaves.html


Building on History: Black Loyalist in Nova Scotia
The Nova Scotia government is looking for a place to put a landfill...
    http://bbi.ns.ca/Newsletters/Summer%201998/BLACKLOYALI.htm


Waves of Black Pioneers: Slavery in Canada and the First Wave
If one were to ask if Canada ever had slaves, many Canadians would respond
with an indignant 'no', yet we did have slaves for a period of about 20 years.
When the American colonies fought for freedom from British rule between 1775
and 1793, colonists who swore loyalty to the British Crown were offered land
in Canada and provisions. Thousands of American colonists who took advantage
of the British offer left the colonies in the south and in New England and headed
north where the only established British colonies were in the eastern part of
the new land. The Loyalist pioneers arrived in Halifax by shipload, carrying
with them whatever possessions they needed to start their new life.
About 2,500 indentured servants and slaves were part of that 'baggage'...
    http://www.highway7.com/t_culture/culture_0102_black_heritage2.html


Black Loyalists "Most Black Loyalists in New York at the end of
the war were evacuated to Nova Scotia with the bulk of other Loyalists.
There were roughly 4000 black refugees brought to Nova Scotia in 1785.
The community of Birchtown had about 1,500 people and at the time was
the largest community of free blacks outside Africa..."
    http://www.americanrevolution.org/blackloyalists.html


Birchtown, Shelburne County: Heritage and Community
    http://www.coastalcommunities.ns.ca/v6_i4.html#cp


Visitors Information about Birchtown
    http://www.nsaccess.ns.ca/~birchhall/visitors.htm


Monument at Birchtown Nova Scotia Museum
    http://museum.gov.ns.ca/blackloyalists/19002000/Places1900/birchtown.htm


Geomatics at Birchtown
    http://museum.gov.ns.ca/arch/sites/btown/pages/gis.html


The Goulden Map
    http://museum.gov.ns.ca/arch/sites/btown/pages/gis/goulden.html








Birchtown, Shelburne County
Heritage Community

Much of the world is still unaware of the drama that unfolded so many years ago in the small village of Birchtown in Shelburne County, Nova Scotia. Today, people in that and neighbouring communities are working to make that story more widely known.

The general story of the United Empire Loyalists is well known: in the wake of the American Revolution in the 1780s, thousands of people from the former Thirteen Colonies chose to flee to Canada to start life again under the British flag. In the mid-1780s, about 10,000 of these people came to the Shelburne area. Of these, about 1,500 were former slaves, largely from Georgia and the Carolinas, attracted to the British side by the promise of freedom and land.

These Black Loyalists settled at Birchtown, just a few kilometres west of Shelburne. Life in those first few years was hard enough for White Loyalists, but for Black Loyalists, the situation was even worse. Many arrived in autumn, and spent the winter in tents or makeshift huts. They had been promised land, but most received none...

[Coastal Communities Newsletter, Vol.6 #4, March-April 2001]
    http://coastalcommunities.ns.ca/v6_i4.html#cp

The Wayback Machine has archived copies of this document:
Birchtown, Shelburne County
Heritage and Community: One Step at a Time
by Scott Milsom

Archived: 2001 May 3
http://coastalcommunities.ns.ca/v6_i4.html

Archived: 2001 July 7
http://coastalcommunities.ns.ca/v6_i4.html





Photographs of War Memorials, Historic Monuments and Plaques in Nova Scotia
    /remem/plaques.html



Donald McKay memorial Donald McKay memorial Jordan Falls
    /shelbco/dmckay.html


Barrington war memorial Barrington war memorial Barrington
    /shelbco/barrmem.html


Shelburne war memorial Shelburne war memorial Shelburne
    /shelbco/shlbrnmon.html


CFS Shelburne closure memorial CFS Shelburne closure memorial Shelburne
    /shelbco/roycan63anchor.html


Fort St. Louis monument Fort St. Louis, 1630 Port LaTour
    /shelbco/fortstlouis.html


Barrington: Old Meeting House 1765 Old Meeting House 1765 Barrington
    /shelbco/barrmeethse.html


Cape Sable Settlers 1761 Cape Sable Settlers 1761 Barrington
    /shelbco/sable200.html


Carleton Village war memorial Carleton Village war memorial Carleton Village
    /shelbco/carletonvill.html


Clark's Harbour war memorial Clark's Harbour war memorial Clark's Harbour
    /shelbco/clarkswarm.html


Woods Harbour war memorial Woods Harbour war memorial Woods Harbour
    /shelbco/woodshbrwar.html


Woods Harbour fisherman's memorial Woods Harbour fisherman's memorial Woods Harbour
    /shelbco/wdhbrfisherm.html


Arcadia war memorial Arcadia war memorial Arcadia
    /yarmco/arcadiamem.html


Green Island cannon Green Island cannon Centreville
    /shelbco/greencann.html


Allendale Shipyard plaque Allendale Shipyard plaque Allendale
    /shelbco/allendalem.html


Riverport: John Philip Ritcey monument Ritcey monument Riverport
    /lunenco/ritceymon.html


William Hall monument, Hantsport William Hall monument Hantsport
    /hantsco/hallmem.html



Go To:   Index to other online Nova Scotia History
    http://alts.net/ns1625/histindx.html

Go To:   Nova Scotia Quotations
    http://alts.net/ns1625/quotes.html

Go To:   History of Railway Companies in Nova Scotia
    http://alts.net/ns1625/railways.html

Go To:   History of Electric Companies in Nova Scotia
    http://alts.net/ns1625/electric.html

Go To:   History of Automobiles in Nova Scotia
    http://alts.net/ns1625/automobiles.html

Go To:   History of Telephone Companies in Nova Scotia
    http://alts.net/ns1625/telephone.html

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First uploaded to the WWW:   2002 November 23
New photographs installed:   2003 September 01