The Public Archives of Nova Scotia do not include many photographs but they have scanned early documents from Sir Guy C arleton papers, including the title page from 1783 The Book of Negroes, which is at the heart of the CBC 6-part series of the same name, aired in January, 2015.
We have no way of knowing if the 18 black “servants” on the muster roll for Colonel Timothy Hierlihy and his band of Loyalists, landing at Antigonish Harbour in 1784, were slaves or free. But this 1794 record of a Loyalist’s poster offering a reward for his runaway slave from the NS Archives suggests that slavery was still operating among United Empire Loyalists in Nova Scotia in the late 18th century.
‘Belfast’ (alias Bill) ran away from the Halifax merchant to whom his owner, Michael Wallace, a Loyalist, had leased him. Belfast apparently planned to escape by boarding a ship and leaving the colony. He had been brought to Nova Scotia from South Carolina ten years earlier.
Date: 15 March 1794