Monday, August 5, 2013

Emancipation Day

Slavery was officially abolished in the British Empire on August 1, 1833.

I was invited to The Griffin House in Ancaster, Ontario, (Hamilton), to help celebrate the life of an amazing man named Eneralis Griffin.

He was born into slavery on a plantation in Virginia and somehow managed to arrive in Canada in 1827 as a free man.  

He was able to read and write AND able to save enough money to buy this house in 1834.

 He must have been a very unusual man.

This a view of the back of the house. 
It stayed in his family's hands for 150 years and is now a designated Federal Historic Site.

There is a cradle just under the window.

Two children's toys circa 1834.

 I can't tell you how airy and comfortable this little house was.

The plight of Black people in Canada hasn't always been great but this is a happy house and I have a feeling that Eneralis Griffin must have been a happy man living in such a wonderful home.

A strange twist to the story is that when his descendants sold this property to the local conservation authority twenty years ago they didn't know about their black heritage.

It was a large turn out.

And it was a beautiful day to celebrate such a momentous event in the struggle for human rights.

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