Canada's Forgotten Slaves
Two Centuries of BondageBook - 2013
This groundbreaking history documents the roots of slavery in everyday colonial Canada and the extreme measures taken by subsequent generations to eradicate any record of their presence. Beginning with the French regime in colonial Canada 1629, noted historian Marcel Trudel examines the roots of slavery and its pervasive existence until its eventual abolition from the British Empire in 1834. Drawn from Trudel’s exhaustive scrutiny of unpublished 17th- through 19th-century archival records, this survey gives a human face to more than 4,000 aboriginal and black slaves who were bought, sold, and exploited in colonial Canada. The compelling narrative chronicles the slaves’ often horrific living conditions, the joys and sorrows of their daily existence, and their quest to gain liberty. The extensive research not only reveals the identities of Canadian slave owners, but sheds light on the whitewashing undertaken by politicians, historians, and ecclesiastics who deliberately falsified records and glorified their colonial-era heroes in order to remove any trace of these slaves held in bondage for more than 200 years.