The Black Pioneers of Wellington County, Ontario
“Those men had settled there (Wellington County) with no means whatever. They had to go fifteen miles out into the settlements, and there work for the farmers, a fortnight, to get provision sufficient to enable them to work one week in clearing their own land."
"And, while I was there, they were making their three meals a day on potatoes and salt; and this was their language to me, "friend Smallwood, you see how we have to live here, but we are willing to bear it, until we can get a foothold."
"I visited them again about three years after, the same men, some had four, some five, and some six hundred bushels of wheat in their barns, with a good portion of stock, and ever thing else necessary for comfort around them."
"Thus, instead of having to go into the settlements to work for provision, they could hire men to work for them, and send their teams out with wheat, which brought them cash."[i] Thomas Smallwood – A Black Abolitionist who visited the county in 1843.
[i] Thomas Smallwood, A Narrative of Thomas Smallwood (A Colored Man) . . . (Toronto: James Stephens, 1851), 55.
Photo title: Jemima (Lawson) Aylestock and classmates 1904 Rural One Room School House
Photo title: Russel Hawkins, Wellington County -"Just West Where Sam Was"
Photo Title: 1929