Modern slavery is economic debt

July 21, 2010

Last week, I was in a boat on Kempenfelt Bay, Lake Simcoe. I’ve lived for over 35 years in Simcoe County. My two children were born in London, Ontario.

Thanks to The Educated Imagination for reminding me on July 9th about Lord Simcoe and his role in abolishing slavery in North America.

Lieutenant-Governor John Graves Simcoe of Upper Canada, anti-slavery advocate

On this date in 1793, the Act Against Slavery was passed in Upper Canada (present day Ontario), also prohibiting the importation of slaves into Lower Canada (present day Quebec).  This was a full fourteen years before the British Empire outlawed the slave trade, forty years before it outlawed slavery altogether, and sixty-nine years before Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.

Not a Canadian thing to do, perhaps until 1867, but in the spirit.

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