Master of Arts (MA)
Faculty of Arts
Richard P. Fuke
African-Americans fled the United States of America during the nineteenth century to escape slavery. The majority of the emigrants took refuge in Upper Canada. Slavery had been abolished by 1834 in all British colonial possessions. Blacks were promised protection from racism by virtue of British institutions. Upper Canada offered the fugitives a chance to begin a new life. Life in Canada West was not to be as joyful as was promised. When Blacks arrived in the British colony they were treated as outsiders, outcast from society. The prejudices of the day flourished throughout the countryside. Racism was manifested in the refusal of local administrators to allow African-American children to attend government financed schools. The settlers were not prepared to abandon their long held fear of Blacks and they prevented the integration of children of all races. The administration did not offer support and protection from intolerance. The education system failed Black children by not allowing them to attend classes even though their parents paid their school taxes. The British establishment recognized the injustice and tried to remedy the situation by opening schools of their own. The Colonial Church and School Society opened a school in London, Canada West. The Anglican missionaries wanted to prove that Blacks could be educated and become part of society. The aims of the founder of the school, Rev. M.M. Dillon, differed from the aims of the CCSS. He wanted to have Blacks and whites educated together to their mutual benefit. His participation in the founding and running of the Mission is central to the operation of the Mission to the Fugitive Slaves of Canada West. He did not maintain the support of the influential members of the London society and was removed from his post. The point of contention was that he had allowed more whites in the school than Black children. He left the Mission in 1856 and the Mission closed in 1858.
Elliot, Christopher Bruce, "Black education in Canada West: A parochial solution to a secular problem. Rev. M. M. Dillon and the Colonial Church and School Society" (1989). Theses and Dissertations (Comprehensive). 17.