New Book Features Story of Black Loyalist

Nova Scotia Museum

March 3, 2003 2:54 PM

Black Loyalist history is the focus of a new book, The Life of
Boston King, Black Loyalist, Minister, and Master Carpenter.

Co-published by Nimbus Publishing Ltd., and the Nova Scotia
Museum, the book will be launched at the Museum of Natural
History, 1747 Summer St., Halifax on Thursday, March 6, at 5:30
p.m.

Nova Scotia Museum ethnologist Ruth Whitehead said the memoir is
an important part of the history of Nova Scotia.

"Boston King's autobiography tells us what it was like to be a
Loyalist, coming to Nova Scotia in 1783. That time is a
fascinating part of our history, about which there are few
detailed accounts," said Dr. Whitehead, who co-edited the book
with historian Carmelita A.M. Robertson.

Mr. King's memoir is one of only three autobiographies of black
Nova Scotians written between 1600 and 1900.

Boston King was born into slavery in Charleston, S.C., in 1760.
He became a master carpenter. When Charleston fell to the British
in 1780, he made his escape. In 1783, he was one of several
thousand black men, women and children to leave New York with the
British Army, bound for Nova Scotia. These people are now called
the "Black Loyalists."

Mr. King describes his escape to freedom, his struggle to survive
in Nova Scotia, and his pivotal conversion to Christianity. He
also tells of his decision to return to Africa as a missionary,
his long voyage to Sierra Leone, and a subsequent stay in
England. His is an eyewitness account of history in the making.

"His autobiography gives us a wealth of detail that no research
can," said Dr. Whitehead. "It tells us not only what Boston King
did in his lifetime, but how he felt about it all."

To Dr. Whitehead, the heart of this memoir is its depiction of
Boston King's triumph of spirit. "The part of his story that
touches me most, every time I read it, is his religious epiphany,
and his ability to love every living creature on the face of the
earth, even those who had oppressed and enslaved him," she said.
"Boston King relates his history and his innermost thoughts in
such a vivid way, I can't help but admire and like him."

The Life of Boston King is available in bookstores or by calling
Nova Scotia Museum books at 902-424-7344 or toll free at 1-800-
632-1114.


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     The Nova Scotia Museum will launch its newest book, The Life

of Boston King, Black Loyalist, Minister, and Master Carpenter,

at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday (March 6th) at the Museum of Natural

History, 1747 Summer St., in Halifax .

     Co-published by Nimbus Publishing, the book is a memoir

of Boston King, a Black Loyalist, skilled artisan and carpenter

who became a Methodist minister and lived the last few years of

his life as a missionary in Sierra Leone.

     Nova Scotia Museum ethnologist Ruth Whitehead says the

memoir is an important part of the history of Nova Scotia because

it tells us what it was like to be a Black Loyalist in Nova

Scotia in 1783. Mr. King's memoir is one of only three

autobiographies of black Nova Scotians written between 1600 and

1900.

     The Life of Boston King is available in bookstores or by

calling Nova Scotia Museum books.

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Contact: Judith Shiers Milne
         Nova Scotia Museum, History Section
         902-424-7398
         E-mail: shiersjl@gov.ns.ca

kjd         March 3, 2003      2:52 P.M.