Nova Scotia Archives

African Nova Scotians

in the Age of Slavery and Abolition

"List of 7 American slaves, deserted from the enemy — on board His Majesty's sloop Rifleman"


These men were among the first African American refugees of the War of 1812 to come to Nova Scotia. They were picked up in an open boat in Chesapeake Bay. Most were farmers or skilled at a trade.

133 African American refugees are known to have come to Halifax in September 1813. This was well in advance of Cochrane's proclamation of 2 April 1814 inviting Americans to desert to the British side. Ships' lists showing the names, and often the ages and occupations, of this early group of refugees are available at NSARM (RG 1 v. 420 no. 1-8).

Date: 28 September 1813

Reference no.: Commissioner of Public Records  Nova Scotia Archives  RG 1 vol. 420 no. 1 (microfilm no. 15464)