I have fallen behind in my goal to share as many of John Fioravanti’s Black History in Canada series as possible this month. In part that is because I was hoping for a return of the missing ‘re-blog’ button, and in part it is simply because it is my nature to fall behind. It isn’t that I am inept or inefficient, simply that I sometimes bite off more than I can chew. But a look at the calendar shows me that Black History Month is winding down and will soon be over, so I want to share at least one of John’s fascinating posts today. This one highlights Richard Pierpoint, a former African slave who fought in the Revolutionary War and later, at age 68, fought in the War of 1812. His story is one of courage in the face of the evils of slavery and bigotry, of hard work and storytelling. Please read about this persona from Canada’s Black History archives. Thank you, John, for this post and permission to share with my friends.
Richard Pierpoint – Former Slave, Loyalist, Soldier, Community Leader, and Storyteller
Richard Pierpoint (also Pawpine, Parepoint; Captain Pierpoint, Captain Dick; Black Dick), loyalist, soldier, community leader, storyteller (born c. 1744 in Bondu [now Senegal]; died c. 1838, near present-day Fergus, ON). Pierpoint was an early leader in Canada’s Black community. Taken from West Africa as a teenager and sold into slavery, Pierpoint regained his freedom during the American Revolution. He settled in Niagara, Upper Canada, and attempted to live communally with other Black Canadians. In the War of 1812, he petitioned for an all-Black unit to fight for the British and fought with the Coloured Corps.