Wednesday, May 21, 2008

the Book of Negroes

Why I'm not allowed my book title | Books | "I used The Book of Negroes as the title for my novel, in Canada, because it derives from a historical document of the same name kept by British naval officers at the tail end of the American Revolutionary War. It documents the 3,000 blacks who had served the King in the war and were fleeing Manhattan for Canada in 1783. Unless you were in The Book of Negroes, you couldn't escape to Canada. My character, an African woman named Aminata Diallo whose story is based on this history, has to get into the book before she gets out."

Remembering Black Loyalists - 1775-1800 - The Book of Negroes: "This book is a hand-written list of Black passengers leaving New York on British ships in 1783. It gives a name, age, physical description, and status (slave or free) for each passenger, and often an owner's name and place of residence. Three copies of the Book of Negroes exist: one in England, at the Public Records Office, Kew; one in the United States, at the National Archives, Washington; and one in Canada, at the Nova Scotia Archives, Halifax. Knowledge of the Black Loyalists begins with this list, made by British and American inspectors."

Remembering Black Loyalists - Black Loyalist Surnames: "lists of Black Loyalist surnames recovered during the 1998-'99 research project. They are all the surnames recorded in the Book of Negroes in 1783, with some additions from the 1784 Nova Scotian muster rolls."

The Book Of Negroes: " presented in its full form online for the first time.

We have prepared this crucial record of the Black Loyalist's journey in several different forms for your use.

If you want to look at the book of Negroes in its original chronological order with the notations describing each person and their condition, we have transcribed the original books as well.

These are rather long lists of names - they will take a long time to load through a slow modem. Please be patient. To get an idea how the lists are formatted, take a look at Book Three." Black Loyalist Heritage Society


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