Amherstburg Freedom Museum

Black History
Universal Inspiration

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Click below to purchase tickets for Windsor Symphony Orchestra Concert: Celebrating Black Voices

Talking Drum

Stay informed! Our monthly newsletter the Talking Drum, keeps visitors, members and supporters informed about Museum events and activities. If you would like to sign up to receive the Talking Drum through email or the mail please submit the form to the right!


Fundraising is one aspect of engaging children in civic minded activities from a young age. It creates awareness in a young person that they are part of a community, and that this position entails a certain amount of responsibility and also self empowerment.

Family Histories

Have you ever considered looking into your family history? The Amherstburg Freedom Museum is here to help. We have the resources you need to get started on tracing your family roots. Each month, we are going to highlight a family from the museum’s Family History Collection.

Upcoming Exhibit

The Museum hosts a variety of special events throughout the year. Click on the links below for information on these popular events that occur on an annual basis. Check back often as one-time events may also being scheduled.

Facebook Presentations

Every month the Amherstburg Freedom Museum has been hosting Black History Facebook Live presentations. In case you missed it you can watch all of our presentations below. Be sure to check out our Facebook page for upcoming presentations at AmherstburgFreedom


Amherstburg Freedom Museum

Mac Simpson

Black History… Universal Inspiration

The Amherstburg Freedom Museum tells the story of African-Canadians’ journey and contributions, by preserving stories and presenting artifacts that educate and inspire.

You can travel back in time with Amherstburg Freedom Museum with our exclusive in-house tours and get a first hand look. Our collection of unique artifacts and stories can be accessed through our newly transformed digital collection!

After over 46 years of service, and with generous support from individuals, foundations, corporations, and government sources, the Amherstburg Freedom Museum continues to be a national symbol of courage, determination and freedom.

June 15, 1789
March 14, 1793
June 19, 1793
July 9, 1793
March 2, 1801
March 25, 1807
March 5, 1808
March 29, 1811
May 10, 1815
Oct 9, 1823
April 3, 1826
October 3, 1829
July 27, 1830
October 28, 1830
August 28, 1833
August 1, 1834
April 7, 1837
1837-38 Upper Canada Rebellion
June 29, 1840
October 8, 1841
May 2, 1843/44
June 1, 1843
August 4, 1843
November 28, 1849
September 18, 1850
January 1, 1851
March 24, 1853
November 22, 1853
October 15, 1857
February 18, 1860
July 20, 1868
May 12, 1874
April 12, 1881
September 3, 1883
May 4, 1886
November 15, 1886
March 14, 1888
October 20, 1891
April 5, 1893
June 1, 1893
April 29, 1894
March 18, 1900
July 3, 1907
April 17, 1909
November 10, 1910
December 29, 1913
February 10, 1915
April 3, 1916
July 5, 1916
October 31, 1916
July 14, 1918
May 25, 1923
September 16, 1923
November 23, 1923
December 26, 1923
November 19, 1924
May 11, 1925
February 19, 1928
May 16, 1929
October 10, 1929
October 25 , 1929
December 10, 1932
September 9, 1933
February 13, 1934
October 23, 1934
September 1, 1942
December 13, 1942
March 14, 1944
April 20, 1946
April 6, 1954
February 4, 1964
September 21, 1975
January 16, 1976
June 30, 1976
January 8, 1991
October 21, 2001
February 21- 27, 2010
February 20, 2018
March 22, 2018

Matthew Elliott

Colonel Matthew Elliott brought 60 enslaved Black persons to the Amherstburg area from the United States

John White

Josiah Henson is born – helped establish Dawn settlement, but could speak of his Amherstburg connection

Act to Limit Slavery

Chloe Cooley bound and thrown in a boat and taken across the river to be sold in the US. She Resisted.  This resulted in the 1793 Act to Limit Slavery which affected all of Upper Canada, including Amherstburg

Chole Cooley

Attorney General John White introduced an abolition bill to the house of Assembly (Upper Canada) – compromised and created “An Act to Prevent the further Introduction of Slaves and to limit the Terms of Contract for Servitude (also known as the Act to Limit Slavery in Upper Canada)”

Act to Limit Slavery receives Royal Assent

Abraham Doras Shadd

Abraham Doras Shadd is born – became a Counselor in Raleigh Township in 1858, making him the first Black man elected to a (Canadian) political office.

Slave Trade Abolished

Slave trade abolished throughout British Empire – ending much of the transatlantic slave trade

Willis Nazrey

Willis Nazrey’s Birthday; born on Isle of Wright, Virginia – Nazrey AME Church named after him

Levi Foster

Levi Foster’s birthday – Amherstburg Businessman

1812 – 1814 – War of 1812 – Black soldiers participated

Henry Bibb

Henry Bibb’s birthday  – founder of the Voice of the Fugitive newspaper which was published in Sandwich Town

Mary Ann Shadd

Mary Ann Shadd is born – she created the Provincial Freeman which first published in Windsor

James Madison Bell

James Madison Bell born in Ohio; lived in Chatham – he was a poet and activist

James T Holly

James T. Holly born – Co-editor of the Voice of the Fugitive

Osborne Perry

Osborne Perry Anderson’s birthday– Participated at Harper’s Ferry Raid; lived in Chatham

Josiah Henson

Josiah Henson comes to Canada – lived in Amherstburg for a short time

Slavery Abolish Act

Slavery Abolition Act received Royal Assent on August 28, 1833, and took effect on August 1, 1834.

Emancipation Day

Emancipation Day – Slaver abolished in Canada

Emancipation Windsor

First Emancipation Celebration in Windsor, St. Catherine’s and Owen Sound

Dr. Anderson Ruffin Abbott

Dr. Anderson Abbott born in Toronto – lived and practiced in Chatham

Upper Canada Rebellion

Local Black Canadians participated

Anthony Banks

Anthony Banks was born in Colchester Township South- first Black Constable in Essex County

Amherstburg Regular Missionary Baptist Association

Amherstburg Regular Baptist Association formed

Dawn Settlement

Dawn settlement established

Elijah McCoy

Elijah McCoy’s Birthday – inventor from Colchester

Anthony Binga Jr.

Anthony Binga Jr. was born in Amherstburg– His father was a founder of the Amherstburg First Baptist Church – Anthony Jr. was a minister and educator

Delos Davis

Delos Davis born – 3rd Black lawyer in Canada

Nazrey AME

Nazrey AME Church built

Rev King

Rev King moved to the Elgin Settlement with his formerly enslaved freedom seekers

Fugitive Slave Act

Fugitive slave act was passed in US – caused a flood of Freedom Seekers to come to Canada, including Amherstburg

George Madison

George Madison settles in Dresden – he operated an Inn and Stagecoach line serving the Black community throughout Southwestern Ontario

Common School Act

Common School Act allows for segregated education

Sandwich Convention

Henry and Mary Bibb come settle in Sandwich Town

Voice of the Fugitive

First edition of the Voice of the fugitive published

September 10, 1851 – North American Convention for Colored Freeman held in Toronto; delegates from Essex County were in attendance

General Convention

General Convention held in Amherstburg where delegates discussed issues including agriculture, temperance, and education to accommodate incoming Freedom Seekers

The Provincial Freeman

The Provincial Freeman, Black newspaper that began publication in Windsor

Dennis Hill

Dennis Hill writes to Egerton Ryerson – about his children being forced to attend a segregated school in Chatham Kent – resulted in Hill suing

The O'Banyoun Jubilee Singers

O’Banyoun Jubilee singers is formed by the Reverend Josephus O’Banyoun

John Alexander

John H. Alexander born – teacher at the King Street School in Amherstburg

Mary Branton Tule

Mary Branton Tule is born – Amherstburg Missionary

Reverend Jennie Johnson

The Reverend Jennie Johnson is born near Dresden, Ontario. According to Dr. Nina Reid-Maroney, Johnson was the first ordained woman called to full-time ministry in Canada.

Elijah McCoy

Elijah McCoy is granted US patent # 150, 876 for the iron table

Anthony Banks - Crown Attorney

The Crown Attorney of Essex County, S.S. MacDonnell, appointed Anthony Banks as the Constable of Essex County, making him the first African-descended person to hold this position in Ontario

James L. Dunn

James L. Dunn took his daughter Jane Ann to the Public Central school and presented his daughter for attendance to the headmaster. He was refused, so he (unsuccessfully) sued the school board

Shelton Brooks

Shelton Brooks’ birthday-ragtime piano player

Delos Davis admitted to the Ontario Bar and became a lawyer

Delos Davis

Delos Davis establishes a law practice in Amherstburg

James L. Dunn

James L. Dunn becomes the first Black Canadian elected to Windsor’s Town Council

James L Dunn

James L. Dunn becomes the first Black Canadian elected to Windsor’s Town Council


Reverend Wagner seeks funding to build an orphanage and school for Black children (part of Hotel Dieu)

Ethel Alexander

Ethel Alexander is born in Amherstburg – educator and missionary

William Kelly

William Christian Kelly is born. First Black Dentist in Windsor

Desegregating Chatham schools

Ada Kelly Whitney

Ada Kelly Whitney born – 1913 Ada became the first Black teacher hired by the Windsor Board of Education, in addition to being the first woman of African descent to teach in an Ontario Public School Board.

Isaac Holden

Isaac Holden passes away – businessman and politician in Chatham

Robert Dunn

Robert L. Dunn (unsuccessfully) runs for Mayor of Windsor which was the first time a Black Canadian did this

Charles C. Peterson

Constable Charles C. Peterson born – first Black employee of the Windsor Police Service

Alton Parker

Alton Parker born in Windsor

Jesse Henderson

Jesse Henderson is born – Amherstburg resident who fought in WWII

Delos Davis

Delos Davis appointed a King’s Council, the first Black lawyer in the British Empire to achieve this

Anderson Abbott

Anderson Abbott passes away in Toronto – he lived and practiced medicine in Chatham

No 2 Battalion

Black Canadians serve in WWI

Lloyd Jenkins

Rev. Lloyd Jenkins’ birthday

Kenneth Kersey

Musician Kenneth Kersey is born in Harrow

No 2 Battalion

All Black Battalion in WWI – No 2 Construction Battalion formed – could discuss its link to Essex County – recruitment site in Windsor

Alvin D. McCurdy

Alvin D. McCurdy’s birthday. Born in Amherstburg and attended school there. Was a carpenter by trade, but loved collected Black History materials. Responsible for Alvin McCurdy fond at Archives of Ontario

Dresden Activist Hugh Burnett born

Mary Branton

Mamie/Mary Branton passes away

Kenneth Jacobs

Kenneth Jacobs born; served in WWII and became the first Black Canadian to reach rank of Lieutenant-Colonel and the first Black Canadian to have a career as a flying officer

Daniel G. Hill III

Daniel G. Hill III’s birthday – activist who strongly supported the Museum

Fred Thomas

Windsor-born athlete Fred Thomas born

Windsor Art and Literary Club

Windsor Art and Literary Club formed

Betty Simpson

Betty Simpson’s Birthday

Earl Walls

Boxer Earl Walls Born in Maidstone Township

Central Citizen Association

The Central Citizens’ Association established  as Windsor’s first Black Canadian civil rights organization of the 20th century

Spurgeon Montage

Spurgeon Montage, first Black male elementary teacher in Windsor, born

Elijah McCoy

Colchester-born inventor Elijah McCoy passes away

Eugene Steele

Eugene Steele’s birthday – 1st Black firefighter in Windsor

Howard McCurdy

Dr. Howard McCurdy’s Birthday

Ed Dwight

Ed Dwight’s birth – created Underground Railroad statue in Windsor

Mother’s Club now the Hour-A-Day Study Club first meeting

Chatham Coloured All-Stars

The Chatham Coloured All-Stars became the first all-Black team to win a provincial Ontario Baseball Association championship

Black Canadians WWII

Black Canadians fight in WWII

Alton Parker

Alton Parker joined the Windsor Police force

Fergie Jenkin

Fergie Jenkin’s birthday

Racial Discrimination Act

Ontario Passes Racial Discrimination Act

Spider Jones

Spider Jones is born

The Windsor Interracial Council, later the Windsor Council on Group Relations, is established

Colleen Campbell and Marion

Colleen Campbell and Marion Overton Grimes became the first students to graduate from Hotel Dieu of the St. Joseph School of Nursing in Windsor

James Watson

James Watson became the first Black Canadian City Solicitor for the City of Windsor

Freida Steele

Freida Parker Steele and Cecile Wright become the 3rd and 4th Black students to graduate from Hotel Dieu of the St. Joseph School of Nursing in Windsor

Negro Citizenship

The ‘Negro’ Citizenship Committee formed

Earl Walls

Earl Walls becomes the first Black Canadian heavyweight boxing title holder

Fair Accommodation Practices Act

Fair Accommodation Practices Act passed due to efforts of Hugh Burnette (of Dresden) and NUA association, along with other groups

Ontario Human Rights Code

The Ontario Human Rights Code enacted

George Henderson

George Henderson becomes the first Black Canadian City Planner for the City of Windsor

Bob Bowers

Radio personality, Bob Bowers became the first Black person to read the news on CBC’s national program

Leonard Braitwaite

Leonard Braitwaite makes first speech to Ontario Legislature, speaking against segregated schools – led to the closer of Colchester’s S.S. #11

Mac Simpson

Mac Simpson begins journey to open the Museum

Colchester’s S.S. #11 closed – last segregated school in the province of Ontario

Detroit Riots

Detroit Riots lead to the cancellation of Emancipation Celebration in Jackson Park

Collegiate Institute

Black Studies course instituted at Patterson Collegiate in Windsor


Museum’s Anniversary

Alton Parker

Alton Parker named to the Order of Canada

Alton Parker

Alton Parker given Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship

Shelley Harding-Smith

Shelley Harding-Smith became Canada’s first Black Canadian Female Master Electrician

North American Black History Museum

North American Black Historical Museum & Cultural Centre opens in Amherstburg

Fred Thomas

Fred Thomas inducted into the Essex County Hall of Fame

Howard McCurdy

Howard McCurdy serves as an Alderman for the City of Windsor

Howard McCurdy

Howard McCurdy becomes the first Black Canadian NDP Member of Parliament for riding of Windsor-Walkerville


NABHM becomes the first Black Canadian Museum granted membership and accreditation from the Ontario Museum Association

Howard McCurdy

Howard McCurdy seeks leadership of the NDP

Fergie Jenkins

Fergie Jenkins is called to the Baseball Hall of Fame

Elise Harding-Davis

Elise Harding-Davis becomes the first Black Canadian Curator of an Accredited museum in Canada (NABHM)

Fred Thomas

Fred Thomas inducted into the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame

Ron Jones

Ron Jones becomes the highest ranking Black Canadian officer on the Windsor Fire Department when he became District Chief

Wayne Hurst

Wayne Hurst elected first Black Mayor of Amherstburg

Nazrey AME Church

Nazrey AME Church named a National Historic Site – the first dedicated to Black History in Canada

dedication of the Tower of Freedom Monument in Windsor

McDougall Street

First Annual McDougall Street Reunion held at Wigle Park in Windsor

Shelley Harding-Smith

Shelley Harding-Smith became the first Black woman elected to the GECDSB

Lloyd Dean

Windsor Lawyer Lloyd Dean appointed as Judge in the Ontario Court of Justice

James and Robert Dunn

In 2010 the City of Windsor proclaimed the week of February 21-27 as James and Robert Dunn week in honour of Windsor’s first town councillors of African descent

Howard McCurdy

Howard McCurdy passed away

Spurgeon Montage

Spurgeon Montage, first Black male elementary teacher in Windsor, passes away

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The Amherstburg Freedom Museum has re-opened to the public. Appointments/Tours are be pre-booked. Thank you for your understanding!

Tickets for the WSO Concert can be purchased here! Check out our calendar for all of the Black History Month events and programming happening this year.

visits/Tours must be pre-booked

For more information or to book a visit/tour please call the museum at 519-736-5433