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Hamilton, October 15th, 1843

Dear Sir,

The people of colour in the Town of Hamilton have a right to inform your Excellency of the treatment that we have to undergo.  We have paid the taxes and we are denied of the public schools, and we have applied to the Board of the Police and there is no steps taken to change this manner of treatment, and this kind of treatment is not in the United States, for the children of colour go to the Public Schools together with the white children, more especially in Philadelphia, and I thought that there was not a man to be known by his colour under the British flag, and we left the United States because we were in hopes that prejudice was not in this land, and I came to live under your Government if my God would be my helper and to be true to the Government. I am sorry to annoy you by allowing this thing, but we are grieved much, we are imposed on much, and if it please your Excellency to attend to this grievance, if you please Sir.  I have left property in the United States and I have bought property in Canada, and all I want is justice and I will be satisfied.  We are called nigger when we go out in the street, and sometimes brick bats is sent after us as we pass in the street. We are not all absconders now we brought money into this Province and we hope never to leave it, for we hope to enjoy our rights in this Province, and may my God smile upon your public life and guide you into all truth, which is my prayer and God bless the Queen and Royal Family.

The Coloured People of Hamilton

Petition of the "People of Colour" of Hamilton to the Governor General protesting the
practice of segregated schooling for Black children
Department of Education Incoming General Correspondence,
Correspondence for 1843
Reference Code: RG 2-12
Archives of Ontario


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Kingston, 19th October, 1843

Sir,

A Petition from the coloured inhabitants of Hamilton addressed to His Excellency the Governor-General, stating that they pay the taxes and assessments, and that their children are denied admission into any of the schools of the town and praying for the privilege of having their children admitted to these schools, has been put into my hands with instructions to report for the information of the Governor General.

My reason for writing to you is with a view to obtain information on the following points, vis: First, the probably number of coloured children in Hamilton between five and sixteen years of age. Second, the state of feeling which prevails regarding their admission to the Common Schools. Third, the religious body, or bodies to which in general they belong. Fourth, the measures which the Board of Police have adopted or would recommend to be adopted to afford these children the means of education. Fifth. Has the Board of Police collected the School Assessment?

I have the honor to be, Sir
your most obedient servant.
Robert Murray

Letter dated October 19 from Rev. R. Murray to George S. Tiffany, Esquire
Department of Education Incoming General Correspondence,
Correspondence for 1843
Reference Code: RG 2-12
Archives of Ontario



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Hamilton 9th November, 1843

Sir,

I am favored with your letter dated the 19th ultimo, [ ] the Petition of the coloured inhabitants of the Town upon the subject of their exclusion from the benefits of the Established Common Schools.  I beg to apologise for the delay in replying to your letter by saying that illness and absence prevented me from making the necessary investigation in order to answer your several queries.  I have lately directed my attention to the proper quarter for information, and now beg to give you the result of my enquiries.  First. There appears to be about 20 coloured children within the ages of five and sixteen years.  Second. I regret to say that there is a strong prejudice existing amongst the lower orders of the Whites against the coloured people. The several Teachers as well as others acquainted with the extent of this prejudice fear that if coloured children are admitted into the schools the parents of the greater part of the White children will take them away.  Third. The coloured population belong chiefly to the Methodist and Baptist persuasions.  Fourth – The Board of Police are unanimous in the opinion that whatever may be the state of feeling at present with respect to the admission of the coloured children into the same school with the whites, it would not be advisable to yield to it, but that the law ought to be enforced without distinction of colour.  They think that if a firm stand be taken at first, the prejudice will soon give way.

My reason for writing to you is with a view to obtain information on the following points, vis: First, the probably number of coloured children in Hamilton between five and sixteen years of age. Second, the state of feeling which prevails regarding their admission to the Common Schools. Third, the religious body, or bodies to which in general they belong. Fourth, the measures which the Board of Police have adopted or would recommend to be adopted to afford these children the means of education. Fifth. Has the Board of Police collected the School Assessment?

I have the honor to be, Sir
your obedient servant.
George S. Tiffany
President Board of Police

Letter dated November 9 from George S. Tiffany, Esquire to Reverend R. Murray
Department of Education Incoming General Correspondence,
Correspondence for 1843
Reference Code: RG 2-12
Archives of Ontario


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