Wednesday, July 13, 2011
It's "deja vu all over again." Three years ago I shared photos from Birchtown in Nova Scotia. At the time the historical novel, The Book of Negroes, was growing in popularity and I went with my brother to explore the site. This year Ruth and I were in the same area and made the trip to Birchtown, although once again the schoolhouse museum was closed. The offices of the historical society are in a nearby church, a reminder that religion was both a sustaining force for slaves and the justification for oppression by some slave owners. Just click on the photo with the plaque to get a readable image. We were staying near Port Mouton, mentioned on the plaque.
It was still sobering to see a reconstruction of one of the pit houses the former slaves called home during harsh Nova Scotia winters and insect ridden summers. Some of them walked the eight kilometres to Shelburne where they worked for what were essentially slave wages, even though they were supposedly free men and women.
I thought that since the story of the burning of The Book of Negroes in the Netherlands was so recent I would include some of the pictures from our trip.