Skip to content Skip to navigation Skip to search

Reading list

Josiah Henson

The Life of Josiah Henson: Formerly a Slave, by Josiah Henson. The acclaimed autobiography ofJosiah Henson (1796-1883) was first printed in 1849. Born into slavery about 1796 in Charles County, Maryland, Henson and his family escaped to Upper Canada in 1830 via the Underground Railroad. In 1841, Henson helped establish the British American Institute for refugee slaves. Harriet Beecher Stowe acknowledged his memoirs as a source for her novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

Uncle Tom's Cabin, or Life Among the Lowly
, by Harriet Beecher Stowe. Harriet Beecher Stowe’s best-selling novel of the 19th century depicts the horrors of slavery. In its first year of print, the book sold more than 300,000 copies in the United States alone. It has since been translated into many different languages.

Non-Fiction for Young Adults

Get On Board: The Story of the Underground Railroad, byJim Haskins. Haskin's text offers a detailed look at the passage to freedom by examining key figures in the movement, first-hand accounts and stories of ingenious methods of escape. This is an excellent introduction to the story of the Underground Railroad.

Adult Non-Fiction

Underground Railroad Booklet: Official Handbook. A treasure trove of historic photographs and illustrations, this booklet depicts the many ways that Blacks escaped slavery in the southern United States before the Civil War. These photos accompany essays that further explore the role of the Underground Railroad in an enslaved person’s escape to freedom.

The Underground Railroad: Official Map and Guide. A complementary piece to the Underground Railroad Booklet, this map and guide provides a general overview of the activities and key figures in the Underground Railroad through a variety of images, maps and timelines.

A Visitor’s Guide to Ontario’s Underground Railroad. Ontario’s Underground Railroad communities have been arranged geographically from Windsor and Niagara in the south, to Owen Sound and Grey County in the north to reflect the travel and settlement patterns of the Black refugees in Upper Canada c. 1800. Use this guide to plan your own personal exploration of Ontario’s history.
Slavery to freedom
Slavery to freedom
During the 19th century, thousands of enslaved and many free African-Americans fled the United States and made their way to freedom in Canada. Ontario was one of their primary destinations.
Follow us on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook
Join the discussion for Ontario's Black heritage on Facebook ...