• 1 Rev. William King

    Born near Newton-Limavady, Ireland, Rev. William King (1812-95) was a Presbyterian minister, abolitionist and founder of the community of Buxton in Canada West (Ontario). King travelled to America in 1833 and settled in Louisiana as a teacher, but returned to Scotland to study and was ordained as a Presbyterian preacher in 1846. That year, he also accepted the call for ministers in Toronto. In 1848, he returned to Louisiana to settle his late wife’s estate, which included a number of slaves. Forced to admit that he now owned a plantation and slaves, Rev. King convinced members of the Presbytery of Toronto that he could establish a colony of fugitive and freed slaves in Canada. He returned to Louisiana and gathered a number of Black families willing to join his new community in Canada. In 1850, the Elgin Association was incorporated to purchase land near Chatham, which was named Buxton. King oversaw the establishment of a frame church, Sunday school and day school in early 1850. Despite opposition from the local white population, the Buxton settlement thrived, at one point home to nearly 1,200 escaped slaves from America. King stayed on as a minister in the settlement until his death in 1895.

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