Dawn Settlement, The

In the 1830s, the Reverend Josiah Henson and other abolitionists sought ways to provide refugees from slavery with the education and skills they needed to become self-sufficient in Upper Canada. They purchased 200 acres of land here in 1841 and established the British American Institute, one of the first schools in Canada to emphasize vocational training. The community of Dawn developed around the Institute. Its residents farmed, attended the Institute, and worked at sawmills, grist-mills and other local industries. Some returned to the United States after emancipation was proclaimed in 1863. Others remained, contributing to the establishment of a significant Black community in this part of the province.


At the Josiah Henson Museum of African-Canadian History, west of Highway 21, Dresden

Region: Southwestern Ontario

County/District: Municipality of Chatham-Kent (District)

Municipality: Municipality of Chatham-Kent