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"Chatham was not a mecca only. In a broader and truer sense, it was the colored man's Paris. Even now, after the experience and growth of 20 years of liberty we scarcely know a city of the land blessed with a society more varied and refined, more opulent and gay, than was this little Canadian city during the decade that opened up the second half of our century."

Stated in 1857, by Reverend R.R. Disney of the B.M.E. Church in the United States, after visiting Chatham.


The Chatham-Kent Black Historical Society is a Non-profit Registered Charity, which was founded in 1992, incorporated in 1994. We are an affiliate of the Ontario Historical Society, founded in 1888. Membership is open to anyone who is a citizen or legal resident of Canada or the United States, who supports the purposes of the Society.

(Pictured left: Ceremony at the Wilberforce Institute, era 1873.)


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website created December 2012; updated December 2012;
by Lori Gardner

Virtual Timelines, Collection Previews, and Reference Materials created with assistance from:
Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport through the Museum and Technology Fund grant.