“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Dresden in Chatham-Kent County, Ontario — Central Canada

Josiah Henson

(1789 - 1883)

Josiah Henson Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 12, 2014
1. Josiah Henson Marker
Inscription. English
After escaping to Upper Canada from slavery in Kentucky, the Reverend Josiah Henson became a conductor of the Underground Railroad and a force in the abolition movement. The founder of the Black settlement of Dawn, he was also an entrepreneur and established a school, the British-American Institute. His fame grew after Harriet Beecher Stowe stated that his memoirs published in 1849 had provided “conceptions and incidents” for her extraordinarily popular novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Henson’s celebrity raised international awareness of Canada as a haven for refugees from slavery.

Après s’être enfui du Kentucky où il vivait en esclavage, le révérend Henson s’installa au Haut-Canada et s’imposa comme chef de file dans le réseau de chemin de fer clandestin et au sein du mouvement abolitionniste. Fondateur de la communauté noire de Dawn, il fut aussi un entrepreneur et mit sur pied une école, le British-American Institute. Il devint particulièrement célèbre quand Harriet Beecher Stowe déclare s’être inspirée de ses mémoires, publiés en 1849, pour écrire son célèbre roman La Case de l’oncle Tom. La renommée de Henson révéla au monde que le Canada s’avérait un terre d’accueil pour les esclaves fugitifs.
Erected 1999 by Historic
Josiah Henson Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 12, 2014
2. Josiah Henson Marker
The tombstone of Josiah Henson is to the right of the marker.
Sites and Monument Board of Canada/Commission de lieux et monuments historique du Canada.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Canada, Historic Sites and Monuments Board marker series.
Location. 42° 35.135′ N, 82° 11.788′ W. Marker is in Dresden, Ontario, in Chatham-Kent County. Marker is at the intersection of Uncle Tom's Road and Park Street, on the right when traveling north on Uncle Tom's Road. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 29252 Uncle Tom's Road, Dresden, Ontario N0P, Canada.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 18 kilometers of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Spirituality and Community (within shouting distance of this marker); Henson House (within shouting distance of this marker); Sawmill (within shouting distance of this marker); Harris House (about 90 meters away, measured in a direct line); The Dawn Settlement (about 90 meters away); The Founding of Dresden (approx. 1.5 kilometers away); Burning of British Ships / American Encampment (approx. 16.8 kilometers away); The Legend of the Paw Paw (approx. 16.8 kilometers away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Dresden.
More about this marker. This marker is in the Henson family cemetery.
Also see . . .
Josiah Henson image. Click for full size.
3. Josiah Henson
 Josiah Henson Wikipedia. Henson's autobiography, The Life of Josiah Henson, Formerly a Slave, Now an Inhabitant of Canada, as Narrated by Himself (1849), is widely believed to have inspired the character of the fugitive slave, George Harris, in Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852), who returned to Kentucky for his wife and escaped across the Ohio River, eventually to Canada. (Submitted on October 29, 2014, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.) 
Categories. Abolition & Underground RRAfrican AmericansCemeteries & Burial SitesSettlements & Settlers
The British American Cemetery image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 12, 2014
4. The British American Cemetery
This cemetery is across the road from the Henson Family Cemetery.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 29, 2014, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 385 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on October 29, 2014, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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