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#BLM: Black Voices & Anti-Racism Resources

Canada's Forgotten Slaves
Two Centuries of Bondage
Text by: Marcel Trudel Translated by: George Tombs

Text by :

Marcel Trudel ,

Translated by :

George Tombs




Product Form:


Form detail:

Paperback , Trade


General Trade
Sep 15, 2013
$27.95 CAD


9in x 6 x 0 in | 0.5 lb

Page Count:

398 pages
Vehicule Press
HISTORY / Canada / General
History of the Americas
Canada's Forgotten Slaves is a ground-breaking work by one of French Canada's leading historians, available for the first time in English. This book reveals that slavery was not just something that happened in the United States. Quite the contrary! Slavery was very much a part of everyday life in colonial Canada under the French regime starting in 1629, and then under the British regime right up to its official abolition throughout the British empire in 1834.

By painstakingly combing through unpublished archival records of the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Marcel Trudel gives a human face to the over 4,000 Aboriginal and Black slaves bought, sold and exploited in colonial Canada. He reveals the identities of the slave owners, who ranged from governors, seigneurs, and military officers to bishops, priests, nuns, judges, and merchants. Trudel describes the plight of slaves--the joys and sorrows of their daily existence. Trudel also recounts how some slaves struggled to gain their liberty. He documents Canadian politicians, historians and ecclesiastics who deliberately falsified the record, glorifying their own colonial-era heroes, in order to remove any trace of the thousands of Aboriginal and Black slaves held in bondage for two centuries in Canada.

Marcel Trudel was an eminent Canadian historian and a respected authority on the history of New France. A fervent advocate of the secular society, he was blacklisted by the Catholic Church from teaching at Laval University in the early 1960s, then taught for several decades at the University of Ottawa. He was an award-winning author of more than 40 books, many of them translated into other languages. Trudel died in 2011.
George Tombs is a Montreal-based author, film-maker, award-winning journalist and translator.

"This book provides the only available outline of the contours of the slave system ... in seventeenth and eighteenth-century New France." -Canadian Historical Review

"A major and controversial work." -Le Devoir

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