Facts About Birchtown, The Largest Free Settlement in North America



Birchtown is a historical community in Shelburne County, Nova Scotia, with the Black Loyalist Heritage Centre as its most significant modern site. Birchtown was once the largest free Black settlement in North America.



Stephen Blucke settled the area in 1783, following the movement of Black Loyalists to Nova Scotia following the American Revolution. The Black Pioneers unit made up the majority of the population, and the majority of the total population came from the Southern colonies. The following summer saw a population increase as Blacks fled Shelburne during a riot.

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Being the largest settlement did not always imply that it was prosperous. Most of the time, it simply means that it is in a reachable location. At the time, Nova Scotia wasn’t known for its pleasant weather, and the land on which Birchtown was built wasn’t particularly fertile.


Nova Scotia had a few blemishes for Black Loyalists, so people were looking for a better opportunity. Around 600 people left the settlement when Thomas Peters recruited for Sierra Leone.


Birchtown remained a small rural farming and fishing town until the late twentieth century. Population decline has resulted from opportunities in larger towns and a lack of growth at home over the years. Birchtown now has a population of around 200 people.



Written by How Africa News

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