Notable Leader

Josiah Henson
Ontario

Josiah Henson

Josiah Henson was born a slave on June 15, 1789, in Charles County, Maryland. He was sold three times before he reached the age of eighteen. By 1830, Henson had saved $350 to purchase his freedom. After giving his master the money he was told that the price had increased to $1,000.

Cheated of his money, Henson decided to escape with his wife and four children. After reaching Canada, Henson formed a community where he taught other ex-slaves how to be successful farmers. American abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe read his autobiography, The Life of Josiah Henson (1849), which inspired her powerful and controversial novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

Source: Government of Canada