The Buxton Liberty Bell - Buxton National Historic Site - North Buxton, ON, Canada
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Bon Echo
N 42° 18.361 W 082° 13.222
17T E 399417 N 4684474
Quick Description: When a fugitive slave arrived in Buxton through the Underground Railroad, the large bell in the Mission school rang to celebrate their arrival and new found freedom
Location: Ontario, Canada
Date Posted: 3/21/2014 5:48:42 PM
Waymark Code: WMKCRM
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Outspoken1
Views: 1

Long Description:
This replica of the original 1850 Buxton Liberty Bell has the following information etched on it (as does the original bell, which is not accessible):


Besides the bell, there are a number of plaques at this site. Engraved on the plaques are the text taken from two letters. The first, written by those in the United States which provided the bell as a gift, states:

Pittsburgh, 12 Nov., 1850

To the Colored Settlers at Raleigh, C. West

Dear Brethren,

We have heard with great pleasure from Dr. Burns and the Rev. Wm King of your settlement at Raleigh. We rejoice that you have met with Christian friends who cheer and encourage you in your efforts to improve your social conditions.

You are now in a land of liberty, where the rights and privileges of freeman are secured to you by law. Your future position in society will depend very much on your own exertions. We sincerely hope that by your industry and good conduct you will put to silence those who speak evil of you, and show yourselves worth of the respect and confidence of the members of the "Elgin Association", who have nobly advocated your cause.

We feel a deep interest both in your temporal and spiritual welfare. As a lasting memorial of our kindness, we send to the Rev. William King, a Bell for the Academy, that when we shall be mouldering in our coffins, will call your children to the house of instruction. While your children are brought up under the blessing of a Christian education, we trust that in the land of your adoption you will not forget the God of your fathers. Love and serve Him; remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy; and when the bell, with all its solemn tones, calls you to the house of God, remember your brethren who are in bonds; and let your prayer ascend to God, that He may, in Him own good time, break every yoke and let the oppressed go free; that he may turn both the heart of the Masters and Servants from the bondage of Satan to the service of the one living and true God.

J.C. Peck

J.B. Vashon

On Behalf of the Committee.

In reply, this second letter was written:

Raleigh, C.W. Dec., 1850

To the Coloured Inhabitants of Pittsburgh

Dear Brethren: -

We have received your letter dated the 23rd of Nov., and the bell presented to the Rev. W. King for the Academy at Raleigh. We are delighted at all times to hear from the friends that we have left in a land of pretend freedom, and although separated in body, we are present with you in spirit, and we fondly hope that our prayers often meet before the throne of God for mutual blessings. We will endeavor to observe and practice the advice which you have given us, by loving and serving God and obeying the laws of our Sovereign. We will not cease to implore the Divine Blessing on the Government which has given us liberty not only in name but in reality. The bell has been raised to the place erected for it, and for the first time the silence of our forest was broken on the last Sabbath morn, by its joyful peals inviting us to the house of God. We would return to you our sincere thanks for this memorial of your kindness and we trust that while its cheerful peal invites us to the house of prayer, we will then remember our brethren who are in less favourable circumstances; and our constant prayer will be that the Bible, the gift of God to man, may no longer be withheld from you by the unrighteous acts of professed Christian legislators; that the power of the oppressors may be broken, and that those who have long been held in bondage may be set free.

Isaac Riley

William A. Jackson

On behalf of the Coloured Inhabitants of Raleigh.

A third plaque at this locations provides some information about the original bell and about this replica:

The Buxton Liberty Bell was a gift in 1850 from the coloured inhabitants of Pittsburg to Rev. William King and the coloured settlers at Raleigh, Canada West. The original bell now hands in the steeple of St. Andrews Church South Buxton. This replica was created for the Buxton Historical Society by sculptor Brett Davis of Holland Marsh, Ontario with financial assistance from the Ontario's Community Builders Program sponsored by the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, Province of Ontario.

Additional financial assistance was given to this project by the Municipality of Chatham Kent and from a Community Improvement grant sponsored by Union Gas, a spectra energy company.

It is said that the "Buxton Liberty Bell" rang out each time a fugitive reached safety in Buxton. This replica is dedicated to the courage and to the accomplishments of our ancestors who made Buxton their home.

Buxton National Historic Site and Museum 21975 A.D. Shadd Rd. North Buxton, Ontario, Canada N0P 1Y0

Website: [Web Link]

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