By David Meyler, Peter Meyler

Richard Pierpoint or Captain Dick, as he was once regularly recognized, emerges from the shadows of historical past in A Stolen existence: trying to find Richard Pierpoint. An African warrior who used to be captured at approximately age sixteen, Pierpoint lived his closing years in exile. From his start in Bundu (now a part of Senegal) round 1744 till his dying in rural Ontario in 1837, Pierpoint’s existence permits us to glimpse the task of an African fascinated with a few of the world’s nice occasions.

"We are indebted to the authors for respiring existence into this guy, who although taken from his domestic early in his existence nonetheless used to be capable of make an important contribution to the early historical past of higher Canada. He fought, farmed and have become a tremendous to the Black neighborhood. We thanks for an excellent tale of this frequently forgotten phase of Canadian history."

— Wilma Morrison, Norval Johnson historical past Library, Niagara Falls

"Everybody understands concerning the Underground Railroad and the nice many Black souls who emigrated to Canada through this course, yet only a few humans be aware of the courageous Black women and men who placed their lives at the line in defence of this country."

— Ivor Christopher, Re-enactor, Runchey’s corporation of colored Men

"A well-researched and hugely readable chronicle of Richard Pierpoint’s lifestyles in Africa and North the United States — as a slave, a soldier, and as a pioneer in higher Canada’s desolate tract. … a extremely important contribution to Canadian Black history."

— Linda Brown-Kubisch, writer, Missouri

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Paw paw, gambling with cowrie shells, was a favourite pastime. 10 Another feature of African gatherings was music. Many men were trained musicians, even though their white masters thought that they had acquired the talent to play instruments naturally. Favourite instruments were violins and flutes. Sometimes, drums could be incorporated into the music, but only if they were presented as toy drums. Often black fiddlers were used at white dances because of their skill and energetic style of playing.

Richard Pierpoint enters the historical record in 1780, listed as one of Butler's Rangers at Fort Niagara. 8 There is no indication of who she was. As slaves of Loyalists were not generally freed, it is likely Pierpoint was a run-away. From the available documents there are less than a dozen known Africans who served in Butler's Rangers. Two of these, the brothers Peter and Richard Martin, were the slaves of John Butler (while Peter Martin's son was a slave of Thomas Butler). They had been captured by rebels and resold, but then managed to escape and rejoin Butler.

Two basic religions were brought to America from Africa, the traditional beliefs and Islam. While the majority of Africans would have followed the old spirit-based practices, a smaller group would have followed Islam. In this group there would have been both strict practitioners of the religion and those that followed the basic tenets, but did not follow all of the Islamic laws. A folk religion, blending various facets of different beliefs, developed since there was a mixture of various African nationalities in the northern colonies.

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