Ontario's Historical Plaques 

Discover Ontario's history as told through its plaques

2004 - Now in our 15th Year - 2019

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The Dawn Settlement

The Dawn Settlement

Photo by Alan L Brown - Posted August, 2004

The Dawn Settlement

Photo by contributor Wayne Adam - Posted September, 2011

Plaque Location

The Municipality of Chatham-Kent
In Dresden, at Uncle Tom's Cabin Historic Site
on Uncle Tom's Road (Road 40) just south of Park Street

Coordinates: N 42 35.088 W 82 11.774


Click here for a larger map

Plaque Text

In the 1830s, the Reverend Josiah Henson and other abolitionists sought ways to provide refugees from slavery with the education and skills they needed to become self-sufficient in Upper Canada. They purchased 80 ha of land here in 1841 and established the British American Institute, one of the first schools in Canada to emphasize vocational training. The community of Dawn developed around the Institute. Its residents farmed, attended the Institute, and worked at sawmills, grist-mills, and other local industries. Some returned to the United States after emancipation was proclaimed in 1863. Others remained, contributing to the establishment of a significant black community in this part of the province.

Related Ontario plaque
Josiah Henson (1789-1883)



Black History

Other Plaques in Dresden
First Regular Baptist Church, Dresden
The Founding of Dresden
Hugh Burnett and the National Unity Association
Josiah Henson (1789-1883)

Chatham-Kent Plaques

Here are the visitors' comments for this page.

> Posted December 9, 2008
Delighted to find your website. Nice job! Am studying a group of kindred spirits of the time. If you ever find that Alonzo Barnard was a participant in the pre-Dawn community, please tell me.
Linda Bryan, 1752 Gulden Pl., St. Paul, Minn 55109

> Posted November 23, 2008
Thank You!

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Alan L Brown

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