Richard Pierpoint: Donna Ford – President of Central Ontario Network for Black History
Donna is a researcher on early Black Settlers who as Runaway Slaves arrived during the Underground Railroad era and settled in St. Catharines and Niagara region.
Richard Pierpoint was a child slave brought from Senegal in West Africa across the Atlantic Ocean to the United States. He became a soldier in the Revolutionary War in the United States and fought in the War of 1812 in Canada. In the latter stages of his life, he was a leader in the community.
Richard Pierpoint served a pioneer in John Butler’s rangers. By 1780 he was stationed with them in the Niagara region and was granted 200 acres of land on Twelve Mile Creek, in what later became Grantham Township.
In 1812 he enlisted in the Coloured or Black Corps and saw action at the battle of Queenston Heights on 13 October 1812 and was also involved in heavy fighting during the siege of Fort George (Niagara-on-the-Lake) on 27 May 1813.
He wished to return to the West African settlement he had left in the hold of a slave-ship some 60 years earlier but instead the old soldier received a location ticket for 100 acres of land in unsettled Garafraxa Township on the Grand River, near present-day Fergus.
In May 1825 Richard Pierpoint completed the settlement duties in clearing and fencing five acres and erecting a house. He probably died in late 1837 – an old African brought by the slave trade to the frontier of settlement in a land he never took for his own.
This event is hosted by the Grimsby Historical Society.