LUCIE & THORNTON BLACKBURN
Born into slavery in Kentucky, Lucie and Thornton managed to escape from their chains and found refuge in Ontario via the Detroit River. Although Thornton was briefly jailed in Ontario while a formal request for his return was issued, the Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada denied his extradition, marking Canada as a symbol of hope and change. Thornton rescued his mother from Kentucky, and upon settling in Toronto, the Blackburns became active in anti-slavery communities. They helped former slaves settle in the city, brought about the articulation of a legal defence against slavery, gave back to those less fortunate, and were eventually deemed “Persons of National Historic Significance” as emblems for what so many Black people went through.