Remembering Black Loyalists, Black Communities in Nova Scotia
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1775-1800

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Thomas Richardson

homas Richardson, Tracadie, sailed on the ship Nisbet in November 1783, when he was 32, to make a good life for himself in Nova Scotia. He had escaped in 1777, early in the war, from Edward Dawson of Aarons County, Maryland. Ten years later, he was one of the grantees at Tracadie. A man of character, he served as a town officer at Tracadie in 1794-1795, keeping order as a constable. He owned more land than his initial Brownspriggs grant, and was living on his own property around Little Tracadie in 1799. His will and inventory, made at the time of his death, tell us what his life was like.

Richardson owned livestock, a musket, an umbrella, furniture, tools, and a spinning wheel. He left all his farmland and buildings to his wife, Anne, so she could support their young children. To his older daughter Anne, he gave a cow and its offspring. He left his stepdaughter a shilling. Thomas Richardson undoubtedly worked long hours but still had time to celebrate life through his religion. So deep was his spiritual belief that in his will he left a sum of money to the parish priest to pray for his soul. Although the Richardson surname is not common in the Tracadie area today, he had many descendants through his daughter Anne.

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