Rediscovering the Dawn Settlement and Josiah Henson's Legacy

Author(s): Dena Doroszenko

Year: 2020


This is an abstract from the session entitled "Bridging Connections and Communities: 19th-Century Black Settlement in North America" , at the 2020 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology.

Josiah Henson was known as the patriarch of the British American Institute (BAI) in 1842 which began as a school for the growing freedom-seeker population living at the Dawn Settlement. The Dawn Settlement was a farming community which grew to 500 people by 1850. While the history of the BAI and the Dawn settlement are not the same,they are linked,in terms of place and participants; and while there are a few scattered physical reminders of the Dawn Settlement throughout the Town of Dresden, two cemeteries are the only visible remnants of the BAI on the landscape. This paper will examine the interesting relationships and individual histories that have emerged with sites related to Josiah Henson in Canada and the United States as a conduit to the broader discussions on the history of enslavement and the anti-slavery movement,early African American settlement in Ontario and the nature of public memory and commemoration.

Cite this Record

Rediscovering the Dawn Settlement and Josiah Henson's Legacy. Dena Doroszenko. 2020 ( tDAR id: 456878)


African-American Black Settlement Josiah Henson

Geographic Keywords

Temporal Keywords
Nineteenth Century

Spatial Coverage

min long: -141.003; min lat: 41.684 ; max long: -52.617; max lat: 83.113 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 389