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When Tom Peters arrived in Nova Scotia, he expected to find the plot of farmland that had been promised him in return for fighting for the British. It wasn't quite what he had in mind...

Black and white loyalists who migrated to Nova Scotia competed for land grants and other resources. In Annapolis County, Thomas Peters pressed authorities to provide land grants that had been promised to black war veterans. Harsh conditions forced many veterans to perform roadwork in order to receive food rations. After the governor of Nova Scotia continued to delay land grants, Peters took action and wrote a series of petitions to government officials, seeking a solution to their grievances.

Frustrated by discrimination and delay, Peters decided to travel to England to advocate for the black community of Nova Scotia. When he arrived in England, he met abolitionists and members of the Sierra Leone Company. Peters negotiated with the company to allow the black immigrants of Nova Scotia to settle in Freetown, Sierra Leone.


Letter from New York April 1783


Abolition Blues have got me so confused

I don't know what to do

Would you walk a mile and a half in my shoes?

I think you'd refuse

How many times do I have to pay my dues

before I'm excused?

Abolition Blues have got me so confused

I don't know what to do

I'm a free man 

But what does it mean when you're free, man

And can't buy a bean

I'm a dreamer without a dream

Got a family that I just can't feed

I was promised land in the promised land

Now they don't give a damn

Abolition Blues was never in the plan

I hope you understand

Well I fought for you under red, white and blue

And you promised me 40 acres and a mule

But I don't see much of that coming true

That's why I've got these Abolition Blues

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