Richard Pierpoint




Richard's real name is unknown. He was named Richard when he was owned by a man named Richard Peirpoint. He was born in Bondu, Senegambia, West Africa into the Fulani tribe. They grew varios crops including cotton and rice, were traders, and were excellent cattle ranchers. He was a Moslem and might have known how to read and write.

Captured into slavery


There was not enough labourers, so the tribes in Africa raided each other, bringing back people to work for them. The European slavers adopted this from the Africans and bought their slaves from Africa. Richard was captured and taken to James Fort where he was sold to Europeans. He was branded with a hot iron, treated as their property and forced abord a ship.

Shiped to Barbados

March 1760 - June 1760

The trip across the ocean was almost enough to kill Richard. He was chanied to another man and slept with the next bunk only inches above his head. The stench of the horrible sanitation lingured in the air and many died. Some broke free and plunged into the ocean rather than try to survive. 15% of the human cargo died, but Richard survived.

Bought by Richard Peirpoint

June 1760

Once he arrived in Barbados he was taken to a slave market somewhere on the mainland and made to look a little better. They cleaned him up and then put him on market. He was bought by a British soldier, Richard Peirpoint, and named. He lost his freedom, home, family, religion and even his name.

A Slave

July 1760 - 1776

Richard served his master, also Richard for 16 years. It was a hard time of no freedom. Slaves worked hard long hours and were treated like property. They were flogged, abused and uncared for. Millions of slaves lived in horrible living conditions, serving their masters and being their work force without getting paid. Richard was ages 16 to 32 during his slavery, so this would have been especially hard for him. While other teens started getting more freedoms and decided what they wanted to do for a living, Richard was enslaved.

Earned Freedom

1776 - 1784

Richard earned his freedom from the very same King whose slave company had taken him to America and chartered him as a slave in the first place. He fought for King George against the Americans and when the British lost, he was taken to Fort Niagara. When he came across the border, he was free. His name was changed to Pawpine because he was a member of Butler's Rangers.

Worked on Granted Land

1788 - 1791

Pawpine was granted 200-acres near St.Catharines, On. He was required to clear the land and build a house on it. In 1791 after spending 3 years backbreaking labour Pawpine received full ownership of the land. Eventually he abandoned or sold his property, we don't really know why.

Petition for Land Near Africans


Pawpine now lived on his land, free in Canada, but he still was not happy. He felt unwelcome with the Caucasian people and few Africans. They probably looked down on him and thought of him as lower than them. After all, this was only a few years since the time where Africans would have been the slaves in America, and a little earlier and for a shorter time, in Canada. Richard, along with a few other Africans sent a petition to Governor John Simcoe to receive land adjacent to one another, so that they could have their own community and not have to live as close to the people who they disliked and who disliked them. He was refused.

No Longer Considered Loyalist


Richards name was taken off the list of United Empire Loyalists. This meant that the servitude he did in the war was no longer considered legitimate. Possibly because they thought he had acted in a way that considered him no longer a loyalist, or because he was African and they were racist.

Fought in the War of 1812

1812 - 1815

Peirpoint, at age 68, offered to lead a Corps of Coloured men into battle against the Americans. He was refused but eventually was accepted with the condition that Robert Runchey, a white tavern owner, would lead. In 1815 Runchey's "Coloured Corps" was disbanded and Richard lived as a labourer for another six years.

Worked on Granted Land- Again

1821 - 1825

He was granted land for his servitude in the war to live on. He took four years, longer than the first time, to clear his new granted land and build a house on it. He co-existed with the mainly caucasian population in Niagara-on-the-Lake and longed to just go home.

Tries to Go Home

July 21, 1821

Richard was again living alone on Niagara-on-the-Lake. He was offered 100-acres for his service in the war, but he wanted something a lot more than land in the lonely wilderness of Canada. A general of militia vouched for Peirpoint and he sent a petition to the Lieutenant Governor requesting one thing- a oneway boat ride to his true home: Bondu. He was refused.



Richard Peirpoint died on his land, in Niagara-on-the-Lake. He never made it back to his home in Bondu, Senegambia. He was ripped form his home at 16, forced to endure the hardships of slavery, served in the war, was made free, but not completely for he was not allowed to life out his freedom where he wanted to. He again had to endure the horrible hardships of war and came back to build a house and live out the rest of his days, alone, fighting to fit in with the prominently non-african population.


The American Revolution

1775 - 1783

The Revolution raged during the beginning of Pawpine's time in North America. He gained his freedom by fighting against the Americans, but even then he was not truly free for he was unwelcome in his community and not allowed to return to Bondu, his home.

War of 1812

1810 - 1815

Pawpine was more than willing to fight against the Americans, again. When they invaded Canada to receive more land Canadians fought back. Canada burnt down the White House, but The Americans won the last battle. It is unsure who won for no land changed hands. I think that the USA and Canada both lost. Resources were wasted, homes and communities were destroyed and countless people died because of the dispute which solved nothing. It may have stopped the Americans from becoming itchy in the future and invading again for more land if the war had not happened the way it did. It also may have taught both America and Canada that fighting against each other is pointless. Canada and the USA have been at relative peace ever since.