Seth Coleman

Is Dartmouth different? In the 19th century it certainly was.

From the Reports of the London Vaccine Institution, we have a contribution from July 28th, 1823 about Dartmouthian and Quaker Seth Coleman and how he tended to the people of Preston (and Dartmouth at large) who had smallpox.

In 1814, when the “medical gentleman of the town of Halifax were not to be induced to cross the harbour”, Seth Coleman stepped in and saved the lives of at least 423 people, including 285 Black refugees and 59 Mi’kmaq.

Coleman regretted the racial prejudice expressed by most colonists and Nova Scotian officials, declaring “My feelings have been often hurt at the expressions of people who are ignorant of (the refugees’) situations.”

An experience corroborated in ‘The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832’ by Alan Taylor and ‘The Blacks in Canada: A History’ By Robin William Winks.