Gallery: Daddy Hall by Tony Miller

Born of a Mohawk father and an escaped-slave mother, John ‘Daddy’ Hall was a product of not one but two oppressed peoples. His gripping story is the stuff of legends—of the War of 1812, of the harsh realities slavery and of triumph in the face of adversity. Over the course of his 117-year life, Hall identified as a freeman, a scout for the British under Chief Tecumseh, a captured slave, an escapee on the Underground Railroad, a town crier in Owen Sound, Ontario, a husband and, as his nickname aptly suggests, father to an impressive number of children.

In Daddy Hall, Owen Sound-based artist Tony Miller’s 80 stark and arresting black-and-white linocuts present an unflinching portrait of a remarkable African-Canadian whose story of resilience and reinvention offers a fascinating glimpse into the history of Southwestern Ontario.


Book Cover Daddy Hall

Daddy Hall Page 55

Daddy Hall Page 77

Daddy Hall Page 103

Daddy Hall Page 133

Daddy Hall Page 147

Daddy Hall Page 167


Kudos to Tony Miller in imagining and drafting Hall’s story as he does. We see the poised, white-hand-held bullwhip and we see the pregnant black belly; we see the War of 1812 as a series of muskets and tomahawks; we see Hall enslaved, we see him escape. He be a prototype, one-man Underground Railroad. Finally, we see him crying ‘Freedom!’ through the streets of Owen Sound. That rapping voice—bringing da Noise and da News—resounds down to our own eardrums. Miller’s panels compose, let’s face it, a spiritual ballad....

George Elliott Clarke, O.C., O.N.S., Ph.D.
E.J. Pratt Professor of Canadian Literature
University of Toronto
& Parliamentary Poet Laureate (2016–17)

May 8, 2017
Books mentioned in this post
Daddy Hall

Daddy Hall

A Biography in 80 Linocuts
by (artist) Tony Miller
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