In 1889, Broken Shackles was published in Toronto under the pseudonym of Glenelg.
This very unique book, containing the recollections of a resident of Owen Sound, Ontario, an African American known as Old Man Henson, was one of the very few books that documented the journey to Canada from the perspective of a person of African descent. Now, over 112 years later, a new edition of Broken Shackles is available.
Henson was a great storyteller, and the spark of life shines through as he describes the horrors of slavery and his goal of escaping its tenacious hold. His time as a slave in Maryland, his refuge in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and his ultimate freedom in Canada are vividly depicted through his remembrances.
The stories of Henson’s family, friends, and enemies will both amuse and shock the readers of Broken Shackles: Old Man Henson — From Slavery to Freedom. It is interesting to discover that his observations of life’s struggles and triumphs are as relevant today as they were in his time.
About the author
Editor Peter Meyler is the co-author of A Stolen Life: Searching for Richard Pierpoint, which tells the story of one of Ontario's first African settlers. He has written numerous articles about Ontario's black history, which have appeared in such publications as The Beaver, the Toronto Star, Share and Families.
Peter operates his own business providing forms management, graphic design and writing services to both the private and public sector. He was born in Fergus, Ontario, along the banks of the Grand River, and went on to study graphic design at Sheridan College in Oakville. Currently, Peter lives in Orangeville, Ontario, with his wife, Wendy, and daughters Lacadia and Laynna.