Thornton and Lucie Blackburn National Historic Persons

Bronze commemorative plaque
Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada commemorative plaque for Thornton and Lucie Blackburn, date unknown

Thornton and Lucie Blackburn were designated as national historic persons in 1999.

Historical importance: Legendary escapees from slavery who established first cab company in Toronto

Commemorative plaque: 19 Sackville Street, Toronto, OntarioFootnote 1

The Blackburns' determination to build free lives provides a window on the experience of many refugees in the Underground Railroad era. Having fled slavery in Kentucky, they were arrested in Detroit in 1833. Their capture sparked riots and in the confusion they managed to escape to Upper Canada. Here, the government twice defended them against extradition, and by 1834 the couple had settled in Toronto. Respected citizens, they established the city's first cab company, worked for Abolition and contributed to the well-being of their community.

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