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Black Loyalist Land Grants

Douglas Street, Grand Bay-Westfield, New Brunswick, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2011/10/31

Portion of the Black Loyalist land grant area; Grand Bay-Westfield
Black Loyalist Land Grants
Negro Lake; Grand Bay-Westfield
Portion of the Black Loyalist land grant area
Land grant mapping, showing close up of area comprising Black Loyalist Land Grants.
; Provincial Archives of New Brunswick
Black Loyalist Land Grants

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2013/01/24

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

This local historic place is a small plot of land representing land grants issued by the Crown in 1787 to Black Loyalists. A part of an original 1150 acre grant to a group of free black petitioners, this place lies near the junction of Highway 177 and Highway 102.

Heritage Value

The Black Loyalist Land Grants is designated a local historic place as its landscape represents a little-documented chapter of the history of Grand Bay-Westfield and the history of black settlers in the Province. It recognizes the trials, disappointments and harsh lives of this group of free Black Loyalists who arrived in Saint John about 1783 and made their way to settle in the Grand Bay-Westfield area.

This designation is also recognition of group petitions submitted in 1785 by black Loyalists from the Saint John area to receive land they had been promised. Richard Wheeler led one such petition representing over 50 blacks, including several he had met aboard the Clinton en route from New Jersey. While known locally as Richard Wheeler, his African name was Corankapone. He and 31 petitioners were eventually issued grants of 50 acres each in Westfield near Negro and Robin Hood Lakes. By 1790 most of the black settlers had relocated to Saint John and their grants were sold or reverted to the Crown to be redistributed to white settlers.

Further, there is heritage value of this local historic place in its association with the migration of black settlers from New Brunswick to Halifax and onwards to the new British colony of Freetown, Sierra Leone. Discouraged and in search of a better life, Wheeler and four companions walked from Westfield to Halifax in December 1791 to board a transport ship bound for Sierra Leone. Other black setters who attempted the journey from New Brunswick to Halifax perished along the way. More died at sea before reaching Africa, and those who arrived safely struggled to acquire land to support themselves and their families. Still others were recaptured and sold into the slave trade. Richard Wheeler, having spent eight years in New Brunswick, became a constable in Freetown, Sierra Leone and an important community leader.

Source: Grand Bay-Westfield Historic Place files: Black Loyalist Land Grants

Character-Defining Elements

- location in proximity to Negro Lake;
- association with Richard (Corankapone) Wheeler;
- association with the history of early black settlers in Grand Bay-Westfield.



New Brunswick

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (NB)

Recognition Statute

Heritage Conservation Act

Recognition Type

Local Historic Place (municipal)

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1787/01/01 to 1787/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Peopling the Land

Function - Category and Type


Undetermined (archaeological site)
Buried Site


Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Mortuary Site, Cemetery or Enclosure

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Grand Bay-Westfield Historic Places files, Town Hall, 609 River Valley Dive, Grand Bay-Westfield, NB

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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