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Chloe Cooley, a Black Woman Enslaved

On March 14, 1793, after spending her life enslaved, Chloe Cooley, a young black woman was abducted by enslaver Adam Vrooman (who’d purchased her only a few months prior from another Ontario slave owner, Benjamin Hardison) and sold over the Niagara River into the United States because Vrooman was worried he’d lose the money he’d spent to buy her. Her abduction was witnessed by others, and even reported, but charges were dropped because Upper Canada still allowed her to be considered property. The forcible sale and disappearance of Chloe Cooley on March 14, 1793 from Fort Erie, Ontario eventually led to the Act Against Slavery that in that same year abolished banned the import of slaves into the Canadian provinces and eventually the abolition of Canadian slavery.

This month, the Union of Canadian Transportation Employees honours Black History.

For more information on Chloe Cooley, please visit https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/chloe-cooley-and-the-act-to-limit-slavery-in-upper-canada

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