The Essential
The country around this small manufacturing centre was first settled by black slaves who fled the US for freedom in British North America. Josiah Henson, a slave for 41 years, escaped with his family to Canada via the underground Railway, arriving in Ontario with his family in 1830, In 1841 he moved to the Dresden area, where other fugitive slaves had settled. He helped establish the Dawn Settlement as a refuge for other fugitives and founded one of Canada's first industrial schools. Harriet Beecher Stowe used him as the model for her influential 1852 novel Uncle Tom's Cabin.