Connecting the dots between Haiti’s revolutionary past and Toronto’s Simcoe Day

Connecting the dots between Haiti’s revolutionary past and Toronto’s Simcoe Day

In Ontario, the first Monday in August is Simcoe Day, a civic holiday named after John Graves Simcoe — Upper Canada’s first lieutenant governor. Simcoe is well-known for passing an anti-slavery law that set the stage for the abolition of slavery in Canada.

He also shares a historical connection with Haiti.

John Graves Simcoe found himself in Haiti (called Saint-Domingue back then) in January 1797, when the British stationed him there in a bid to take over the island. His escapade didn’t last very long. After six months, he returned to Canada defeated by the revolutionary forces — and the “climate” (so he said).

The Brisith surrendered not too long after Simcoe’s return. They gave up the fight in 1798 and negotiated a peace treaty with Toussaint L’Ouverture, the leader of the Haitian revolution.

Photo: Wikipedia