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Way of Life
For escaped slaves who found freedom in British North America, life was not easy. Many of those in what is now southern Ontario decided to farm, because they had experience in working the land. They had to work hard to clear new land, build houses and feed their families. Often the men and their children worked as labourers on other farms as well as their own to make a living. Others found work in the lumber industry, cutting timber, especially in the winter when there was no farming to be done.
Black people who came to the maritime colonies and were either not given land or were given land that was too poor for farming, had a harder time. They usually had to work for others, at very low wages, or for no pay at all. Some of the first Black Loyalists who came to Nova Scotia knew some kind of trade. There were blacksmiths, bakers, carpenters, shoemakers, teachers, tailors, and even a doctor. They found it easier to make a living, but were still paid much less than White people doing the same job.