Thornton Blackburn's cab on King Street, Toronto, ca. 1845

The little horse-drawn cab going down a Toronto street in the centre of this mid-19th-century painting belonged to an escaped slave, Thornton Blackburn. The Thorntons made history – as the centre of a race riot in Detroit in 1833, as the focus of an historic court case in Canada and as the founders of the first cab company in Upper Canada. As business people in Toronto, they also invested in helping other slaves to escape.

John Gillespie
Canadian Department, Royal Ontario Museum

Image no. ROM2006_7417_1 / Acc. 955.175
© 2008, Royal Ontario Museum. All Rights Reserved.

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