The Independent
Unsigned Article
New York: 10 June 1852

  HOMES FOR THE FUGITIVES.—We have received a circular, written by a truly devoted woman of Massachusetts who has been moved by the reading of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" to consider what should be done to provide homes for those who escape out of the horrible American bondage. We can only find room for the most material portions of this touching appeal:—

  "Since the passage of the Fugitive Slave Bill, great numbers have fled from the free States, where they had for years been living comfortably and at ease. For so many to find employment is impossible. What is to be done with them? The question naturally enough comes up to every benevolent and reflecting mind, when it is stated that there are now in Canada about 20,000 of these poor refugees; eight thousand having been driven from the free States, by the panic occasioned by the Fugitive Slave Law. During the past winter, their sufferings from want of food, clothing, and shelter, have been terrible.

  "God watches over his children, and is not unmindful of their wants and woes, though he may bear long with those who oppress them. From him all good designs come, and he has put it into the hearts of some of the friends of humanity at the West, to form a plan for furnishing these exiles with permanent homes, and the means of support. Government lands in the south-western part of Canada can be purchased low, and it is proposed that some 50,000 acres should be bought, and divided up into farms of twenty-five acres each. For this purpose an association has been formed in Michigan, called the 'Canadian Refugee Home Society.' They have undertaken to raise $100,000 for this excellent object. Are there not warm-hearted friends to the slave in all parts of the country, who will be glad of this opportunity to do something directly for these suffering men and women? Something which shall be permanently beneficial? The plan proposed is, to assign to each family twenty-five acres, five to be an outright gift and the remaining twenty to be paid for in five years. The money thus refunded is to be appropriated to schools and teachers, and to the purchase of other lands. The operations of this Association are conducted by a Board of trust well qualified for the trust committed to them; and they have already commenced their purchases.

  "This simple and feasible plan must have come from Heaven. It is altogether too good to have had its origin here. Let this benevolent scheme be carried out, and every family is put in inalienable possession of a home, and the means of procuring all the necessaries of life. A fair chance is given to every trembling refugee escaped from the house of bondage, to take his place in the world, and be a man.

  "The 'Canadian Refugee Home Society,' have sent out several agents, to solicit the co-operation of friends in the northern and eastern States. Rev. Charles C. Foote of Michigan is now visiting Boston and vicinity in its behalf. He is a devoted friend to the colored man, and brings with him most cordial testimonials from wise and good men of different religious and political view.

  "Any one contributing a hundred dollars to this association will have the satisfaction of feeling that he has given homes to ten families, besides the means of livelihood and education for their children. All things considered, could a hundred dollars be better appropriated? Think of all the comfortable ideas associated with that sweet word HOME, and then think of TEN HOMES.