Buxton National Site & Historic Museum
“There are signs of industry and thrift and comfort, everywhere; signs of intemperance, of idleness, of want, nowhere. There is no tavern and no groggery; but there is a chapel and a schoolhouse. Most interesting of all are the inhabitants. Twenty years ago, most of them where slaves who owned nothing, not even their children. Now they own themselves; they own homes and farms, and they have their wives and children about them. They are enfranchised citizens of a government which protects their rights. They have the great essentials of human happiness, “something to love, something to do, and something to hope for” and if they are not happy it is their own fault.”
The above was written by regarding the Elgin Settlement, by Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe (1801-1876) who was appointed by Abraham Lincoln to report on the Commission on the Canadian Negroes. His report became part of the Congressional debate on the Fourteenth Amendment.