A small village in southwestern Nova Scotia
, about 200 km from Halifax
, and about 10 km from Shelburne
Birchtown is chiefly notable as the site of the first community of freed slaves in history. In 1783 about 2000 Black Loyalists who had been freed by Lord Dunmore's Proclamation were evacuated here. Here they formed their own churches and schools, and looked forward to a new life of freedom. It wasn't meant to be. The land they were promised never arrived, there were race riots, blacks had to do about four times as much community service as poor whites, and conditions were generally so miserable that many people sold themselves as indentured servants.
Most of Birchtown's inhabitants eventually emigrated to Sierra Leone in 1792.