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To Stand and Fight Together: Richard Pierpoint and the Coloured Corps of Upper Canada [Paperback]

Steve Pitt
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Feb. 8 2008 Canadians at War (Book 1)

In 1812, a 67-year-old black United Empire Loyalist named Richard Pierpoint helped raise "a corps of Coloured Men to stand and fight together" against the Americans who were threatening to invade the tiny British colony of Upper Canada.

Pierpoint's unique fighting unit would not only see service throughout the War of 1812, it would also be the first colonial military unit reactiviated to quash the Rebellion of 1837. It would go on to serve as a police force, keeping the peace among the competing Irish immigrant gangs during the construction of the Welland Canal.

Pierpoint and the Coloured Corps are the central focus, but the sidebars featuring fascinating facts about the rise and fall of slavery in North America and the state of African-Canadians in early Canada provide an entertaining and informative supplement. Among other tidbits, readers will find out why "Good Queen Bess" launched the British slave industry and how Scottish pineapples are connected to the American Declaration of Independence.


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In 1812, a 67-year-old black United Empire Loyalist named Richard Pierpoint helped raise "a corps of Coloured Men to stand and fight together" against the Americans who were threatening to invade the tiny British colony of Upper Canada.

Pierpoint's unique fighting unit would not only see service throughout the War of 1812, it would also be the first colonial military unit reactiviated to quash the Rebellion of 1837. It would go on to serve as a police force, keeping the peace among the competing Irish immigrant gangs during the construction of the Welland Canal.

Pierpoint and the Coloured Corps are the central focus, but the sidebars featuring fascinating facts about the rise and fall of slavery in North America and the state of African-Canadians in early Canada provide an entertaining and informative supplement. Among other tidbits, readers will find out why "Good Queen Bess" launched the British slave industry and how Scottish pineapples are connected to the American Declaration of Independence.



Spilling with fascinating facts and photos, this book celebrates the bravery of a small group of men and faced terrible discrimination in their battle for freedom. (Brenda Hoerle)

To Stand and Fight Together is a good read. A timeline and a list of useful websites round out a very interesting book, which also includes numerous sidebars on fascinating facts and the origins of words connected with the subject. (Cheryl MacDonald)

To Stand and Fight Together is an excellent resource for young readers looking too supplement standard curriculum offerings on the War of 1812 or life in Upper Canada in general. It will also help students doing research on early Canadian attitudes to race, both in the military and in society as a whole. (Paul Challen)

I recommend Pitt’s book to young readers, based on its portrayal of slavery, black life in early Upper Canada and blacks in the military.

This book would be extremely helpful if you were doing a report on black military units or on the slave trade.

About the Author

Steve Pitt's first children's book, Rain Tonight: A Tale of Hurricane Hazel,was nominated for the Silver Birch, Red Cedar, and Rocky Mountain awards. He has been published in many magazines and newspapers, including Toronto Life, Canadian Family, the Globe and Mail, and the Toronto Star. Currently he lives in Toronto.


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Format:Paperback
I had heard about 'Dick's Creek', that flows more or less behind the St. Catharines General Hospital, but I had thought 'Captain Dick' was a sailor, because of the Welland Canal. Little did I know - which was the frustrating case in my day of people not learning the full history of their community. 'Captain Dick' was Richard Pierpoint, a Black man who fought in both Butler's Rangers in the American Revolution, and in Runchey's Coloured Corps in the War of 1812. In fact, Pierpoint was the initial spark and recruiter of the latter.
This book does not have much to say about Mr. Pierpoint - not much was kept, I suppose - but it says all it can. The gem in the book is describing in plain words 1)how the slave trade was carried out, from capture in Africa to the auction block; and 2)the many times Black men headed the call to arms in defence of Crown and Country. It's a Black History primer, geared for 9 to 12 year olds, so there is not an over abundance of details - but what's there is interesting and thought provoking. I learned quite a lot, and wish it was in the library when I was in school.
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A good history of slavery for young readers and how Black people came to settle in what later became Canada. The work is light on information about the life of Richard Pierpoint who was instrumental in raising the Coloured Corps during the War of 1812. It offers a better record of Captain Robert Runchey's Company of Coloured Men's participation in the War of which there is otherwise little information available about this little known militia unit. I found the inclusion of the tablets of "Fascinating Facts" in the book to be a distraction.
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