The Provincial Freeman

May 28, 2017

Mary Ann Shadd Cary

Mary Ann Shadd Cary. Library and Archives Canada, C-029977


Mary Ann Shadd Cary became the first Black female publisher in North America and the first female publisher in Canada when she founded The Provincial Freeman in Windsor, Ontario. The weekly newspaper, published from March 24, 1853, to September 20, 1857, recorded the activities of African-Canadians in Canada, many of whom had only recently arrived from the United States as fugitives from slavery. In its masthead, the newspaper claimed to be “Devoted to anti-slavery, temperance and general literature,” but it also supported women’s rights; Cary did not list her name as either writer or editor, thereby hiding her involvement from the paper’s readers.

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