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Last edited by J Gill
April 27, 2012 | History

Charles Stuart

1783? - 21 May 1865

Charles Stuart (1783? - 1865)

Charles Stuart was born about 1783 in Jamaica, West Indies, a son of a British army officer (of Scottish parents), soldier, magistrate, and pamphleteer; educated in Belfast, Ireland, and at age 18 received a commission in the military service of the East India Company.

He rose to the rank of captain of the 1st battalion of the 27th Regiment, but resigned in 1815, likely because of his superior officers' uneasiness about his uncompromising posit ion on numerous social and military matters. Stuart's parents were Presbyterians of an extreme Calvinistic type and they deeply influenced his character.

After fourteen years service for the East India Company he went to Upper Canada in 1817. Most of his writing were of a polemical tract to denounce slavery. By 1851 he had moved to Thornbury, (near at a park on the lake on Bay Street East just west of Elgin Street North), starting the Lora Bay settlement (where he was first buried).

Leader in the movement to abolish slavery in the British possessions (where he was born - in Jamaica). In 1832 he wrote a tract 'The West India Question, Immediate Emancipation Safe and Practical'. After the success of that movement, he became a lecturer, from 1834-1838, for the American Anti-Slavery Society, in Ohio, New York State and Vermont.

Prior to his anti-slavery career, he was a lieutenant in the service of the British West India Company from 1801-1814. By 1830, he had already spent considerable time in the United States, and in 1827, in Utica New York, began a very close friendship with Theodore Weld, which helped establish Weld's commitment to anti-slavery. From some time prior to his meeting with Weld, until 1829, Stuart had been a principal of a Emy's school, who roamed the country on his vacations distributing Bibles and religious tracts, and preaching temperance. Charles Stuart died on 21 May 1865 at Lora Bay, Collingwood, Canada West and the following is from Benjamin Thomas Theodore Weld:

"a perfect being - but he was so eccentric that some people thought him crazy. Winter and summer he wore a Scotch plaid frock, with a cape reaching nearly to his elbows [and] so strongly attracted to children that he often stopped to romp and play with them".

Like Weld, he had come under Finney's influence and enlisted in his "Holy Band". His advice to Weld was in the style of love letters, and their relationship was almost rapturous. Stuart was grateful that God did riot treat the white race according to its deserts. He must have exercised great patience to restrain Himself from "breaking up the earth beneath our feet, and dashing us all into sudden hell," for what had been done to the Negro.


  1. Reuben Maddison: A True Story (Birmingham, England: B. Hudson, 1835, 48 p)
  2. The West India question: Immediate emancipation (Apr 1835)

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April 27, 2012 Edited by J Gill Edited without comment.
April 27, 2012 Edited by J Gill Edited without comment.
April 1, 2008 Created by an anonymous user initial import