Mr. Speaker, in 1760 a 16-year old boy who would become a Canadian hero was captured in Senegal and sold as a slave to a British officer in New England.
When Americans rose against the Crown in 1775, Richard Pierpoint joined the Loyalists, serving in the Butler's Rangers Regiment in Fort Niagara, where hundreds of black volunteers fought for Canada in decisive battles like the battle for Queenston Heights.
During the War of 1812, Major-General Sir Isaac Brock approved Richard's request to form an all black army. More than 30 of the 100 free black men in Upper Canada joined the Colour Corps to protect Canada. With courage and under danger they built Fort Mississauga.
For his war contribution Richard was given 100 acres in Wellington County, next to my hometown of Fergus, where he lived until his death in 1837.
As we celebrate Black History Month, we all salute black heroes like Richard Pierpoint, who so long ago made great contributions to Canada to make us the nation we are today.