Their farms were assessed between £11 and £33. None of the settlers possessed horses, but three families owned oxen which were better suited to the strenuous work of logging and breaking virgin soil.
Although the Colbornsburg Settlement was on the edge of the frontier, it was widely known. American abolitionist, Benjamin Lundy, noted its existence in his diary written during his1832 tour of Upper Canada when he investigated the economic and social conditions of fugitive slaves. Writing in his diary on January15, while visiting Brantford, Lundy wrote:
A settlement of colored people is located a few miles to the north of this place, which goes by Woolwich. There is said to be a considerable number of emigrants from the United States there and they’re represented as doing well.
Although he did not include the community on his itinerary, Lundy was obviously referring to the Colbornesburg Settlement in the Township of Woolwich.
By 1833 the composition of the settlement had begun to change. By the time newcomers Morris Jackson and Lewis Crague had arrived, over half of the original settlers, including Jacob Williams, Solomon Conaway, Daniel Banks, Lewis Howard and Griffith Hughes, had left the community. By the following year, Jonathan Butler was the only Black residing in Woolwich Township. Since he lived west of the Grand River, it is probable that he had not been a member of the Colbornesburg Settlement.
The residents of the Colbomesburg Settlement scattered across
the province. Josephus and Lucinda Brown Mallot, along with their children, relocated to nearby Bloomingdale, while Paola Brown moved to Hamilton, where he became a leader in the Black community. In 1833, several families moved approximately eighteen miles north of Waterloo, a small village in Waterloo County, to the southern fringe settled on the west half of lot 12, concession 3. In 1846, Brown registered his claim at the Elora land office, but he was unable to meet the down payment. He promised the land agent that he would pay as soon as possible.
Henry Butler (1828 – ?) .vas a Canadian-born Woolwich Township abourer.
Lewis Butler in May 184″ settled on the east half of lot 2, concession 5 in Peel Township. By 1′,arch 1846, he had approximately ten acres cleared and lived in a log shanty.
Robert Campbell arrive.i in Peel Township in August1843 and settled next to Joseph Armstrong on the west half of lot 15 on concession 3.
William Cary appears on the 1847 Queen’s Bush petition.
John Cavey appears on the 1847 Queen’s Bush petition.
Fred Clery registered his claim for land on lot 10, concession 3 on October 6, 1846. Clery had lived on the property since May 1845, but had not cleared any land.
Solomon Conaway and his family were members of the Colbornesburg Settlement. In 1832, the township assessor reported that Conaway and his wife had five children, two boys and two girls under the age of sixteen, and one older daughter. The assessor noted that the family had cleared and cultivated three acres on Crook’s Tract, Broken Front Concession 2 valued at £30. The following year, the Conaway family settled in the Queen’s Bush as squatters. In 1842, Solomon Conaway took the oath of allegiance and, in 1843, he and his sons Joseph and William added their names to the Queen’s Bush petition.