Sunday, January 24, 2010

Aesop "Sippy" Moses

Not all of the Black Loyalists who arrived in Nova Scotia at the end of the American Revolution came with their freedom. In certain cases, Loyalist slave holders arrived on these shores with a collection of slaves they had brought from United States. While unsavoury, this was fully legal since slavery in the British Empire was not officially abolished until 1834 (the slave trade was abolished in the British Empire in 1807). Many of the slaves who arrived in Nova Scotia later escaped and found refuge in the communities of free Black Loyalists.

The image in this post shows Aesop Moses and his ox. More commonly known as Sip or Sippy, Mr. Moses was the descendant of an earlier Aesop Moses who came to Annapolis Royal as a slave to Loyalist Frederick Davoue. Davoue settled in Lequille where his grave can be found near the Mileboard Corner at the end of the Cape Road. Upon his death, Davoue willed Moses his freedom and provided him with a bequest of land. This was much more generous treatment than many slaves could expect. Today, descendants of the original Aesop Moses can still be found around Annapolis Royal.

On a lighter note, every time I look at this image I get a chuckle from the label at the bottom which reads "Single Ox Team, Annapolis Royal, NS". How can it be a "team" if there is only one ox?

All for now,


  1. Agreed, "team" sounds odd. If I recall,I think a "Single Ox Team" is actually called a "Dagon". At least here in Nova Scotia. I've also read somewhere where they are referred to as a "One Ox Team".

  2. A wonderful photograph and with present day family ties to Annapolis Royal makes for a great story.