There is a legend that the Underground Railroad was begun by natives, decades before Quakers and other abolitionists set up their system of stations, conductors and termini to funnel escapees out of the slave prison that America became in 1793.
Laying the Bed examines a claim by the United Empire Loyalists of Brantford, that it was Tuscarora Baptists who guided fugitives up the Grand River and into their community.
Those Tuscarora began as Presbyterians, Anglicans and Methodists and some were part of a large loyalist family of mixed-race blacks, whites, Tuscaroras and Mississaugas with links to the reserves of both the Six Nations and the New Credit, and with roots in North Carolina, Lewiston NY and Burlington, Ontario.
One of that family, William Groat, moved to Guelph in 1842, before dying in 1900 in the Wellington County House of Industry (the poor house) outside of Elora. The story of his family is the first volume in the tale of how African Americans came to live in Guelph and Wellington.