On British Soil He was Free

Charles Mitchell, enslaved since boyhood, on September 1860 was a stowaway aboard the SS Eliza Anderson sailing from Olympia Washington to Victoria. When the steamer arrived in Victoria word soon spread that a slave was being detained on board. “As many as 700 people gathered dockside on September 25th, 1860 calling for his release.” Royal BC Museum and Archives. The case was taken immediately to the BC Supreme Court; who declared Charles Mitchell a free man because he was on British soil. Watch the video produced by the Royal BC Museum in a series “This Week in History: Charles Mitchell, from slavery to freedom.