Canada Post will unveil a stamp honouring Albert Jackson – believed to be the first Black letter carrier in Canada – later today in Toronto.
Coinciding with Black History Month, which was first declared in this country on Feb. 1, 1996, Canada Post’s latest stamp will be launched in the third-floor “Great Hall” of Toronto’s St. Lawrence Hall on 157 King St. E.
Born into slavery in Delaware around 1856, Jackson fled the U.S. via the Underground Railroad to Canada, where he became a postman – a government-appointed job – on May 12, 1882.
After widespread controversy and objections from existing postal staff, Jackson was reassigned to hall porter.
Amid a re-election campaign, prime minister John A. Macdonald stepped in to reappoint Jackson, who eventually began his training on June 2, 1882.
Jackson held his position for nearly four decades until his death in 1918.
“It’s quite a good story and just the kind of thing we like to tell through our stamps,” said Canada Post Director of Stamp Services Jim Phillips. “In this case, it’s our story as well, and we’re quite excited about that.”