Black History Fact – Mathieu DaCosta Canadian Stamp Issued

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Mathieu DaCosta Black History Stamp Image © 2017 Canadian Postal Service. All rights reserved.

We have lots of Canadian Blog Readers/Fans, so to Celebrate the annual month long celebration and highlighting of Black History and accomplishments in Canada, we provide Canadian Black History.

The new stamp, released to start off 2017 Black History Month, shows an artistic interpretation of Mathieu DaCosta the first known black man to set foot in Canada.

Mathieu DaCosta was an African from the Benin Empire of West Africa hired as a translator for French explorers to the New World.  Although he may have arrived earlier, the first actual record of his presence in Canada was with voyages of  Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Mons, and Samuel de Champlain in the 1600’s.

The first official record shows him under contract to sail with Dugua in 1608 acting as interpreter for three years. It is thought that he could speak Dutch, English, French, Portuguese and a pidgin Basque.

As no image exists of DaCosta, designer Andrew Perro and illustrator Ron Dollekamp worked closely with Canadian historical illustrator and storyboard artist Francis Back to ensure the period clothing and sailing ship reflect DaCosta’s time and socio-economic milieu.

Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet and Cheryl Holloway.

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