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Black History Month – Rose Fortune

rose fortune

Rose Fortune

Police Officer

Rose Fortune (March 13, 1774 – February 20, 1864) was born into slavery in the British colony of Virginia. Her family escaped slavery during the American Revolution and settled in Annapolis Royal as part of the Black Loyalist migration when Rose was 10 years old.

In 1825, she started her own business, carting luggage between the ferry docks and nearby homes and hotels. She became entrusted with safeguarding property and maintaining order on the piers and warehouses of Annapolis Royal, acting as the town’s waterfront police officer.

The business she founded was continued by her grandson-in-law Albert Lewis as the Lewis Transfer Company and continued for several generations, remaining in business until 1980.

Fortune was buried in Annapolis Royal in the Garrison Cemetery. Her grave is unmarked, but a plaque in the Petite Parc on the Annapolis Royal waterfront commemorates her life and contribution to Nova Scotian history.