After the American Revolution, former slaves were shipped to Nova Scotia by Sir Guy Carleton. About 5,000 people are mentioned in the original Book of Negroes, both black and white. It is a complete register of each person’s name, the master he formerly belonged to, and details as would help to “denote his value”; it was to be used to compensate slave owners should that become necessary. The British completed their evacuation of New York on November 30, 1782.
The British Headquarters Papers, New York (also known as the Carleton Papers) contain records kept by commanders-in-chief of the British Army in North America during the American Revolution (1776–1783). These 30,000 manuscript pages provide details of the services, sufferings and forced emigration of Loyalists of all classes who were banished, had their property confiscated and lived under laws of proscription because they had adhered to a lost cause. These particular papers were retained by Sir Guy Carleton, the last British Commander-in-Chief in New York upon his retirement.