The Thomas Alexander & Laura Virginia Crawford Family (Canada)
The Alexander-Crawford family members were educators in Ontario, Canada. They were among the descendants of escaped slaves from Kentucky who established a community in Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada as early as 1817. Thomas Alexander (1815-1890) had escaped from slavery in Kentucky and made his way to Amherstburg, where he married an English woman, Catherine Harding [source: Ontario Deaths Index]. Thomas and Catherine were the parents of at least two boys, Phillip Harding Alexander (1851-1930) and John Henry Alexander (1858-1935) [source: Ontario Deaths Index]. John Henry Alexander was a school teacher at the King Street Public School in Amherstburg. On July 24, 1883, he married Annie Louise Crawford (1860-1935) [sources: Ontario Marriages and Ontario Deaths Index]. Annie L. Crawford was the daughter of George M. Crawford, a Cherokee, and Laura Virginia Crawford, an African American woman from Kentucky. Annie and John H. Alexander had several children, three of whom were school teachers hired by the Six Nations of Grand River School Board: Nina Mae, Ethel (b. 1888), and Arthur Alexander (b. 1886) [source: Race, Gender and Colonialism: Public Life among the Six Nations of Grand River, 1899-1939 [thesis], by A. E. Norman, pp. 82-92; and Canada Births and Baptisms Index]. Ethel Alexander would become a missionary teacher in British Honduras [later named Belize]. More information about her can be found in A. E. Norman's thesis, along with a family photograph and school photographs, and the history, success, and racial challenges faced by the Alexander siblings during their tenures as teachers.