|Date of Issue
|February 1, 2023
Current monetary value: $0.92.
|Black History Month
|Series Time Span
|2011 - 2024
Bringing the story of Chloe Cooley to life was both a challenge and an honour, say the experts who worked with Canada Post to create this powerful Black History Month issue. A young, enslaved woman, Cooley fought for her life as she was forced from her owner’s homestead near Queenston, Upper Canada, and ferried across the Niagara River to be sold in New York State. Although her brave protests didn’t save her, eyewitness accounts added impetus to the growing abolitionist movement in the late 18th century.
Sarah Kaufman, curator of the Niagara-on-the‑Lake Museum, consulted archival maps and images to help the design team recreate the fateful scene. The stamp illustration shows Cooley in the foreground, strong and defiant, as the abduction unfolds behind her. “She wasn’t afraid to stand up to her owner, and had done so time and again,” Kaufman says. “She never knew it, but her heroism changed the lives of so many people.”
Costume researcher Shannon Pomakov provided meticulous advice on Cooley’s attire, gleaned from period artwork, runaway slave ads, plantation archives and other sources. “Her headwrap was particularly important, as it was an expression of her individuality and resilience,” Pomakov explains. “Showing Chloe as accurately as possible was a way of giving her the respect and dignity she wasn’t afforded in life.”