This is a brief history of two of Canada’s first Black law enforcer’s Peter Butler III and Rose Fortune.

1774 -1884

Rose Fortune was born into slavery in the southern United States in 1774.

Owned by the Devone family, who eventually made their way to Annapolis Royal Nova Scotia, as Loyalist refugees following the American Revolution.

It was in Annapolis Royal that Rose Fortune would gain her freedom.

In the latter part of the 1700’s Ms. Fortune appointed herself policewoman for the area. She worked in the Port Annapolis Royal, and she was known as a dedicated officer who kept the town’s youth very much in line.

No one seemed to object to Rose’s self-appointed status since she was well known about the town as a founder of one of Annapolis Royal’s first Cartage companies.

Thus it is believed that Rose Fortune was Canada’s first female law It seemed she was never quite able to fully disassociate herself from her thriving Cartage Company. Rose Fortune was welcomed by the rich and
the poor.

A physically strong woman, Ms. Fortune was often seen in the company of her wheelbarrow. It seemed she was never quite able to fully disassociate herself from her thriving Cartage Company. She was known for spanking local mischief-makers and rousing local dignitaries from their beds.

Ms. Fortune died in 1884 at the age of 90

1859 – 1943

Peter Butler the III was born in Lucan Ontario, in 1859. He served for over
fifty years as Lucan’s tough but fair county constable and later as an Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officer. In 1983, he became a member of the Middlesex County Police where he served for 30 years. In 1913, he joined the OPP and retired in 1936.

Although some of his towns British immigrants objected to a black police officer, Butler quickly gained their respect. Of note is that Butler only wore a gun when he was in transporting prisoners to jail in London or chasing cattle rustlers. Although Butler rarely carried a gun, he was s deadly shot who maintained a personal collection of 38 guns. Most of his collection was seized from lawbreakers, including one belonging to the infamous Donnelly family.

Butler was a large man and had amazing energy. He relied on big stick and sizeable hands to maintain peace and order. Mr. Butler was also known for his kindness and generosity.

For example, every Sunday he brought Lucan prisoners a huge bucket of beer for 25 cents. Further he often used his home rather than the local jail to detain local drunk and other offenders he felt should not be on the

Constable Peter Butler III died in 1943. In his honor, local dignitaries from the county and the province, as well as guests from the United States attended his funeral. In addition, six OPP officers’s followed the
casket to the family plot on Sauble Hill.