Mount Benson Elementary School

History > People > Jimmy Claxton

Baseball Pitcher

Jimmy Claxton was the player of African-American heritage to play in modern organized baseball.

Jimmy Claxton was born in Wellinton, BC in 1892 to William E. Claxton, who was a coal miner and widower.

William Claxton - Jimmy Claxton's Father

William Claxton was an American miner who came to Wellington to Mine during one of the most troubled times in the Mine's history. James Dunsmuir was always trying to find a way to reduce labour costs decided to import 50 black miners from the USA and 200 Scots. William Claxton may have come to Wellington as one of the 50 black miners and lived as a Widower in a 5 room boarding house with 13 other American Miners.

William Claxton also moved to one of the Most British of former British Colonies. Since 1807 Britian had outlawed slavery and the participation of any Briton in Slavery.

While controversy and racism engulfed the mining community over the use of low paid asian workers in the mines, the Black miner were viewed as equals. In a time where petitions against the use of Chinese labour were being circulated, James Dunsmuir noted that among the men choosen to represent them to managment, one was black, and the other miners appeared to treat him no different than any other white man. In other parts of North America it would be many, many decades before white men would choose or allow a black man to represent them.

In 1892 the Wellington Miners Strike ended and William Claxton married a white woman of Irish-American just days after her 18th birthday. Later the same Year Jimmy Claxton was born. In the 1800s on Vancouver Island, Interracial marriages were not uncommon.

INSERT TIMES NEWS ARTICLE FROM 1875 on equality of black people with white people.

Jimmy Claxton's Childhood

Jimmy Claxton spent his early years in Wellington....

Jimmy Claxton's Baseball Career

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