They would be returning from a Sunday visit to friends in Dartmouth or Preston—as is clear from the following lines taken from a report by Seth Coleman to an official of the Governor, made 6 Feb. 1815:
"Thou, at that time, gave it as thy opinion that it would be best for me to Call all the Blacks to Dartmouth for the better carrying the Vaccine into effect, but experience soon taught me the impractibility of Such a meafure. On the contrary, I found it absolutely Necef sary to go to them; and that, not only on week days, but more perticulerly on the Sabbath, as I found it a Day they were in the habit of devoting to Visit each other, and that Nunbers came from Halifax for that purpose; I, therefore, found it Necefsary for me to devote my time on that Day to prevent the rappid Spread of the Smallpox, which, at that time, was making its appearance on the main Roads to Preston, and Cole Harbor, as it also did soon after in Dartmouth."
In a letter written to the same official a month later, Coleman defends these same Blacks from bigoted remarks made about them:
"I yesterday perform,d a duty I thought indifpensably Necefsary to the Black People in Prefton and Cole Harbour, I have long expected that when the Employment in which they have found Support through the winter, begain to decline that they would soon be reduc,d to Necefitous Circumftances. When I Visited their Habitations, I found my Self not difapointed in my expectations, I found many of them Subsisting on what we Should think literlly nothing. I found a difposition in them to Labour, and to help themfelves, but the fact is they have nothing to do, I found but four Men that had Families, that had imployment, others were making of Brooms or taking care of the Family, while the Mother was out to Seek a days work at Wafhing or Scouring on this Scanty pittance depend,d the Subsistance of perhaps themfelves, and four, or five, Children, My feelings have been often hurt at the exprefsions of People who are Ignorent of their Situations, they Say Thievish Black dogs, they deserve this or they deserve that, I Declare that Considering their Ignorence I think them a Virtuous People, when in a former report I mentiond meeting them on the Sabbath, it would of been but justice to have added that I never found them in a rude or Riotous afsemblage, nor to my recolection did I ever See one of them intoxicated.

"Place the same number of White People in the Same Situation under all the disadvantages that these have had to incounter what would of been the report of them." (23 March 1815).

(For more on Seth Coleman, see S22n3 .)