Henry Grey, a leader of the Baptist community at this time, wrote the following excerpt praising Merritt, in a letter he had printed in a local newspaper.
"When I first came into the province of Upper Canada, I settled in St. Catharines, and being a poor man myself, I learned from my friends, that Mr. Merritt was the poor man's friend. . . at least ten or fifteen people of color, of my acquaintance who have, for a long period of time, held land of his, for which they bargained, but have never been able to pay; but they have not been distressed by him, or turned off the land; and he has not even demanded from them the interest of the money due on the land." (Freedom Seekers, 139-40)
William Hamilton Merritt died on July 5th, 1862 at the age of 69. Merritt's house in St. Catharines currently houses two Radio stations CKTB and 97.7 Htz FM. Rodman Hall, a house built for Merritt's son, now serves as a local Art Gallery and botanical gardens. To learn more about William Hamilton Merritt and the history of the Welland Canal, visit the St. Catharines Welland Canals Centre.
*Hill, Daniel G. The Freedom Seekers: Blacks in Early Canada.
Agincourt, Canada: The Book Society of Canada Ltd., 1981.
*Williams, Jack. Merritt: A Canadian Before His Time. St. Catharines, Canada: Stonehouse Publications, 1985.