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James Mink was the son of a freed American slave who became a respected millionaire businessman in Toronto, Canada in the 1850s, working as a livery owner and budding politician.
Mink married a white Irish immigrant, Elizabeth, and had one daughter, Mary. Not wanting his daughter to marry a black man, and fearing no white man would wed her due to her mixed race, Mink offered an extensive dowry for his daughter's hand and found an interested white American businessman named William Johnson. However, after the wedding, Johnson revealed himself to be a slave trader and sold Mary into slavery on an American southern plantation. Mink, pretending to be his wife's slave, traveled to the American South and was successful in rescuing Mary and several other slaves.
Mink's story was told in the movie Captive Heart: the James Mink Story, starring Lou Gossett, Jr. as James Mink and Kate Nelligan as his wife.
- "Black History Month 2006: The James Mink Story". http://panachereport.com/channels/hip%20hop%20gallery/BlackHistoryMonth2006.htm. Retrieved 2009-02-19.
- O'Connor, John J.. "Program Overview: Captive Heart: The James Mink Story". New York Times. http://tv.nytimes.com/show/42943/Captive-Heart-The-James-Mink-Story/overview. Retrieved 2009-02-19.
- O'Connor, James (1996-04-12). "TV Weekend: Slavery as Experienced By a Mixed-Race Couple". New York Time. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9801E1D81039F931A25757C0A960958260. Retrieved 2009-02-19.
Recollections and Records of Toronto of Old WITH REFERENCES TO BRANTFORD, KINGSTON AND OTHER CANADIAN TOWNS by W. H. PEARSON -TORONTO 1914 p. 63-64