The first large group of immigrants in Canada were the Black Loyalists who came as refugees after the American Revolution between 1782 and 1785. About 3,500 to 4,000 people settled throughout Nova Scotia, including Birchtown. This was the largest settlement of free Blacks in the world outside of Africa. However, these immigrants faced difficulties as the freedom they were promised fell through in many cases. The land was also unsuitable for farming as the area was filled with rocks and swampy bush.