James Mink was a black man who became a respected billionaire businessman in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in the 1850s. He owned a hotel and livery on Adelaide Street near Toronto's St. Lawrence market, where many farmers would stay while in town selling their produce.
James Mink, the son of Johan Herkimer's slave named Mink, became a millionaire, as did his brother, George. He had a hotel, livery and coach service in Toronto, while his brother was located in Kingston, Ontario in the 1840s to 1860s. Both brothers started the first public transit system in their respective cities, James from the Town of Yorkville to the St. Lawrence market in downtown Toronto. He married a white Irish immigrant, Elizabeth. James and Elizabeth had a daughter, Mary, and possibly some other children. It was customary to offer a dowry for a daughter, and so James Mink offered a large dowry for his daughter's hand. A businessman named William Johnson accepted the dowry, married the daughter, and took her on a honeymoon to the United States. However, after the wedding, Johnson revealed himself to be a slave trader and sold Mary into slavery on a plantation. Mink, pretending to be his wife's slave, traveled to the American South and successfully in rescued Mary and several other slaves.