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8 - Conscripts of Civilization

North American Networks

from Part II - Humanitarianism and Settler Colonialism

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 September 2021

Zoë Laidlaw
Affiliation:
University of Melbourne
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Summary

North America was a key nineteenth-century battleground for indigenous rights. The Aborigines’ Protection Society followed US developments keenly; derided and despaired of the rule of the monopolistic Hudson’s Bay Company in Rupert’s Land; and hoped that the Canadian colonies could lead the way in recognizing indigenous rights. This chapter considers the society’s championing of indigenous rights in British North America at a time of imperial withdrawal. It explores the emphasis placed by the Aborigines’ Protection Society on ‘civilization’, and how this was shaped by Thomas Hodgkin’s encounters with four indigenous activists from British North America. The Ojibwa chief and missionary, the Reverend Peter Jones and his niece, Nahnebahwequa, protested the theft of their land and advocated for indigenous education, representation and legal rights. Alexander Isbister and his uncle, William Kennedy, spearheaded the campaign in Britain against the Hudson’s Bay Company. The chapter explores how indigenous interlocutors’ engaged with British humanitarians; how their authority translated to the metropolitan context; and how this translation jeopardized standing at home.

Type
Chapter
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Protecting the Empire's Humanity
Thomas Hodgkin and British Colonial Activism 1830–1870
, pp. 238 - 279
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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  • Conscripts of Civilization
  • Zoë Laidlaw, University of Melbourne
  • Book: Protecting the Empire's Humanity
  • Online publication: 14 September 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108164658.010
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  • Conscripts of Civilization
  • Zoë Laidlaw, University of Melbourne
  • Book: Protecting the Empire's Humanity
  • Online publication: 14 September 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108164658.010
Available formats
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To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Conscripts of Civilization
  • Zoë Laidlaw, University of Melbourne
  • Book: Protecting the Empire's Humanity
  • Online publication: 14 September 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108164658.010
Available formats
×