My Presentation at St Antony’s College Oxford, 4 November 2013

31 10 2013

I’m going to be presenting a paper entitled  “In the Shadow of William Henry Seward: Relations Between Canada and the Caribbean in the 1860s” Monday, 4th November 5:00 – 6:30 PM in Pavilion Seminar Room, Gateway Buildings in St Antony’s College. (62 Woodstock Road).

 62 Woodstock Road Oxford

This paper examines what Canadian leaders thought about the non-white populations of the British West Indies and their future relationship with the British colonies in mainland North America.  In 1866, a group of prominent British North Americans were sent by the Fathers of Confederation to observe conditions in the West Indies and Brazil. Although ostensibly just about improving commercial relations,  the 1866 trade mission was a precursor of future Canadian proposals to annex all or part of the British West Indies.   Our paper places the Canadian 1866 mission paralleled William Henry Seward’s expansionist programme, the cancellation of the Canada-US Reciprocity Agreement [i.e., free trade],   the racial politics of contemporary North America, the 1865 Morant Bay rebellion in Jamaica, and the ongoing movement to federate the British colonies on the North American mainland. Our paper is based on correspondence in the Colonial Office files, Canadian archival materials, and newspapers.

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