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Canadian Migration Patterns from Britain and North America

Edited by Barbara J. Messamore

Publication Year: 2004

From refugee policy to migration songs, this unique collection of essays demonstrates how important immigration and ties to other parts of the world are to Canadians and to the Canadian identity. Contributors explore how migration has been a key issue in Canada's social, economic, political, and cultural life.

Published by: University of Ottawa Press

Series: International Canadian Studies Series


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pp. vii-viii

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Introduction: Canada and Migration: Kinship with the World

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pp. 1-12

"It is a dull subject, at least to me," James Stephen remarked in 1839 on emigration.1 Yet migration has been the single most powerful force in shaping the traditions and history of Canada. From the earliest contacts between aboriginal Canadians and newcomers to the emergence of a modern multicultural society, the history of Canada has been a history of migration. ...

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Crossing the Atlantic: Snapshots from the Migration Album

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pp. 13-32

Researching migration is akin to compiling a giant, multidimensional snapshot album. In recent years, thanks to an international upsurge of interest in demographic studies, several pictures have been added by a growing body of scholars, and continuing enthusiasm for the subject is reflected not only in research and publication, but also,unsurprisingly, in teaching at both tertiary and secondary levels, as...

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Americans in Upper Canada, 1791-1812: "Late Loyalists" or Early Immigrants?

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pp. 33-44

Historians of the first years of Upper Canada frequently, if briefly, allude to "late Loyalists" but seem reluctant to define the term.1 Clearly, it represents a mark of distinction from an earlier or original wave of arrivals, but the dividing line is not clear. It is tempting to ignore the question and apply the assertion of James J. Talman in his introduction to Loyalist Narratives from Upper Canada, in which, after...

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The Myth of the Great Upper Canadian Emigration of 1838

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pp. 45-50

Among the minor myths of Canadian history is the story of the thousands of disenchanted inhabitants who fled Upper Canada following the failed rebellion of 1837. While not all of the works dealing with the aftermath of the rebellion address the subject of emigration,one book which describes large-scale emigration is a standard reference for information on the uprisings of 1837. ...

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Regional Patterns of English Immigration and Settlement in Upper Canada

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pp. 51-90

In 1958, the distinguished Canadian historian Arthur R. M. Lower, in discussing the national origins of nineteenth-century immigrants to Canada, contrasted the English with the Scots and the Irish. He described the English as "almost without feature and untraceable" and "hav[ing] little clan sense."1 In characterizing them as invisible, he was referring to the kind of impressionistic literature that then typified the...

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English Immigrants in 1830s Upper Canada: The Petworth Emigration Scheme

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pp. 91-100

In early September 1832, William Upton wrote from Upper Canada to his mother, "I dare say you have heard bad accounts of Canada, from the Petworth party, for I know that they wrote home in the midst of their trouble in travelling, before they knew what it was, or had time to get situations." His own troubles ended when he got a good job in a sawmill. In the rest of the letter he enthused about the country, ...

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"A Door of Escape": Letters Home from Wiltshire and Somerset Emigrants to Upper Canada, 1830-1832

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pp. 101-120

The title of this article comes from a phrase used in John Buckmaster's autobiography, A Village Politician. Around 1830, he mentioned a letter arriving in his Buckinghamshire village from a farmer who "had emigrated some years ago to America [and] wrote a glowing account of the country and its prospects, urging all who could to come over to Iowa. The letter was read in almost every cottage. It was read at...

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Migration as a Trans-generational Affair: The Pilkington and Smith Descendants Return to Canada

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pp. 121-134

At the end of the eighteenth century, two young military officers, David William Smith and Robert Pilkington, arrived in Upper Canada to take up positions which would contribute to the early building of the province. Neither of the men became permanent settlers, but their experiences in the colony were to have a lasting effect on their lives and the lives of their families, for their claims to fame (if not...

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Quest for Independence: The Achomer Crerars' Migration to the Canadas

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pp. 135-144

At the confluence (ach'chomair) of two small streams flowing into Loch Tay lies Achomer, a small farm perched on a steep hill-side. Today, it is one of three farmhouses standing along the winding road to Ardtalnaig. Around them, scattered among the flocks of sheep,are nameless piles of rubble, indicating that this small glen was once far more heavily populated. The place bears almost no resemblance to the...

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How to Survive in the West, Young Woman

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pp. 145-160

Feminist philosophy emphasizes the importance of family and friends in a person's life. Our significant others help to define us as agents in the world; without them we flounder. Their absence not only triggers a sense of emotional loss, it affects our very being. Without them, we lose track of who we are and where we belong in the world. In a very deep sense, without them, we cease to be. Of course, we do not...

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"It's an Odd Country": One British Family's Response to Social Attitudes in British Columbia, c. 1890-1914

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pp. 161-170

Several members of a prominent family from the Shropshire-Flintshire borderland emigrated to British Columbia toward the end of the nineteenth century. In the old country, the Lees were people of substance and local standing: farmers with broad, fertile acres, justices of the peace, prosperous land agents, lawyers, clergymen.1 To define class in Britain is a frustrating, and sometimes futile, task. This article describes the Lees with an old-fashioned word that they might have used themselves: gentlefolk. ...

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From Eastern England to Western Canada: Illustrations

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pp. 171-182

On April 9, 1906, after a farewell service at Beverley Minster, where each had been given a pocketbook containing a New Testament and Psalms bearing the Beverley coat of arms embossed in gold, as well as gifts of clothes, fifty would-be emigrants were led by the town band as they marched from the Guildhall to the railway station. Arriving in Liverpool by train the following morning, they sat down to a restaurant breakfast, paid for by a former Beverley resident, before setting sail for Canada. ...

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"Foreigners who Live in Toronto": Attitudes towards Immigrants in a Canadian City, 1890-1918

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pp. 183-200

In September and October 1897, The Toronto Mail and Empire published four substantial articles on successive Saturdays, investigating the major social and economic issues of the day as they affected the city.The first, on September 18, was titled "Crowded Housing, Its Evil Effects. The Conditions in Toronto a Menace to the Public and a Grave Source of Danger. The Problems of Great Cities Here in Embryo." The...

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Irish Emigration to Canada in the 1950s

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pp. 201-206

The 1950s saw a decline in the population of Ireland. In 1951,the total population was 2.96 million; it fell to 2.82 million by 1961.1 The paradox of these figures is that both natural increase and marriage rates were high during the period, although the average age at marriage was older. The population drop was due to the high rate of emigration throughout the 1950s. This decade witnessed the heaviest...

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Disrupting Mexican Refugee Constructs: Women, Gays and Lesbians in 1990s Canada

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pp. 207-228

Mainstream discourse often asserts that economic determinants and an abuse of the refugee system are the major causes for Mexican refugees in Canada. An effort to mould these refugees into economic or labour migrants is fundamentally apparent in such discourse. The refugees are seen as similar to the economic migrants from Mexico to the United States. From these debates, the term "refugee" can...

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International and Interregional Migration in North America: The Role of Returns to Skill

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pp. 229-244

In this paper, we employ the notion that migration is motivated by individuals who, in seeking to maximize utility, may choose to migrate from their region of birth and take up residence in another area,or even another country. It is well known that economic incentives play a significant role in internal migration1 and in international migration.2 Treating migration as a human capital investment decision,3 an ...

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Migrant Imaginings and Atlantic Canadian Regionalisms

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pp. 245-262

"Nation" and "Mobility" seem imcompatible concepts. "Nation" is commonly understood as having to do with place and essence, and hence it appears to be an inherently static concept. What, after all, are the prominent icons of any nation but landscape, industry, and urban skylines? From literature and the popular imagination come narratives of typical, essential ways of life—static, folk, or folkish visions of "home." ...

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Songs of Love and Longing: Songs of Migration

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pp. 263-290

Songs, like poetry, written for a variety of reasons, express and often poignantly expose sentiments held close to the heart. For some of us, songs speak the unspeakable—express the desires or heart-ache that we are otherwise perhaps unwilling to acknowledge even to ourselves, never mind reveal to others. Perhaps history should begin with the voices of the people who, one by one, together, form a chorus...


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pp. 291-294

E-ISBN-13: 9780776615578
E-ISBN-10: 0776615572
Print-ISBN-13: 9780776605432
Print-ISBN-10: 0776605437

Page Count: 300
Publication Year: 2004

Series Title: International Canadian Studies Series

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Canada -- Emigration and immigration -- History -- Congresses.
  • British -- Canada -- History -- Congresses.
  • Great Britain -- Emigration and immigration -- History -- Congresses.
  • North America -- Emigration and immigration -- History -- Congresses.
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