CANADIAN MIGRATIONS: READING CANADA IN NINETEENTH-CENTURY AMERICAN LITERATURE by Alyssa Erin MacLean B.A., McGill University, 2001 M.A., University of Western Ontario, 2002 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in The Faculty of Graduate Studies (English) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver) December 2010 © Alyssa Erin MacLean, 2010 Abstract This dissertation contributes to the fields of Canadian literature, American literature, and transnational and hemispheric studies by examining Canada‟s place in American Renaissance discussions about imperialism, citizenship, and racial and national identity. In the nineteenth-century US, Canada became symbolically important because of its perceived common origins with the US as well as its increasing resistance to forms of American imperialism. Canadian Migrations examines the significance of the Canada-US relationship by analysing literary representations of two population movements across the Canada-US border: the 1755 deportation of French Catholic Acadians from Canada to the American colonies and the antebellum flight of African Americans north to Canada. American authors gravitated towards these narratives of displacement to and from Canada in order to discuss the meaning of American citizenship and the treatment of racial minorities within US borders. I argue that both of these Canada-US movements prompted critical inquiries in US culture about forms of American imperialism. In Part One, I examine authors such as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Harriet Beecher Stowe, who portrayed the violent expulsion of Acadians by British troops justified the creation of the United States as a necessary defense against imperial rule. Yet the Acadian expulsion also prompted these authors to question the contemporary US government‟s own displacement of racial and linguistic minorities through slavery and westward expansion. In Part Two, I examine the northward movement of fugitive slaves across Lake Erie to Canada. By crossing ii Lake Erie, Black migrants—and the iconic texts written about them—challenged the conceptual categories that sustained US slavery and imperialism. Authors such as Stowe, Josiah Henson, Lewis Clarke, and William Wells Brown described scenes of nautical transit and transformation across the Lake Erie Passage to contest US slavery and to develop notions of Black citizenship. By recovering this conversation about the significance of Canada-US cross-border movement, I position nineteenth-century Canada within the movement of people and ideas across the Black Atlantic world. Together, my chapters demonstrate how the imagined community of the United States emerged through a series of complex political, cultural, and literary negotiations with Canada. iii Preface Sections of this dissertation‟s introduction and conclusion have appeared previously, in somewhat different form, in the essay “Canadian Studies and American Studies,” located in A Concise Companion to American Studies, ed. John Carlos Rowe (Oxford: WileyBlackwell, 2010. 387-406). iv Table of Contents Abstract ..................................................................................................................................... ii Preface ..................................................................................................................................... iv Table of Contents ...................................................................................................................... v List of Figures .......................................................................................................................... vi Acknowledgements................................................................................................................. vii Introduction: Reading for Canada in US Literature ................................................................. 1 Part One: “If I were an American poet, I would choose Acadia for the subject of my song”: the Grand Dérangement and the American Renaissance ....................................................... 53 1.1 US print culture and the Grand Dérangement ............................................................ 53 1.2 The Grand Dérangement and the history of the Acadians ......................................... 63 1.3 “Citizen[s] of somewhere else”: Hawthorne‟s poetics of exile in The Whole History of Grandfather’s Chair ........................................................................................................... 76 1.4 The politics of displacement in Longfellow‟s Evangeline ....................................... 104 Entr‟acte: The Canadian Migrations of Uncle Tom’s Cabin ................................................ 149 Part Two: Reading the Lake Erie Passage ............................................................................ 159 2.1 Black cross-border writing in the nineteenth century ............................................... 159 2.2 Historicizing the Canada-US border ......................................................................... 176 2.3 The Lake Erie Passage in autobiographical texts ..................................................... 195 2.4 The Lake Erie Passage in Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Clotel ........................................ 224 2.5 Studying Black cross-border writing ........................................................................ 251 Conclusion ............................................................................................................................ 264 Bibliography ......................................................................................................................... 274 v List of Figures Figure 1: “Child Canada Takes Her First Step.” [Illustrator unknown.] ................................ 23 Figure 2: “A Pertinent Question,” by John Wilson Bengough. .............................................. 24 Figure 3: Expansion of Acadian settlements, 1605-1710. ...................................................... 63 Figure 4: Population density map of the maritime regions, c. 1750. ...................................... 64 Figure 5: [Acadians in Chains], by Jane E. Benham. ........................................................... 147 Figure 6: A Map of the United States and Part of Louisiana, by Mary Van Schaack [c. 1830]. .............................................................................................................................................. 162 Figure 7: “The Fugitives Are Safe in a Free Land,” by Hammatt Billings. ......................... 167 Figure 8: Black communities in Canada West. .................................................................... 178 Figure 9: Canals of Ohio, 1825-1913, by the Ohio Historical Society . .................... 188 Figure 10: “He's some crazy fellow.” [Illustrator unknown.]............................................... 206 Figure 11: “Am I Not a Man and a Brother?” Slave medallion by Josiah Wedgwood . .............................................................................................................................................. 207 vi Acknowledgements A doctoral dissertation is the product of many years‟ work and I would like to thank many people for their help and support. I have been blessed in my life with very good teachers. My supervisor, Mary Chapman, has supported this project in every way and has been a dynamic, generous, and insightful interlocutor. She has profoundly influenced the way I think about my field of study and her advice has never led me astray. Mike Zeitlin has been a meticulous reader and an excellent teaching mentor. I admire his dedication to his students and his passion for reading, and I will acutely miss his company in the classroom. Chris Lee joined my committee very late in the process but dedicated himself to the project wholeheartedly, offering theoretical insights and new perspectives on my work at exactly the right moment. Marlene Briggs provided new ideas, guidance, and advice in the early stages of this project. My thanks go as well to John Carlos Rowe, who (in a conversation on an escalator) was able to help me articulate why this project mattered, and who has gone out of his way to involve me in many subsequent conversations. Anita Israel helped me make my way me through Longfellow‟s papers at the Longfellow National Historic Site. I am also grateful to the University of British Columbia and the Department of English for providing generous financial support for my doctoral research. As I leave Vancouver, I will particularly miss the conversations that I shared with my friends in the English Graduate Reading Room. Terri Tomsky, Eddy Kent, Lisa Szabo, Tyson Stolte, Katja Thieme, Maia Joseph, Sarah Banting, Bettina Stumm, and Travis Mason created a dynamic and supportive intellectual community at UBC that was both vii professionally and personally inspiring. My friends in the American Studies reading group, notably Sean McAlister, Simon Rolston, and Moberley Luger, were always ready to discuss nascent ideas and to share new texts with me at our monthly meetings; I promise I won‟t make you read any more James Lee Burke. All of these friends—and many others who I have undoubtedly neglected to name here—have made this project better. I would also like to thank my family members for their love, their sense of humour, their curiosity about the world, and their weekly requests for progress reports about “that very tall poet.” I hope that my parents can recognize how much their dedication to learning has inspired this project. Tina MacLean helped me think through ideas at critical moments. Finally, and most of all, I would like to thank Simon Bonner for his unconditional love and support during this intellectual journey. While this dissertation was largely written in the quiet spaces of offices, libraries and coffee shops, I could also trace its developments through the places we visited together in our efforts to get out of town: Toronto, Montreal, Istanbul, Prague, Boston, Bella Coola, Tofino, Hope. Here‟s to the next adventure. viii Introduction: Reading for Canada in US Literature In the opening pages of “The Custom-House,” Nathaniel Hawthorne‟s introduction to The Scarlet Letter, the narrator interrupts his discussion of his own position within the new American republic to survey the weathered shipyards of his hometown of Salem, Massachusetts. He briefly fixates on a strange yet familiar ship paying Salem a visit. As he watches a “Nova Scotia schooner, pitching out her cargo of firewood” (SL 73-74) onto Salem‟s decaying docks, the narrator of The Scarlet Letter unconsciously engages in a comparative analysis of the US and Canada that was common for his time. By the 1840s, many of the economic and geographical similarities between Nova Scotia and Salem were increasingly being obscured by the widening political rifts between British North America and the United States. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, a time “when India was a new region, and only Salem knew the way thither” (SL 99), Nova Scotia and New England were both British colonies that shared economic, geographical, and cultural traits: histories of mostly white, Anglo-Saxon settlement, similar environments, largely English-speaking populations, and shared investments in moving goods (timber, cod, furs, sugar, rum, and slaves) across international trade networks. Yet by Hawthorne‟s time in the Custom-House, these traits had changed: while Halifax (Nova Scotia‟s main shipping port) had once been one of Salem‟s rivals, it was now a fellow victim of transatlantic economic realities in the nineteenth century. Nova Scotia now provides the primary resources for the consumption of a much larger US nation-state. In the same way, Salem, which had once represented the power of the British Empire and the growing self-reliance and ingenuity of the American colonies, is now relegated to a supporting role in Hawthorne‟s time, while Boston and New 1 York prosper. The narrator‟s initial assessment of Salem‟s position within the hemisphere enables him to begin an inquiry into the history of pre-Revolutionary America, contrasting where “America” was under British rule and where it now stands as a republic. The “rusty little schooners that bring firewood from the British provinces” (SL 75), which are revisiting a familiar outpost that has fallen on hard times, invite the narrator of The Scarlet Letter to reflect upon the significance of the American democratic project as well as the legacy of the American Revolution. Yet as the narrator proceeds, his continued references to Nova Scotia, and to British North America more generally, reveal evidence of imperial activity in North America that interrupts and sometimes even contradicts his celebration of US nationhood. Halifax and Salem were once allies in the same imperial power struggles in North America, only to end up on opposite sides: after the American Revolution, Halifax remained part of the British Empire, while Salem became a vital port for the independent United States. Halifax‟s political fate began to diverge sharply from Salem‟s, in fact, when the British colonial agent who figures so prominently in “The Custom-House”—Surveyor Jonathan Pue—was in office in the 1750s and 60s. And while the Canadian ships in Salem‟s mid-nineteenth-century harbour seem innocuous enough, they indicate the continued economic and military presence of the British Empire in North America. As “The Custom-House” progresses, many of the narrator‟s comments about British North America, which index the political differences between monarchy and republic, empire and nation, begin to destabilize his larger assessment of the accomplishments of the United States. The narrator refers to Canada frequently to contextualize the significance of 2 the US project. He often dismisses the relevance of British North America in the antebellum period, claiming, for example, that the British North American captains lack “the alertness of the Yankee aspect” (SL 75) that Americans have gained since the Revolution. At the same time, however, he complains about the energy-draining atmosphere of the Custom-House and worries about the future of American democracy as a result. His co-workers recall the history of imperial warfare in North America, including the wars in the “wild Western territory” (SL 89) against Native Americans, the battles over Ticonderoga1 during the Seven Years‟ War (sometimes called the French and Indian War)2 and the American Revolution, and conflicts on the Niagara frontier during the War of 1812. Yet the recurring nature of these battles testifies to the fact that all of these conflicts over culture, territory, language, race, and empire remain unresolved, and in fact are still resonating in Hawthorne‟s time through different projects of American expansion. The narrator complains that America‟s pre-Revolutionary “documents and archives” (SL 98) have been seized and “carried off to Halifax” (SL 98) by British Loyalists at the end of the Revolution, leaving the newly-created US bereft of both official history and literature. Similarly, even the discarded records of the scarlet letter, which the narrator prizes so dearly for the stories they can tell about early American history, are still endorsed by “the hand and seal of Governor Shirley” (SL 99), the British imperial representative for the American colonies in the eighteenth century. And as 1 Ticonderoga was a fort on Lake Champlain that was highly contested by the English and French in the colonial period. The British won it in 1759, but it was later seized by American troops in 1775 during the American Revolution. 2 I will be using the term “Seven Years‟ War” to refer to the conflict between the British and French empires from 1756 to 1763 throughout this dissertation, even though I recognize that the “French and Indian War” is often the preferred term in US contexts. Canadian historians use “the Seven Years‟ War” (or la guerre de sept ans) for a few reasons. The Seven Years‟ War was a worldwide conflict over French and English trading empires, while the French and Indian War was the North American venue of that conflict. Historians in Canada have often preferred to highlight the war‟s global context. “The Seven Years‟ War” is also a more neutral term; “French and Indian War” assumes an Anglo-American perspective of the war and ignores the fact that aboriginal populations fought on both sides. 3 American studies scholar Donald Pease points out, the narrator, deprived of any other role model in his bureaucratic office, turns to another British official, Surveyor Pue, to define his own goals as an author, thus placing himself “within a line of succession authorized by the King of England rather than the President of the United States” (60). In short, the narrator‟s revelations and discoveries in the Custom-House testify to the blurred line between British and American power in North America just as often as they sustain the notion of US dominance within North America in the antebellum period. These intertwined imperial and national histories of the Custom-House prompt the narrator to question the legacy of the American Revolution and the relationship between the US citizen and the US nation-state. Literary critic Lauren Berlant observes that Hawthorne‟s narrator can‟t help but read the architecture of the aging Custom-House in multiple timelines: the Custom-House‟s eagle icon, façade, and crumbling pillars simultaneously remind him of a defunct Roman empire, a decaying British system, and a newly-created, but dysfunctional and problematic US democracy (167-70). The narrator even worries that the American eagle above the Custom-House door, whose ferocious aspect is supposed to protect her citizens, may “fling off her nestlings with a scratch of her claw, a dab of her beak, or a rankling wound from her barbed arrows” (SL 74). The violence he imagines on the steps of the Custom-House at the hands of the US government calls the felicity of the American national project into question. In fact, the narrator‟s comparison of the growing similarities between the US and the British Empire makes him question whether the US nation-state is any different from its imperial predecessor. His dissatisfaction with the failures of his own nation-state to protect and represent him ultimately compels him to search for a new kind of imagined community. By the end of “The Custom-House,” the narrator redefines himself as 4 a “citizen of somewhere else” (SL 113). His status as an imagined non-citizen of the US— someone who has chosen to exclude himself from the national project—offers him the possibility of aligning himself with an imaginary social order that provides an alternative to US policies. While the narrator begins his text by watching the movement of goods entering the US, then, he concludes by imagining his own escape out of it. My dissertation analyses images of Canada-US cross-border movement to show how the United States‟s relationship with Canada structured American Renaissance discussions about imperialism, citizenship, and racial and national identity. The image of Canada-US exchange in The Scarlet Letter has garnered no attention in American literary criticism; yet it reveals a mode of thinking about hemispheric relations that critically structured the literary output of what American studies scholars call the American Renaissance. In American Renaissance, literary critic F. O. Matthiessen famously described the period between 1850 and 1855 as a time when the United States experienced “a renaissance, by coming to its first maturity and affirming its rightful heritage in the whole expanse of art and culture” (vii). Matthiessen singles out five authors in particular (Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Melville, and Whitman), praising their “devotion to the possibilities of democracy” (ix), their artistic merit, and their efforts “to provide a culture commensurate with America‟s political opportunity” (xv). In the last twenty years, however, literary scholars have expanded the temporal limits of Matthiessen‟s American Renaissance and have challenged its national structural frame by exploring the different transnational engagements between writers in the US and their counterparts across the world. These scholars argue that the idea of the United States itself was frequently articulated and defined in reference to other imperial and national formations, like the British and French empires, as well as the revolutionary projects of many 5 Latin American and Caribbean countries. In his book In This Remote Country, Edward Watts, for instance, shows how the colonial French population of North America became an important point of discussion for Anglo-American authors in the decades leading up to the Civil War. US authors used images of the colonial French to think about the legacy of the American Revolution and to present new alternatives about the future of the United States. Similarly, in Transatlantic Insurrections, Paul Giles explores the intertextual connections between American and British literary cultures in the period after the US Revolutionary War. While many literary studies have insisted on the insularity of these two national literary traditions, Giles argues, each national culture referred to the other to consider “the kind of culture it might have been, but wasn‟t” (Transatlantic 195). In Transamerican Literary Relations and the Nineteenth-Century Public Sphere, Anna Brickhouse reconceptualizes the American Renaissance as a transamerican renaissance, arguing that “the very conception of the American Renaissance, tied as it always has been to a cultural moment of intense national self-consciousness, is inherently dependent upon and sustained not only by nationalist discourses but by the underlying transnational desires and anxieties that such discourses seek to mask” (33). While many American authors appealed to notions of national literary purity, she argues, they drew from a heterogeneous print cultural community, finding inspiration in ideas expressed by Cuban, Mexican, and Caribbean authors, and responding to events happening outside the borders of the US, such as the Haitian Revolution. Similarly, Kirsten Silva Gruesz‟s Ambassadors of Culture challenges the conceptual geography of the American Renaissance, by showing how nineteenth-century Anglo-American writers engaged with Latino writers and thinkers and by recovering nineteenth-century American texts written in Spanish. Other scholars, such as Shelley Streeby (in American Sensations) 6 and Amy Kaplan (in The Anarchy of Empire in the Making of U.S. Culture), examine how American literature was shaped by debates about westward and southward expansion as well as developments in the Americas such as the Haitian Revolution. All of these scholars converge in their belief that the imagined community of the United States emerged through a series of complex political, cultural, and literary negotiations with its neighbours and cultural interlocutors within the hemisphere, notably Cuba, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Haiti. Yet as I will discuss, even though authors like Hawthorne were also invoking Canada in their literary works, Canada‟s position within the “transamerican renaissance” has largely been overlooked. My dissertation contributes to the emerging conversation about transnational American studies by investigating Canada‟s position in the US literary imagination between roughly 1826 and 1863. Just as Americans were reading about Native Americans in Lydia Maria Child‟s Hobomok (1824) and white American pioneers on the Rio Grande in Godey’s Lady’s Book (1847), as Kaplan has explained, they were also encountering Canadian goods being unloaded on American shores in The Scarlet Letter (1850), francophone Huron informants in James Fenimore Cooper‟s The Last of the Mohicans (1826), Acadian refugees travelling to Louisiana in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow‟s epic poem Evangeline (1847), and enslaved African Americans running to Canada in Harriet Beecher Stowe‟s Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852). These nineteenth-century conversations continued to resonate into the twentieth century, when American authors often turned to images of Canada to consider the legacy of race relations in the hemisphere and the impact of US imperialism within North America. Canada proved to be a remarkably flexible space in the minds of American authors, one that could serve simultaneously as a symbol of the decline of European empires in North 7 America, a site of linguistic otherness and racial miscegenation, a symbol of Anglo-Saxon supremacy and destiny in North America, and an alternative to established political structures in the US. Writing about Canada also enabled authors to destabilize notions of US exceptionalism by exposing the concept of the nation as contingent—as, in some ways, a fiction in itself. The two central sections of my dissertation recover and examine nineteenth-century representations of two major population movements across the Canada-US border: the 1755 expulsion of 7,000 to 12,000 francophone Acadians south from eastern Canada to the American colonies, and the antebellum flight of free and enslaved African Americans north to Canada. These two instances of cross-border migration and state-sanctioned violence became flashpoints of literary conversation in the US in the mid-nineteenth century, just as debates about other forms of forced movement such as the Mexican-American War, Indian Removal, and the Fugitive Slave Law reached their peak. Authors such as Hawthorne, Longfellow, Stowe, and William Wells Brown wrote narratives describing these events to discuss the US‟s attempts to secure its external borders with other nation-states like Mexico, to define ideas of US citizenship and national identity, and to examine the relationship between race, nation, and empire as conceptual categories. The texts inspired by these examples of migration and forced movement to and from Canada allowed authors and readers to reflect on America‟s position in the world and its treatment of racial minorities within its own borders. 8 Canada and Nineteenth-Century US Empire When Hawthorne wrote about Canada in the antebellum period (roughly 1830 to 1865), the territory we now refer to as the nation-state of Canada was politically recognized as British North America, a collection of colonial provinces and territories governed by the British Empire. In the context of American literature, however, the meaning of the word “Canada” shifted depending on the timeframe and the (often implied) linguistic and political position of the speaker within North America. At the risk of historical backformation, I will be using “Canada” as shorthand in this dissertation for the territories under British North American control or influence following the American Revolution; “America” and “American” will refer to the United States.3 To some extent, Canada became an important topic of conversation in antebellum America simply because of its geographical proximity. The mid-nineteenth-century railroad building boom greatly facilitated movement across North America, and by the 1840s, railway tours from Boston to Montreal, around Lake Ontario, and back to New York were popular excursions for upper-class Americans. When 3 The exact political designation of the word “Canada” shifted frequently until Canada‟s Confederation in 1867. Since the seventeenth century, the word “Canada” or “the Canadas” often referred vaguely to French-held territories on the northern side of the Great Lakes and throughout the St. Lawrence watershed, and, occasionally, to the areas now known as the maritime provinces of Canada. In many texts (like the Leatherstocking novels of James Fenimore Cooper, for example, which are set during the Seven Years‟ War) the name implied an imagined geography of linguistic and cultural difference from the white, Anglo-Saxon settlements of New England. At the end of the Seven Years‟ War (1754-1763), when Quebec became a possession of the British Empire, “Canada” took on a more nebulous meaning in practice, sometimes referring to Quebec, and at other times referring to all British territories north of New England, especially after the American Revolution. Since 1791, the term “Canada” (used in the singular) officially referred to the anglophone region of Upper Canada (now Ontario) and the francophone region of Lower Canada (now Quebec). At that time, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland were collectively known as the Atlantic Colonies but were sometimes referred to as “Canada” by association. “British North America” referred to all of these territories along with the unexplored and unsettled regions of north/western North America. In 1841, Upper and Lower Canada merged to become the United Province of Canada, divided into Canada West (now Ontario) and Canada East (now Quebec). The 1867 British North America Act united New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Canada West and Canada East to create the Dominion of Canada. Other British North American colonies subsequently joined Canada, ending with Newfoundland (now Newfoundland and Labrador) in 1949. 9 Henry David Thoreau made the trip in 1850, for example, he reported with some bemusement that he had fifteen hundred American travelling companions with him (Doyle, North 7). The list of nineteenth-century American authors who visited and wrote about Canada is more lengthy than one might expect: The Nation editor E. L. Godkin, Boston Brahmin Richard Henry Dana, humorist William Tappan Thompson, realist writer William Dean Howells, nature writer John Burroughs, poet Walt Whitman, and writers such as Hamlin Garland, Mark Twain and Henry James, are only a few of the authors who wrote about their Canadian experiences. This list of tourists does not include the African American authors who (im)migrated to Canada to escape slavery, racism, and segregation in the US, such as Martin Delany, William and Ellen Craft, and Josiah Henson. Still others, such as Frederick Douglass and William Wells Brown, chose to live on the American side of the Great Lakes, but regularly invoked Canada‟s antislavery stance in the mid-nineteenth century in their essays and texts about the US.4 And while some of these authors mention Canada only briefly, their texts were sometimes so immensely popular that they had a profound effect on the perspectives of American readers towards their northern neighbour (as in the case of Stowe‟s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, for example). Canada‟s significance in antebellum US culture lay in the kinds of comparisons and contrasts it offered American authors in the highly-contested political debates about the future of US imperialism and the definition of the US national subject. As my brief examination of “The Custom-House” shows, Canada was significant in the US mind not only because of its perceived common origins with revolutionary Anglo-America, but also 4 Brown lived in Cleveland, OH, and Buffalo, NY, while Douglass spent his time in Rochester, NY. In his two books on the subject of Canada-US relations, James Doyle provides an extensive list of American writers who discuss Canada. 10 because of its increasing ideological distance from, and even resistance to, nineteenthcentury America‟s configuration of empire. Recent scholarship in American studies has begun to investigate the ways that US power evolved in the nineteenth century, and how the history of US imperialism has (or has not) been understood by scholars. Early postcolonial scholars, such as Edward Saïd, defined imperialism as “the practice, the theory, and the attitudes of a dominating metropolitan center ruling a distant territory” (9) and colonialism as “the implanting of settlements on distant territory” (9). Yet the suitability of these terms to a nineteenth-century US context was debated until recently. US founding documents such as the Declaration of Independence represented the US as an exceptional nation-state, one that had purged itself of imperial ambitions by rejecting British tyranny. Moreover, the early theoretical formulations of imperialism emphasized binary divisions between foreign and domestic spaces, imperial centres and colonial peripheries, and colonizing forces and colonized peoples and territories—divisions which did not align readily with the process of nineteenth-century American continental expansion, even though that process nonetheless depended on the definition of racial and linguistic categories, the oppression and dispossession of indigenous and non-white peoples, and the participation of the US in world systems of commercial domination and enslavement.5 In many cases, nineteenth-century American imperialism was described as “a contradiction in terms” (Kaplan, “Left Alone” 12), “a momentary psychological lapse” (Kaplan, “Left Alone” 14), or “a minor detour in the march of American history” (Kaplan, “Left Alone” 14).6 5 I use the term “continental expansion” carefully here; I agree with arguments made in previous scholarship (such as Streeby, American 9) that the distinction between “continental” and “imperial” expansion obscures the way that similar patterns of thinking motivated both of these forms of territorial expansion. 6 See also Streeby, American 6-10 and 292 n. 7 for a longer description of this discussion about the applicability of the term “postcolonial” to the US context. 11 However, contemporary scholarship has stopped questioning the reality of nineteenth-century US imperialism. Scholars of nineteenth-century US culture such as Amy Kaplan now investigate imperialism as a power structure or a network of power relations that depends on and constructs arguments about “home” and “abroad,” “domestic” and “foreign.” At the same time that it justifies negotiation, exploration, conflict, and the acquisition of territory, the rhetoric of imperialism also determines the confines of the domestic space of the nation, defining categories of identity such as race, religion, and citizenship, and shaping practices like segregation and slavery. Summarizing a long history of postcolonial scholarship, Kaplan explains that imperial engagements “occur within political and social structures of power and domination that both form and are transformed by these colonial encounters. In the arena of representation, critics have shown how stereotypes themselves become unstable sites of ambivalence that distort and challenge the bedrock divisions on which they are founded” (Anarchy 14). Kaplan proposes an understanding of US imperialism that recognizes how US expansion sustained, and was sustained by, “internal” practices of slavery, racial classification and segregation, and how literary representations of the “foreign” relied on “domestic” understandings of racial classification, language, and citizenship in nineteenth century US culture.7 Throughout this dissertation I explore how American authors situated Canada in relation to the US imperial and national projects, and how Canada helped American authors define these understandings of race, language, and citizenship. In the nineteenth-century US, 7 Many scholars have proposed different understandings of US imperialism in different time periods, including Richard Van Alstyne‟s Rising American Empire, Amy Kaplan and Donald Pease‟s edited collection Cultures of US Imperialism, Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri‟s Empire, Mary Louise Pratt‟s Imperial Eyes, Anne McClintock‟s Imperial Leather, Singh and Schmidt‟s Postcolonial Theory and the United States, Shelley Streeby‟s American Sensations, and Ann Laura Stoler‟s edited collection Haunted By Empire. 12 references to Canada recalled competing “east-west” histories of transatlantic exchange and British and French imperialism; they could also invite “north-south” thought about the connections between nation-states in the Americas and the future of the hemisphere. These two transnational and hemispheric triangulations of Canada‟s position meant that Canada was understood and represented by mid-ninteenth-century US authors as both a foreign and a domestic space. In the period between the American Revolutionary War and the Civil War, pressures on US nation-building grew exponentially, and commentators across the world by necessity defined America‟s place in the world in relation to European empires and the newly-formed states in the Americas. Canada became a test case for theories about the stability (or instability) of these categories in the New World, and, by extension, about the future racial, linguistic, cultural, and political landscape of the Americas. As literary scholar James Doyle explains, Canada‟s presence as a vast potential nation, one that could potentially follow in the US‟s republican footsteps by overcoming British rule, invited comparison by US authors who wanted to stabilize narratives about the principles of the US democratic project and the future of North America. Yet the political, social, and geographical realities of Canadian life—its ongoing commitment to British rule, its 1833 decision to abolish slavery,8 its tolerance of its French-speaking minority, and its resistance to annexation—challenged mid-nineteenth-century US discussions about the future of the New World. Doyle contends that many of these US discussions about progress and destiny in North America were articulated through nationalist narratives that were in development: Nineteenth-century Americans often assumed that Canadians would be a pioneering people like themselves, engaged in a struggle to subjugate the continent in accordance with prevalent notions about progress and the relationship between man 8 The 1833 Slavery Abolition Act abolished the practice of slavery in the British Empire, including British North America. It took effect on August 1, 1834. 13 and nature. But besides having rejected American ideas of political independence, some Canadians were quite different from Americans in their insistence on retaining decadent European habits of conduct, language, and belief, and in their apparent indifference to the gospel of progress…. The nineteenth-century United States was creating an indigenous body of legend involving Pilgrim fathers, revolutionary heroes, and frontier adventurers, who were all being moulded into the representation of an aggressive and individualistic notion of liberty. The Canadian chronicle, however, presented a confusing panorama of French colonial despots, aristocratic societies, French and English conflict, and finally a rather placid and unheroic chronicle of migration and settlement, emphasizing communal rather than individual activity. The setting for these events, furthermore, was not always consistent with American imaginative conceptions of the New World. Instead of being located on the edge of an infinitely expanding and readily accessible frontier, Canadian settlements usually gave onto a cold and hostile wilderness where survival, let along subjugation of nature, seemed scarcely possible. (North 5) The US‟s closest neighbour thus interrupted many of the ideas circulating in US culture about what it meant to be “American.” Throughout this dissertation, I argue that whether American literary representations of Canada confirm or deny American beliefs about the US‟s status as a new democratic nation and as an imperial force, these representations consistently reveal the competing processes that generated and upheld these beliefs. For many American authors, describing and locating Canada was not simply a cartographical enterprise: it was laden with unconscious associations, ideological implications, and unspoken cultural knowledge. Authors used the idea of Canada to contextualize, promote, renounce, and develop ideas of US hegemony within the Americas; they also looked to Canada to define and consolidate the idea of US national identity. In some ways, Canada resembled other sites of potential US expansion, such as Haiti, Mexico and Cuba. However, on many occasions, Canada took on a different meaning than these places. This was, in part, because of Canada‟s ambiguous place within the logic of US imperialism. In the early American republic, politicians and authors struggled to resolve the interpretive instability raised by the Canada-US relationship. The contemporary political 14 relationship between Canada and the US, which was widely invoked in print media conversations about the Monroe Doctrine, the expansion of slavery, and the US annexation of Texas, shaped the way readers interpreted fictive representations of Canada in nineteenthcentury US literature. US president James Monroe‟s 1823 doctrine, which was used to construct arguments about the US‟s political hegemony in the Americas, carefully overlooks Canada. In a series of presidential messages, Monroe argued that “the American continents, by the free and independent condition which they have assumed and maintain, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers” (qtd. in Murphy 4). Monroe‟s second message went even further, “declaring solidarity between the United States and recently independent South American republics” (5) and arguing that the US would “consider any attempt on [the allied powers‟] part to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere as dangerous to our peace and safety” (Monroe, qtd. in Murphy 5). Historian Gretchen Murphy argues that the conflicted discourse of the Monroe Doctrine declared the Western hemisphere closed to any future European colonization while representing the extension of US influence in the Western hemisphere as a natural process. Even as some commentators used the notion of hemispheric solidarity to promote democracy and to prohibit European control over the Americas, others cited the same principles to justify US expansion (6). Similar expressions about the US‟s exceptional status within the hemisphere soon followed, such as journalist John O‟Sullivan‟s conceptualization of manifest destiny, which contended that America‟s expansion was destined by Providence.9 However, as the above declarations by Monroe demonstrate, Canada‟s place within the US‟s 9 See “The Great Nation of Futurity” by John O‟Sullivan in the Nov. 1839 edition of the Democratic Review. Frederick Jackson Turner‟s 1893 frontier thesis builds upon many of O‟Sullivan‟s ideas as well. Many literary critics have discussed the impact of frontier rhetoric on American literature, notably Kaplan, Anarchy; Streeby, American Sensations; and Donald Pease and Amy Kaplan (eds.), Cultures of US Imperialism. 15 imperialist vision of the Americas was decidedly unclear.10 As a colony of a European power—and as the subject of territorial claims on the northwest coast of North America— Canada would seem a potential threat to the “peace and safety” of the United States. After all, British troops had responded to the attempted US invasion of Canada by sacking Washington, DC only a few short years before, during the War of 1812. At the same time, as a potential new state in the Americas, Canada could become part of the hemispheric “family” being imagined by Monroe and his contemporaries, and thus subject to the US‟s protective embrace. As nineteenth-century US authors and commentators engaged in discussions about the geographical and rhetorical limits of the US, politicians attempted to establish them through treaties and warfare. Canada was involved in both processes of US nation-formation. It is well known that the southern and western borders of the US shifted frequently throughout the first half of the nineteenth century, because of the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, the acquisition of Florida in 1819, the annexation of Texas in 1845, and the Mexican Cession of 1848 following the Mexican-American War. The US‟s northern borders were in flux at the same time. The precise location of the Canada-US border was established in stages, through the Treaty of Paris (1783), the Treaty of 1818, the Webster-Ashburton Treaty (1842), the Oregon Treaty (1846), and the Hay-Herbert Treaty (1903).11 However, the 10 Of course, in 1823, Canada was not governed by any of the members of the monarchical “Holy Alliance” (Spain, France, and Austria) being addressed by Monroe, so it was not perceived as such a threat, but its position in North America and its continuing status as a British colony created confusion nonetheless. See C. G. Fenwick for a more detailed discussion of Canada‟s position within the Monroe Doctrine. 11 The 1783 Treaty of Paris formally ended the American Revolutionary War and established the first border between the Thirteen Colonies and British North America (Jaenen n. pag). However, the location of the border established by the treaty was inaccurate because of a lack of geographical knowledge about the northernmost point of the Mississippi River; it also failed to determine the location of the border for territories west of the Mississippi. The Treaty of 1818 determined that the border between the Lake of the Woods and the Oregon Country would follow the 49th parallel, and provided for joint control of the Oregon Country until 1828 16 shifting nature of the US‟s southern border popularized conversations about the possibility of Canada‟s annexation: after the US annexation of Texas, California, and Alaska, Walt Whitman claimed that the US was now “reach[ing] north for Canada and south for Cuba” (qtd. in Brickhouse 26). Canada was also involved in many of the same population movements that affected the US, notably the influx of the Irish in the 1840s and 1850s, the free and forced movement of people of colour due to the slave trade, the displacement of indigenous peoples across the continent, and the economic migrations prompted by the fur trade, the cotton and textile industry, the railroad industry, and the gold rushes of the nineteenth century. These movements of borders and people spawned different arguments, in both literature and politics, about the relationship between the US and Canada, the future of the US nation, the meaning of US citizenship, and the identity categories that enabled US imperialism to function.12 These historical developments fostered popular American interest in the definition and consolidation of the idea of a US nation. Political developments in Canada were (Nicholson n. pag). The Webster-Ashburton Treaty reaffirmed the location of the border along the 49 th parallel, and resolved a few disputes about the precise location of the border between Maine and New Brunswick, and between Lake Superior and the Lake of the Woods (see Stuart 88). The Oregon Treaty settled discussions about the westernmost edge of the Canada-US border by extending the borderline through Oregon Country along the 49th parallel (Henretta et al. 372-73); Vancouver Island was retained in its entirety by the British. The US portion of the Oregon Country became known as the Oregon Territory and would eventually become the state of Washington; the British portion remained unorganized for a few years but eventually became the Colony (and later still, the Province) of British Columbia (see Wexler 100-01). The border between what is now the Canada-Alaska border was first determined (imperfectly) by the Anglo-Russian Convention of 1825, when Alaska was a Russian possession (see Wexler 61, 222). The US subsequently purchased Alaska in 1867 and inherited the convention. The imprecision of the border established by that convention led to the Alaska Boundary Dispute. This dispute was finally settled in arbitration in 1903. For more information, see Allan Smith and Norman Penlington. 12 These themes are discussed in a number of texts. James Fenimore Cooper‟s Leatherstocking Tales discuss the displacement of indigenous peoples during the French and Indian War, albeit from a white, Anglo-American perspective. Edward Watts shows how French colonial culture was represented by writers such as George Bancroft, Francis Parkman, Washington Irving, Lyman Beecher, and Henry Rowe Schoolcraft. Jack London‟s Klondike fiction also deserves mention here for its lasting impact on the popular imagination of Canada across the world. Pierre Berton‟s Hollywood’s Canada discusses how London‟s fantasies continue to dominate film representations of Canada. See also Sherrill Grace‟s Canada and the Idea of North. 17 frequently read in relation to events in US history that authors wanted to commemorate in order to establish the US‟s independence from its British roots and its exceptional status as an imperial force in the hemisphere. In this sense, Canada was important to the formation of an American national consciousness. Alys Eve Weinbaum explains that the word “nation” first designated populations with a shared racial ancestry. In the modern period, however, “the meaning of „nation‟ came to refer to large aggregates of people closely associated through a combination of additional factors, including common language, politics, culture, history, and occupation of the same territory” (164). As Weinbaum explains, many nineteenth-century political theorists concentrated on defining these individual factors to determine principles of national inclusion and exclusion. “Such nineteenth-century debates,” she argues, “exposed nation-formation as deeply ideological—as involving processes of selfdefinition and self-consolidation as often dependent on the embrace as on the persecution of differences, especially those construed as racial in character” (165). In probably the most helpful theoretical intervention, Benedict Anderson defines the nation not on the grounds of a common language, culture, history, race, or ancestry, but rather on the social links that consolidate a community. He famously defines the nation as “an imagined political community” (6) created through the collective imagination of people who perceive and represent themselves as members of a shared nation. In Anderson‟s view, print culture is a particularly important factor in the creation of the modern nation because it allows people to represent themselves as members of historical and cultural communities, and to invent traditions and narratives of historical origins that join otherwise disparate individuals together in a common national project. Critics in American studies have widely examined the American Renaissance as a period in which American authors and politicians were 18 interrogating and stabilizing notions of American national identity through their writing. John Carlos Rowe, for example, argues that the newly-created nation-state of postrevolutionary America depended upon the imaginative construction of a unified US culture, with its own national institutions and practices (“Nineteenth-Century” 80).13 My dissertation explores how Canada influenced this project of creating an imagined community for the US nation. An overview of Canada-US political and literary interactions from the 1830s to the 1860s shows that the presence of Canada alongside the US in the hemisphere shaped US print-cultural conceptualizations of the purpose and destiny of the US nation. Canada‟s historical links to the British Empire and its population of primarily white, Anglo-Saxon settlers were especially cited as “family resemblances” shared by the US and Canada. This familial rhetoric often placed Canada awkwardly within the well-known representation of US revolutionary history as a family feud. If colonial America reached national adulthood by rebelling against its tyrannical English parent, then Canada was the slightly less impulsive younger sibling who avoided the violent histrionics of the US-British relationship but, by choosing to retain its British ties, failed to achieve democratic maturity.14 Of course, this conceptualization of the hemisphere as a family placed the independent US in the role of a benevolent, protective, and morally-superior guardian over the still-dependent Canada—a conceptualization that facilitated the idea of “natural” annexation. However, many Canadians 13 Many literary scholars have discussed the role of nationalism in mid-nineteenth-century US culture. See, for example, Bercovitch, The American Jeremiad; Berlant, The Anatomy of National Fantasy; Kaplan, The Anarchy of Empire in the Making of US Culture; Kaplan and Pease, Cultures of US Imperialism; Streeby, American Sensations; Rowe, Literary Culture and US Imperialism; and Levine, Dislocating Race and Nation. 14 Jay Fliegelman discusses the symbolic representation of American revolutionary history at length in Prodigals and Pilgrims. One US writer who was especially frustrated with Canada‟s adolescent behaviour was William Dean Howells, who urged Canada to “[s]ever the apron strings of allegiance, and try to be yourself, whatever you are” (qtd. in Doyle, North 108). 19 fiercely resisted the idea of US annexation, arguing that Canada‟s interests would be better protected through its Commonwealth ties to Great Britain. Invocations of Canada‟s similarities with the United States were often tied to much larger teleological arguments about the political, linguistic, and racial destiny of the New World and about the “purpose” of the United States as a model for other nation-states. For example, in the late 1830s, when settlers in Canada were openly defying British colonial rule during the Upper and Lower Canada Rebellions, The United States Democratic Review interpreted the events as evidence that Canada was engaging in its own revolution and that North America was destined to become a democratic space.15 A series of editorials on “The Canada Question” in 1838-39 compared Canada to other spaces of potential US annexation, such as Texas and Mexico, and suggested that Canadians would surely follow in the footsteps of the rebellious American colonists: [N]o one can, it appears to us, entertain the preposterous idea of the possibility of the continuance of the colonial relation between the Canadas and Great Britain. It is utterly contrary to the spirit of the age…. A majority of the people of the Canadas desire to be free,—to govern themselves on the pure representative principle of which they have so glorious a model perpetually before their eyes. (“The Canada Question” 216) The editorial‟s tone is outwardly confident about the US‟s ability to define the “spirit of the age,” but it masks a critical instability in US culture about the future of the hemisphere. The editorial continues by predicting the outcome of Canadian democratic freedom in terms not 15 The Upper and Lower Canada Rebellions in 1837-38 were short armed conflicts against the British colonial government in Upper Canada (now Ontario) and Lower Canada (now Quebec). The leaders of both rebellions (William Lyon Mackenzie and Louis-Joseph Papineau, respectively) sought reforms from the colonial government that would improve accountability, government representation, and land distribution. The rebellions received strong popular support in the United States and they prompted much discussion in US magazines (for example, see Woodbridge‟s poem “Papineau”). Ironically, while the Democratic Review discussed the rebellions as evidence of Canada‟s inevitable annexation to the US, present-day Canadian historians argue that the 1837-38 rebellions actually helped to solidify a sense of Canada‟s distinct national identity, especially in Quebec (see Lemire 187). 20 of the creation of a new nation-state, but rather of the successful expansion of the values of the American Revolution across North America: “we can see no reason why, at some future day, our „experiment‟ should not be in successful operation over the whole North American continent, from the isthmus to the pole” (“The Canada Question” 218). However, as the process of American expansion continued unabated throughout the 1840s and 1850s, Canada continued to resist annexation; in fact, many of its major late-nineteenth-century projects, such as Confederation in 1867 and the construction of the Trans-Canada railway (completed in 1885), were undertaken (in part) as a defence against US annexation. Throughout this time, American authors began to question the US‟s republican experiment as well as its selfproclaimed superiority in the New World. As I will show, writers such as Longfellow and Stowe recognized Canada not as a poor copy of the US, but rather as an example of a political alternative within the hemisphere. These conversations about the possible annexation of Canada also enabled authors to consider the interconnections between categories of race, language, and nation in the US imagination. In the nineteenth century, Canada‟s historical engagements with the French and British empires at times solidified notions of Anglo-Saxon dominance but at other times worked to challenge it. Many authors justified the annexation of Canada by stating that the (imagined) whiteness of both countries would naturally bring them together under the same national project (Horsman 264). Historian Reginald Horsman explains, By 1850 American expansion was viewed in the United States less as a victory for the principles of free democratic republicanism than as evidence of the innate superiority of the American Anglo-Saxon branch of the Caucasian race. In the middle of the nineteenth century a sense of racial destiny permeated discussions of American progress and of future American world destiny. (1) 21 The imaginative construction of a shared Anglo-Saxon background between Canada and the US helped to solidify an aggressive form of US nationalism by naturalizing the dominance of the white, English-speaking (male) citizen in both countries. In, fact the successful expansion of the US into Canada was predicated on this fantasy of Anglo-Saxon racial, cultural, and linguistic contiguity. US authors like James Russell Lowell imagined the future union of Canada and the US not as “the manifest destiny of aggressive rapine, as in the case of Texas, but obedience to the attraction of natural laws” (146). Two anti-annexationist satirical cartoons, published in Canada in the 1870s, demonstrate the trajectory of this logic. They acknowledge arguments about the “family ties” between Canada and the US, even as the cartoonists ridicule these ties and reject the idea of US annexation. Both cartoons invoke a fantasy of US expansionist desire by portraying Canada as the potential ward or object of desire of the United States. For example, in “Child Canada Takes Her First Step” (Figure 1), Canada is a toddler who is lovingly overseen by a grandmotherly Britannia encouraging Canada to become independent, and by a young Uncle Sam who is all too eager to step in and help Canada gain a solid footing. Similarly, “A Pertinent Question” (Figure 2) depicts Canada as a young, eligible woman pursued by an overeager and debauched Uncle Sam. 22 Figure 1: “Child Canada Takes Her First Step.” [Illustrator unknown.] Source: Canadian Illustrated News Jun. 1870. Rpt. in Hou, Charles and Cynthia Hou. Great Canadian Political Cartoons, 1820 to 1914. Vancouver: Moody’s Lookout, 1997. 21. Print. 23 Figure 2: “A Pertinent Question,” by John Wilson Bengough. Source: Diogenes 18 Jun. 1869. Rpt. in Hou, Charles and Cynthia Hou. Great Canadian Political Cartoons, 1820 to 1914. Vancouver: Moody’s Lookout, 1997. 17. Print. 24 These cartoons speak against an overwhelming perception in the US that Canada‟s annexation was an inevitable and desirable event in North America‟s future. However, as these cartoons show, the annexationist fantasy of the US depended upon implied linguistic and racial similarities between Canada and the United States. In both images, the Canadians being lured by the US are of similar Anglo-Saxon background: both figures are white; the child wears a tartan, while the bachelorette and her mother speak English. Many US authors used the perceived proximity of Canada to link white racial identity with the capacity for citizenship and national belonging, while excluding other racial formations from these social and political categories.16 Antebellum authors such as Godkin, Thoreau, and the famous French observer Alexis de Tocqueville participated in this construction of Canada by suggesting that the disruptive problem of French Canada would solve itself over time: French Canada would eventually vanish through assimilation into an English North American continent.17 Fantasies of Canada as the Great White North often described a landscape that was historically blank and racially pure, ready for the expansion of white America. Yet Canada‟s 16 Scholars from Pierre Berton to Sherrill Grace show how later representations of Canada as North—a space ready for conquest, the geographical equivalent of an available woman—helped to construct and sustain the obsessions of mainstream US culture and its Cold War ideologies. 17 Alexis de Tocqueville, who visited Montréal and Québec in 1831, imagined that French Canada would eventually be completely overwhelmed by its English environment. In the long term, he predicts, the language of the conquered would eventually disappear: Il y a donc fort à parier que le Bas-Canada finira par devenir un peuple entièrement français. Mais ce ne sera jamais un peuple nombreux. Tout deviendra anglais autour de lui. Ce sera une goutte dans l‟océan. J‟ai bien peur que… la fortune n‟ait en effet prononcé et que l‟Amérique du Nord ne soit anglaise. [The odds strongly indicate that Lower Canada will become an entirely French people. But it will never be a large people. Everything around it will become English. It will be a drop in the ocean. I am very afraid that fortune has spoken and that North America will be English.] (“Bas-Canada” 73) Yet while the conversation in the United States predicted the inevitable linguistic expansion of English, French Canadians imagined the reverse. As Maurice Lemire points out, nineteenth-century Québécois intellectuals predicted that non-English immigrant populations would cluster into linguistic and cultural nodes that would share a national affiliation with the United States despite their linguistic differences—and that French, not English, would grow to become the dominant language of eastern North America (203). 25 linguistic and racial realities also challenged the stability of US formulations of racial categories and definitions of citizenship. If the sight of a Nova Scotia schooner could recall memories of eighteenth-century British/American conflict in Hawthorne‟s The Scarlet Letter (and suggest that such conflicts over land and politics remained unresolved), the presence of a protected French Canadian linguistic and religious minority within a largely anglophone, Protestant British North America could also raise questions about the hegemony of the Anglo-Saxon race. After the Seven Years‟ War, when New France was ceded to the British Empire, the colonial government of British North America restored the use of French civil law and guaranteed the free practice of the Catholic faith.18 The fact that Canada was protecting its minority French population flew in the face of assumptions about the inherent superiority of the Anglo-Saxon race. In his study of American representations of French colonial culture, literary scholar Edward Watts suggests that the presence of French Canada recalled the conflicting worldviews of the French and British empires in North America. He explains that antebellum authors sometimes perceived French North Americans as Frenchspeaking members of a white race who would (implicitly) stand united with Englishspeaking whites in the domination of the continent. Other authors, however, equated the linguistic difference of French Canadians with racial difference, “depict[ing] the frontier French as somehow less than white” (Watts 9) and “setting the stage, at best, for the coming purity, virtue, and power of the Anglo-Saxon empire” (Watts 9; see also Doyle, North 6, 13). Watts describes how images of the French Canadian voyageur vanishing from the US frontier were often used by US authors such as Francis Parkman to suggest that the permissive attitudes of the French towards racial mixing with Native populations led to 18 The 1774 Quebec Act did not protect language rights but it did protect freedom of religion and it restored the French-based legal system in Quebec. These protections so angered Anglo-American colonists that the Quebec Act was declared one of the “Intolerable Acts” leading to the American Revolution. 26 moral degeneracy and political decay. The linguistic and religious differences of French Canadians were often associated with despotism and betrayal. Through characters such as Magua, the French-speaking Huron informant from Canada in Cooper‟s The Last of the Mohicans, American authors linked Frenchness and indigeneity with the threat of race rebellion. Other configurations of French identity as either overly Catholic (passive, uncritical, tied to papal dogma) or as excessively European (overinvested in monarchical and imperial histories, politically unambitious, sexually uninhibited, and morally bankrupt) implicitly “precluded [French North Americans] from the free critical thought essential to the burden of the franchise” (Watts 10) and disqualified them from participation in the democratic project of the New World. At other times, as Watts explains, US authors saw French Canada‟s presence within the continent as a symbol of options that had been overlooked in the history of English control of North America, such as greater tolerance of racial and linguistic difference in the US. Many of the texts that I will discuss in Part One present more sympathetic readings of French Canadians that draw parallels between the history of French colonists in Canada and that of pre-Revolutionary Anglo-American colonists. The distance, in the antebellum period, between the fates of these two groups often underlines the violence of US imperialism and calls the US‟s commitment to its principles of freedom and the pursuit of happiness into question. In Watts‟s terms, “the memory of the French was used to imagine a nation… [that was] less greedy, less racist, less aggressive…. [C]ompeting ways of imagining the nation were contested and entangled in epitome through contrasting narratives of the French frontier and the question of its relevance for antebellum America” (4). All of these speculations were especially important in an era when the US was expanding into non-anglophone Catholic 27 areas of the continent such as Louisiana and Mexico and was determining the potential citizenship status of non-anglophone immigrants. US representations of Canada in the antebellum period also reflect debates about the relationship between citizenship, race, and national identity. Though the right to vote was prized in post-Revolutionary US culture, it was hardly the only dimension of citizenship. As Marco Martiniello explains, the concept of citizenship could refer, in its most restrictive sense, to “the juridicial link between the individual and the state” (115) and the “set of rights enjoyed by the individual by virtue of her or his belonging to a national community” (115). Both of these were important elements of the formal relationship between the individual and the state. However, citizenship could also denote the experience of belonging to a community and/or nation, participating in local institutions, expressing loyalty towards fellow citizens, performing duties and fulfilling responsibilities, engaging in free and open discussion with other citizens, and “participat[ing]... in the management of... public affairs” (Martiniello 116; see also Menzies, Adamoski and Chunn). In technical terms, populations living in pre-Confederation British North America were not considered legal citizens of Canada: Canada did not yet exist as an independent nation-state, and Canadian citizenship would not exist in a legal sense until 1947. In the mid-nineteenth century, Canadians were considered colonial subjects of the British monarchy, and suffrage rights in mid-nineteenthcentury British North America varied according to region.19 Despite the absence of full representative government or a legal concept of Canadian citizenship, however, Canadians 19 I will discuss this issue at more length in Part Two. Briefly, though, suffrage qualifications were determined regionally; voters in British North America could only elect members of their local government and their general assembly, while the executive assembly was determined by the British monarchy. Garner provides a more lengthy description of franchise debates in pre-Confederation Canada. Veronica Strong-Boag also summarizes the debates leading up to the 1885 Franchise Act in Canada, which shifted the determination of voting eligibility from provincial governments to the federal government. 28 bore forms of attachment and belonging to their Canadian civil institutions that could be considered a kind of citizenship. While Americans certainly participated in their institutions in a similar way, the perceived division, in the Canadian context, between the concept of direct representation and the forms of civic belonging that Canadians felt that they possessed interrupted many narratives about the development of the United States as an independent nation-state. As historian John Garner explains, while American political doctrine often emphasized the achievement of representative government, most nineteenth-century British North Americans were more concerned about the achievement of responsible government (3). As a result, American authors often used the example of Canada to consider the constitutive elements of citizenship in a new light. To many Americans, Canada‟s colonial status seemed an anachronism within a North American continent destined for independence from European powers. Yet Canadians consistently resisted (albeit with British help) any invitations to “extend” US democracy to Canada through annexation. Canada‟s continuing presence alongside the US thus challenged some of the most fundamental concepts sustaining American political discourse at the time. These conversations about political differences between Canada and the US also focused on the relationship between citizenship and race. Many observers argued, in fact, that colonial Canada was fulfilling many of the ambitious principles enshrined in the US Declaration of Independence by protecting the legal rights of its linguistic and religious minority French Catholic population, by engaging in a process of abolition in the late eighteenth century, and later (after the passage of the Slavery Abolition Act in 1833) by refusing to extradite fugitive US slaves to the US. As race theorist David Theo Goldberg explains, “race is integral to the emergence, development, and transformations (conceptually, 29 philosophically, materially) of the modern nation-state” (233). Canada and the US developed different conceptualizations of race in the nineteenth century: Canada‟s racial formations were mainly influenced by its colonial relationship with the British Empire, its cultural proximity to the US, and its imperial engagements with Native populations, while the US was developing racial formations in relation to its practices of slavery and expansion. Throughout this dissertation, I will show how US authors found the differences between Canadian and American approaches to linguistic diversity, race relations, and slavery especially fascinating in the period from 1833 (when Canada ended the practice of slavery), through the period of Indian Removal and the US-Mexican War, until 1863 (when the Emancipation Proclamation freed US slaves). The “racial reassignment of the frontier French” (11) in US literature discussed by Watts reflects changing beliefs about citizenship in US culture which began to consider whiteness as a primary requirement for citizenship. Sometimes francophones were racialized as non-white in order to rationalize their exclusion from the US national project. At other times they were de-racialized in order to consider them as potential participants in that project, thus solidifying the idea of white hegemony in North America and bringing other non-white racial formations into sharper relief.20 In a similar way, forms of British, Canadian and US imperialism also often converged in the nineteenth century, working together to define racial categories that would enable the control of indigenous and Asian populations across the continent and deny or revoke their claims for enfranchisement.21 20 The arguments of Theodore Allen (about the invention of the white race in the US) and of Noel Ignatiev (about the definition of Irish immigrants to the US as members of the white race) are worth keeping in mind in this conversation about the racial classification of French North Americans in US literature. 21 See Veronica Strong-Boag‟s “The Citizenship Debates,” as well as the work of David G. McCrady. 30 The divergence between US and Canadian approaches to Black citizenship in the period between 1833 and 1863 was particularly important. In this period especially, Canada gained a legendary status as the terminus of the Underground Railroad and as a safe haven for oppressed Blacks, including fugitive US slaves. At the time, the US was developing precise (and legally-binding) rules of racial classification which forbade Black citizenship and enfranchisement (such as the 1857 Dred Scott decision). Legal rulings about the potential citizenship of racial minorities within the US led to fierce debates within the midnineteenth-century US public sphere about the epistemological status of the US national citizen as well as the human subject more generally. Decisions by the British North American government to abolish slavery, to classify Black immigrants as British subjects, and to defend fugitive American slaves in Canada challenged US principles of racial classification by denaturalizing many of the assumptions upon which US ideas of white superiority and white citizenship rested. After all, British North America was offering Black men limited voting rights at the same time that the US was declaring them non-human. In this way, examinations of Canada in antebellum US literature illuminate what theorists Michael Omi and Howard Winant call the process of racial formation: The meaning of race is defined and contested throughout society, in both collective action and personal practice. In the process, racial categories themselves are formed, transformed, destroyed and re-formed. We use the term racial formation to refer to the process by which social, economic and political forces determine the content and importance of racial categories, and by which they are in turn shaped by racial meanings. (61) Throughout the nineteenth century, as authors and intellectuals discussed the similarities and differences between the US and Canadian formations of race and citizenship, they (consciously or unconsciously) exposed these formulations as ideological constructs— 31 constructs that certainly had real material, social, and political effects on people‟s lives, but constructs nonetheless. Authors and intellectuals examined the interaction of Black and white racial formations in the US and Canada, and used comparative logic to challenge or perpetuate the logic of Black enslavement. Antebellum writers frequently drew contrasts between US restrictions on Black citizenship and the legal freedom conferred on US slaves as soon as they reached Canada. Enslaved African Americans such as Frederick Douglass spoke openly in their narratives about their desire to escape to Canada. Voicing this desire became a way of expressing their own symbolic self-emancipation from slavery and their ongoing psychological resistance to the social and legal logic determining their slave status. By considering their potential position in Canada they rhetorically asserted their own candidacy for US citizenship. Other writers challenged the US system by arguing that the presence of a country within the hemisphere that shared similar roots as the US but engaged in different political practices enabled Americans to think beyond the limits of their own system. African Canadian historian James W. Walker explains, The Canadian experience of fugitive slaves proved... pro-slavery arguments to be false, for here it was evident that blacks could and did care for themselves, live moral Christian lives, benefit from education and fulfill all the duties of citizenship from military service to voting intelligently in elections. The Canadian fugitives... inspired the zeal of abolitionists and dispelled their fears, and could be considered to have provided a “trial run” for the eventual elimination of slavery in the United States. (60) Abolitionist print culture responded to popular discussions about US democracy by pointing out that Canada (rather than the US) had fulfilled many of the American Revolution‟s ambitious promises. As African Canadian literature scholar George Elliott Clarke explains, this strategy, effective as it was, came with its own set of oversights about different kinds of unfreedom in Canada: texts like Benjamin Drew‟s The Refugee, a collection of narratives by 32 former US slaves living in Canada, function as a “reply to Comte Alexis de Tocqueville‟s De la démocratie en Amérique…, one that proves the absence of true democracy in America, but also its purportedly functioning reality in Canada West” (“Hearsay” 29; emph. in original). Canada‟s different approach to Black citizenship also caused many US authors to consider Canada‟s continuing presence a danger to the US system. Even as Canada often represented an idea of Anglo-Saxon racial continuity with the US, it also occasionally recalled uncomfortable images of racial rebellion. The second article on “The Canada Question” in The United States Democratic Review (1839) summarized popular arguments about the reasons why formerly enslaved African Americans who had immigrated to Canada could become a threat to the stability of the United States: [T]he Canadas now afford an asylum for vast numbers of fugitive slaves; the transmission of which to the frontier is carried on, as a regular system, to an extent greater than is known or imagined by us—under the encouragement of the British Government, which is very glad to incorporate them into its black regiments, as the only soldiers on whom, from the necessity of their position, it can implicitly rely, whether as against us or against its own discontented subjects. (“The Canada Question: Second Article” 28) In the same way, US writers also began to triangulate the US‟s position through a hemispheric matrix involving Canada and other racially and linguistically “resistant” spaces in the hemisphere, such as Haiti and Cuba. In some cases, Canada was seen as a white space that could align with the US against these more racially diverse spaces (Horsman 283; Brickhouse 237). But in others, Canada was aligned with these spaces, working in symbolic opposition to the US and recalling the possibility of a society with both Black and white citizens—a possibility that many authors (such as Stowe, for example) often worked to 33 oppose. Texts such as Martin Delany‟s Blake and Frederick Douglass‟s “The Heroic Slave” depict Canada as one possible starting-point for a hemispheric antislavery revolution. The two migrations that I discuss in this dissertation—the passage of white, Frenchspeaking Acadians south towards the US and the passage of Black, English-speaking American slaves north away from it—work together to focalize these anxieties about imperialism, citizenship, language, and race. Throughout the nineteenth century, authors returned again and again to these symbolic figures to present arguments about the future of the United States. Critical Context Despite the archive of texts and recurring themes that I have presented above, the Canada-US literary relationship has been virtually excluded from larger discussions about the literary context of the hemisphere in the nineteenth century. In recent years, scholars have begun to embrace transnational approaches to the study of American and Canadian culture. In practice, though, the Canada-US border has yet to be mapped out in so-called hemispheric American studies, a field whose very name carries the unwanted baggage of US expansion around in its explorations of the continent. As American studies scholar Ricardo L. Ortíz explains, even the most well-meant hemispheric American studies projects have engaged in a “conventional absenting of Canada from certain powerfully imagined, and powerfully strategic, configurations of continental and hemispheric space” (337). 34 To date, most of the published monographs examining the literary, cultural, and political relationship between Canada and the US have been produced under the rubric of Canadian studies. Popular Canadian historian Pierre Berton examines the representation of Canada in the Hollywood imagination. Similarly, Canadian literary scholar Sherrill Grace examines the construction of what she calls “the idea of North” in different forms of Canadian art. David Staines, W. H. New, and James Laxer have written books reflecting on the symbolic formation of the Canada-US border, largely concentrating on the cultural context of the twentieth century. Similarly, Sourayan Mookerjea, Imre Szeman, and Gail Farschou‟s recent edited collection Canadian Cultural Studies provides an excellent range of foundational texts, many of which discuss the Canada-US relationship. Research by Robin W. Winks, James W. Walker, Harvey Amani Whitfield, George Elliott Clarke, Karina Vernon and Afua Cooper explores the history and culture of Blacks in Canada. Still, though, examinations of the Canada-US literary relationship in the nineteenth century are relatively uncommon. Literary scholar James Doyle has published two volumes examining the representation of Canada by nineteenth-century authors; Yankees in Canada is an anthology of US travel writing about Canada, while North of America provides a cursory overview of the American fiction that mentions Canada most prominently. Similarly, Greg Gatenby‟s The Wild is Always There, an anthology of writing about Canada produced by foreign writers, includes some nineteenth-century writing by US authors. French Canadian scholar Pierre Nepveu‟s Interieurs du nouveau monde examines parallels between foundational texts in Québécois literature and US literature, while Nick Mount‟s When Canadian Literature Moved to New York examines the interdependent relationship between Canada‟s Confederation Poets and the nineteenth-century US print culture industry. 35 In recent years, scholars in both Canada and the US have developed approaches that acknowledge the importance of national formations but also seek to complicate them. Postcolonialism, as an interrogative framework, a literary mode, and a political praxis has probably been the most helpful in identifying Canada‟s critical investments in, and differences from, Commonwealth countries in the Americas. The applicability of the term “postcolonial” to both Canadian and American contexts has itself been a contentious issue (Moss vi). Canada‟s continued membership in the British Commonwealth and its asymmetrical relationship with US power informed some of the first theories of Canadian culture (see Mookerjea et. al). More recently, postcolonial scholars have complicated the view of Canada as a colonized space by considering Canada‟s own colonial engagements with religious, racial, and linguistic minorities in Canada. Scholars have sometimes invoked postcolonialism to examine indigenous engagements with Western cultural systems, and to contest forms of Canadian nationalism that denied or erased Canada‟s violent history of north/westward expansion and the displacement of aboriginal peoples.22 Others, including scholars such as Hugh Hazelton and creative writers such as Guillermo Verdecchia, David Chariandy, Dionne Brand, M. NourbeSe Philip, and Dany Laferrière reflect on the diasporic histories of Canadian immigrants across the Americas. In French Canada, scholars such as Jean Morency and Gérard Bouchard have also explored the idea of a hemispheric identity with the concept of américanité. 23 Such strategies enabled French Canadian cultures to 22 Though postcolonial approaches have enabled some indigenous writers and intellectuals to destabilize Western frames of reference and respond to Canada‟s colonial legacy, some Native scholars and writers such as Thomas King reject any association with postcolonial studies, arguing that the approach reifies colonial relationships and denies Canada‟s continued actions as a colonial agent. See King‟s essay “Godzilla vs. PostColonial.” 23 Many formulations of américanité draw inspiration from the writing of authors such as Cuban writer José Martí, and explore the cultural, racial, and linguistic effects of the shared settler-invader and postcolonial histories of the Americas, and by the similar political concerns and conflicts that have been produced in the Americas because of these factors. Some, like Nepveu, concentrate explicitly on the relationship between 36 recognize their diverse origins and develop a sense of solidarity with other minority French and Creole cultures in the Americas. Yet postcolonial studies of the Canada-US relationship have so far been less successful. Investigations in American studies have largely concentrated on more direct sites of US imperialism such as Puerto Rico and the Philippines rather than Canada (see, for example, Singh and Schmidt; Kaplan, Anarchy). And in Canada, the research has largely examined the unequal power relationship between Canada and the US—a necessary area of study, but one not without limitations. For example, there is no shortage of analysis of the Canadian publishing industry‟s slow death through overexposure to US mass media. However the relative paucity of nineteenth-century Canada-US literary studies is striking, especially given the provocative research of Nick Mount on the ways that Canada‟s Confederation Poets—some of Canada‟s most celebrated writers—profited artistically and financially from their exposure to a large US print-cultural audience. Many researchers consider the formation of Canadian myths and national icons in Canada (Grace; New) but very few examine the rhetorical formation of Canada in the US (J. Doyle, North; Gatenby). Finally, academics in indigenous studies such as Roger L. Nichols and David G. McCrady suggest that the glamorization of Canada‟s more “peaceful” approach to settlement in the West, in relation to the violence of the US policies of westward expansion, has made it more difficult to study the way that the US and Canadian governments collaborated in controlling and repressing the passage of Native populations across North America. Québec and the US. Scholars often use the positive idea of américanité against the more negative concept of américanisation, the gradual erosion of distinct cultures of the Americas by US cultural imperialism (see Thériault). Though the hemispheric analyses produced by many of these scholars converge with American and English Canadian studies in compelling ways, the linguistic divide between French and English academic cultures seems to impede any significant cross-cultural conversation. 37 Such perceived limitations in postcolonial studies prompted a shift in the last twenty years towards what many scholars have called transnational studies. In the late 1990s, American studies scholar Janice Radway proposed a radical rethinking of the discipline of American studies, arguing that that the geographical and discursive frame of American studies—the very notion of “America” itself—might need to be questioned and perhaps even discarded as a key organizing principle of cultural study (1). Though transnational approaches vary widely, they share a commitment to “decentering the tenacious model of the nation as the basic unit of knowledge production” (Kaplan, “Violent Belongings” 11; see also Rowe, New American). Many projects have engaged in active study of the construction of the relationships between nation-states in the Western hemisphere. Similar attempts in Canada have been launched in academic publications like Trans.Can.Lit, edited by Smaro Kamboureli and Roy Miki. In that volume, Diana Brydon explains that transnational perspectives offer scholars the opportunity to begin what she calls the unravelling of the nation, that is,: to recognize that the creation of any imagined community is a continuous work in progress, involving making and unmaking, learning and unlearning, aiming not to fix boundaries but to encourage movements across them. If the role of the state is to consolidate, then the role of literature is to unravel those consolidations through the kinds of critique, questioning, and reimagining that enable new groupings to form that may be more responsive to the needs of the day. (13) All of these scholars find common ground in the idea that transnational perspectives could enable new discussions about national interactions within and across nation-states, and could offer a way to redress long-standing power imbalances in the hemisphere. Since the emergence of the term in the 1990s, transnationalism has come to encompass a variety of research formations, goals, and techniques, which have divided into 38 two broad but overlapping projects. Some scholars have taken transnationalism as an invitation to explore the possibilities raised by investigating “alternatives to state-sponsored forms of identity” (Sadowski-Smith 2), and the new perspectives that emerge when subjects identify themselves through post- or extra-national paradigms. Gloria Anzaldúa‟s study of mestiza culture, McCrady‟s analysis of the Native North American cultures bisected by the borders of nation-states, and Paul Gilroy‟s formulation of the Black Atlantic, for example, recognize the importance of the nation as a conceptual category and as a historical reality, but suggest that notions of national identity and citizenship have often alienated and divided diasporic or migratory populations, and have marginalized those communities in political, geographic, social, economic, and literary contexts. Other scholars use transnational approaches to recognize the contingency of the nation itself, to reveal the different demands and interests that shape the formation of nation-states, and to investigate the way in which perceptions of one nation-state could be used in the service of another‟s self-definition. Anna Brickhouse‟s study of the international knowledge networks that shaped the production and reception of the so-called American Renaissance, for example, shows the ways that “foreign” voices, perspectives, and experiences both construct and contest the conceptual apparatus that sustains the idea of the “domestic” in US culture. For Paul Giles, “using national cultures against each other in this way functions as a kind of materialist version of deconstruction, whereby each cultural formation reveals the blindspots or limitations of the other” (“Transnationalism” n. pag.). Transnational approaches are often informed by methods and concepts in postcolonial studies. However, by sidestepping the temporal and political registers of postcolonial studies, transnational approaches have been somewhat 39 more flexible in imagining and studying the relationships of nation-states with no history of direct colonial interaction. Given that so many US exceptionalist narratives reinforce US power in the hemisphere, transnational approaches have been widely promoted as a way to contest the deployment of US power across the Americas in particular. Adherents argue that transnational approaches to American studies will “contextualize and clarify, rather than reproduce, the exceptionalism that has long been central to the [US] nation‟s conception of its privileged place in the American hemisphere” (Levander and Levine 3). While most of the first transnational projects examined the US‟s relationship with Mexico, Cuba, and Latin America, researchers have expressed growing interest in “locating Canada within the history and culture of the Americas” (Adams and Casteel 5), thereby establishing Canada‟s presence in a field that had, at the very least, taken Canada‟s similarities with the US for granted. In practice, though, these attempts to include Canada in transnational American studies projects have had mixed results. In recent years, a few volumes have concentrated specifically on Canada‟s relationship with the wider Americas, notably Winfried Siemerling and Sarah Phillips Casteel‟s Canada and Its Americas, and Siemerling‟s New North American Studies. But problems with terminology, approaches, and foundational concepts still persist. The concept of the US border, which was heavily (and usefully) theorized in reference to the Mexico-US border by scholars such as Anzaldúa, is still discussed and defined largely without any consideration of the Canada-US border (see, for example, Brady; Singh and Schmidt 6-7).24 Similarly, some scholars explicitly studying relationships between 24 The border studies school has informed my thinking about the Canada-US border and the positioning of Canadians in imaginative contexts. However, the relative absence of Canada within a very large discussion 40 nation-states in the Americas fail to discuss Canada at all. Other scholars superficially cite either Canada‟s excessive similarity to the US, its excessive difference, or its continued “marginality within US American studies and Americas studies” (Shukla and Tinsman 23) as a reason to eliminate a lengthy discussion of the topic. In recent years, the genre of hemispheric American collections seems to have stabilized in what seems like a parody of Canadian content regulations,25 gesturing northwards with one article (in book collections of ten to fifteen articles) on Canada‟s presence in the Americas (Duncan and Juncker; Pease and Wiegman). While this research recognizes the need to include Canada, too often it neglects to acknowledge and confront the problems that come with representing a nation that is at once extremely diverse and severely underrepresented in hemispheric discussions. Even the naming of the field has proven difficult, as terms such as “New American studies” and “hemispheric American studies” were initially welcomed but eventually discarded because of the way they threatened to re-inscribe forms of US exceptionalism.26 reflects a reality that there is still much work to be done. Even those scholars who argue (rightly) that border studies does not simply examine the US-Mexico border have neglected any discussion of Canada (see, for example, Singh and Schmidt 6-8). 25 Canadian content regulations are a set of practices established by the Canadian government, and enforced by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), that regulate the minimum amount of “Canadian content”—i.e., content produced by Canadian artists and/or personnel—in Canadian mass media and that encourage the production of cultural material that reflects “Canadian values” in television and radio. In most cases, stations must ensure that a minimum percentage of their daily and hourly broadcasts feature Canadian content as determined by the CRTC. See “CRTC Mandate.” 26 Some of these terms are still in use. Literary scholar Kirsten Silva Gruesz explains that many scholars engaged in the study of the hemisphere have struggled to describe their project‟s place within American studies. Yet the project of finding the right terms to distinguish America (the nation-state) from America (the hemisphere) has proven problematic, especially in the light of the long history of US cultural imperialism. Some scholars have sought to deconstruct the meaning of “America” by “divorcing the name of the nation from the name of the continent” (Gruesz, “America” 21): using “America” and “American” to denote the Western hemisphere, and the adjective and noun form of “US” to refer specifically to the United States. While these usages of the word “American” have struck many scholars in American studies as odd, Gruesz explains, “the very awkwardness of such terms has a certain heuristic value” (“America” 21; see also Radway). Some scholars like Gretchen Murphy have called attention to the symbolic superimposition of “United States” onto “America” by using the term “USAmerican” instead of the adjectival “American.” Others have resisted this move on the grounds that using “American” can help show the process by which the term was appropriated (Streeby American 7). Yet I would point out that many of these suggestions overlook the effects of US cultural 41 As a result, the relationship between Canadian and so-called transnational and/or hemispheric American studies has been uneasy, at best, and has occasionally turned sour. Some hemispheric American studies scholars have expressed frustration that their efforts have not been embraced with the appropriate level of enthusiasm from Canadian studies. Rachel Adams and Sarah Phillips Casteel, for example, criticize “Canadianists‟ withdrawal from hemispheric conversations” (5); but a cursory look at the introductions to many hemispheric projects, including that of Adams and Casteel, reveals Americanist scholars‟ acceptance of the knowledge deficit of their intended US audience in a way that awkwardly rationalizes Canada‟s marginalisation in hemispheric discussions. Others situate US-Mexico concerns at the implicit centre of the discussion, if only to show how Canada diverges from well-trodden research avenues. Such approaches often reinforce stereotypes about Canada, and the hegemonic interests of American studies, at the expense of specific considerations of Canadian history and Canadian cultures. This has led researchers in Canadian studies on both sides of the border to complain that the recent excitement about transnational studies has done little to change the methods that inform US research on the hemisphere, and that academic conversations are now evolving in “splendid isolation” (Siemerling 140) on either side of the Canada-US border.27 These realities indicate that the premises and methods of transnational and hemispheric American studies have solidified prematurely in a way that has rendered the imperialism (and reactionary anti-American sentiment) in Canada: many Canadians, I would suggest, would be averse to labelling themselves “American” precisely because doing so recalls a two-hundred year history of debates about annexation and the apparent irrelevance and/or non-existence of Canadian culture. This is why, in this dissertation, I follow the lead of Winfried Siemerling and other scholars in Canada, in using the terms “America” and “American” interchangeably with “United States” and “US”; in cases where I deliberately want to invoke a larger reference to the Americas (i.e. the entire Western hemisphere), or to North, South, or Central America, I do so using those terms. 27 See also Roger L. Nichols for a discussion of how this reality has affected Native North American studies. 42 study of Canada more difficult. After all, the problem lies not with Canada‟s difference from other nations in the Americas, but with theoretical approaches and critical practices in academia. There is something fundamentally wrong with a field of border studies that fails to recognize an 8,891 km-long border as meaningful. In the same way, there is something fundamentally wrong with a field of transnational studies that routinely neglects some national formations in favour of others that seem more familiar. The present inability of American studies and Canadian studies alike to make sense of the relationship between Canada and the US should make us aware of the ways in which ideas of national identity, language, political difference, ethnicity, religion, and race shape ideas of what it means to be “American,” in the most diverse and loaded meanings of that term. Far from being a disruption, the Canadian example should be seen as an invitation to reconsider some of the most familiar assumptions of hemispheric approaches. Reading for Canada in American literature My dissertation engages with this critical and historical context by providing a method of reading the Canada-US border as a site of interaction and of knowledge production. While scholarly disciplines may recently have had difficulty understanding the ways in which US audiences reacted to descriptions of Canada, the works in this dissertation show that Canada played an important role in the US‟s self-conception, shaping the way Americans think about immigration, displacement, national identity, race, and language. US readers were reading for Canada in their works; we must try, now, to find a way to do the same. 43 I argue that discussions of the Canada-US border in nineteenth-century literature reveal the continuing intimacy of empires in North America and the “unacknowledged interdependence of the United States and European colonialism” (Kaplan, “Left Alone” 8). The two border-crossing populations of my study, French Catholic Acadians and African Americans, inspired discussion in the nineteenth century not simply because of their physical mobility but because of the way they helped to construct, mobilize, and deconstruct categories that enabled US imperialism to function. Throughout this thesis I draw from cultural theorist Mark Simpson‟s understanding of mobility. In Trafficking Subjects, Simpson argues that human movement was read symbolically by nineteenth-century American readers in relation to notions of citizenship and power. Different forms of movement determined, and were determined by, structures of class, race, and gender in the nineteenth century US. Simpson defines mobility not as a naturally occurring phenomenon but much more rigorously as a mode of social contest decisive in the manufacture of subjectivity and the determination of belonging. At stake is what, in this project, I term the politics of mobility, the contestatory processes that produce different forms of movement, and that invest these forms with social value, cultural purchase, and discriminatory power. (xiiixiv) Simpson argues that the stories authors told about mobility often served as coded conversations about individual subjectivity and US citizenship. In some cases, US popular discourse used the rhetoric of progress and native erasure to legitimate power structures that sustained the nation-state and to naturalize the forced movement of minority populations within the United States. In this way, descriptions of exile, traffic, imprisonment, forced displacement, fugitive escape, territorial invasion, and vanishing were used and read as markers that could signify or even determine whether someone was, or could be, a potential 44 citizen. At the same time, forms of willed movement and stasis, like travel, freedom, leisure, expansion, and domesticity, were described as natural elements of progress, and identified potential candidates for US citizenship. These scenes of mobility thus structured larger conversations about the meaning of “America” and of forms of “American” belonging. This research is important because it helps explain why the two populations in motion that I study in this dissertation became such important figures in antebellum America. These migratory populations, by moving across the border in their free and forced movement, made the imperceptible categories sustaining imperial and state systems more visible. In some cases, the British and US imperial systems collaborated with each other (consciously or unconsciously) to define the race, identity, and citizenship of the border-crossing migrants. In other cases, though, differences between French, British, and US systems emerged. As these populations moved across state borders, they showed that political and social categories that seemed immutable and fixed could be rethought and contested. In many cases, CanadaUS border-crossers made some of the most familiar patterns of their homeland suddenly become unfamiliar. In such cases, authors were able to use images of cross-border movement as a way of opening up options that had been foreclosed. Authors such as Hawthorne and Longfellow, for example, reached across temporal borders as well as geographical ones, using a sense of historical distance and national difference in their works to compare the contemporary conditions of the US with that imaginative political project of the American Revolution. Granted, this means that their representations of Canada were often decidedly fictional; but they served a rhetorical function in defining, contesting, contextualizing, and re-imagining 45 the US project. While my dissertation focuses on two particular populations, my approach offers a new way of being sensitive to Canada‟s symbolic importance in the US—that is, of “reading for Canada” in the context of the American Renaissance. I have chosen to focus specifically on the 1755 expulsion of the French Catholic Acadians and the antebellum movement of free and enslaved African Americans because of the way the conversations about these populations converged in the 1840s and 1850s. Both of these instances of cross-border movement overlapped in interesting ways in the minds of US readers.28 The two conversations that I have chosen to investigate in this dissertation resonate with each other and show different sides of the same patterns of representation of whiteness and blackness in North America. Taking my cue from other studies that seek to recover interconnected literary conversations in antebellum America, such as Mary Louise Kete‟s Sentimental Collaborations, I have divided my discussion into two major parts, with a short “entr‟acte” between them. Each part recovers the archive of texts and authors involved in a discussion about a border-crossing population, establishes a theoretical framework, and then examines the evolution of this discussion through the work of different authors. Part One, entitled “„If I were an American poet, I would choose Acadia for the subject of my song‟: the Grand Dérangement and the American Renaissance,” examines a series of literary representations of the forced displacement of the Acadians, French Catholic settlers living in eastern Canada 28 There are other kinds of Canada-US cross-border migration that are equally deserving of critical attention but that I will be unable to discuss in this dissertation. Asian American and indigenous engagements with the border, for example, were also connected to slavery and various processes of US and Canadian north/westward expansion. I am thinking, in particular, of the writings of Charles Eastman, Mourning Dove, and George Copway (a friend of Longfellow‟s who helped Longfellow with his later poem Hiawatha). However, these engagements focused on different conversations about racial identity and belonging which happened at a later period and were not tied together in the public mind as neatly as the American Renaissance conversations about Acadian and African American identity that I recover here. 46 who were forced off their farms by British troops, and deported by boat to the American colonies in 1755, shortly before the outbreak of the French and Indian War. Eighty years after the deportation, members of the Boston literary elite, including Hawthorne, Longfellow, Whittier, and Stowe, wrote sentimental representations of the event in novels, poetry, letters and essays. Their imaginative texts represent Acadia as a symbolic double of the preRevolutionary US. In their eyes, Acadia was an independent, proto-national, egalitarian community that was cruelly destroyed by British troops; the Acadians who were violently transported to the US became the first white citizens to lack a nation-state. Yet the Acadian narratives also strategically underline similarities between British imperial behaviour and US actions in the nineteenth-century hemisphere. In The Whole History of Grandfather’s Chair, a US history book for children, Hawthorne interprets the destruction of Acadia as proof of the necessity of the American Revolution. However, his depiction of the violent past of 1755 Acadia threatens to overwhelm his early-1840s present: after comparing Acadia with the original New England colonies, Hawthorne raises questions about the human cost of warfare in the Americas and the necessity of US projects of aggressive expansion. Whereas his initial representations of Acadia support the creation of the US as a North American nation-state, his final portrayal of the Acadian people ultimately forced into homelessness by merciless American politicians expresses anxiety that the US is losing sight of its idealistic first principles. A few years later, Longfellow took inspiration from the same event to challenge the ethics of US slavery and US expansion. Longfellow‟s epic poem Evangeline, written in 1847, attempts to bridge the divide between his white, upper-class US readership and the different geographical, cultural, and linguistic “transgressors” who have been cast out of the 47 US national project in the late 1840s. While Hawthorne‟s account of the Acadian expulsion largely describes the arrival of the Acadians on US shores and the disappearance of the Acadians into an imagined US community, Longfellow follows the fate of his title character from her early life in Acadia to her exile in the US. Evangeline‟s Acadia is an egalitarian, peaceful, newly-created nation in North America that seemingly enacts what the American Revolution promised for the US. Its destruction by a British empire intent on expansion calls the nineteenth-century US project of expansion into question. As Evangeline progresses, Longfellow‟s Acadians function as allegorical doubles for other displaced populations moving to and across the US in the nineteenth century. For example, the images of ships leaving Acadia overloaded with human cargo recall the middle passage of slaves. Similarly, the images of Acadians forced to move across the US recall the ways that both Native American and Mexican populations were being displaced across the American West. At the end of Part One, I explore how nineteenth-century American readers‟ discussions of Longfellow‟s poem in antebellum newspapers reflected on the US‟s postcolonial history, criticized the US‟s involvement in the expulsion, and recognized Evangeline as a double of marginalized racial minorities within the US. This chapter shows how Acadian deportation thus became a mechanism for Longfellow and Hawthorne (as well as their readers) to challenge and deconstruct the principles sustaining US imperialism. My discussion then moves, in a short entr‟acte, to consider Harriet Beecher Stowe‟s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, a novel that gestures to both of the migratory movements that I discuss in my dissertation. Stowe‟s main character Little Eva, who is based on Longfellow‟s Evangeline, maps the forced nationlessness of the Acadians directly onto the experience of US slaves. Moreover, Stowe situates her Acadian-descended heroine in the mid-nineteenth 48 century US amidst the most heated debates about slavery. Little Eva imagines the kind of paradise that a post-slavery US could become and inspires Uncle Tom to reach it; yet her status as an angelic outsider who can only indicate the ways that the US can reach its perfect goals underlines the work to be done to end slavery in the US. As Little Eva and Uncle Tom move further south, presenting their idealistic goals for the US from within the slaveholding regions of the US south, a group of Kentucky slaves begin their migration north to Canada, to reach a paradise that they cannot find at home. In this way, Stowe maps Longfellow‟s patterns of understanding racial difference and cross-border movement onto new patterns of sympathy that would contribute to her abolitionist project. Uncle Tom’s Cabin thus functions as a pivot point between the two narratives of migration to and from Canada that I study in this dissertation. In Part Two, “Reading the Lake Erie Passage,” I move from a discussion of the literary representations of the eighteenth-century southward movement of white, Frenchspeaking Acadians towards the US to an analysis of texts describing the antebellum migration of free and enslaved African Americans north to Canada. The colonial Canadian government began to restrict the practice of slavery starting in 1793. By 1834, Canada had abolished slavery altogether, making it a destination for African Americans desiring to escaping slavery and segregation in the US, especially after the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act. In literary contexts, the Underground Railroad has become the dominant trope by which most Black migration between the US and Canada has been understood.29 Yet this popular myth, which emphasizes terrestrial journeys, one-way migrations, and the success of white abolitionist conductors, frequently ignores the lived experiences of Black North Americans 29 For a list of slave narratives that mention Canada or describe passages to it, see George Elliott Clarke‟s “Primer of African-Canadian Literature” (Odysseys Home 325-30). 49 who crossed and re-crossed the Canada-US border, primarily on water. It also fails to explain the most popular representations of the Canada-US border in nineteenth-century abolitionist literature. Part Two recovers and examines the print-cultural representation of a significant site on the Canada-US border, in particular: the Lake Erie Passage. The fugitive slave crossing the Canada-US border to become a legal subject in Upper Canada was an iconic image in many abolitionist texts; in the 1840s and 1850s, authors gravitated in particular towards the image of the fugitive slave crossing Lake Erie to find freedom on Canadian shores. Antislavery authors like Stowe, Josiah Henson, William Wells Brown, and Lewis Clarke capitalized on the Lake Erie Passage, turning it into a powerful abolitionist image and a print cultural phenomenon. Poems, novels, and slave narratives returned to this iconic scene of nautical transit and transformation across the Great Lakes to contest U.S. slavery and discuss the meaning and potential of Black citizenship. After providing a historical and theoretical overview of Black Canadian-American cross-border movement and an inventory of the texts that depict it, my chapter moves through autobiographical and fictional representations of the Lake Erie Passage to show the different ways that authors imagined Canada‟s importance to Black North Americans: as a haven from slavery, a home, or even a staging-ground for a continental revolution. Most autobiographical accounts of the Lake Erie Passage express a great deal of ambivalence about life in Canada. Yet fictional portrayals of the Lake Erie Passage in abolitionist works, such as Stowe‟s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, ignore these ambiguities in the Black Canadian experience to represent Canada as a nation where Black-white relations have been resolved, 50 or (more often) to represent Canada as a temporary stopover for Blacks on a longer journey to Africa. Stowe‟s contemporary William Wells Brown responds critically to Stowe‟s simplistic representation of Canada with his own reimagining of the Lake Erie Passage in his novel Clotel. The representation of Canada in these Lake Erie Passages as a racial haven under a monarchical government, however problematic, challenged beliefs in antebellum US culture about the US‟s racial identity and its political supremacy in the continent. As a result, the Lake Erie Passage critiqued some of the most foundational race, gender, and class hierarchies sustaining US culture. By recovering this international, interracial conversation about the significance and meaning of Canadian-American border-crossing, I assert the important role of nineteenth-century Canada within the movement of people and ideas across the Black Atlantic world. I conclude the chapter by reflecting on the legacy of the printcultural image of the Lake Erie Passage and by examining the ways that Black North American writing has been received, categorized, and examined in Canadian and American studies. While the cross-border migratons of my study took place at different times and for very different reasons, the expulsion of the Acadians from Acadia to the colonial US and the passage of African Americans north to Canada across Lake Erie work in inverse and in parallel to each other. Both forms of cross-border movement inspired some of the same American Renaissance authors, many of whom were friends and contemporaries. Moreover, the Acadian expulsion and the Lake Erie Passage inspired a literary iconography that was interpreted, by US readers, as a commentary on the processes of US expansion and the 51 effects of US imperialism at home and abroad. In both cases, authors employed similar images of nautical travel, forced displacement, incarceration, violence, and familial separation. Furthermore, both paradigms explore the notion of nationlessness in order to comment on the process of acquiring national identity and of practicing national citizenship. Yet while the Acadian immigrants of Part One become idealized immigrants and function as sympathetic narrative stand-ins for African Americans and others who were barred from citizenship, the Lake Erie “passengers” of Part Two visibly, and sometimes very selfconsciously, confront white antebellum fears about racial miscegenation and Black enfranchisement. Some authors used the Lake Erie Passage to set fears to rest, while others used the Lake Erie Passage to criticize not only the injustice of US slavery but also the ways that racism had constructed such fears of Black participation in civil society. My conclusion examines the legacy of these two images of cross-border movement in North American culture and comments on the ways that Canada-US relations continue to revisit and re-invent these examples of cross-border migration. (CRTC; Siemerling and Casteel Canada and Its Americas: Transnational Navigations; Siemerling; Gruesz “America; Anzaldúa) (Kamboureli and Miki) (Literary; Levine Dislocating) (Mount; Nepveu; Gatenby; Vernon; Chariandy; King; Hazelton; Verdecchia; Philip; Laferri re; Morency; Bouchard; Thériault; Nichols; McCrady; Douglass Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave; Singh and Schmidt; Kaplan and Pease; McClintock; Van Alstyne; Stoler; Hardt and Negri) (Eastman; Mourning Dove; Copway; H. W. Longfellow “The Song of Hiawatha; Hale; J. F. Cooper; J. Doyle Yankees; G. E. Clarke Odysseys Home: Mapping African-Canadian Literature; Turner; London; Woodbridge) (Bercovitch; Fliegelman; Lemire; Strong-Boag; Allen; Ignatiev; Delany Blake; Bancroft History; Bancroft “The Exiles of Acadia; Henson Life; [Godkin “French Canada [Part 1]; [Godkin “French Canada [Part 2]”) (Berton; Tocqueville Bas-Canada) (Tocqueville Democracy in America; Henretta, Brody and Dumenil; Jaenen; Martí; Mookerjea, Szeman and Farschou; Nicholson; Penlington; Rothman; Smith; Streeby; Stuart; Wexler; Thoreau Walden; Thoreau A Yankee in Canada, with Anti-Slavery and Reform Papers; Laxer; Dana; [Thompson; Howells; Whitman; Burroughs; Garland; James; Twain; Whitfield; Hazelton; N. Hawthorne “Rappaccini‟s Daughter”) 52 Part One: “If I were an American poet, I would choose Acadia for the subject of my song”: the Grand Dérangement and the American Renaissance 1.1 US print culture and the Grand Dérangement This chapter contributes to contemporary critical discussions about mid-nineteenthcentury North American literary relations by examining how literary representations of Acadia shaped popular American discussions about the meaning of American national identity. From roughly the 1830s to the 1850s, the interests of American authors began to converge on the traumatic displacement of the Acadians, a group of French Catholic settlers in the British colony of Nova Scotia who were forced from their homes by Anglo-American militias in 1755. In an effort to minimize a perceived French threat to British North America at the outbreak of the Seven Years‟ War, Anglo-American militias deported an estimated 7,000-12,000 Acadians to different Anglo-American colonies. Eighty years after this event— called the Grand Dérangement by most Canadian historians and scholars30— New England literary elites, including Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Nathaniel Hawthorne, John Greenleaf Whittier, and Harriet Beecher Stowe began representing the event in their verse, children‟s books, sentimental fiction and histories of North America. These accounts of the 30 Historically, English Canadians referred to the Acadian expulsion as “The Great Upheaval,” a metaphor which compares the deracination of the Acadians to a geographical catastrophe like an earthquake. Most contemporary scholars, however, prefer the term used by Acadians, le Grand Dérangement, which recalls not only the physical movement of the population (the French word déranger literally means “to disorganize or disturb”), but also the “sense of madness, or derailment, in the use of the French dérangement” (Grady 3) —the permanent mental and social trauma—that such an event has on a community. 53 Grand Dérangement spawned a nineteenth-century print-cultural industry that reflected on the eighteenth-century origins of the United States, speculated on the homology between Canada and the US as “nations” within North America, and offered different visions of the US‟s role in the nineteenth-century Americas. The mid-nineteenth-century print cultural interest in the Grand Dérangement was first sparked by the publication of the Nova Scotian politician, historian, and satirist Thomas Chandler Haliburton‟s An Historical and Statistical Account of Nova-Scotia (1829), which was reviewed by the popular North American Review in the same year. Haliburton based his description of the violent denationalization of the Acadians on that of Abbé Guillaume Thomas François Raynal‟s Histoire des Deux Indes, published in 1770. In his revision of Raynal‟s text, Haliburton stated that the tragic story of the Grand Dérangement was “worthy rather of the poet than the historian” (Historical 173). His words would prove prophetic, for by the 1840s, many US writers used his text as a basis not only for their own historical retellings of the event, but also for their own fictive accounts of the Grand Dérangement in their novels, short stories, and poems. Hawthorne drew from Haliburton‟s history to create a fictional account of Acadian exiles arriving in Boston‟s harbor in his story “The Acadian Exiles,” which became a central narrative episode in Hawthorne‟s trilogy of US history books for children known as The Whole History of Grandfather’s Chair (1840-41). George Bancroft—the historian and statesman who would later write treaties formalizing U.S. laws on naturalization and expatriation—described the deportation in a historical essay entitled “The Exiles of Acadia” (1841) that was designed to refamiliarize US readers with the expulsion. It was reprinted in the popular annual The Token and Atlantic Souvenir in 184243, alongside publications by prominent New England writers such as Stowe and 54 Longfellow. Shortly after Bancroft‟s essay appeared, the American novelist Catherine Read Williams, a distant relation of Haliburton, published The Neutral French: or, the Exiles of Nova Scotia, a sentimental novel describing the life of the Acadian exiles in the American colonies. Quaker poet and abolitionist John Greenleaf Whittier also began research in 1841 for “Marguerite,” a sentimental poem about the death of an Acadian indentured servant, which he published in The Atlantic Monthly in 1871. Meanwhile, Hawthorne‟s interest in the Acadians inspired his friend Longfellow to begin work on Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie. Published in 1847, Evangeline outsold every other literary account of the Acadian deportation ever published. It was instantly popular, selling out five editions in as many weeks (Longfellow, MS Am 1340  137).31 Evangeline‟s sympathetic treatment of the expelled Acadians also inspired wide public interest in the fate of the Acadian exiles, creating a literary chain reaction that shaped all future representations of the Acadian deportation and of the history and culture of francophone North America more generally. After Evangeline‟s publication, Hawthorne revised his 1841 account of the Grand Dérangement in The Whole History of Grandfather’s Chair to direct readers to Longfellow‟s poem. Furthermore, Stowe, one of Longfellow‟s acquaintances, used intertextual references to Evangeline to structure her criticism of US slavery in her 1852 Uncle Tom’s Cabin. The conversation that began with these New England writers came to dominate future literary representations of the Acadians and of 31 See Staines 44 for a longer description of Evangeline‟s commercial success and worldwide popularity into the twentieth century. 55 French Canadians.32 Moreover, the surge of US interest in the Grand Dérangement permanently changed the memorial and geographical landscape of Nova Scotia.33 Surprisingly, while this 1755 event provoked intense literary interest amongst 1840s audiences, it was hardly noticed by Anglo-American colonists in the eighteenth century, who were much more preoccupied by the Seven Years‟ War and by the revolutionary rhetoric emerging from New England at the time. In fact, the number of Acadians involved in the Grand Dérangement was dwarfed by the tallies of other Canadian-American population exchanges, such as the movement of Loyalists to Canada after the Revolution, the flight of African Americans from the US to Canada during the antebellum period, the late nineteenthcentury emigration of roughly one million eastern Canadian textile workers to New England, and the US push to the Canadian North during the 1898 Klondike gold rush, for example.34 Nonetheless, some ninety years after the Grand Dérangement occurred, the story of the displaced Acadians inspired a nation-wide literary and historical discussion in the US. In 32 Later US authors such as Frederick Cozzens and Henry James acknowledged their intellectual debt to Evangeline in their non-fictional representations of Canada (see Doyle, Yankees 124). The earliest fictional account of the Grand Dérangement published by a French Canadian author is a novel by Napoléon Bourassa called Jacques et Marie, which was published in the Revue canadienne in 1865-66 (see Lemire 189). However, of all these accounts, Longfellow‟s Evangeline had the most profound impact on Canadian literature and Acadian culture. Translated into French by Québécois bureaucrat Léon Pamphile Lemay in 1865, Longfellow‟s poem was widely credited with creating a sense of community and continuity for the Acadian diaspora. The sentimental depiction of the Acadians in nineteenth-century poetry and fiction also prompted later representations in other genres such as folk tales, silent films, musicals, and operas. Perhaps most famously, Acadian writer Antonine Maillet responded to Longfellow‟s text with her acclaimed 1979 novel, Pélagie-laCharette. Her text, which is written in chiac, the Acadian French dialect, describes the return of a group of Acadian deportees to Acadia from the US in the decades after the Grand Dérangement. For more information about the legacy of Evangeline in French Canada, see Eigenbrod as well as Fendler and Vatter. 33 Evangeline‟s immense popularity also gave rise to an entire travel industry. US travel guides included the fictional Evangeline‟s hometown on rail tours, inviting US tourists to retrace the steps of her forced exile in reverse. The Dominion Atlantic Railway finally made the nostalgic travel fantasy complete by creating a statue of Evangeline in Grand-Pré, Nova Scotia, for the benefit of US tourists. Similar memorials to the fictional character exist in Louisiana. See J. A. Evans. 34 There are many critical accounts of such population movements but very few have explored their literary impact. For analyses of other Canada-US migrations, see G. E. Clarke‟s Odysseys Home and Harvey Amani Whitfield‟s Blacks on the Border on the passage of Black Loyalists to the Maritimes, as well as Nick Mount‟s When Canadian Literature Moved to New York, on the 1880-1890 migration of prominent Canadian writers to the northeastern US. 56 fact, the Grand Dérangement became more important to US authors in retrospect, when American Renaissance authors began to use it to trace the first outlines of a native American mythology (Lewis 1). This chapter reads the broad cultural appeal of the Grand Dérangement in relation to the political context of the US antebellum period. The Acadian exiles were represented in the colonial American period as religiously, linguistically and even racially foreign to white, Protestant, anglophone American readers. Yet the Acadian narratives were widely hailed by both authors and readers as quintessentially American stories. Hawthorne, for example, claimed in an 1847 review of Longfellow‟s Evangeline that the “removal and dispersion” of the Acadians “is one of the most remarkable [events] in American history” (qtd. in Hoeltje 234), and one of his characters in The Whole History of Grandfather’s Chair, speaking of Longfellow‟s account of the deportation, muses, “If I were an American poet, I would choose Acadia for the subject of my song” (WH 129). Despite Hawthorne‟s assertion, few literary critics have asked what kind of stories about “America” the Acadian narratives were telling, and how the story of the 1755 Grand Dérangement was interpreted, by both readers and writers, as a narrative not only about the destroyed Acadian nation but also about an emergent US one. US writers had used francophone characters to define an idealized Anglo-American identity before. To date, Americanist scholars who have focussed on the contemporaneous reception of Evangeline point to notions of religious and linguistic difference in order to explain the appeal of the Acadians to a nineteenth-century American audience. Jenny Franchot suggests that political developments in the US, including increased Irish immigration and the Mexican- 57 American War, brought Catholicism to the forefront of American culture; Stowe, she argues, was particularly inspired by Catholicism‟s emphasis on the communal experience (xvii), while Longfellow was interested in the Catholic emphasis on the experience of heroic suffering, which he incorporates into his title character (204). Edward Watts problematically merges his discussion of the Acadians into a larger thesis about the representation of French colonial culture in the United States, ignoring the ways that the Acadians, the historians who wrote about them, and the authors who were inspired by these historical accounts all identified the Acadians as a population that was distinct from the French empire. While I agree that the religious and linguistic differences of the Acadians were part of their appeal, the focus on these elements in isolation has made the scholarly understanding of their significance incomplete. Moreover, neither of these scholars examines how the religious and linguistic differences of the Acadians positioned them within the racial formations under construction in antebellum US culture, especially in an era when debates about slavery were reaching their peak. Antebellum authors sometimes discussed the Acadians as a subset of Catholics or as members of a larger French colonial culture. However, antebellum US authors found the Acadians fascinating because of the way that their multiple signifiers of difference—their tightly-knit ethnic community, their language, their Catholicism, and their working-class background—interacted with each other and resonated with political developments in the US. Since all of these elements were perceived as factors that defined racial and national identity in the nineteenth century, the Acadians became the perfect case study for US authors who were interested in examining the relationships between nation, race, language, religion, ethnicity, and empire. 58 Meanwhile, the narrative of the Grand Dérangement became attractive to US authors in the mid-nineteenth-century because it shed light on the tensions between the US‟s postcolonial past and its increasingly aggressive imperialist present. When Longfellow, Hawthorne, Whittier, and Bancroft turned their attention to Acadia, they also contributed to conversations about the history and the future of the Americas in venues such as the Democratic Review (a principal site of discourse about American national identity at the time). Discussions of the Grand Dérangement helped these authors put claims about US democracy and US imperialism in perspective. Many read Acadia as a double of colonial America: like the eighteenth-century Anglo-American colonists, the Acadians had attempted to forge their own nation but had become colonial victims of British power. The timing of the Grand Dérangement in 1755, right before the outbreak of the Seven Years‟ War (17561763), enabled authors to both revisit and contextualize the American Revolution that followed soon afterward and the founding of the United States as the first independent nation-state in the New World. Yet just as the condition of the Acadians in the 1750s inspired reflection about the US‟s status as a nation, it also prompted authors to reconsider the US‟s relationship to imperialism in the 1850s: for many, the US resembled both the persecuted nation of Acadia and the empire that persecuted them. After all, the Acadian texts written by these American authors told stories of a border dispute at a time when America was obsessed with securing its own borders. Authors interpreted this story of eighteenthcentury conquest in relation to debates about the potential US annexation of Caribbean and Pacific territories, the annexation of Native territories and Texas (1845), the invasion of Mexico (1846-48), and the expansion of slavery in newly-created US states. The volatility of US geographical borders also raised questions about the meaning of US national identity and 59 the relationship between race and citizenship. In all of these works, authors imaginatively represent the Acadian exiles using the iconography of slavery and forced movement. The images of boats in motion, shackled bodies, burning houses, broken conversations, and lost and exiled family members that permeated all the nineteenth-century renderings of the story of the Acadians would all have resonated with antebellum US audiences familiar with the tropes used to discuss contemporary issues such as slavery, Indian Removal, and the Mexican American War. Moreover, while the Acadians were entirely defined by their denationalization, their Canadian origins reminded American readers of a contemporary North American alternative to the US‟s stance on slavery and expansion. In order to understand the appeal of the Grand Dérangement as a literary trope, then, we must read the Acadians in double time—not only in relation to the eighteenth-century founding of the US, but also in relation to the nineteenth-century politics of expansion and the different arguments that were being made in US culture about the role of US power in the Americas. For authors like Longfellow and Hawthorne, the Acadians simultaneously recalled past and present, calling US‟s increasingly violent actions to secure its hegemony in North America into question, and contrasting the politics of US expansion to the idealistic rhetoric of the American Revolution. In some cases, American authors and readers were using the white, working-class Acadians as stand-ins for ideal American immigrants; in others, they were reading the French Catholic difference of the Acadians as a potential threat to white Anglo-American supremacy in North America. Sometimes the Acadians came to represent a nostalgic Puritan past; at other times, the Acadians recalled the exoticism of the US‟s contemporary Canadian neighbours. Some US readers and authors identified with Acadians‟ experience of imperial violence; in other cases, they recognized themselves as perpetrators of 60 imperial violence. Sometimes, the analogies made between the eighteenth-century Grand Dérangement and the British persecution of colonial Americans sustained the notion of US political supremacy; at other times, the similarities in the forms of forced movement and imperial conflicts made any perceived differences between eighteenth-century British militarism and nineteenth-century US militarism symbolically collapse. And finally, while many authors insisted on the perceived whiteness of these Acadian figures, I suggest that their symbolic associations with slave ships and forced movement, as well as their linguistic and religious difference from Anglo-Saxon Protestant America, were often taken as a sign of potential racial difference. The arguments made to include or exclude the Acadians from the American national project thus gesture towards the different ways that ideas of race were determining notions of citizenship in the antebellum US. The texts by Hawthorne and Longfellow that I study in Part One, and by Stowe in my later entr‟acte, show some of the different ways that US authors used the Acadians in literary conversations about the meaning of US national identity and the ethics of US expansion. All of these authors drew from the same source texts by Abbé Raynal and Haliburton, but also built on each other‟s interpretations to construct their own arguments about the significance of the Grand Dérangement in North American history. Hawthorne, for example, represents the Acadians as nostalgic figures who represent all of the ideals of the United States; however, their expulsion at the hands of British imperialists lead Hawthorne to challenge the imperial projects taking place in the antebellum US. Similarly, for Longfellow and Stowe, the Acadians become figures of displacement, narrative stand-ins for ethnic and racial minorities in the nineteenth-century US who were being displaced by forms of US imperialism. As a result, after gaining the right of entry into the American literary 61 consciousness, these Acadian figures of displacement proved excessively mobile, difficult to control, and potentially dangerous in their ability to undermine triumphant celebrations of American ascendancy in the continent. As cultural theorist Mark Simpson points out, displacement can often reveal the fault lines in master narratives about American citizenship: For if, in the U.S. nineteenth century, struggles over mobility typically distribute it as a differential resource, privileging some citizens (white, male, bourgeois) at the expense of their social others, nevertheless unpredictabilities do haunt this dynamic. Strains of excess texture the politics of mobility, intimating the contingency of modern transit and traffic—not to mention the illogic of the capitalist system they so often serve. Thus, even when normative or regulatory, mobility‟s histories will figure forth, in those traces of contest they must contain, the conditions of possibility for their undoing. (xxxi) The chain of associations recalled by these Acadian narratives often defied the control of their authors. While the historical Acadians described by these authors—innocent in their beliefs, steadfast in their loyalty to their doomed community, perpetually victimized by their British oppressors—may seem very conservative figures, the books written about them become extremely transgressive, demanding white Americans to imagine the life of the Other, protesting against the increasing commercialization of American culture, and stating that American citizens should be more aware of the deeds committed in the name of American empire-building. As an imagined location, Acadia opens up a discursive space for different authors to imagine new options for the United States. Paradoxically, even as many authors used this narrative of transnational migration to study the formation of the US, their works also came to destabilize notions of American identity and national progress. 62 1.2 The Grand Dérangement and the history of the Acadians From the beginning, Acadia was the uneasy product of empire. Acadia, a region of what is now the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, was claimed for France in 1604, and was settled by French Catholics (see Figure 3). Named after the idyllic Greek region of Arcadia, Acadia became one of the most coveted colonies of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The French were the most active explorers and traders in the St. Lawrence and the eastern coast of Canada, but their interest in the Acadian farming colony was something of an anomaly, given that France‟s other investments in North America were largely based around the fur industry. As France laid claim to the region in the seventeenth century, the English Figure 3, “Expansion of Acadian settlements, 1605-1710,” has been removed due to copyright restrictions. The map shows the directions of the expansion and development of the French Acadian settlements in Nova Scotia from 1605 to 1710. Figure 3: Expansion of Acadian settlements, 1605-1710. Source: Griffiths, N. E. S. From Migrant to Acadian: A North American Border People, 1604-1755. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s UP, 2005. 168. Print. 63 were simultaneously claiming significant southern parts of the eastern seaboard. Acadia‟s position at the northern boundary of English claims and the southern boundary of French claims made it contested territory. Moreover, its valuable farmland and easy access to major fisheries and trade routes made it an attractive negotiating chip in larger seventeenth- and eighteenth-century imperial conflicts between France and England. Acadia was transferred back and forth between French and British rule ten times between 1604 and 1713, at which time the British gained permanent control of the region and formally named it Nova Scotia. As a result of this change in government, the French Catholic Acadian population was cut off from New France (see Figure 4). Figure 4, “Population density map of the maritime regions, c. 1750,” has been removed due to copyright restrictions. The map shows the location of the French Acadian settlements in 1750, in relation to the English territory of Nova Scotia as well as the French territory of New France (in what is now New Brunswick). Figure 4: Population density map of the maritime regions, c. 1750. Source: Griffiths, N. E. S. From Migrant to Acadian: A North American Border People, 1604-1755. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s UP, 2005. 282. Print. 64 Some six thousand Acadians who feared persecution under permanent British rule fled immediately to other French territories.35 Those remaining, fearing attacks by the English if they declared allegiance to France, and French reprisals if they declared allegiance to the English, negotiated what in retrospect seems a remarkable policy of neutrality. The Acadians pledged allegiance to the British crown, on the condition that they could “remain neutral in time of war between the French and the British or the British and the [Native Canadian] Mi‟kmaq” (Basque 19). This pledge made them subjects of the British crown but allowed them to avoid participating in military attacks against the French. This agreement, known as the Convention of 1730, was a political coup for the Acadians, for it effectively enabled them to preserve their French Catholic culture while still protecting themselves from the effects of any further invasions or imperial conflicts in the area. More importantly, it enabled them to develop a culture and a community that imagined itself as distinct from the European imperial powers that were asserting their control over the New World. By the mid-eighteenth century, the Acadians had created a self-sustaining economy supported by an innovative system of dikes that transformed the marshes near the Bay of Fundy into productive farmland. Moreover, the Acadians recognized themselves (and were recognized by eighteenth-century observers like the British) as a community that was geographically specific and linguistically and culturally unique within North America, given its relative isolation from France, Britain, and other Euro-American colonies. The Acadians established a positive relationship with the neighboring Mi‟kmaq and were supportive of 35 At the time, New France included what is now Quebec, along with most of Canada‟s maritime provinces: New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and parts of Nova Scotia. Arsenault estimates that roughly 6000 Acadians—more than a third of the Acadian population—left Nova Scotia for parts of New France in this first, voluntary, dispersal. New Brunswick, Île Saint-Jean (later Prince Edward Island), and Île Royale (later Cape Breton) were the most popular destinations for the Acadians (Arsenault 174). 65 mixed-race or intercultural marriages with both nearby English troops and aboriginal populations; in peacetime they traded with New Englanders. Finally, according to the historical accounts of Raynal and Haliburton, the Acadians largely kept their distance from the colonial British government, preferring to settle disputes on a local level with community elders (Haliburton, Historical 172). In their discursive, cultural, and political choices, then, the Acadians were increasingly defining themselves not as a dependent colony, but rather as an independent, national North American space. Some might call the Acadian strategy a form of dual citizenship: the Acadians realized that their interests, as a linguistically and culturally-distinct colony in North America, were diverging from those of both France and Britain. Their efforts to negotiate a truce between their British and French loyalties and to preserve their linguistic environment against assimilation with a much larger AngloAmerican population showed that they aligned themselves with a markedly different kind of identity than that offered to them by the binary options of allegiance held out by Britain and France. In the strictest sense, one might also argue that the Acadians had voluntarily expatriated themselves from the French and English empires—though this was not even a possibility according to either power—and defined themselves as an Acadian nation in North America that had yet to be recognized by European governments. Yet the Acadians‟ policy of neutrality, which enabled the development of their national culture, also made them a subversive threat to both the French and English governments in North America. Both the British and the French wanted the Acadians to abandon their neutrality, even if it meant the Acadians would become definite opponents of either colonial power. Moreover, as the New England colonies became more powerful, the Anglo-American government began to perceive French Acadia as an obstacle “that retarded 66 the progress of the new [British] settlements” in the region (qtd. in Haliburton, Historical 338) and that prevented eastern North America from becoming an anglophone, Protestant space. In the early 1750s, Charles Lawrence, governor of Halifax, and William Shirley, governor of the Massachusetts Bay colonies and commander-in-chief of British forces in North America, designed a plan to force the Acadians either to leave Nova Scotia or to assimilate into the English-speaking population.36 Meanwhile, the French colonial government, which had forbidden the Acadians from entering into any negotiations with the British, interpreted the Convention of 1730 as a betrayal. French officials began veiled attempts to encourage the Acadians to rebel forcefully against the English or to declare definitive allegiance to France for protection. While French officials had no direct role in the Acadians‟ expulsion, they did little to protect the Acadians from becoming the objects of British aggression and helped to foster British francophobia.37 These pressures from the British and French empires combined to create an impossible situation for the Acadians in Nova Scotia by 1755. Shortly before the outbreak of the Seven Years‟ War, Shirley and Lawrence demanded of the Acadians a declaration of unconditional allegiance to the King of England. The Acadians refused. In retaliation, Lawrence issued a deportation order for the 10,000-14,000 Acadians,38 and sent three of 36 See Kozuskanich 2 for a more lengthy description of Lawrence and Shirley‟s “Great Plan.” For more information about the attempts made by agents provocateurs in New France to force the Acadians to choose sides, see Massé 11, Fonteneau 109, Griffiths Migrant 434, and Grady 7-8. 38 Accurate figures of the population size of French Acadians in 1755, and of the number of Acadians deported during the Grand Dérangement, are very hard to determine because the last comprehensive census of the area had been taken in 1714. Most population estimates of Acadia in 1755 have multiplied this 1714 census information by a growth factor to reach a rough count of 12,000-18,000 individuals. However, Brasseaux debates these claims. In a study of the manifests of the transport ships used during the deportation, he notes that 5,400 Acadians were listed as deported in the summer and fall of 1755; this number grew to 6,050 by 1760. Additional Acadians were deported from Île Saint-Jean (now Prince Edward Island) in 1758. Any remaining Acadians either fled or were detained by the British until the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1763. See Brasseaux‟s Scattered 1, 2, 4, and 7; Arsenault 209; and Faragher 364. 37 67 Shirley‟s New England militias to carry it out.39 These militias arrived at the Acadian settlement of Minas Bay in the late summer of 1755, forcibly removed the Acadians from their farms, and loaded them onto boats. Haliburton describes how many Acadians watched as their homes were burnt to the ground. On hearing word of the first arrests and deportations at Minas Bay, many Acadians from the Annapolis Royal area escaped to the woods and evaded the militias for several weeks; others made largely unsuccessful attempts to rebel against the Anglo-American forces.40 The few who successfully evaded capture escaped to areas still held by New France, mainly to the regions now known as New Brunswick and Québec, but thousands of Acadians died as a result of the conflict. The deportation was part of a divide-and-conquer strategy to disperse the Acadians across North America and Europe. Most ships went to different coastal American colonies that were geographically distant from Acadia, while a few others “returned” the Acadians to France. Some of the Acadians deported to the American colonies were given the option to relocate in French Saint-Domingue or Spanish Louisiana. Given the enormous distances involved in returning to Acadia, and the logistical impossibility of reuniting quickly, the Anglo-American government hoped that the dispersed Acadians would become a powerless and ineffectual minority in colonial American cities, and would assimilate with the English Protestant population. By the final round of deportations in 1760, roughly 9,550 Acadians 39 According to Kozuskanich, Shirley hired at least 10 ships from Apthorp and Hancock of Boston to carry out the expulsion (15-16). One of the officers of the New England militia, John Winslow, became a recognized figure in the antebellum accounts of the Grand Dérangement. Winslow‟s journal account of the expulsion from Grand-Pré (later to become the hometown of the fictional Evangeline) called the deportation “this Troublesome affair which is more Grevious to me than any Service I was ever Employed in” and described the Grand Pré deportation as a “scene of sorrow” (qtd in Gipson 275). Grady argues that Lawrence sent Shirley‟s New England militias because the British regulars stationed in the area (many of whom had married Acadian women and converted to Catholicism) refused to participate in the plan, and could have been among the deported themselves (8-9). 40 For historical descriptions of Acadian resistance efforts and the results of the Grand Dérangement in Nova Scotia, see Arsenault 204-208 and Basque 19. 68 from British maritime colonies had been deported to France, England, or American colonies along the eastern seaboard of the United States: Virginia, Georgia, North and South Carolina, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. Some groups of Acadians attempted to return to their farmlands, but the Acadian population in Nova Scotia was permanently diminished. By 1764, there were only 1,000 Acadians reported by the Nova Scotia census (Griffiths, “Deportation” 21). The effects of the Grand Dérangement were devastating. As a result of overcrowding and starvation on the transport ships, the Acadian exiles arrived at English colonial seaports in North America with typhus, smallpox, and other epidemics. The Acadians‟ religious, cultural and linguistic differences were consistently associated, in colonial newspapers, with the threat of disease, racial insurrection, arson, and disorder: Though nominally British subjects, these papists were fully expected to join their coreligionists, the French, and their fierce Indian allies in the impending intercolonial struggle for North American domination.… [T]he Acadians, in the view of the British colonial administrators, would constitute, even in exile, a formidable fifth column, capable perhaps of inciting servile insurrections in the slave colonies to aid the French cause. (Brasseaux 10-11)41 Most American colonial governments did not provide the Acadians with the legal means to earn money or buy property. Many exiles became homeless and were forced to sell their children into indentured servitude.42 41 Throughout the 1750s, newspapers in Boston, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, New York, and New Hampshire reprinted each other‟s reports on the movements of the Acadian refugees. Many reports criticized the Acadians‟ incessant demands to be returned to Nova Scotia, even as former Acadian farm lots were being advertised for sale to American colonists in the same newspapers. 42 See Hoban 4511 for the Acadians‟ complaint against a law that forced the Acadians to sell their children into indentured servitude. I quote from this same petition in the next paragraph. 69 Perhaps most importantly, though, the expelled Acadians represented an ontological problem for the British empire. In a petition submitted to the Pennsylvania government in February 1757, the Acadians explained that their indefinite status within the American colonies was proving more destructive than any form of captivity they could imagine: Permit us, Gentlemen, to ask in what Quality we are here? Be pleased to tell us, whether we are Subjects, Prisoners, Slaves or Freemen? In our Opinion we are not Subjects, inasmuch as it appears to us unparalleled, that his Brittanic Majesty should ever oppress his Subjects in the Manner we have been oppressed…. If we are Criminals, we are ready to submit to the Punishment due to our Crimes…. [Mr. Charles Lawrence] moreover told us, that since we would be Frenchmen, he made us Prisoners of War, and that he would transport us to our own Country. Neither can we be called Slaves, because Christians have never made a Trade of such as believe in Jesus Christ. We are not Freemen neither, seeing we cannot withdraw into the Country promised us…. We then conclude ourselves Prisoners, for we must be something, or be reduced to a State of Non-existence. (qtd. in Hoban 4509-11)43 Ironically, after being sent into exile for having allegiances with too many nations—being nominal subjects of both France and Britain—they could not become recognized as subjects of either. After the Seven Years‟ War ended in 1764, Britain rescinded the deportation decree and allowed the Acadians to return to their lands; however, by that time, many deported Acadians had no means to pay for the return trip to Nova Scotia, and many of those who did found that their farms had been given to New England settlers who had been encouraged to expand into the newly-vacated Acadian farmland. Some refugees made the long journey 43 I have only been able to locate this petition in its English translation, amongst the records of the Pennsylvania Archives. The petition above may have inspired Haliburton‟s later account: The peculiar situation of the Acadians embarrassed the local Government of the Province, who were for a long time wholly at a loss to know what course to adopt towards them. They were not British subjects, inasmuch as they had refused to take the oath of allegiance, and therefore could scarcely be considered rebels. They were not prisoners of war, because they had been suffered for nearly half a century to retain their possessions; and their neutrality had been accepted in lieu of allegiance, [sic] they could not, therefore, with propriety, be sent to France. (168) 70 back to Acadia on foot. Others located lost family members in other colonies and created Acadian settlements in Louisiana, then under Spanish rule.44 Still other Acadians chose to remain in the Anglo-American communities where they landed, eventually assimilating into Anglo-American culture. Yet their testimony from the time reveals some of the reasons why the Acadians would become such compelling figures to antebellum authors. An undated Acadian petition to the English King, submitted sometime after the Acadians arrived in Pennsylvania in the 1750s, demonstrates the Acadians‟ continued perception of their status as a diasporic nation. The petition (which represents the interests of the Acadian deportees) urges the King to provide material support for the Acadians in their refugee camps, given that the Acadians had agreed to be subjects of Britain. However, as it defends the reasons why the Acadians had originally supported the Convention of 1730, it also represents the Acadian community as a nation that had chosen to be governed by the English: [I]t was always our fixed resolution to maintain, to the utmost of our power, the oath of fidelity which we had taken, not only from a sense of indispensable duty, but also because we were well satisfied with our situation under your Majesty‟s Government and protection, and did not think it could be bettered by any chance which could be proposed to us. (qtd. in Haliburton, Historical 193) 44 The area of present-day Louisiana was claimed as a French territory by Robert Cavalier de la Salle in 1682. When France lost the French and Indian War, it ceded part of Louisiana to the British, but retained possession of some areas including New Orleans. France gave these remaining territories to Spain in 1763 to keep them out of English hands. Spain gave Louisiana (except New Orleans) back to France after the Treaty of San Ildefonso of 1800. Yet a few years later in 1803, when Napoleon failed to retake Haiti and realized that Louisiana was going to become a drain on French resources, he sold Louisiana to the US. The Cajun settlements in Louisiana developed around these frequent shifts. A small group of Acadian refugees in the American colonies went to Louisiana at the end of the Seven Years‟ War, during the period of Spanish rule. Some located their scattered family members across the globe and told them of the growing Acadian communities in Louisiana. This led to a second major Acadian migration to rural Louisiana in the late 1760s, from France, Saint-Domingue, and the eastern United States. A third Acadian migration to Louisiana occurred in the early 1800s after the Haitian Revolution, but this group of Acadian planters (who had by then become part of Haiti‟s mixed-race aristocracy) largely integrated itself within the Creole culture in New Orleans rather than the Cajun settlements in rural areas. See Brasseaux for the history of the Acadian population after the Grand Dérangement. 71 Here, even as the Acadians invoke the notion of duty to define their relationship with the British empire, they also argue that their status as a distinct population in North America entitled them to a choice in their political representation. Historian N.E.S. Griffiths argues that this democratic attitude towards imperial rule was incompatible with the dominant European understandings of monarchical rule: Acadians presented the British with the challenge of subjects who would be citizens. That is to say, instead of accepting the generally held view that their relationship with the British monarchy was simply one of subjects and rulers, the Acadians acted as if they had rights of citizenship. Subjects [unlike citizens] have, as Anne Dummett and Andrew Nichol point out, „a personal link….[it is]… a vertical relationship between monarch and individual, not a horizontal one between members of a nation or citizens of a body politic.‟ Consciously or unconsciously, the Acadian stance represented two beliefs. The first was that they were indeed a people, distinct from both the French of France and French Canadians. The second was that, despite the actions of empires and decisions of princes, the Acadians had every right to debate and present ideas about how and where they should live. The Acadian experience of life on a border that was the meeting place between two empires, each interested in expanding into territory claimed by the other, had sharpened the Acadian sense of their political needs. (Migrant 369-70) At the very least, this action presented a serious rethinking of the idea of citizenship in North America that would anticipate the conflicts of the American Revolution. The presence of francophone Acadia in Nova Scotia exposed fundamental conceptual conflicts in the relationship between imperial centre and colonial periphery. Moreover, the destruction of the Acadian community would also force the American colonies to think carefully about whether New England, too, would eventually become a pawn in the British-French conflict. 45 45 See James Allan Evans, who explains that the frequent English-French feuds that led to the deportation of the Acadians also led New Englanders to worry about their position. New Englanders were not consulted, for example, when Britain traded Louisbourg, a port (in present-day Nova Scotia) that New Englanders had taken great pains to win, for French Madras in India, in the 1748 Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle. He writes, “Some historians claim that the American Revolution started here [in Acadia], and whether or not they are right, this is 72 This is precisely why the story was attractive to 1840s American Renaissance authors who wanted to discuss the formation of the American nation. The Acadians were symbolically meaningful because of both their efforts to negotiate a space between the seemingly fixed opposition between the British and French empires in North America and their ultimate failure to do so. The Acadians, in effect, became symbols of colonial Americans‟ aspirations for independence: the efforts of the Acadians to secure independent citizenship began a discussion about the importance of democratic subjectivity, but their fate under British tyranny also seemingly testified to what may have happened to the American colonies, had they not gone to war to defend those same democratic principles. In the minds of many mid-nineteenth-century US authors, Acadia became a North American “city upon a hill” that fell to imperial forces.46 The political conditions of the Grand Dérangement are not often discussed in relation to the literary representation of the event, perhaps because the literary representations have eclipsed these political considerations by typecasting the Acadians as victims of imperial violence. While the Acadian expulsion was described by a few American colonial newspapers at the time, the story of the Acadians was brought to a world audience by two historians—each of whom had their own criticisms of imperial governance in North America. The first, Abbé Raynal, published his Histoire philosophique et politique des établissements et du commerce des Européens dans les Deux Indes (often referred to simply the point when the colonists realized that Britain would weigh her interests in America against her interests elsewhere, and they might be sacrificed”(110). At the time, the New England colonies sided with Britain, against the Acadians. 46 Haliburton‟s account, for example, says that the decision “to remove and disperse this whole people among the British Colonies” was part of a divide-and-conquer strategy, for once they were geographically divided “they could not unite in any offensive measures, and… they might be naturalized to the Government and Country” (174). 73 as Histoire des Deux Indes) in 1770.47 Raynal‟s history uses the Acadians to show the dangers of tyranny and despotism in colonial North American governments. He praises the Acadians‟ pastoralism and describes their policy of neutrality in relation to the other imperial developments in North America. Portraying the Acadians as “a good and simple people, who disliked the shedding of blood” (240), Raynal blames the French priests and the British government for the destruction of French Acadia. Drawing from Diderot, Raynal concludes by classifying the Grand Dérangement as “the result of national jealousies, of that rapaciousness of governments which devours land and men” (241).48 Raynal‟s account provided the foundation for the 1829 history of Acadia written by Haliburton, which was the most influential and widely-accessible text consulted by midnineteenth-century American authors. Unlike Raynal, Haliburton was a committed supporter of the monarchical system and (as a committed Tory) he distrusted the new American republican project. At the same time, however, he often attacked what he perceived as “a badly informed and unintelligent colonial policy” (McDougall 219) practiced by the British government in Nova Scotia in the early nineteenth century.49 Haliburton‟s account of the Grand Dérangement criticizes the actions of the British troops but nonetheless justifies British control of North America. Haliburton describes the Acadian colony as a unified, 47 Raynal published many subsequent editions. I am quoting from Jimack‟s translation based on the expanded 1780 version, an edition which was written with the assistance of Diderot. 48 All of these quotations are Jimack‟s translations of the original French. Longfellow likely consulted the book in French; however, the English translation was available as early as 1776 and continued to be published until 1821. 49 Haliburton would later develop his politics more clearly through The Clockmaker (1835), a set of satirical sketches describing the adventures of an industrious, yet conniving, Yankee clock-peddler named Sam Slick and an English Squire as they tour together around Nova Scotia. The two characters represent the political values that Haliburton saw at stake in the fate of Nova Scotia at the time: that is, they represent a choice between US-style republicanism and Tory colonial ideals. The Nova Scotians that the two characters encounter are lazy and apathetic, especially compared to the calculating Slick. Haliburton‟s criticism of his Nova Scotia countrymen is thus designed to encourage social and political reform in Nova Scotia that would revive Nova Scotia‟s failing economy. However, Slick‟s manipulative, self-promoting character highlights the dangers of the unfettered capitalism of the US system as well. See criticism by McDougall and Godeanu-Kenworthy. 74 prelapsarian space which had reached a “state of social happiness, totally inconsistent with the frailties and passions of human nature” (Historical 173). He goes further to provide a sympathetic portrayal of the chaotic scenes in different Acadian villages as the expulsion was taking place. His description of the deportation, which connects the destruction of the Acadian communities with the long-term destruction of Acadian culture, represents the event as an act of what we might now call genocide: [The Acadians] bore their confinement, and received their sentence with a fortitude and resignation altogether unexpected; but when the hour of embarkation arrived, in which they were to leave the land of their nativity for ever—to part with their friends and relatives, without the hope of ever seeing them again, and to be dispersed among strangers, whose language, customs and religion, were opposed to their own, the weakness of human nature prevailed, and they were overpowered with the sense of their miseries. (Historical 179) At the same time, though, Haliburton describes the Grand Dérangement as a side-effect of the natural expansion of European empires in North America. He suggests that the Acadians would inevitably have helped the French regain their strength in North America (Historical 197), and he also sympathizes with the Anglo-American soldiers who carried out the expulsion (Historical 180). Nonetheless, his use of historical documents from both Acadian deportees and American military commanders provides some insight into the traumatic effects of the expulsion from the perspective of individuals involved in the Grand Dérangement and its aftermath. Both Raynal and Haliburton present the Grand Dérangement as an unfortunate consequence of an imperial conflict in North America that had resulted in the victimization of a small population. These accounts explain the political situation that gave rise to the deportation, the involvement of American settlers in the Anglo-American militia that 75 deported the Acadians, and the horrific treatment of the Acadians by the American colonial government after the deportation. Yet the mid-1840s representations of the Acadians and of the Grand Dérangement significantly revised these source texts, making the Acadians sentimental figures and shifting the focus to more personal forms of displacement and trauma. Scholars in Canadian studies such as Renate Eigenbrod criticize these fictionalized accounts of the Grand Dérangement for transforming the Acadians into hapless victims and for failing to acknowledge the political complexities that lay behind the event. However, I would argue that the sentimentalized iconography of the Acadian phenomenon was deeply related to the political context of 1840s America. Though the Acadians were separated from the lives of their mid-century US readers by two generations, a shift from monarchic to democratic government, and a very different set of religious and linguistic cultural practices, they became a fundamental part of the way US audiences thought about immigration, revolution, and empire in American culture in the 1840s. 1.3 “Citizen[s] of somewhere else”: Hawthorne’s poetics of exile in The Whole History of Grandfather’s Chair This section develops a method of reading Hawthorne‟s discussions of US citizenship in relation to his representation of the Grand Dérangement in Grandfather’s Chair, Famous Old People, and Liberty Tree, a trilogy of children‟s books that he wrote in 1840 and published in 1840-1.50 The trilogy, known collectively as The Whole History of 50 I am discussing The Whole History of Grandfather’s Chair as a unit because the three volumes of the trilogy were written together and are thematically linked, although they were first published separately as Grandfather’s Chair (December 1840), Famous Old People (January 1841), and Liberty Tree (March 1841). In later printings, Hawthorne published the books together in one volume, and revised his text to refer to Whittier 76 Grandfather’s Chair, describes the history of the American colonies until the end of the American Revolutionary period. Hawthorne‟s account of the Grand Dérangement lies at the centre of his second book of the trilogy, Famous Old People, and becomes a recurring reference point in the third book, Liberty Tree, which discusses the American Revolution and the creation of the United States as a nation-state. Recent scholars have begun to investigate the relationship between Hawthorne‟s career as a customs-house and consular official, and his literary representations of the US in the antebellum period.51 While he may not have literally followed in his merchant-sea captain father‟s wake, Hawthorne studied American borders on a professional level, policing the traffic of products in and out of the United States and examining the US‟s interactions with different national and imperial systems across the world. Many of these themes carry through his fiction. Anna Brickhouse, for example, suggests that Hawthorne‟s literary career was shaped by these (sometimes repressed) histories of transnational interactions and influences: [A] dense matrix of transamerican cultural exchange and literary influence… yielded both the earlier and later transamerican affiliations of Hawthorne‟s familial genealogy as well as of his editorial and Customs House careers: his father‟s and other ancestors‟ trading voyages to the West Indies and South America; his editorial work on accounts of travel in the Caribbean and other parts of the Americas; and the special view he was afforded as a customs agent of the illegal slave trade among West Indian and US ports. More specifically, the political and cultural confrontations between the United States and Mexico during the early 1840s—numerous accounts of and Longfellow‟s writings about the Grand Dérangement. His emendations suggest that he wanted to position The Whole History within the larger antebellum conversation about the Grand Dérangement. See Laffrado 6 and Wineapple 142-3. 51 Hawthorne held positions at the Boston Custom-House from January 1839 to January 1841, as well as the Salem Custom-House, from April 1846 to June 1849. He was holding the Boston Custom-House position as he wrote The Whole History of Grandfather’s Chair. Later in his career, from 1853 to 1857, he served as US consul in Liverpool, a central port of exchange for the triangular Atlantic trading network. 77 which accompanied Hawthorne‟s literary production in the journals in which he was publishing—distinctly shaped his emergence from literary obscurity into literary notoriety, defining and sustaining his sense of himself as an aspiring national author. (182-3) Gretchen Murphy similarly recognizes how Hawthorne maps his obsessions about the geographical and racial borders of the United States onto the domestic spaces described in his fiction. She reads the emphasis on the primacy of the home in The House of the Seven Gables, for example, as a response to competing interpretations of the Monroe Doctrine and the processes of US expansion.52 Yet as my dissertation‟s introduction explains, Canada has largely been overlooked in these discussions of Hawthorne‟s fiction, despite the fact that Hawthorne pays particular attention, in a number of his texts, to the significance of the frontier between British North America and New England in different time periods. Nova Scotia becomes a particularly important point of reference in The Whole History of Grandfather’s Chair, as well as his 1850 introductory chapter of The Scarlet Letter. In “The Custom-House,” Hawthorne uses the northward movement of British bodies and information from Salem to Nova Scotia after the American Revolution to structure his thoughts on the US. Yet Hawthorne returns to a similar Nova Scotia-New England trajectory in The Whole History of Grandfather’s Chair. While “The Custom-House” describes the movement of British Loyalists north in the late eighteenth century, The Whole History depicts the movement of Acadian exiles south to Boston in 1755, at the hands of the British. The 52 Murphy‟s argument continues by suggesting that Hawthorne‟s sacralization of the domestic space in The House of the Seven Gables and his sympathy for displaced figures (such as the Maules and the Indian sagamores) reject the expansionist logic of the 1840s in favor of a more protectionist view of the United States. Other critics note that works that Hawthorne set in fantastic or obviously foreign locations were often inspired by North American conversations about geographical and racial borders. Brickhouse points to the similarities between “Rappaccini‟s Daughter” and popular writings about Mexico by archaeologist John L. Stephens and American expatriate Frances Calderón de la Barca to suggest that Hawthorne‟s short story “returns unfailingly to the very American scenes that it seems designed to escape”(182), namely the “hemispheric controversies over colonialism, race, slavery, and US imperial designs on Mexico” (183). 78 Canadian migrations in both texts underline the uncertain position of the Anglo-American colonies amidst the complex power configurations of mid-eighteenth-century North America. Moreover, in both texts, Hawthorne invokes the shared background of Nova Scotia and New England in the pre-Revolutionary period to comment on the events within North America that have happened since then and to define the US‟s contemporary political position as a democracy and as an empire. Hawthorne famously ends “The Custom-House” by declaring himself a political exile, a “citizen of somewhere else” (SL 113). His 1841 text The Whole History of Grandfather’s Chair set the groundwork for many of his reflections on citizenship and exile in “The Custom-House.” Hawthorne published The Whole History while he was employed at the Boston Custom-House, and wrote “The Custom-House” based on his custom-house position in Salem. In both cases, the “neutral space” of the custom-house invites him to consider the different kinds of personal and national formations that the current configuration of US empire may be obscuring or even policing out of existence. Moreover, in both cases, Hawthorne concentrates on the idea of a “neutral” person—the political refugee, the exile, the national outcast—to investigate the meaning of national identification and construct a sense of a national “home.” In The Whole History, Acadia functions as a “homeland” that resisted the control of foreign empire until it was destroyed. The exiled “Neutral French,” who are forced onto foreign shores, help Hawthorne define the American “home” and the process by which individual connections to the US nation are constructed. This section examines the narrative function of the Acadian exiles and the Grand Dérangement in defining the existence of a US national character and marking the 79 emergence of the US as a North American nation-state. While Hawthorne positions eighteenth-century New France in opposition to the American colonies, he draws parallels between Acadia and colonial America. As I will show, his alignment of the idyllic Acadian settlement with the American colonies defines North America not as a simple series of European imperial outposts, but rather as a collection of new national cultures. In this way, the presence of Acadia alongside the American colonies helps Hawthorne construct what Murphy calls “the imagined confines of the Western Hemisphere” (26). In an era when many nineteenth-century authors were anxious about what seemed to be the excessively heterogeneous makeup of the United States, Hawthorne‟s representation of the pastoral paradise of Acadia helped to stabilize and naturalize the presence of North American settlements: rather than being a state without a nation, the eighteenth-century US (like Acadia) could be reconceptualized as a proto-nation without a federal state. However, the destruction of Acadia calls attention to the discrepancy between the interests of the continent‟s European rulers and its colonists. In this way, Acadia‟s destruction allows Hawthorne, in particular, to justify the American Revolution as a necessary response to an intrusive and cruel imperial government in North America. The American community that he imagines in The Whole History of Grandfather’s Chair, which rallies around the idea of Acadian exile, helps to stabilize the heterogeneous foundations of the United States. The Whole History of Grandfather’s Chair The Whole History describes the history of the New England colonies from Puritan times to the end of the Revolutionary period by describing episodes in the lives of white, 80 Anglo-American settlers, some of whom were involved in public life and others whom Hawthorne describes as private citizens. The plot is structured around scenes of storytelling in which Grandfather relates the history of an ornate fireside chair to his inquisitive grandchildren—Alice (age five), Charley (age nine), Clara (age ten) and Lawrence (age twelve)—in a series of historical vignettes about the chair‟s previous owners. Grandfather‟s chair functions as a memento of past times that helps Grandfather explore the lasting impact of a seemingly distant American colonial history. Like the scarlet letter, the chair allows Grandfather to introduce the personal experiences of the inhabitants of colonial America with the political systems in development in North America (Berlant 207).53 An omniscient, thirdperson narrator presents the stories; the narration transitions almost imperceptibly from the narrator‟s free indirect discourse to Grandfather‟s direct narration. Grandfather‟s stories are occasionally interrupted by quoted interjections and protests from Grandfather and the children which bring the reader back to the non-narrative time and space of antebellum America. The structure of The Whole History locates the creation of this US identity in the childhood home. Every story is told in a parlour that symbolically represents the space of US national dialogue and exchange; the chair, which is mysteriously “„connected with the country‟s fate‟” (WH 137), becomes the narrative device through which Grandfather focalizes the history of the New England colonists in North America, from the time of the Puritan settlements until the end of the Revolutionary period. The stability of the chair is an important factor here, because it creates a more tangible sense of home that will later 53 See Berlant 207 for her analysis of the parallels between the scarlet letter and Grandfather‟s chair. 81 resonate against the initial domesticity of the Acadians as well as their eventual exile.54 Hawthorne‟s preface suggests that New England has been rendered unstable in the present age by a lack of knowledge about the US‟s national origins. Though he complained in a letter to Longfellow of the “drudgery” of writing children‟s literature (qtd. in Laffrado 2), and even called his product “the dullest of all books” (qtd. in Wineapple 143), Hawthorne saw the project of writing a historical book for children as a way to combat “the tottering infancy of our literature” (qtd. in Brickhouse 182)—to bequeath US children a sense of historical and cultural tradition, and thereby to secure the United States‟s position as a mature nation-state in the New World. The act of storytelling and the process of listening become equally important in constructing a sense of national belonging amongst the children. In his preface, Hawthorne explains his objective as an attempt “to describe the eminent characters and remarkable events of our annals in such a form as the YOUNG may make acquaintance with them of their own accord” (WH xxv). To date, the preface argues, children have no “distinct and unbroken thread” of national history (WH xxv); this deficit in national feeling can only be addressed by weaving tales about North American history that would stabilize the historical and cultural foundations of the United States and create an imagined community. Like the scarlet letter, the chair is a found object that connects the political history of the nation-state with the personal history of its national subjects. Situated beside a hearth, which, as Laffrado points out, functions as an indicator of popular U.S. sentiment during the storytelling episodes (29), the chair represents the interdependent relationship between the 54 Wineapple argues that Hawthorne got the idea of using a family chair as a plot device from his second cousin, Susanna Ingersoll. Her uncle, John Hathorne, had attempted to seize her house and her grandfather‟s chair, which had been bequeathed to her after the death of her parents. The chair became a central motif in this trilogy. The story of the uncle who was stealing his niece‟s house motivated the plot of Hawthorne‟s later novel The House of the Seven Gables. See Wineapple 142. 82 private sphere of the home and the public sphere of the government.55 Its presence gives the nation an aura of domestic stability and teleological development at a time when the transnational relationships and political affiliations in North America were anything but stable. As an eighteenth-century colony of Great Britain, New England was a space crisscrossed by competing international interests and cultural interactions, and the chair‟s provenance testifies to conflicts that determined the U.S.‟s geographical borders (such as invasions, wars, and land claims) or that threatened to erode the stability of New England society, such as religious feuds and class divisions. At times, the chair seems to construct a dynastic order for the US: the chair‟s original owner (the Earl of Lincoln), and its physical properties (its gilded surface, velvet cushion, coat of arms, and ornate lion‟s-head carving), recall all the external signs of the legitimacy of the British throne. However, the chair transforms with its New England setting, passing from Cotton Mather to British Loyalists to George Washington; it is damaged by fat British rulers, scoured back to its original oak surface by a Black slave, broken by an angry Revolutionary mob, and repaired by forwardthinking US nation-builders. Its physical transformation represents the transition from decadent monarchy to vitalized democracy. After going through these evolutions as a “chair of state” (WH 25), it then passes into the hands of American citizens, and finally becomes “„a family chair‟” (WH 64) in Grandfather‟s living room. Though the chair‟s pre-revolutionary owners were not citizens of what we now know as the US, the chair turns them into honorary Americans. Like “Rappaccini‟s Daughter,” then, The Whole History of Grandfather’s Chair effaces “its inherently mixed American origins” (Brickhouse 181) by constructing a national genealogy through a process of inheritance. 55 See Gruesz‟s “Feeling for the Fireside” for a longer discussion of the symbolism of the fireside in antebellum fiction. 83 The preface‟s anxiety about finding a stable “place” for the U.S. nation-state in North America, I argue, is related to a desire for a stable imagined community in the Jacksonian period. The stories that Grandfather tells while seated on the chair reflect conflicts in American colonial history that resonated with the conflicts in U.S. politics in the 1840s. “The Lady Arbella,” “The Government of New England,” and “The Hutchinson Mob,” for instance, examine the relationship between the American colonies and Great Britain from the arrival of the Puritans to the American Revolution. “Troublous Times” and “The Quakers and the Indians,” which talk about the persecution of Anne Hutchinson and Mary Dyer, discuss freedom of expression in the American colonies. “The Pine-Tree Shillings” and “The Sunken Treasure,” both relatively light-hearted stories about gifts and treasure, nonetheless depict a New England society threatened by class divisions. “The Indian Bible,” “Thomas Hutchinson,” and “A Collection of Portraits” focus self-reflexively on the need for a North American literary canon that would sustain the development of a US national character. The two representatives of upper-class patriarchy in the trilogy, Grandfather and the narrator, praise colonial subjects who devoted themselves to the development of a proto-American (white, anglophone) national culture. Each vignette features Grandfather‟s telling of an “American” story and records the interactions between the children as they try to interpret the significance of the history they are learning. Alice, the youngest and most naïve, is curious but the most emotionally affected by the stories, and is liable to burst into sympathetic tears. Clara, who plays house and tends her garden plot in the time between stories, reacts to Grandfather‟s tales by asking about the fate of women and by commenting on the impact of different events upon the sanctity of the home. Clara and Alice thus model two idealized nineteenth-century feminine responses to 84 nation-building. Charley is “a bold, brisk, restless little fellow” (WH 3), the first to tire of Grandfather‟s stories and the first to suggest warfare as a solution to complex problems; he is a representative of aggressive empire-builders, and is constantly shushed by his peers for his brash comments and behaviour. Laurence, the eldest and (as an adolescent white male) implicitly the most eligible candidate for American citizenship, takes the most interest in the political and personal circumstances that frame his Grandfather‟s anecdotes, and he expresses a desire for a peaceful resolution to historical conflicts. Grandfather promises that the history of the chair will “teach [Laurence] something about the history and distinguished people of his country which he has never read in any of his schoolbooks” (WH 3), and thus prepare him for adulthood. 56 Each of these characters represents a different national ideology. Their discussions about events reproduce the exchange of heterogenous ideas in the US public sphere, while their efforts to reach a consensus represent the creation of a shared affective reaction and an ideal national character. On a first reading, The Whole History appears very conservative, staging debates about complex transnational episodes in the history of the Americas which are superficially resolved by Grandfather‟s paternalistic commentary: as a narrator, Grandfather tends to conclude stories whenever he sees the children becoming upset or bored, and the episodic structure of his stories often obscures the larger ideologies that have led to different conflicts in the first place. Yet the conclusions reached by Grandfather and the children—many of which condemn the brutality of imperial warfare in the Americas—also frequently raise awkward questions about the ethics of nineteenth-century US expansion and the judgement of government rulers. Despite the fact that Grandfather‟s stories focus on the lives of 56 For a critical source on the relationship between children‟s literature and nation-building in antebellum America, see Lesley Ginsberg. 85 important political figures in colonial American history, he and the children often oppose the actions of these celebrated figures. In fact, The Whole History may be one of Hawthorne‟s most vocal anti-war, anti-imperial texts, because the children are able to voice different opinions about debates that were raging in the US mid-nineteenth-century public sphere by considering historical situations that seem temporally distant. Within The Whole History, discussions of Canada, and of the Acadian deportation in particular, help Hawthorne theorize the relationship between the individual citizen and the nation-state, as well as between the local national community and the imperial centre. While Grandfather expresses nostalgia for the “simplicity of the good old Puritan times” (WH 104), the pastoral perfection of a prelapsarian Acadia helps him identify the US as a space that was, and continues to be, threatened by class conflict and imperialist ideology. In Grandfather‟s stories of the pre-Revolutionary Americas, French North America becomes an important testing-ground for a US national character in formation. Perhaps the most noteworthy example is the lengthy discussion of the siege of the French fortification of Louisbourg in Nova Scotia in 1744 by colonial American soldiers, during one of the many imperial wars preceding the Seven Years‟ War. Grandfather describes the colonial regiments‟ siege of Louisbourg as a military encounter that has the effect of calling an American nation into being. It is on the battleground, poised between the military threat of the French empire and the disdain of the English one, that Americans suddenly become visible: Tall, lanky, awkward fellows came in squads, and companies, and regiments, swaggering along, dressed in their brown homespun clothes and blue yarn stockings…. They were an army of rough faces and sturdy frames. A trained officer of Europe would have laughed at them till his sides had ached. But there was a spirit 86 in their bosoms which is more essential to soldiership than to wear red coats and march in stately ranks to the sound of regular music. (WH 112) Grandfather explains that the siege of Louisbourg became “one of the occasions on which the colonists tested their ability for war, and thus were prepared for the great contest of the Revolution” (WH 115). Thanks to the French Canadian and British “others,” Grandfather and the children begin to recognize the American colonial militia as an emergent North American national group. The siege of Louisbourg, like the American Revolution itself, was an investment into the character of the US nation that had to be paid in advance. Yet after New England successfully captures Louisbourg for the English, the British Empire later returns Louisbourg, “which the New-Englanders had been at so much pains to take” (WH 119), to France. The Louisbourg siege raises the possibility of further friction between the interests of colonial America and those of the larger British empire. It also sets the stage for many subsequent “tests” of American fortitude, including the colonial rebellion against impressment and the rise of George Washington as a revolutionary leader. Such events, Grandfather notes gravely, “might have warned the English not to venture upon any oppressive measures against their colonial brethren‟” (WH 120). If Grandfather‟s account of the siege of Louisbourg described a scene in which an American militia began to recognize itself as distinct from “foreign” British and French troops, Grandfather‟s representation of Acadia helps the children (and, implicitly, the reader) see North America as a space that deserved to be independent from imperial rule. Grandfather chooses to tell the children the story of the Grand Dérangement in “the early twilight of Thanksgiving Eve” (WH 118), a setting that is at once geographically specific (as an American holiday) and temporally ambiguous. Much like the upper floor of The Scarlet 87 Letter‟s Custom House, the holiday fireside encourages the imagination of “[v]anished scenes… in the air” (WH 118), the intermingling of past and present, and the self-conscious examination of the national subject. The narration also emphasizes the deliberate construction of the home: the yellow cat, whose purring recalls the comfortably feminine sounds of “the singing of a tea-kettle or the hum of a spinning-wheel” (WH 119), joins the children in their semi-circle around the fireside chair. As Grandfather begins his story about the Acadians, then, the narration carefully situates the reader and the children literally and metaphorically within the American home. This domestic position contrasts with the setting of Grandfather‟s story of eighteenth-century America, in which he describes a very different kind of landscape. Grandfather introduces eighteenth-century America as a natural environment which has been dramatically altered by forms of imperial warfare and military architecture. As Grandfather surveys the mideighteenth-century French forts built in the Ohio Valley, for example, he portrays them as foreign intrusions on a pristine American landscape: It was strange to behold these warlike castles on the banks of solitary lakes and far in the midst of woods. The Indian, paddling his birch canoe on Lake Champlain, looked up at the high ramparts of Ticonderoga, stone piled on stone, bristling with cannon, and the white flag of France floating above…. And all around these forts and castles lay the eternal forest, and the roll of the drum died away in those deep solitudes. (WH 120) Fort Ticonderoga—a setting which becomes an important site of memory for the narrator of “The Custom-House”—is described as an imperial site that seems out of place in an otherwise borderless, peaceful North American forest. In fact, the forest, which naturally smothers the sound of imperial warfare, threatens to overwhelm this built environment. While the house and the forest are both described in the text as “natural” locations within the 88 continent, the presence of the French and British forts begins to defamiliarize and deconstruct the empires that built them. Moreover, the ephemeral nature of these forts calls the security of the political systems they represent into question. This sense of anxiety about imperial intrusion only grows as Grandfather introduces the history of conflict between the Acadian people and their imperial rulers. Grandfather represents Acadia not as a colony established by the French empire, but as a utopian space, an Arcadia-like “ancient province” (WH 121) that predates the French and English governments that lay claims to it. The Acadians are thus conceptualized not as immigrants, but as indigenous North Americans under foreign rule. Grandfather‟s unqualified praise for the Acadian settlement could well describe Hawthorne‟s idea of a perfect American community. The Acadians are a “peaceful race” (WH 121), uninterested in warfare and innocent of the forms of imperial conflict taking place around them. The seeming permanence of this autonomous Acadian culture in North America contrasts with the frequent and unpredictable changes in the imperial rulers of the region; Acadia is suddenly “infested with iron-hearted soldiers, both French and English, who fought one another for the privilege of ill-treating these poor, harmless Acadians” (WH 121). In fact, while the religious, cultural, and linguistic differences of other minorities (like the French characters in Hawthorne‟s other writings) 57 are often seen as liabilities, the Acadians‟ differences from the 57 Brickhouse argues that Hawthorne uses francophone characters to recall concerns about the history of racial mixing in the French Caribbean. She argues that Hawthorne based some of his French characters (notably the Schaeffers in The Marble Faun and M. de l‟Aubépine in “Rappaccini‟s Daughter”) on Franco-Americans he met in Maine. Hawthorne used Aubépine as a self-referential pseudonym in his early writings as well. While Brickhouse‟s reading of the synecdochal link between Hawthorne‟s French characters and anxieties raised by the image of the French Caribbean in Jacksonian America is compelling, I would suggest that the FrancoAmericans Hawthorne met in Maine could also have been New Brunswick Acadians (i.e. part of the Acadian population that had not been deported during the Grand Dérangement and that had migrated to New England in search of work). New England became a destination for French Canadians (both Acadian and Québécois) in the 89 mainstream Anglo-American culture make them more legitimate North American settlers in Hawthorne‟s eyes, for they establish the Acadians‟ cultural and historical discontinuity from Europe. By portraying the Acadians as a nationally homogenous, autonomous group, Hawthorne can invoke the concept of the social contract to position the Acadians alongside colonial Americans as the rightful owners of their North American settlements. Earlier in the trilogy, Hawthorne represents the New England colonies in similar terms. Overlooking the significant religious, ideological, and economic differences between the thirteen American colonies, Hawthorne imaginatively joins them in a proto-national project. The thirteen American colonies, like Acadia, were “„almost independent of the mother country‟” (WH 27); moreover, Grandfather states, “„at so vast a distance from their native home, the inhabitants must all have felt like brethren. They were fitted to become one united people at a future period‟” (WH 22). Hawthorne‟s geography of North America thus concentrates on the fate of two groups, the French Catholic Acadians and the Protestant Anglo-Americans of the thirteen colonies, who both bear legitimate claims of ownership over the space of North America. Moreover, they are both threatened by a British government more interested in fostering its own financial gain than in protecting its subjects. The presence and destruction of Acadia thus paradoxically reinforces the idea of American exceptionalism by establishing the possibility of two potentially successful, anti-imperial, national groups (Acadia and the American colonies) that co-existed in North America—but only one of which survived. In this sense, Hawthorne‟s retelling of the Grand Dérangement validates the necessity of the 1830s. By 1840 the French Canadian population in New England and Maine had grown to 8,200 (Barkan 391); the population peaked in the 1850s as land shortages in Quebec grew worse. For more information, see Rodrigue & Louder xxii, Richard 11-13, and Barkan 388-392. 90 American Revolutionary War and solidifies a sense of America‟s exceptional status within the Americas. Yet even as the description of the destruction of Acadia seemingly upholds the idea of national autonomy, Hawthorne‟s description of the Grand Dérangement raises questions about the stability of citizenship in North America and the potentially terrifying effects of the denial of national citizenship. Hawthorne initially uses the image of the Acadians living in their isolated community in Nova Scotia to develop the idea of a natural right to citizenship based on historical inheritance and forms of familial and cultural belonging. The image of Acadians torn violently from their land and forcibly sent to the American colonies shows how easily individuals could become summarily cast out of the political community entirely. For Hawthorne, the plight of the Acadians reveals all the ways in which the idea of national citizenship was contingent and even arbitrary—as easily lost as it is gained. However, Hawthorne concentrates more carefully, throughout the rest of “The Acadian Exiles,” not on the scene of expulsion in Acadia, but rather on the arrival of the Acadians in Boston, and the effect that the Acadians have on Bostonian society and the initial refusal of Bostonians to interact with these French Catholic “others.” “The Acadian Exiles” becomes a point of reference for the children as they listen to the remaining stories in The Whole History precisely because of the questions it raises about the relationship between the federal government and its citizens. Hawthorne‟s description of the spectacle of the Acadians arriving on Boston‟s Long Wharf defines the role of the government by examining its failure. The narrator concentrates on different images of dispossession and forced movement: he pictures the Acadians moving 91 “at the point of the bayonet” (WH 122) to transport ships, witnessing the destruction of their homes and the separation of their families, and “tossing upon the ocean in the crowded transport vessels” (WH 122-23). Finally, they arrive on Boston‟s Long Wharf—a place where typically cargo is offloaded, inspected, and sold—and they are “left to themselves on a foreign strand” (WH 124). All of the architectural, military, domestic, and familial structures—boats, weapons, houses, and “bonds of affection” (WH 124)—that would normally contain or protect the Acadians have now been lost or destroyed. Furthermore, once landed on the shore, the Acadians are characterized by subject-positions that are missing their implied counterpart or political representatives: wives call out for missing husbands, widows search for lost sons, betrothed youth search for their lovers, and lost girls cry for their mothers. The survivors of the deportation are rhetorically feminized and geographically rearranged in ways that denote their complete political disenfranchisement. In and of itself, the excessive mobility of the Acadians is not the problem, in Hawthorne‟s eyes; other minority populations in The Whole History are moved and exchanged in similar ways. In an earlier episode, for example, Grandfather reassures Alice that at the time, “„[n]othing was more common than to see a lot of likely Irish girls advertised for sale in the newspapers. As for the little negro babies, they were offered to be given away like young kittens‟” (WH 105). Yet Grandfather presents indentured servants and slaves as wards or goods of the (imagined) state that fall within the protection of the US domestic space. By contrast, the Acadians‟ unregulated movement, and their position in Boston‟s public space (radically outside the home), signify two larger breakdowns: first, a radical shift from the British government‟s expected protection of colonial populations to their coercive and violent treatment of those populations; and second, a potential failure in the structure of 92 Boston‟s social community, should the New England communities overlook the bonds they share with others who make North America their home and refuse to welcome them. All of the images of homelessness and abandonment mobilized by Hawthorne in this passage stand in for larger forms of exclusion from the American political process. The Acadians‟ position on the literal and metaphorical borders of the US thus helps Hawthorne to begin a critical inquiry about the responsibilities of government and the process by which the US national subject is constructed. In the same way, Hawthorne‟s sympathetic lamentations about the Acadians‟ position within-yet-outside the US provide a negative definition of national identity. Grandfather‟s ubi sunt statement about the Acadians characterizes their forced exile as a fate worse than death: “Oh, how many broken bonds of affection were here! Country lost!—friends lost!— their rural wealth of cottage, field and herds, all lost together! Every tie between these poor exiles and the world seemed to be cut off at once. They must have regretted that they had not died before their exile; for even the English would not have been so pitiless as to deny them graves in their native soil. The dead were happy; for they were not exiles!” (WH 126) The passage names and immediately revokes what Hawthorne sees as the constitutive elements of citizenship: national identity is produced through a series of interconnected relationships and experiences between homeland, friends, family, possessions, culture, and language. However, in Berlant‟s words, the “forced, involuntary expatriation violates the citizen through a virtually ontological torture” (13). The Acadians who are separated from this web of relationships are plunged into existential crisis: there is no larger telos to define their identity. Furthermore, Grandfather‟s desire for some form of geographical containment for the Acadians wandering the streets signals the absence of a larger structure of knowledge 93 that would give their lives meaning. For the Acadians in The Whole History, as for the Puritans in The Scarlet Letter, the nation‟s construction depends upon the prison-house and the graveyard—two symbols of involuntary disconnection from the nation that nonetheless function as the unacknowledged structure of a society. In this way, the Acadians become symbols of a broken contract between the North American colonies and the imperial forces that governed them. Hawthorne contrasts this negative definition of citizenship with a series of representative tableaux that describe the reactions of the eighteenth-century Bostonians—as well as the nineteenth-century children who hear the story—to this image of forced denationalization. The tragedy of the Grand Dérangement, for Hawthorne, happens at the moment of the Acadians‟ arrival, when the Acadians realize the effects of their own forced denationalization.58 Grandfather‟s reconstruction of the Grand Dérangement expresses concern that American society is being destroyed by the same conflicts that led the English to expel the Acadians. Hawthorne‟s narrative approach in this section is to create clusters of stock “Americans” who are visually and behaviourally defined as members of different gender, age, and class identities. The Bostonians are initially divided by these differences, but eventually they align sympathetically with the displaced Acadians in what David Marshall calls a “correspondence of feelings” (3) that defines the existence of a US national 58 Contemporary newspaper accounts of the arrival of Acadian deportees show that Anglo-American colonists were not nearly as welcoming as Hawthorne suggests. A report published in the October 11, 1756 edition of the Boston Evening Post suggests that the arrival of the Acadians on American shores turned into a public spectacle rather than an impromptu demonstration of Anglo-American hospitality: Bristol, June 26. On Saturday arriv‟d here from Virginia, the Virginia Packet with three hundred French Neutrals, a great Part of whom were Women and Children. They lay at our Kay waiting for Orders from Above, for the Disposal of them, vast Numbers of the Citizens flocking daily to see them, and Thursday were removed to Guinea-[unreadable], and are allow‟d Six-pence per Head per Day without any Deduction, which will afford them a comfortable Support in their present deplorable Circumstances.—Several hundred more are shortly expected. (“Bristol” 3) 94 community. “Prying busybodies” (WH 125) leave their houses to listen to “the outlandish sound of the French tongue” (WH 125). New England women emerge from “their warm, safe homes, where everything was regular and comfortable, and where their husbands and children would be with them at nightfall” (WH 125), to sympathize with the Acadians wandering in the streets. Boston school-boys who begin by ridiculing “this crowd of oddly dressed foreigners” (WH 125) soon “[melt] into tearful sympathy” (WH 125) at the sight of the Acadians‟ despair. At every point, the narrator worries whether the outward signs of the Acadians‟ difference—their “outlandish, unintelligible words” (WH 126), their odd dress, their poverty, and their Catholic “sign[s] of the cross which the Acadians continually [make] upon their breasts” (WH 125)—will pre-empt the formation of any sympathetic bonds between the Acadians and the New England colonists. The narrator‟s voiced desire to see a resolution between all of these groups expresses a larger anxiety about a failure of sentiment among Americans: he hopes, for example, that the “wealthy and pompous merchants” whose “feelings [are] seldom moved” (WH 125) will nonetheless “distribut[e] some of their superfluous coin among these hapless exiles” (WH 126). The kinds of social conflicts that Grandfather projects onto his reconstructed eighteenth-century history reflect larger concerns about the production (and erosion) of a shared national bond between Americans in the nineteenth century. His description of the New Englanders meeting the Acadians on Boston‟s shores reveals a pre-Revolutionary society that is initially intolerant of difference, divided by class, and increasingly invested in “a pompous and artificial mode of life” (WH 104). His editorializing comments perform a didactic, socializing function: though he acknowledges the language, class, and cultural differences that could interrupt the production of sympathy, Grandfather‟s comments imply 95 that such differences should be overcome. Hawthorne creates a fantasy of national belonging: as the Acadians “begin to stray into the town” (WH 126), they are gradually invited into the “stately mansions” (WH 126) and “humble wooden tenements” (WH 126) alike. The New England that was divided by class is now united in its willingness to take in these dramatically foreign Others; the Americans become a recognizable people because of the way they can recognize the cruelty of the invasion and destruction of Acadia and accept the Acadians into their homes. Meanwhile, the Acadians are equally willing (at least in Hawthorne‟s account) to be welcomed into the American national fold. Even though they could have remained a radically heterogeneous immigrant population within the revolutionary US (and were, in reality, frequently ostracized by American colonists precisely because of that possibility), the Acadians in The Whole History conveniently vanish into the American landscape, “forgett[ing] the language of their ancestors” (WH 126) and speechlessly integrating into American culture. As Mark Simpson explains, “vanishing” characters (like Hawthorne‟s Acadians) frequently serve to obscure the power structures at work in nineteenth-century American culture: “[i]deologically, vanishing expresses in terms of spatio-temporal inevitability the historically contingent violence of territorial invasion, ingress, displacement” (xiv). Hawthorne‟s portrayal of vanishing Acadians thus replaces the violence of Anglo-American troops with a form of discursive violence that elides the history of the Acadians‟ rejection in the Anglo-American colonies, and gives the Acadians access to a privileged category of US citizenship only under the condition of assimilation. The anonymous Acadians voluntarily assimilate into the American population and make the cultural sacrifices deemed necessary for US citizenship. His image of the Grand Dérangement thus presents the possibility of a homogenous American culture by dispelling 96 anxieties about past and present immigration. Paradoxically, then, Hawthorne creates an imagined US community, in both the eighteenth and the nineteenth centuries, that rejects aggressive geographical expansion but also tacitly encourages the cultural dominance of the US‟s white, Anglo-Saxon Protestant values and its political hegemony within North America. Yet while a fantasy of a unified, homogenous US society emerges in relation to the dispossessed Acadians, “The Acadian Exiles” finishes by raising questions about the degree to which the US government represents that character. After wandering the streets of Boston, the Acadians finally penetrate into the political heart of Boston to face their aggressor, “Governor Shirley, meditating upon matters of war and state, in Grandfather‟s chair!” (WH 127). The Grand Dérangement was part of Shirley‟s larger “Great Plan,” proposed in 1754, to secure anglophone control over Nova Scotia by moving 6,000 Anglo-American settlers from the overpopulated New England area to Nova Scotia by 1759. He also suggested creating English Protestant schools in Nova Scotia to erode the cultural authority of the Catholic Church and to destroy the French Acadian culture. The Whole History imagines the Acadians confronting Shirley with the human results of his policies: If such an incident did happen, Shirley, reflecting what a ruin of peaceful and humble hopes had been wrought by the cold policy of the statesman and the iron hand of the warrior, might have drawn a deep moral from it. It should have taught him that the poor man‟s hearth is sacred, and that armies and nations have no right to violate it. It should have made him feel that England‟s triumph and increased dominion could not compensate to mankind nor atone to Heaven for the ashes of a single Acadian cottage. But it is not thus that statesmen and warriors moralize. (WH 127) 97 Hawthorne‟s representation of Shirley minimizes the degree to which the Grand Dérangement was sanctioned and carried out by New England colonists.59 Instead, Hawthorne reconfigures the Grand Dérangement as a problem caused by an individual‟s failure of feeling: Governor Shirley neglected to sympathize with the needs and interests of simple settlers, and instead privileged the expansive needs of faraway governments over the sanctity of the home. Each of the children reacts by ventriloquizing different arguments that privilege the rights of „native‟ North American settler communities against the ambitions of interventionist state governments: Laurence laments the cruelty of “„iron-hearted War‟” (WH 127), and Alice and Clara burst into tears at the tale of “„a whole people homeless in the world!‟” (WH 128). Charley proposes that the Acadians should have defended their farms, even if it meant certain death. While the anti-expansionist moral of the Acadians‟ experience is lost on Shirley, Grandfather‟s portrayal of the Grand Dérangement forcefully prepares the children for a more sanguine understanding of national citizenship not only by inculcating a respect for US history and its federal institutions, but also by raising the possibility that the interests of governments and the interests of citizens may diverge. The episode‟s emphasis on the primacy of the home and of the illegitimacy of imperial governments creates an interpretative pattern that buttresses what Murphy calls “imagined traditions of national isolation and anticolonialism” (14). While previous episodes criticized the history of warfare in North America, “The Acadian Exiles” forcefully proposes that the US‟s future citizens must adopt the important “customs” of distrusting the government and criticizing US expansionist projects. 59 Kozuskanich suggests that economic rivalry between Acadia and New England, along with a culture of rampant francophobia, led many New Englanders to support the Grand Dérangement. 98 The notions of place and displacement constructed by Grandfather‟s tale of the Acadian exiles continue to shape the children‟s responses in the final book of the trilogy, Liberty Tree. The exile of the Acadians foreshadows that of two British Loyalists “blasted out of their world and time” (Laffrado 24), Thomas Hutchinson and Peter Oliver, who become central figures in Liberty Tree. Hutchinson, the British royal governor of Massachusetts from 1771 to 1774, upheld and enforced the controversial Stamp Tax, and was driven out of New England as a result. Oliver, only slightly more sympathetic in Grandfather‟s eyes, represented British interests as the Chief Justice, but was forced to leave Boston during the British retreat. The rhetoric of national belonging and homelessness that Grandfather constructed through his example of the Grand Dérangement now comes to shape Hawthorne‟s representation of political exile. In different imaginative encounters, Hutchinson and Oliver are both confronted by angry New Englanders in scenes that recall the encounter between Shirley and the Acadians. Hutchinson, like Shirley, is confronted in his “large brick house, decorated with Ionic pilasters” (WH 160), by a revolutionary mob that overturns Grandfather‟s chair and sets the house on fire. Hutchinson is forced out of New England by the revolutionary Americans. Later, in the tumultuous days after the defeat of the British army in Boston, Oliver finds himself (like the Acadians) on the sidewalk in front of the Province House, where he is both snubbed by “haughty Britons” (WH 205) and ridiculed by derisive Bostonians. In strange ways, then, these Loyalists are presented as victims and villains at the same time. As he tells their stories, Grandfather encourages the children to try to “imagine the feelings of those who were quitting [Boston] forever” (WH 201); the story of Hutchinson‟s family made “homeless in the street” (WH 165) by an unruly mob brings Alice to tears once again. 99 Yet the children are comforted by the idea that the suffering of these British figures was caused by a critical failure of character. Both characters are described by Grandfather as New Englanders who failed to defend “„the rights of [their] country‟” (WH 158) (i.e. America) against the British “„rod of oppression‟” (WH 208). They also neglected to learn from the history of imperial warfare that was taking place in North America—the same history, in fact, that the children are learning. As a result, Hutchinson and Oliver are doomed to experience the same kind of national and domestic destruction that had been visited upon the Acadians. In Laurence‟s words, “„[t]he misfortunes of those exiled tories… must have made them think of the poor exiles of Acadia‟” (WH 207). The rapid transformations of Oliver and Hutchinson from imperial aggressors to victims further invites the children to imagine the position of different kinds of people who have been excluded from the US national project. Sympathetic comparisons between the British Loyalists and the Acadians thus reify the sanctity of the North American household. However, Grandfather also insists that the children must learn to adopt a healthy critical attitude toward their government, and must be willing to guard North America from different forms of tyranny. Through Grandfather‟s narration, Hawthorne argues that the British Loyalists brought their own exile upon themselves, because they failed to act as informed citizens—that is, to reject a government that was overstepping its bounds. Throughout the final chapters of Liberty Tree, comparisons between these British figures and the Acadians help Hawthorne construct a larger interpretive pattern that supports a radical restriction of the US‟s sphere of influence. As time progresses there is more and more evidence (and criticism) of expansionist pressures at work in the US. Grandfather‟s first stories about the chair construct the fantasy of an exceptional US national community 100 rapidly distancing itself from its colonial history. However, the later stories raise questions about the direction of the newly-created US nation. As the British forces vacate the government buildings of New England, the US government takes their place, a shift that suggests a degree of interchangeability between the two regimes and which raises questions about the goals of the post-Revolutionary US government. Similarly, Grandfather‟s chair is used as a replacement throne for colonial rulers and is housed in British sites such as the Province House and the Coffee House during the Revolutionary period. However, after falling into the possession of George Washington during the Revolutionary War, this national touchstone gets lost, sold to the highest bidder, and housed in commercial spaces that draw uncomfortable parallels between the old British empire and the new American government. Grandfather‟s chair finds a place in a barber-shop, surrounded by other material evidence of the US‟s geographical expansion in the post-Revolutionary period, including “a stuffed alligator, a rattlesnake‟s skin, a bundle of Indian arrows, an old-fashioned matchlock gun, a walking-stick of Governor Winthrop‟s, a wig of old Cotton Mather‟s, and a colored print of the Boston massacre” (WH 209). As evidence of the US‟s expansion accumulates in the narrative environment of Grandfather‟s stories, the children‟s world changes as well: Charley abandons his first toys of choice (a wheelbarrow and a stick) and begins to prefer vehicles like trains and sleds—more complex forms of technology that enable the movement of goods and people over longer distances. These developments indicate a heightened anxiety about US expansion that Hawthorne attempts to control: Charley is verbally reined in by Grandfather‟s commands, and Hawthorne literally brings the chair home, fixing it within the American domestic space. Its final resting place in Grandfather‟s parlour implicitly 101 resists the idea of US expansion and instead promotes a vision of the home as the eternal, and rightful, centre of the US nation. Murphy argues that in The House of the Seven Gables, Hawthorne “envisions a compromise between reform and stasis firmly grounded in the domestic.… Hawthorne‟s vision of compromise reaffirmed American exceptionalism and stasis in North America, updating American ideals of virtuous domestic isolation to contend with expansive and troubling fantasies” (29). The same could be said of The Whole History. Throughout the trilogy, references to the Grand Dérangement help to produce this notion of virtuous domestic isolation, by portraying the interests of the New England settlers and the Acadians as contiguous and by symbolically remapping the geography of colonial America as an independent territory that deserved to be free of European influence. The forced denationalization of the Acadians helps Grandfather identify a perceived gap between the actions of governments and the interests of individuals. The anxious questions raised at the book‟s conclusion about the implications of the US‟s revolutionary position and the American government‟s failure to reach its stated ideals make the children and the reader the possessors of the knowledge that Grandfather‟s history has taught. In the final pages, Grandfather has a dream in which the carved lion‟s head on the chair begins to speak, offering advice intended to “„teach a private person how to lead a good and happy life, or a statesman how to make his country prosperous‟” (WH 216). Grandfather listens as the chair states, “„As long as I have stood in the midst of human affairs,… I have constantly observed that JUSTICE, TRUTH, and LOVE are the chief ingredients of every happy life‟” (WH 221). However, the chair also observes ruefully that this advice has been lost on most people: “„From what I have observed of the dealings of man with man, and nation with nation, I 102 never should have suspected that they knew this all-important secret‟” (WH 222). It is unclear how the grandchildren will come to learn this advice; only Grandfather and the reader are the witnesses to the chair‟s secret. At the conclusion of the novel, therefore, the security of the future of the American nation remains somewhat uncertain. While the children have learned, through the chair‟s history, about the dangers of imperialism and the potential divergence between the interests of American citizens and the interests of the American government, the conclusion of the book challenges the idea that this lesson has been (or even can be) learned. It is this “failure of the federal system to secure the complex emancipatory image America has claimed as its birthright, its natural law” (Berlant 8) that leads Grandfather to begin his didactic historical narratives. Berlant argues that Hawthorne puts his faith in everyday life, local institutions, personal identities, and strong sympathetic bonds between people as the mechanisms that will eventually combat this institutional failure and revitalize the state. In the meantime, though, Grandfather‟s story of the Acadian exiles encourages the children to engage in a radical re-reading of America. The Acadians become the example through which Hawthorne can divide a politically, economically, and linguistically heterogenous colonial population into two groups: proto-Americans who commit themselves to life in North America and defend the values of the Revolution, and failed Americans like William Shirley, Thomas Hutchinson, and Peter Oliver, who have either neglected these values or have betrayed them outright. The Acadians who vanish into Hawthorne‟s imagined America enable him to overlook the social inequities between classes of American society and assert a fiction of national genealogy. The children who inherit the knowledge of the chair are introduced as future guardians of the national character that they are learning at Grandfather‟s knee. They 103 are forced to consider how, and when, they may come to dispute the direction of their imagined nation and how they may be called upon to become “citizen[s] of somewhere else” (SL 113), just like the narrator of The Scarlet Letter: political exiles who choose to deliberately exclude themselves from a national system in decay, in favor of another, new imagined community whose outlines have yet to be sketched out. 1.4 The politics of displacement in Longfellow’s Evangeline Hawthorne‟s account of the Grand Dérangement concentrates almost exclusively on the moment at which the Acadians arrived in Boston. By avoiding an extensive discussion of the lives of Acadians before their expulsion or after their arrival in the thirteen colonies, Hawthorne‟s account evaluates the significance of the event largely in terms of its effect on Americans past and present. Similarly, while Hawthorne certainly criticizes the expulsion, the “vanishing” of Acadia allows him to reinforce US exceptionalism by positioning the US as an emergent nation-state that survived the violence of eighteenth-century British imperialism. At the same time, though, the apparent convergence between the aggression of the British empire and the expansionist efforts of the US in the nineteenth century makes him worry that the US has lost sight of its first principles. Longfellow‟s long narrative poem Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie explores many of the same anxieties as Hawthorne‟s text. It, too, is worried about the process of US expansion. However, while The Whole History evaluates the effects of imperialism based on its effects on an imagined white, Anglo-Saxon American community, Evangeline condemns 104 imperialism for its punitive effects on different racial minorities in the mid-nineteenthcentury US. Published in 1847, Evangeline focusses on the story of betrothed Acadian lovers tragically separated during the Grand Dérangement and deported to the US by the British. The poem describes Evangeline‟s pastoral life in Acadia, portrays the violent expulsion of the Acadians, and follows Evangeline‟s movements across America as she dedicates the rest of her life to an epic, cross-continental search for her lost fiancé Gabriel. Longfellow spends much more time representing Acadian culture before the Grand Dérangement and offers a much more sympathetic understanding of the problems facing the expulsed Acadians after they arrive in the American colonies. Like Hawthorne, Longfellow uses the British violence against the Acadians to raise the spectre of imperial tyranny and to justify the American Revolution. Throughout this chapter I argue that the antebellum interest in the Grand Dérangement was motivated by contemporary discussions about US power in the midnineteenth century. Drawing from Longfellow‟s abolitionist poetry and his private papers, I consider Evangeline as a veiled critique of the expansionist, pro-slavery ideology of Jacksonian America in the 1840s. Longfellow‟s sympathetic description of the fate of the dispossessed, denationalized Acadians forced to wander endlessly across the US in search of their lost community puts a (white) face on images of dispossession and forced movement in the 1840s that were typically racialized as non-white. In particular, his main character, Evangeline, follows symbolically in the paths of US slaves, Native Americans, and Mexicans passages across the continent. As I will show, in Evangeline, Longfellow uses intertextual references from his previously-published anti-slavery poetry to express some of his abolitionist sentiments after his abolitionist poetry came under censure. Evangeline, I argue, 105 is a poem about not only the forced movement of Acadians but also the forced movement of slaves and Native Americans across the US South and West. Scholars have recently begun to consider the relationship between Longfellow‟s political views and his sentimental poetry.60 Longfellow wrote Evangeline in a mid-1840s environment that was profoundly fractured over ideas about forced exile, imperial conflict, and racial difference. Kirsten Silva Gruesz, for example, reads Evangeline as a critique of the development of the Mexican War, arguing that Evangeline “reflects the ethical questions surrounding invasion, territorial colonization, and displaced populations that confronted every newspaper reader in the country during the year in which it was composed” (Ambassadors 90). Similarly, John Seelye argues that Evangeline reflects US political tensions about slavery and the Mexican War in the mid-1840s. Noticing parallels between Evangeline and some of Longfellow‟s abolitionist poetry, Seelye interprets the Acadians as proxy figures designed to create sympathy for enslaved Blacks: “Evangeline, whitely and quietly, serves as a vicarious vehicle for emotions aroused by the plight of enslaved black people, involving the breakup of families and homeless wandering as perpetual aliens” (43). However, Seelye backs away from the suggestion that Evangeline is a poem about Longfellow‟s political beliefs, concluding (inscrutably) that “Evangeline is not about slavery in America, but it is of that peculiar institution” (43) and insisting that Longfellow prized his “personal detachment” (43) above his goals of political self-expression. 60 For a postcolonial reading of Evangeline that compares Longfellow‟s representation of Jews, Acadians, and Native Americans in his poetry, see Eigenbrod. See also Irmscher‟s reading of The Song of Hiawatha: he sees Hiawatha as a “a native messianic hero” who is both a pacifist and a “cultural ambassador” (Public 124). Irmscher reads Hiawatha as a role model for white Americans who were so deeply divided over slavery that they were threatening to abandon any attempt at national reconciliation. 106 I am indebted to these arguments even as I feel they need to be extended further and situated within Longfellow‟s print-cultural context. I argue that the poetic narrative about displaced Acadians, who are loaded onto boats and sent to foreign shores, invokes the problem of American slavery by constructing an imagined community that rejects practices of racial exclusion and violent forms of expansion. Evangeline thus creates an alternative vision of American nationalism, one which depends on cultural exchange and shared sentiment rather than conflict and exclusion. In the next pages, I will show how Longfellow‟s particular position as a national poet, his choice of the sentimental mode, and his interest in abolitionism came into conflict in the mid-1840s. I argue that Evangeline purposefully revisits many of the themes of nautical travel, confinement, and death that he introduced in his earlier volume of abolitionist poetry entitled Poems on Slavery. As I will show, in his early career, Longfellow was interested in supporting the abolitionist cause, but because of his early fame and his status as a “national” poet, his attempts at political expression drew a great deal of criticism. Evangeline is an attempt to represent his anti-slavery views in a more coded way. Just as Hawthorne used his discussion of a small French Canadian settlement in the 1750s to reflect on the condition of New England in the 1840s, Longfellow employs the Acadians to represent the trauma of American slavery to his 1840s white American readership. Longfellow’s racial politics At the moment of Evangeline‟s composition in the mid-1840s, Longfellow was already an established poet, famous for calling the notion of “America” into being. As a 107 professor of modern languages at Bowdoin College (1829-1835) and Harvard (1836-1854), he launched the discipline of comparative literature and encouraged the study of European cultures and languages in the US. His first major literary works were a series of travelogues, novels, and plays based on his European travels (Outre-Mer, A Pilgrimage Beyond the Sea in 1833, Hyperion in 1839, and The Spanish Student in 1843). Through these works, as well as his major translation of European poetry, The Poets and Poetry of Europe (1845), Longfellow introduced his American readers to different European languages and cultures. However, it was his first collections of sentimental poetry—Voices of the Night (1839), Poems on Slavery (1842), and Ballads and Other Poems (1842)—that “persuaded much of the literary establishment that the country had finally produced a major poet” (Calhoun 138). By his middle period of 1844 to 1865, during which he published The Belfry of Bruges and Other Poems (1845), as well as epics such as Evangeline (1847) and The Song of Hiawatha (1855), “Longfellow became known both at home and abroad as the poet laureate of America” (Hilen 3:1). Longfellow became celebrated domestically and internationally as a quintessentially “American” poet for a few reasons. Most simply, as a poet from the United States, he was seen to represent a new, successful American literary establishment in a synecdochal way. Later, with the publication of epic poems set in the US, such as Evangeline (1847) and The Song of Hiawatha (1855), he actively fostered this reputation as a national poet by creating, disseminating, and commemorating different mythological histories of North American cultures. Poems such as “The Building of the Ship” (1849) and “Paul Revere‟s Ride” (1860) celebrated the creation of the US and solidified a sense of a shared US history. 108 Perhaps most importantly, Longfellow‟s choice of genre, sentimental poetry, also associated him with the formation of American identity, even when his poetry didn‟t explicitly invoke the idea of nationalism. Literary scholar Mary Louise Kete argues that in the period between the War of 1812 and the Civil War, “the events and actions shaping what it meant to be an American were being sung in a key set by the poetics of sentimentality” (2). Kete characterizes the antebellum period as a time of great anxiety about the definition of the US nation. The political leaders during the Revolutionary period had conceptualized the idea of the United States in a theoretical way, but unifying such a diverse nation (on grounds other than its rejection of British imperial power) was proving difficult in practice. Debates about immigration, women‟s rights, slavery, and US expansion threatened to throw the United States, as a political entity and an imagined community, into disunion. Longfellow‟s rhetorical mode of choice—sentimental poetry—addressed this antebellum cultural anxiety by creating a structure of national belonging based on the sharing of sentiment. As Kete explains, Those who, like Sigourney and Longfellow, were inventing what it would mean to be an American turned to sentiment, which enabled them to structure a project of imagining their country which would be ongoing, sustainable, and broad based because it depended on collaboration. And this collaboration begins to close down the proliferation of possible Americans by binding it, America, to a concept of identity dependent on voluntary relationships and demonstrated by shared, mutually felt emotional truths. (8) Kete argues that sentimental poetry‟s implicit invitation to participate in the sharing of emotions helped to create an imagined community for the antebellum US. The language of sentimentality was a construct through which nineteenth-century Americans imagined their position in the world. Poets like Longfellow used “the culture-building power of sentimental discourse” (Kete 3) to solidify a sense of a shared national history, a shared national 109 subjectivity, and a shared national future. In turn, American readers looked to sentimental poetry to see themselves represented as part of a stable, idealized US national project. Of course, fiction writers like Hawthorne were also interested in this project of national consolidation; but Longfellow‟s association with sentimental poetry and his early fame made him a figurehead for middle-class America in the mid-1840s. As much as Longfellow benefited by this unofficial designation as America‟s poet laureate, the role also came with its own particular set of challenges. The first was that his status as a poet who spoke for an emergent American nation made it difficult for him to criticize the US‟s actions in the 1840s. While Longfellow became famous for writing epic descriptions of US landscapes—often constructing a sense of US national identity and fostering a sense of US exceptionalism in so doing—he also worried about the effects that an aggressive and militant form of American nationalism could bring upon the world. In an anonymous essay published in the North American Review in 1832, for example, Longfellow outlines his beliefs in the importance of national literature.61 Yet even as he provides a panoramic vision of the potential sources of American national pride that American poets could describe and strengthen further, he feels compelled to redirect that pride away from projects that would lead to the further geographical expansion of the US: We glory in the extent of our territory, in our rapidly increasing population, in our agricultural privileges, and our commercial advantages. We boast of the magnificence and beauty of our natural scenery…. We boast of the increase and extent of our physical strength, the sound of populous cities, breaking the silence and solitude of our Western territories,—plantations conquered from the forest, and gardens springing up in the wilderness. Yet the true glory of a nation consists not in the extent of its territory, the pomp of its forests, the majesty of its rivers, the height of its mountains, and the beauty of its sky; but in the extent of its mental power,—the majesty of its intellect,—the height and depth and purity of its moral nature…. True 61 This article reviewed Sidney‟s Defense of Poesy. Calhoun attributes it to Longfellow. See Calhoun 81-83. 110 greatness is the greatness of the mind;—the true glory of a nation is moral and intellectual preeminence. (“Review” 59) (59) Longfellow‟s career had only just begun as he wrote this essay, but even at this early time, he was aware of a contradiction between his own views of the US‟s future and those being promoted by the government during the Jacksonian period (as well as by many of Longfellow‟s fellow contributors to the North American Review in the mid-1830s). In this essay and others like it, Longfellow shies away from definitions of US “greatness” that could potentially reinforce the political and military hegemony of the US and tries to redefine this greatness as a form of intellectual transcendence—the expansion of the “moral and intellectual preeminence” of the American mind, rather than the expansion of American borders. Longfellow also attempted to contest “what he perceived as an American tendency toward provincialism” (Gruesz, Ambassadors 83) by redefining the ideal American subject and the ideal American poet as part of a world community. Scholars have begun to study Longfellow as an intellectual who was professionally and personally committed to exploring the relationship between the “domestic” cultures of the US and those of other “foreign” cultures across the world, in an era when the importance of such transnational connections was often dismissed. His travel experience, his varied interests in multicultural literary traditions, his openness to cultural diversity, and his fluency in many languages gave him a unique perspective on the ways that literature could produce and support a sense of national identity. Critics such as Christoph Irmscher and Mary Louise Kete have explored how Longfellow‟s sentimental calls for unity in his poetry and translations ask his primarily white, middle-class readers to put themselves in the position of literary characters from 111 different national, class, gender, ethnic, and racial backgrounds—from Venetian gondoliers to Native North American hunters to Christian kings to American working-class labourers. For Irmscher, Longfellow‟s poetry encouraged Americans to think of themselves as citizens of as an inclusive, multicultural, and multiracial nation: “by systematically exposing them to experiences of different cultures, Longfellow gave his readers—whether American or not—a chance to imagine themselves, vicariously, as more than just citizens of one country, namely as inhabitants of the world and participants in traditions other than their own” (Redux 70).62 Kete suggests that Longfellow‟s sentimental approach, which emphasized the transcendence of class and gender boundaries, enabled him to “inoculate [his] nationalist projects against… the threat of disunion” (8) by proposing a “shared vision of America” (8). Both Kete and Irmscher suggest that Longfellow‟s national project was built through the shared affective relationship between poet and reader. Though he may have been successful in creating an idea of national consensus, Longfellow‟s private journals and letters occasionally comment on his personal discomfort with his very public position as a poet and unofficial spokesperson for a nation that was embroiled in conflict.63 Throughout his career, but especially during the 1840s and 1850s, Longfellow reported feeling trapped by his own iconicity and the demands that were being made on him by his readers. Even as Longfellow cultivated a persona as “a public poet” (Irmscher, Redux 23), open to his reader‟s responses and sentimental reactions, he often struggled emotionally when his collaborative exchange with his readers failed—for example, 62 See work by postcolonial scholar Renate Eigenbrod, who argues that Longfellow drew links between the fates of displaced Jews, Native Americans, and Acadians in his poetry. 63 Henry Wadsworth Longfellow‟s personal papers, scrapbooks, and account books, to which I refer frequently in this section, are all housed in the Longfellow collection at the Houghton Library, Harvard University. Frances Appleton Longfellow‟s diaries and papers are housed in the collection at the National Park Service, Longfellow National Historic Site. I will be referring to these texts by their call number (which will be italicized) and the relevant page number. 112 when his readers refused to share his vision of America, when they disagreed with his political views or negatively reviewed his poetry. Longfellow was essentially in a double bind, as his iconicity as a public figure and his sentimental approach came into conflict with his political self-expression. The public expectation that he spoke for the nation—or, more specifically, for whatever his readers thought “the nation” meant—came to compromise his political self-expression. The tension between Longfellow‟s national profile as a poet and his own critical views of the nation came to a head in the 1840s when his critical view of slavery collided with the national policy. As literary critic Robert A. Ferguson explains, Longfellow was close friends with some of the most progressive political leaders of Boston, including the author and lawyer Richard Henry Dana, Jr. and the prominent Massachusetts senator Charles Sumner, who “kept the poet politically well informed” (189); he also associated with abolitionists such as James Russell Lowell, John Greenleaf Whittier, Julia Ward Howe, Samuel Gridley Howe, and Harriet Beecher Stowe, and he attended abolitionist lectures.64 Even though Longfellow‟s own family‟s wealth depended on slavery,65 throughout the 1840s and 1850s, Longfellow‟s personal correspondence overtly condemned the legal and social practices that sustained slavery and US expansion. His journal entries for the mid-1840s, when he was writing Evangeline, express great distrust of the expansionist rhetoric of the government. He saw the Mexican War as a war of aggression against “a sister Republic” (MS Am 1340  114) and predicted that the Louisiana Purchase and the annexation of Texas 64 For example, Longfellow attended an 1846 abolitionist speech by the Ohio politician Joshua Reed Giddings, a fellow contributor in the 1846 Liberty Bell (MS Am 1340  192). As I will discuss in Part Two, Giddings wrote about Canada as a destination for fugitive slaves; he was also a major political opponent of the MexicanAmerican War. 65 Longfellow‟s second wife, Frances Appleton Longfellow, was the daughter of a prosperous textile manufacturer; moreover, Longfellow‟s sister was married to a Boston cotton broker and lived in New Orleans. See Calhoun 196. 113 would destabilize the US by enabling the expansion of slavery; he condemned the “great and glaring violations of the compact between the States, and consequent increase of the Slave Power, [that] the North has submitted to, fascinated by increase of territory” (MS Am 1340  12). Longfellow was irate about the passage of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act, and reported angrily in a journal entry for Oct. 26, 1850 about the presence of slave-hunters in Boston: “I hope they will be imprisoned, as they deserve, the wretches! What a disgrace this is to a Republic of the Nineteenth Century!” (MS Am 1340  238).66 He deplored the 1836-44 “gag rule” in the US Congress, which had prohibited debate about slavery (“Letter 662” 384). He also followed the Boston trials of several slaves captured under the Fugitive Slave Act.67 While Boston was a centre of abolitionist and anti-expansionist thought, the debates about slavery and the Mexican War grew throughout the 1840s and 50s, in both volume and violence: in 1856, Charles Sumner, Longfellow‟s closest friend, was beaten on the floor of the US Senate by South Carolina Congressman Preston Brooks after giving an antislavery speech. Moreover, Longfellow‟s comprehensive philanthropic and social engagements with fugitive slaves, African Americans in exile, Native North American educators, and social revolutionaries from countries across the world show that he understood US slavery as an issue that had global ramifications. Early in his career, Longfellow considered writing a play about Haitian revolutionary Toussaint L‟Ouverture, “thereby doing what my feeble talent enables me in the cause of slave-emancipation” (qtd. in Calhoun 93). He supported the work 66 See Kirsten Silva Gruesz‟s Ambassadors 90-94 for a longer discussion of Longfellow‟s reaction to the Mexican War. 67 Longfellow spoke of the trials of Thomas Sims, William Craft (who had escaped to Britain by way of Canada), Anthony Burns (who was being legally represented by Richard Henry Dana Jr., and who later moved to Upper Canada), and Shadrach Minkins. See MS Am 1340 (204) 36, 52; MS Am 1340 (203) 209. 114 of international antislavery activists such as the German revolutionary poet Ferdinand Freiligrath and a pair of “Cuban Anti-Slavery Men!” (Longfellow House, “Impact” 9) who came to visit him. He also met a number of formerly enslaved Black authors, including Ellen Craft and Josiah Henson, both of whom had escaped to Canada. Henson (whom I will discuss at length in Part Two) made perhaps the greatest impression on Longfellow.68 Henson was one of the founders of a manual labour school for Black Canadian immigrants at Dawn, in what is now southwestern Ontario. Longfellow agreed to support Henson‟s cause, and from 1846 onward became a regular contributor to Black Canadian activists‟ initiatives, including Henson‟s Dawn Institute, and the Refugee Home Society organized by Henry Bibb.69 Longfellow‟s generosity also extended to a number of educational and religious causes for racial minorities in the US and abroad.70 Finally, his account books and letters document regular donations to free Blacks, slaves, and fugitives—some of whom visited him 68 Longfellow‟s journal entry of June 26, 1846 describes the meeting in detail: In the evening Mr. Henson, a negro, once a Slave, now a preacher, called to get subscription for the School at Dawn in Upper Canada for the education of black [sic]. I had a long talk with him; and he gave me an account of his escape from Slavery with his family. There was never anything more childlike, than his manner. Not one word of abuse. The good-natured ebony face, the swarthy bearded lip, the white teeth, the pink tongue. The whole aspect of the man so striking and withal so wild. It seemed as if some Egyptian statue had come to life; [sic] and sat speaking in the twilight sonorous English not yet well learned. What most pleases me in the Negro is his bonhomie…. His right arm was crooked and stiff. It had been broken by a savage blow with a stake from a fence. (Longfellow, MS Am 1340  159-60). Longfellow‟s portrait of Henson shows many of Longfellow‟s best and worst qualities. Longfellow is a sympathetic and attentive listener, reporting on details “so accurate that one must assume he had heard Henson himself” (Irmscher, Public 117); in fact, Henson frequently told the story about his broken shoulder-blades to potential philanthropists. However, as an author, Longfellow speaks in place of Henson, foregoing any description of their discussion together, revelling in Africanist stereotypes, and concentrating on his own fanciful impressions of Henson‟s “Egyptian” voice (Henson was born in the US) and “pink tongue,” rather than reporting on Henson‟s political objectives. 69 For example, Longfellow‟s personal account book (MS Am 1340 ) shows that he gave $10.00 to the “Refugee Home Soc Canadas” in 1852 (188), $5.00 to “Slaves in Canada” in 1854 (181), and $5.00 in April 1857 to “Mr. Wilson, Canada”—likely Hiram Wilson, Henson‟s co-organizer for Dawn (145). See also Longfellow House, “Henson” 9. I will be discussing the Refugee Home Society and the Dawn settlement in Part Two of this dissertation. 70 For example, Longfellow‟s personal account book (MS Am 1340 ) shows donations to different African colonization efforts (48, 191), African newspapers (191), Black schools in Africa and Michigan (9, 189), a regiment of Black soldiers during the Civil War (160), and a great number of Black churches in the US, Haiti, and Canada (Irmscher, Public 115). Irmscher outlines Longfellow‟s philanthropy in more detail (Public 115). 115 to ask him directly for help and others who were being smuggled out of town by white abolitionists.71 His willingness to collaborate with these international figures shows his belief that US debates about abolition and expansion could be shaped by political developments in other countries across the world. (Longfellow House, “Henson; Outrage”) Longfellow made his own antislavery views clear when he published his Poems on Slavery, a slim volume of eight poems, in 1842 with the publisher John Owen. In a letter to Ferdinand Freiligrath, Longfellow explains that he was inspired to write his Poems on Slavery during a particularly stormy transatlantic passage on the way home from Europe: We had a very boisterous passage. I was not out of my berth more than twelve hours for the first twelve days. I was in the forward part of the vessel, where all the great waves struck and broke with voices of thunder. In the next room to mine, a man died. I was afraid that they might throw me overboard instead of him in the night; but they did not. Well, thus “cribbed, cabined and confined,” I passed fifteen days. During this time I wrote seven poems on Slavery. I meditated upon them in the stormy, sleepless nights, and wrote them down with a pencil in the morning. A small window in the side of the vessel admitted light into my berth; and there I lay on my back, and soothed my soul with songs. I send you some copies. (“Letter 743” 496) Though Longfellow was fortunate enough to be an upper-class American traveller on his way home, his poetry enabled him (and his readers) to cross geographical and racial borders. In this letter, Longfellow imagines himself in the position of a slave experiencing the terror of the Middle Passage—trapped below deck, losing track of time, wondering about his ultimate destination, witnessing the death of fellow passengers, imagining being thrown overboard alive, and attempting to comfort himself with songs. Longfellow‟s poems in Poems on Slavery show that he understands slavery first and foremost in terms of the tropes 71 The Longfellow House Bulletin suggests that Longfellow gave money to known Underground Railroad “conductors” such as Susan Hillard (Longfellow House, “Outrage” 5). His account book (MS Am 1340 ) also notes donations to Mary Elizabeth Wormeley, to purchase the freedom of slaves (145), and to “C.E.N., for „Contrabands‟” (167) in 1860—possibly a donation to fugitive slaves being smuggled with the assistance of his friend Charles Eliot Norton. 116 of suffocation, death, fear, displacement, and incarceration that he imaginatively experienced in his “middle passage.” For instance, the main character of “The Slave‟s Dream” lies dreaming of his lost African homeland as he dies of exhaustion in a rice paddy. The singer in “The Slave Singing at Midnight” voices hymns that foretell his ultimate victory over his captors. Finally, in “The Witnesses,” the skeletons of slaves drowned during the Middle Passage testify to the violence of the slave trade. Of course, the fact that Longfellow was afterwards in a position to write about his experience testifies to the fact that he was definitely not in the same position as enslaved Africans trapped in the hold of a ship. Yet Longfellow‟s letter and his Poems on Slavery both reveal his commitment to creating psychological and sympathetic associations between the experience of white Americans and enslaved African Americans. He would later insist to one of his friends that he felt he had a duty to write the volume: “I believe that everyone has a perfect right to express his opinion on the subject of Slavery as on every other; nay, that every one ought so to do; until the Public Opinion of all Christendom shall penetrate into and change the hearts of the Southerners on this subject” (“Letter 742” 494). Thus, Longfellow expected that Poems on Slavery, like his other sentimental poems, would engage with the international conversation about slavery and would change the hearts of his fellow Americans. He initially said that he thought the volume was conciliatory and tempered: “[s]ome people here have been pleased to call them incendiary, which certainly they are not; but on the contrary so mild that even a Slaveholder might read them without losing his appetite for breakfast” (“Letter 783” 538). Yet Longfellow was dismayed to find himself thrust into the spotlight in the heated abolitionist debates of the mid-1840s. 117 Antislavery papers such as the National Anti-Slavery Standard, for example, embraced the abolitionist efforts of their national poet: [I]t is a happy omen for our land that one of her favorite bards has tuned his harp in the service of his country. Never was there a nobler sphere for patriotism and philanthropy than lies before the true-hearted American, who seeks to wash from our national escutcheon the taint of oppression, and rescue a large people from the yoke of slavery…. It is well that American genius in its fairest form should aid in adorning and advancing a cause so glorious as the anti-slavery movement[.] (J. J. 1) Pro-slavery reviewers, however, were angry that Longfellow had stated his views on the political issue of the day. Edgar Allan Poe, a consistently venomous reviewer of Longfellow‟s poetry, dismissed Poems on Slavery as “incendiary doggerel” (764) that was “intended for the especial use of those negrophilic ladies of the north, who form so large a part of Mr. LONGFELLOW‟s friends” (761-62).72 Longfellow mentions similar attacks from pro-slavery readers after the original publication of Poems on Slavery. While this debate cooled down somewhat in 1844, public criticism flared up once again in 1845, when Longfellow decided to republish some of his poetry in two different versions of his collected poems. The first was an expensive, illustrated gift book called Poems published by Carey & Hart of Philadelphia. Carey & Hart had convinced Longfellow to omit his Poems on Slavery from their collection because they feared that the anti-slavery content would make the volume unpopular in the South (Hilen 3: 63 n. 2; Calhoun 175). The other, a cheap, non-illustrated paperback published by Harper & Brothers in 1846, included Poems on Slavery (Hilen 3: 102 n. 1). 72 This is one of Poe‟s regular attacks on Longfellow in US newspapers. See Calhoun 158-62 and Poe 670-777. Longfellow discusses the negative reaction of Bostonians in a letter to Henry Russell Cleveland (Hilen 2: 491). Longfellow‟s friends also worried that they would face public censure for supporting the volume: see Longfellow‟s letter to Rufus Wilmot Griswold in Hilen 2: 409. 118 Predictably, pro-slavery readers were enraged to see Poems on Slavery republished in a cheap and accessible paperback. In his journal, Longfellow tells of his negative reception in the Southern press, lamenting a “long and violent tirade against me…, taken from a South Carolina paper. How impatient they are, those hot Southerners. But this piece of violence is quite ridiculous” (MS Am 1340  203). Longfellow carefully collected reviews of his poetry—both positive and negative—in a scrapbook.73 The negative review from The South Carolinian Columbiad castigates Longfellow for encouraging abolitionists, arguing that the cheap edition “will find its way into the hands of every pot-house blusterer, and shirtless fanatic, who are usually so eloquent in preaching the enormities and sinfulness of Slavery to our domestic enemies” (qtd. in Longfellow, MS Am 1340  98).74 The Columbiad argues that Longfellow‟s antislavery poetry would encourage abolitionists to project their own voices (and ideas) across the country and overseas, tarnishing the US‟s good reputation at home and abroad. Longfellow‟s abolitionist audience, however, was also disappointed in him for omitting Poems on Slavery from his expensive gift book. Longfellow perhaps found these attacks by his abolitionist supporters even more disheartening: in his journal, he complained, 73 Longfellow was fairly meticulous about collecting these reviews: each of them was cut out of the newspaper and pasted into a scrapbook. This unpublished scrapbook is located in his personal papers at the Houghton Library at Harvard University. The articles are categorized according to the volumes of Longfellow‟s poetry that the reviews discuss. As a result, the articles are presented in more or less chronological order within each category (with the categories sorted according to the publication date of the corresponding books). It seems as though he pasted the articles in as he received them. If the review‟s source was not immediately obvious (i.e. if the newspaper‟s header was not attached to the article), Longfellow occasionally wrote the name of the newspaper in by hand alongside the newspaper column. Unfortunately, many of his notations of the newspaper titles are abbreviated, and few of them include specific dates or author information. I have attempted to find these articles independently whenever possible, but when I have been unable to find the columns, I have referred to the page number in his scrapbook at the Houghton Library. 74 Longfellow came across this review from The South Carolinian Columbiad by way of another review in the Anti-Slavery Paper. The Anti-Slavery Paper had reprinted The South Carolinian Columbiad‟s negative review in order to show its readers the outraged reaction of the Southern establishment. I am quoting from the AntiSlavery Paper article, which Longfellow glued into his scrapbook. 119 “[t]he anti-slavery papers attack me for leaving out the „Slavery poems‟ in the Illustrated Edition. They are rather savage” (MS Am 1340  53). One of these reviews levelled a scathing attack on Longfellow‟s politics: Into such a base position Longfellow has fallen. Some passages of his poems gave offence to slaveholders—these passages were among the most striking and beautiful contained in his book…. These he has at the suggestion of his publisher consented to have expunged.— He has thus eviscerated the offspring of his own soul to secure a pecuniary interest with those who traffic in slaves. (Western Paper, qtd. in Longfellow, MS Am 1340  95) Longfellow was deeply aggrieved by the suggestion that he had sacrificed his abolitionist politics in order to sell more books, especially because he had had to argue forcefully with Carey & Hart to ensure the wider publication of Poems on Slavery in the collection published by Harper & Brothers.75 In one of the only examples of marginalia in his entire scrapbook, Longfellow responded angrily by inscribing the word “Lie” alongside the accusation (MS Am 1340  95). In an 1842 letter to his friend John Forster (editor of the Examiner of London) Longfellow suggested that his “very small book” of Poems on Slavery “may possibly be made larger hereafter. I must first see the effect of these. They are written in a kindly—not a vindictive spirit” (“Letter 734” 481). Yet the never-ending public furor caused by Poems on Slavery throughout the early 1840s brought Longfellow‟s career as a public abolitionist to a near-complete halt. After Poems on Slavery was published, major abolitionist figures like John Greenleaf Whittier invited Longfellow to become an abolitionist spokesperson and even 75 Carey & Hart were angry with Longfellow because they felt he had undermined their illustrated edition by allowing Harper & Brothers to publish a cheaper version of his collected poetry. Throughout 1845, Longfellow argued frequently with Carey & Hart about whether the mass-market paperback version of the collected Poems proposed by Harper & Brothers would compete with Carey & Hart‟s expensive illustrated edition. Longfellow eventually won the argument. See letters 845, 855, 857, and 899 in Vol. 3 of Hilen‟s Letters. 120 suggested he run for Congress. Yet Longfellow “shunned all occasions on which he would have had to declare his opinions publicly and declined all invitations to give speeches” (Irmscher, Redux 8), and to this day, scholars debate his commitment to abolitionism as a result. The few abolitionist poems he did write after Poems on Slavery became less direct and more symbolic in their approach. “The Norman Baron,” published in the 1845 Liberty Bell, is an allegory of US slavery that describes a regretful Norman king who decides, on his deathbed, to free his serfs. But Longfellow‟s vexed contribution to the Liberty Bell a year later, “The Poet of Miletus,” betrays his growing sense of frustration. In it, Longfellow compares himself to a famous Greek poet who is bullied into silence by his critics: In ancient days, when in the Ionian land, The poet of Miletus, unto whom The Ephesians gave three thousand golden pieces For singing them one song, desired to add Four chords unto the seven-chorded lyre, That he might give a more complete expression To all the feelings struggling at his heart, He was forbidden by the popular vote. This happened some three centuries before Christ! Here, too, the popular voice forbids the poet To add a single chord unto his lyre, Although he takes no gold from the Ephesians, And would but give an utterance more complete To all the voices of humanity, Even the swart Ethiop‟s inarticulate woe. And this is eighteen centuries after Christ! (“Miletus” 25-26) Longfellow is referring to the Greek lyre player and poet Timotheus of Miletus, who “used a lyre with more than the standard seven strings, and as a result incurred the censure of the authorities” (Hordern 7). This musical innovator‟s new melodies were accused of corrupting the young and dishonouring musical tradition. Longfellow‟s reference to Timotheus‟s stifled voice recalls the feelings of suffocation that he experienced during his confined transatlantic 121 passage. Moreover, the emphasis on Timotheus‟ public censure comments on the ways the expectations of Longfellow‟s readers may also have constrained his self-expression: even as some wanted him to share his abolitionist sentiments, others were attacking him for doing so. Irmscher argues that Longfellow kept his political views largely to himself (Redux 46). Yet “The Poet of Miletus”—a whisper of a poem published in the most supportive abolitionist community Longfellow would have been able to find—seems to indicate that at this particular time in his life, Longfellow felt frustrated by how the political views he did express were being openly criticized. As much as his sentimental poetry may have been trying to build a feeling of national consensus (as Kete claims), Longfellow complains of being silenced by the “popular voice,” trapped in his position as an iconic poet, figuratively enslaved by an audience that demands a different kind of song than the one he is singing. It‟s worth keeping in mind, of course, that Longfellow‟s complaint about being persecuted is calculated to resonate with an abolitionist audience that gained political support by calling attention to its own besieged status. After all, Longfellow‟s silencing was nothing compared to that of African Americans who were literally being gagged and legally prohibited from writing at the time.76 Longfellow also seems breezily unaware of the way that his appropriation of the voice of the “swart Ethiop” might shut out the voices of actual people of colour. Nonetheless, “The Poet of Miletus” provides an unusually candid picture of a politically-aware but frustrated author struggling to express his views about racial persecution in the US and to write back to his critics and his readers.77 76 Longfellow wrote a horrified letter to a friend about seeing an iron slave collar with a built-in gag: “[e]very drop of blood in me quivered” (Hilen 4: 284). 77 Longfellow continued to face criticism about his views on slavery for the rest of his career. After Longfellow published his nationalist poem “The Building of the Ship,” for example, he was denounced by the radical abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison at a Boston anti-slavery convention for being too moderate and 122 Evangeline, which Longfellow was writing at the same time he published “The Poet of Miletus,” is a response to the rhetorical and political context that Longfellow found himself in in the mid-1840s. Rather than becoming a spokesperson for the abolitionist cause, Longfellow revisited the topic of slavery using allegory in Evangeline. Evangeline is Longfellow‟s attempt to reconcile his political support for abolition with his poetic project of building a sense of US national identity. Longfellow composed Evangeline from January 1846 until February 1847, and the poem was published on October 30, 1847. His portrayal of colonial Acadia and revolutionary America is a product of his political and personal context. Like Hawthorne‟s The Whole History of Grandfather’s Chair, Evangeline is a poem meant to be read in the double time of the nation‟s past and present. Longfellow‟s national allegory reflects nostalgically on the democratic potential of colonial America. The characters Evangeline and Gabriel, like many of Longfellow‟s later male protagonists such as Hiawatha and Miles Standish, “begin as fully integrated social beings who suffer from the loss or the threat of the loss of the societies that have given them meaning” (Kete 116). Moreover, through the character of Evangeline, Longfellow can observe the passage of denationalized Acadians into the United States, which was, in 1755 (and was still thought to be, in 1845) an emerging state without a sense of its own national identity. In this way, Longfellow could examine the process by which national identity and allegiance were formed; he could use Acadia to create a myth of a coherent America that could sustain the kinds of challenges (from immigration, slavery and conciliatory in his anti-slavery views and for minimizing the profound changes needed to end slavery in the US. Longfellow collected a newspaper article which reported on Garrison‟s statement. See Longfellow, MS Am 1340 (221) 229, as well as Calhoun 195. 123 the Mexican War, for example) that he felt were threatening US national identity in the 1840s. At the same time, the fate of the displaced Acadians also commented on the distance between the Acadian paradise and the state of the US in the mid-1840s. While Evangeline implicitly celebrates the creation of the United States, it also begins to investigate how the US‟s westward expansion in the 1840s was leading to further episodes of national dispossession of native peoples and enslavement as new territories were opened up as slave states. Longfellow‟s journal entries from 1846 show that he was reading about (and lamenting) the annexation of Texas and the commencement of hostilities in the US-Mexico borderland at the same time that he was writing Evangeline (MS Am 1340  103-04). Longfellow opposed the war in part because it enabled the expansion of US slavery. As Gruesz comments, “[t]he unlawful British invasion that spurs into motion the plot of Evangeline… resonates—dimly but suggestively—with what Longfellow and his circle found most distasteful about the Mexican war: that in violating the territorial integrity of a sovereign neighbor, the US would tear the fabric of its own civic virtue” (“El Gran” 395). The cruelty of the invasion of the Acadian village of Grand-Pré in 1755, which Longfellow describes at length, raised troubling questions about the US project of westward expansion. Any sympathies for an Acadian nation destroyed by “foreign” imperial forces thus transferred onto other racial minorities and transnational groups that were being displaced within the US and beyond. Through Evangeline, Longfellow expresses his opposition to US policies on slavery, Indian Removal, and the Mexican War without facing the same criticism he invoked by his abolitionist writing. At a time when immigration and transnational 124 exchange were regarded with suspicion in the US, Longfellow‟s main character embodies an idealized American self as well as its immigrant Other. As the symbolic division between Longfellow‟s idealized Acadia and the reality of the 1840s US grew more apparent, the symbolic similarity between eighteenth-century Acadia and contemporary British North America became more clear as well. Longfellow‟s 1846 encounter with the former slave Josiah Henson, along with the regular arguments in popular discourse about the escape and extradition of fugitive slaves, would have kept the stark contrasts between the policies of Canada and the US in mind. By the 1840s, British North America had seemingly adopted many of the democratic principles of the American Revolution: it had emancipated its slaves, resisted US annexation, and refused to send US fugitive slaves in Canada back into slavery.78 Even as Acadia could be read as a double of a pre-Revolutionary America, then, it could also represent a contemporary space within the hemisphere that had taken a different approach towards developing the equal society that colonial American intellectuals had proposed so eloquently. In this way, the images of Acadia in 1755 and Canada in 1845 were doubling back on each other in the US imagination, insofar as they both symbolized the possibility of an active political alternative to US policy within North America. Ironically, the poem‟s invitation to compare the US with other nations—a quality that generated its immense appeal—also threatened the coherence of American political thought. Evangeline itself seems to waver between two interpretations of American history, sometimes obsessively justifying America‟s rebellion against British 78 Canada had already emancipated its slaves by 1834 and had developed a policy regarding the extradition of fugitive US slaves, which was enshrined in Article X of the Webster-Ashburton Treaty. For more details see Part Two. 125 tyranny, and at other times, remembering the ways that America has failed to live up to its promise. Evangeline Historians and Longfellow biographers believe that Longfellow likely became familiar with the Grand Dérangement prior to the 1840s through the histories of some of his ancestors, who had fought in Nova Scotia against the French. Many also suggest that he availed himself of government records in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, as well as the written accounts by Haliburton and Abbé Raynal, in his research for his epic poem.79 Longfellow‟s most important source for Evangeline, however, was the Reverend Horace L. Conolly, to whom Hawthorne introduced Longfellow at a dinner party in 1844. Rector of an episcopal church in South Boston, Conolly told both Hawthorne and Longfellow an Acadian oral narrative about a pair of lovers who had been separated during the Grand Dérangement and spent the rest of their lives searching for each other in the US. Though Longfellow and Hawthorne may have discussed the Grand Dérangement earlier, in the late 1830s, when Hawthorne was writing The Whole History of Grandfather’s Chair, Conolly provided Longfellow with the inspiration to frame the events of the Grand Dérangement through the 79 Critics have outlined different ways that Longfellow may have come to know about the Grand Dérangement but few have connected all his sources. Longfellow grew up in Maine, across the border from the Acadian population in New Brunswick that had not been deported. Andrew C. Higgins points out that two of Longfellow‟s ancestors had fought in Anglo-American colonial militias against the French; one of them had even helped the British take control of Grand-Pré in one of the British-French wars before 1755 (42). Furthermore, Longfellow‟s grandfather, a Massachusetts Bay politician, helped the Acadians after their arrival in the US in 1755 (Viau 38). In addition to these family sources, critics suggest Longfellow consulted the records of the Anglo-American militia in the Historical Collections of Pennsylvania (Hebert-Leiter 34) and the Massachusetts Historical Society library (M. Hawthorne, Origin 7). 126 sentimental lens of a tragic love story.80 Longfellow‟s portrayal of two lovers caught in imperial warfare, his expansive descriptions of landscape, and his use of dactylic hexameter (a metrical form that recalls classical Greek and Latin epics such as The Iliad and The Aeneid) all position the narrative of the Grand Dérangement within the epic tradition. Evangeline focusses on the fate of its main character as she moves from her idyllic homeland of Grand-Pré to the American colonies. Part The First describes the Acadian community in detail, concentrating especially on Evangeline‟s betrothal to Gabriel and the promise of her upcoming marriage. The celebratory atmosphere is interrupted by the sudden invasion of Acadia by British troops. Longfellow describes the destruction of the Acadian community as families are deported to different American colonial cities; Gabriel and Evangeline are tragically separated. Part The Second begins in the US after the expulsion, as Evangeline begins to search for Gabriel in the US. The poem follows her as she moves silently across an imagined US landscape. Longfellow‟s description of the Grand Dérangement is thus much more individuated than Hawthorne‟s: he invests his narrative energy in describing the fate of 80 In fact, Conolly had told Hawthorne this story before, with little reaction from Hawthorne. However, when Hawthorne brought Conolly to Longfellow‟s house for dinner, Conolly told the story again. Longfellow later wrote a letter describing the events of the night: Hawthorne dined one day with I [sic] and brought with him a friend from Salem. After dinner the friend said; “I have been trying to persuade Hawthorne to write a story based upon a legend of Acadie, and still current there; the legend of a girl, who in the dispersion of the Acadians, was separated from her lover and passed her life in waiting and seeking for him and only finding (found) him dying in a hospital when both were old.” I wondered that this legend did not strike the fancy of Hawthorne, and said to him; “If you have really made up your mind not to use it for a story, will you give it to me for a poem?” To this Hawthorne assented and moreover promised not to treat the subject in prose till I had seen what I could do with it in verse. (“Letter to Nova Scotia” 1) This unaddressed letter, which was donated to the Nova Scotia Legislative Library in 1884 by Samuel Longfellow, closely parallels Horace Conolly‟s own account of the night. Conolly stated that Hawthorne had rejected the love story for the plot of a novel, saying, “It is not in my vein; there are no strong lights and heavy shadows. It is a good story but it is not in my vein…. I might use it perhaps interwoven with something else” (Conolly, qtd. in M. Hawthorne, “Man of God” 277). However, once Longfellow reacted enthusiastically to the “best illustration of faithfulness and constancy of woman that [he had] ever heard” (Conolly, qtd. in M. Hawthorne, “Man of God” 277), Hawthorne was reportedly quite peeved with Conolly‟s excellent delivery, and rebuked Conolly for not telling him the story better the first time. See Manning Hawthorne‟s Origins 11-15 about the date of the Conolly dinner party; he suggests it took place in 1840 or 1841. Longfellow borrowed Haliburton‟s book from the Harvard library for the first time in 1841. 127 one individual Acadian and the options available to her as a French Catholic immigrant in colonial America. Longfellow‟s first picture of Acadia tries to set up an ideal affective relationship between Acadia and the pre-Revolutionary American colonies. Critics have widely pointed out that Longfellow‟s description of the “forest primeval” (“Evangeline” 57) bears more of a resemblance to the landscape of New England than of Acadia (see, for example, Irmscher, Public 121). While this may have been prompted by Longfellow‟s ignorance of the geography of Nova Scotia, it serves the function of creating an initial basis of comparison between Acadia and pre-Revolutionary America.81 Longfellow introduces the “foreign” Acadian community by providing an expansive view of the Acadian village and its people, both of which seem in perfect harmony with their environment. Longfellow‟s introductory lines embed elements of Acadian culture unfamiliar to nineteenth-century Protestant American audiences—the references to their seemingly archaic religious practices and their “snow-white caps and kirtles” (“Evangeline” 59), for example—in a setting that is comfortably domestic and non-threatening. In Part The First, Longfellow portrays Acadia as a site of equality and cooperation: 81 Longfellow had not yet travelled to Canada at the time he was writing Evangeline; his descriptions of Canada are based primarily on his research on Acadian history in Haliburton and Abbé Raynal. For his descriptions of Acadian culture, he drew from books on medieval English folklore, leading to more than a few inaccuracies. Longfellow‟s only physical visit to Canada was a visit to Niagara Falls in 1862. He may have drawn some inspiration from his wife Frances‟s descriptions and sketches of her trip to Québec in the summer of 1833. Her travel diary describes her visit to the Cathédral Notre-Dame, which she found “in very bad taste” (MS LONG 21578 110). Still, she praised the “mysterious awe” of the cathedral and admired the confessionals filled with “plenty of devout Canadiens kneeling about and muttering Ave‟s” (MS LONG 21578 110). Later, she praises the beauty of Québécois farming women in terms that resemble Longfellow‟s portrayal of Acadian peasants: “We were delighted with the beauty of the Canadiens. The women have all round smiling faces, + the most brilliant eyes, set-off to advantage by the full ruffle of lace inside of their immense straw hats. Their costume is extremely pretty and quite Swiss-like—they wear jackets and are in the fields at work, flourishing their pitchforks with a most-graceful air” (MS LONG 21578 121-22). 128 Thus dwelt together in love these simple Acadian farmers,— Dwelt in the love of God and man. Alike were they free from Fear, that reigns with the tyrant, and envy, the vice of republics. Neither locks had they to their doors, nor bars to their windows; But their dwellings were open as day and the hearts of their owners; There the richest was poor, and the poorest lived in abundance. (“Evangeline” 59) In Longfellow‟s eyes, the Acadians‟ self-governing community fulfills many of the idealistic principles set out by colonial American leaders such as John Winthrop, who described his archetypal “Citty upon a Hill” in similar terms (233). The comparison enables Longfellow to emphasize the promise of the American colonial project. Yet Longfellow‟s description of this perfect space is not without its own sense of gloom: while he compliments this imagined community for successfully avoiding the worst faults of foreign tyranny and free-market capitalism, he necessarily implies that his own contemporary society may not have been so lucky. In the same way, his praise of Acadian architecture—its “[s]trongly built” houses and dikes, compared to its “unfenced” meadows and unlocked doors (“Evangeline” 58)—reflects his implicit rejection of the need for this community either to engage in warfare or to expand its borders. The Acadians invest their energy in protecting their families from the elements, rather than feuding with their indigenous neighbours or anticipating conflicts with faraway governments. Longfellow‟s idealistic representation of the Acadian nation thus sets out all the potential of America, as well as its implied failure to reach this utopian ideal. Evangeline remembers Acadia as it never was, and America as it ought to have been. Such strategies enable Longfellow to introduce the Acadians not simply as protoAmericans but as perfect ones. Longfellow‟s first lines represent the peaceful Acadians as “uncomplicated racially white figure[s] more than capable of attaining full American citizenship, regardless of Acadian difference” (Hebert-Leiter 27). Thus, even before they are removed to US shores, the Acadians set to rest all the worst fears about American 129 immigrants in the eyes of white anglophone readers in the 1840s, because Acadia has already seemingly fulfilled the American promise. This opening strategy allows Longfellow more latitude to begin expressing more critical views of US politics. In the first sections of the poem, which establish the rhythm of Acadian life and introduce the political relationship between the British and the Acadians before the Grand Dérangement, Longfellow uses the speech of the Acadians to articulate a variety of possible reactions towards aggressive state behaviour. Like Hawthorne, who used the voices of Grandfather and the children to communicate objections to US expansion, Longfellow uses Evangeline, her peaceful father Benedict, and the rebellious Basil to revisit different arguments made about the American Revolution in the eighteenth century; but these arguments also move forward in time to comment on the US‟s position in the 1840s as well. Longfellow begins by dramatically simplifying the French-English conflict that motivates the Grand Dérangement, eliminating any discussion of colonial America‟s participation in the expulsion. Given the discussions of Americans‟ involvement in the Grand Dérangement written by Haliburton and Hawthorne, it seems clear that Longfellow knew that the expulsion was motivated at least in part by the commercial interests of the American colonies and by a culture of anti-French hostility. Instead, Longfellow assigns Britain sole responsibility for the conflict, and Acadia becomes the victim of a government that has become so obsessed with linguistic and racial feuding that it is willing to destroy a perfect society in its quest for continental hegemony. Few of the Acadians anticipate conflict with the British, and Longfellow uses their conversations about a possible British invasion to comment theoretically on the potential actions a people could take in response to a corrupt government. However level-headed Benedict may be, the Acadian patriarch is oblivious to signs of betrayal: he fails to notice 130 how the flames in his hearth, “[s]truggl[ing] together like foes in a burning city” (“Evangeline” 65) and flashing like “shields of armies in the sunshine” (“Evangeline” 66), at once recall the fall of Troy and foretell Acadia‟s destruction. The poem implies that Benedict‟s lack of critical awareness virtually guarantees the destruction of the Acadian settlement. Basil, Evangeline‟s future father-in-law, warns that “[d]aily injustice is done, and might is the right of the strongest!” (“Evangeline” 70), and supports rebellion against the British. Benedict, however, dismisses his anxieties. Meanwhile, the notary René Leblanc, a character based on an actual Acadian deportee who landed in Philadelphia, tells a bizarre story about an indentured servant girl who is accused of stealing a necklace, executed by a cruel government, and then exonerated after her death. Leblanc‟s story seemingly anticipates the imminent victimization of the Acadians; but his story also warns against blind faith in institutions and laments the consequences of a public failure to react promptly when “the laws of the land were corrupted; / Might took the place of right, and the weak were oppressed, and the mighty / Ruled with an iron rod” (“Evangeline” 70). Each of these positions remains supportive of US nationalism and implies that a rebellion against British tyranny would have been justified. In the initial stages of the poem, therefore, Longfellow constructs his characters in a way that symbolically aligns them with white, pre-Revolutionary American settlers. However, over the course of the poem, the terms of Longfellow‟s national allegory begin to change. The Acadians slowly become more racially ambiguous, changing colour from white to brown as they consider less predictable (and more transgressive) options for resistance. Initially, the narrator insists on the whiteness of the Acadians‟ clothing as a symbol of their moral purity. However, as the poem progresses, the narrator begins to qualify and even 131 question their whiteness: Benedict‟s cheeks are described as “as brown as the oak-leaves” (“Evangeline” 60) and Michael the fiddler glows “like a living coal” (“Evangeline” 74). The narrator praises Evangeline‟s “snow-white feet” (“Evangeline” 73) but also notices her black eyes and dark hair (“Evangeline” 60). He also suggests that her future children will have “ruddy” faces (“Evangeline” 63), and predicts the loneliness of her future banishment with a Biblical reference to the bondswoman Hagar and her son Ishmael (“Evangeline” 73), who were cast out of the house of Abraham and symbolize the division between the JudeoChristian and Islamic traditions.82 While the poem initially emphasizes Evangeline‟s whiteness to position her as a proto-American heroine, it begins to imply that her ethnic and religious difference will set her apart from the Anglo-Protestant community in which she must live, and that this difference will ensure her isolation. Furthermore, as British troops begin to invade Evangeline‟s Acadian village of Grand-Pré, the lived experience of the Acadians begins to resemble that of other minorities being displaced across North America. The Acadians gather in their Catholic church for a meeting with British soldiers, who announce that they are taking the Acadians captive. At first, the reactions of the Acadians recall the words of American revolutionaries in the first stages of the American Revolution. Basil‟s impulsive call to arms, for example, echoes Thomas Paine‟s call for a revolution in Common Sense: Flushed was his face and distorted with passion; and wildly he shouted,— „Down with the tyrants of England! we have never sworn them allegiance! Death to these foreign soldiers, who seize on our homes and our harvests!‟ More he fain would have said, but the merciless hand of a soldier Smote him upon the mouth, and dragged him down to the pavement. (“Evangeline” 76) 82 The Acadian petitions submitted to the Pennsylvania government also compare the fate of the displaced Acadians in the US to that of Hagar and Ishmael in the desert. See Hoban 4511-12. 132 However, even as this scene of imprisonment would seem familiar to US readers, it also becomes unfamiliar as the racial subtext is made more clear. The Acadians are imprisoned because of their linguistic, ethnic, and religious difference from their British captors. This structural parallel thus transforms Basil‟s call into a criticism of US interactions with similarly “foreign” minorities in the mid-1840s. Gruesz reads this passage as a commentary on the Mexican-American War, which was breaking out as Longfellow began the second half of Evangeline. She suggests that the Acadians‟ response to British aggression implicitly criticized the logic of Polk‟s invasion of Mexico (Ambassadors 93). Basil‟s words implicitly justify the American Revolution, she argues, but they also articulate the grievances of indigenous and Mexican populations whose traditional lands were being invaded by US troops: For some, the parallel scheme of Evangeline might have prompted satisfaction at having avenged the moral outrage of the British invasion a century earlier. But others might have gloomily asked… whether the nation‟s behavior toward Mexico was any more defensible than the expulsion of the Acadians from their Eden, or whether its results would be any less tragic. (Ambassadors 94) While Basil is initially presented as a proto-American hero, his speech also comes to question Polk‟s rationale for the US invasion of Mexican territories. In the same way, the context and content of Basil‟s rebellious speech also defamiliarize dominant configurations of US empire by recalling mid-nineteenth-century debates about popular resistance to slavery in the US. Seelye argues that the character of Basil was based on Elihu Burritt, a blacksmith of Longfellow‟s acquaintance who was also an abolitionist writer (26). Longfellow‟s portrayal of the Acadian men collectively imprisoned in their church recalls the scenes of US slave markets featured in US abolitionist 133 literature. Longfellow compares the panicked reaction of the trapped Acadians to that of chattel livestock: “Bellowing fly the herds, and seek to break their enclosures; / So on the hearts of the people descended the words of the speaker” (“Evangeline” 76). Basil‟s rebellious words and his “flushed” (“Evangeline” 76) face draw further parallels to the speeches of abolitionists such as William Lloyd Garrison and militant Black leaders such as Nat Turner.83 However, Basil‟s outburst, which encourages the Acadians to break forth from the walls of the church, also recalls Longfellow‟s prediction of racial violence in “The Warning,” a poem included in Poems on Slavery: There is a poor, blind Samson in this land, Shorn of his strength, and bound in bonds of steel, Who may, in some grim revel, raise his hand, And shake the pillars of this Commonweal, Till the vast Temple of our liberties, A shapeless mass of wreck and rubbish lies. (“The Warning” 28) Longfellow thus uses his idealized white characters as spokespersons for the abolitionist beliefs that he had earlier attempted to introduce in Poems on Slavery. Longfellow constructs the rest of his account of the expulsion to link the fate of the Acadians with that of enslaved African Americans. One account of the Grand Dérangement, a legal document written by Acadians who landed in Massachusetts, for example, laments the destruction of Acadian traditions, communities, and families due to the expulsion: Parents were separated from children, and husbands from wives, some of whom have not to this day met again; and we were so crowded in the transport vessels, that we had not room even for all our bodies to lay down at once, and consequently were prevented from carrying with us proper necessaries, especially for the support and comfort of the aged and weak, many of whom quickly ended their misery with their lives…. 83 See, for example, Garrison‟s 1845 essay “The American Union,” which accuses the US of tyranny and invites a war that would restore freedom in the US. 134 The miseries we have since endured are scarce sufficiently to be expressed, being reduced for a livelihood to toil and hard labour in a southern clime, so disagreeable to our constitutions, that most of us have been prevented, by sickness, from procuring the necessary subsistence for our families; and therefore are threatened with that which we esteem the greatest aggravation of all our sufferings, even of having our children forced from us, and bound out to strangers, and exposed to contagious distempers unknown in our native country. (qtd. in Haliburton, Historical 194-95) This account, quoted in full by Longfellow‟s primary source text, describes the Acadian exiles suffering in the hold of unbearably cramped transport ships, selling their own children into servitude, and dying from exhaustion, overexertion, and disease in the heat of the south—tropes that Longfellow and his contemporaries were using to describe the horrors of slavery. The parallels between the transport ships that took Acadians away from their homelands in 1755 and those that moved slaves across the Atlantic and within the US in the nineteenth century were not lost on Longfellow. The Acadian refugees in Evangeline begin to resemble Longfellow‟s enslaved subjects in Poems on Slavery. Like “The Slave Singing at Midnight,” Evangeline‟s exiled Acadians comfort themselves with song, “and in singing forget they are weary and wayworn” (“Evangeline” 80). Similarly, the Acadian wives are “torn from their husbands, and mothers, too late, saw their children / Left on the land, extending their arms, with wildest entreaties” (“Evangeline” 81). They, like the slave lying on the beach in “The Slave‟s Dream,” will be left to imagine the impossible reunification of their families.84 Evangeline‟s father, who dies “stretched abroad on the sea-shore” (“Evangeline” 84), is “buried in the sand” (“Slave's Dream” 24) like the slaves in “The Slave‟s Dream” and “The Witnesses.” The Acadians are “„cribbed, cabined and confined‟” 84 Gruesz writes that “Longfellow deploys the abolitionist‟s strategy of portraying a political problem as a domestic one, so that the removals come as an outrage against the sanctity of the family” (91) and that the scene “exact[s] a pathos similar to the slave-auction scenes in Uncle Tom’s Cabin” (91). However, I would point out that Stowe may have been inspired by Longfellow in this case, especially given that she used the name of Longfellow‟s heroine for her character Little Eva. 135 (“Letter 743” 496), as Longfellow was, in the hold of a ship. “Scattered… like flakes of snow” (“Evangeline” 86) across the United States, they are destined either to forget the traditions of their homeland (as Basil does) or to remain in a state of perpetual mourning for the rest of their lives (like Evangeline). As the Acadians move within the borders of a future American nation, Evangeline and Basil come to represent different options for immigrant integration into the US. The Acadian settlement before the expulsion stood for an unattainable US ideal, located temporally and geographically outside the boundaries of the US but still tantalizingly within reach. Within the US, however, the Acadians continue to speak to the ideals and the failures of the American project. The second half of the poem investigates the fate of the Acadians as they attempt to locate their lost loved ones and to construct new identities for themselves. Basil, who creates a new Acadian settlement in Louisiana, takes on a new, racialized identity. He integrates himself into American culture by abandoning some aspects of his cultural memory, like his Acadian folk history. He trades his Acadian peasant clothing for a “Spanish saddle and stirrups, / … gaiters and doublet of deerskin” (“Evangeline” 95), and he rides a Mexican horse. In fact, Basil‟s “[b]road and brown… face… under the Spanish sombrero” (“Evangeline” 96) now seems racially indistinct, yet perfectly situated within the heart of Cajun Louisiana; in effect, he moves from one minority role (white but Acadian within the Protestant US) to another (a figure of indefinite but non-white racial background within a dominant white American culture). His new position on the racial and geographical edges of the US imaginary in the 1750s speaks to the US-Mexican conflict in the 1840s, as the US was attempting to evict Mexican and mestizo populations in the borderland between the US and Mexico. But Longfellow carefully turns this newly-racialized immigrant into an 136 advocate for American progress. Basil underlines the concrete gains that the American system has brought for him: in America, he says, “„No King George of England shall drive you away from your homesteads, / Burning your dwellings and barns, and stealing your farms and your cattle‟” (“Evangeline” 99).85 Moreover, he becomes the spokesman for the individualist ideal that America offers to the hardworking immigrant. His fellow Acadians are inspired by his stories about “the prairies, whose numberless herds were his who would take them” (“Evangeline” 99). Basil, the Acadian blacksmith-turned-Mexican cowboy, could potentially represent the threat of miscegenation and racial pollution on the US borderland. However, he remains a sympathetic figure because he embraces the revolutionary rhetoric of the American Revolution and vouches for the democratic strengths of the United States, “a home, / that is better perchance than the old one!” (“Evangeline” 99). However, Evangeline‟s excessive personal memory and her restless passage across the United States complicate the celebratory rhetoric voiced by Basil. Her search across the continent for her lost Gabriel literally represents an attempt to re-member a disconnected people. Whereas Basil argues to his fellow Acadians that Acadian oral history and folklore cannot prepare them for their new lives in Louisiana, Evangeline treasures the oral histories of displaced peoples and makes every effort not to forget her perfect community. This compulsion to remember is part of her sentimental appeal; but her commitment to her lost utopia and her perfect fiancé becomes a form of resistance against the practices of expansion and enslavement that she witnesses in her voyages across the continental US, from Louisiana to Nebraska and Michigan. While Longfellow describes Basil as an ideal immigrant, he 85 Longfellow‟s use of the word “America” in this section of the poem is symbolic, rather than temporally accurate: after landing on US shores, Evangeline visits Basil in “American” Louisiana, and searches across the continent for Gabriel. She then passes through the battlefields of the American Revolution. The American Revolutionary War occurred from 1775-1783. Louisiana did not become an American territory until 1803. 137 positions Evangeline as a critical American—not unlike Longfellow himself—whose endless searching and wide-ranging travels imply that a better community has been lost. Throughout the poem, Evangeline helps to recover the resistant forms of memory of other peoples whose members have also been “scattered like dust and leaves” (“Evangeline” 142) by forms of colonial violence. During her passage across the American West, for example, she sympathetically shares memories with a Shawnee woman, a member of “the scattered tribes of Ishmael‟s children” (“Evangeline” 104) who has lost her French Canadian soul mate. This woman shares her personal narrative of the loss of her husband to intertribal conflict brought on by the expansion of the United States; she also tells Evangeline legends about phantom lovers and bridegrooms of snow who vanish into the landscape. While the Shawnee woman has been displaced by a very different conflict than that which displaced the Acadians, the structural parallels between the two women invite readers to extend their sympathy for the Acadians to “vanishing” indigenous peoples who were also being displaced in their time. Thus, while Hawthorne hailed “Evangeline” as a quintessentially American narrative because of its epic descriptions of the US landscape, Longfellow positions Evangeline within a very different imagined community that rejects the legitimacy of the westward expansion of the US. Evangeline‟s travels across the imagined US nation recall the most urgent fears of non-citizens about America‟s imperial practices. Evangeline‟s travels south to Louisiana also create a sentimental link between the fate of the Acadians and that of American slaves. In her search for Gabriel, Evangeline goes from the eastern US to the Mississippi River, and descends the river to Louisiana, where Basil has settled. Many Acadians chose to travel by sea to the marshes of Louisiana in the Gulf of 138 Mexico, where Spanish governor Ulloa granted them land in the late eighteenth century. The Mississippi River was not a popular travel route for the Acadians in the eighteenth century. However, it was the trajectory of choice for the US‟s internal slave trade in the 1840s, and Longfellow evokes the symbolism of that landscape to draw attention to the parallels between the Acadians and African American slaves. Evangeline‟s trip down the Mississippi begins with a survey of the exotic landscape, and her gaze initially falls on images of whiteness: “cotton-trees,” “dove-cots,” “silvery sand-bars,” and pelicans with “snow-white plumes” (“Evangeline” 89). Yet as her raft penetrates deeper into the South, it reaches a much darker region: a swampy maze of “sluggish and devious waters,” (“Evangeline” 90) “deathlike… silence,” (“Evangeline” 90) “dusky arch[es]” (“Evangeline” 90) and “dark colonnades” (“Evangeline” 91). As Seelye notices, the images of corruption recall not only the “ruined cathedral” (Seelye 35) of Acadia, but also the gothic landscape of alligators, bayous, and “odours of orange-flowers and spice” (“Quadroon” 71) that frames the slave trade in Longfellow‟s Poems on Slavery (notably “The Quadroon Girl,” “The Slave in the Dismal Swamp,” and “The Slave‟s Dream”). Evangeline‟s day in the bayous turns into an artificial night, and her dreams in this perverted lotusland recall the American political unconscious, “[s]trange forebodings of ill, unseen and that cannot be compassed” (“Evangeline” 90). The new Americans in the bayous have not simply become physically lost; the narrator implies that the South is a maze in which these potential citizens have no sense of orientation, no moral compass. Longfellow thus structures Evangeline‟s passage downriver to recall the racial landscape of the US in the 1840s, notably the conflicting meanings of the US South as an exotic paradise for some and a site of corruption for others. 139 Evangeline‟s passage north to Philadelphia, where she finally locates Gabriel, symbolically links the fate of the couple to that of escaping slaves. In Philadelphia, Evangeline joins the Catholic Sisters of Mercy and becomes a nun, dedicating herself to tending the sick and injured.86 Evangeline has committed her life to the values of “[p]atience and abnegation of self, and devotion to others” (“Evangeline” 111) which are otherwise missing in her American community. Evangeline‟s final destination is symbolically resonant: Evangeline proceeds to the Quaker city because of the way “it recalled the past, the old Acadian country, / Where all men were equal, and all were brothers and sisters” (“Evangeline” 110). As the nation‟s first capital, Philadelphia represents the national ideals that were formed and tested by events like the Revolutionary War and the Haitian Revolution. By the 1840s, Philadelphia had also become a centre of abolitionist thought and an important destination for fugitive slaves. Evangeline finally re-encounters Gabriel when she finds him among the urban poor struck by the 1797 yellow fever epidemic. Her final encounter with Gabriel, in which she tends him on his deathbed, positions the two Acadians in an imaginative escape back to Canada. Mid-nineteenth-century abolitionist writing frequently associated Canada with Quaker settlements, not only because of the perception that both societies were committed to racial equality, but also (as I will discuss in Part Two) because Quakers frequently helped slaves escape from the US to Canada. It is in Philadelphia that Gabriel and Evangeline express their desire to return home to a heavenly Acadia. Evangeline, glimpsing Gabriel, witnesses his transformation back to his Acadian self: “[l]ong, and thin, and gray were the locks that shaded his temples. / But, as he lay in the morning light, his face for a moment / Seemed to assume once more the forms of its earlier 86 See Franchot 210. While Longfellow describes Philadelphia as a centre of Catholicism, Maryland was in reality a more popular site for the Catholic Church. The first Jesuit church in Philadelphia was established in 1733. However, the religious order of the Sisters of Mercy would not exist until 1831. 140 manhood” (“Evangeline” 113). Hearing Evangeline‟s exclamation, the dying Gabriel imagines escaping from his “realms of shade” (“Evangeline” 114) to “green Acadian meadows” (“Evangeline” 114) and a youthful Evangeline. The implied migration upward to heaven and northward to Canada reverses the forced southern displacement of Acadians and slaves and anticipates Harriet Beecher Stowe‟s use of “home” as the destination for many of the travellers in Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Yet passage to a lost homeland is impossible, for Longfellow‟s narrator admits that it exists now only in memory. The ubi sunt passage at the end of the poem reveals that Acadia has been replaced: “Still stands the forest primeval; but under the shade of its branches / Dwells another race, with other customs and language” (“Evangeline” 114). Evangeline and Gabriel have been buried side by side in the Catholic graveyard of Philadelphia, “far way from [the] shadow” (“Evangeline” 114) of the Acadian forest. The new settlers in Acadia— Loyalists who fled to Nova Scotia after the American Revolution—have symbolically carried out the Great Plan of Acadian invasion and assimilation envisioned by Lawrence. In the nostalgic closing words of the poem, the narrator admits that while Acadia may now exist only in memory, the United States has not become a substitute for that pastoral ideal. Indeed, the escalating violence on the Mexican-American border in 1847 and the US‟s continued dependency on slave labour would make Longfellow look to a fictionalized Canada for another perspective of what a North American nation might become. As a sentimental favorite, Evangeline passes between centuries just as easily as she passes between nations, and this boundary-crossing brings Longfellow‟s competing interpretations of the US into focus. Evangeline puts a human face on the kinds of movement 141 and cultural destruction that were being forced upon minorities within the US, transferring the attention of his 1840s readers from the ideal of “America” to its reality in the midnineteenth century, and recalling some of the negative consequences of US expansion for those who were often caught in its path. Longfellow uses Evangeline to represent “all the voices of humanity” (“Miletus” 25-26) that he wished he could channel and to invite his audience to share feelings across the boundaries of race, class, gender, and nation that would normally interrupt that sharing. Reading Evangeline in the United States While Longfellow‟s poem was incredibly popular at the time of its publication, it has not fared well with critics, many of whom see Evangeline as a poem that depoliticizes the Grand Dérangement and oversimplifies the British-Acadian conflict in its project to create a US national narrative. Some argue that Longfellow embraces and perpetuates problematic stereotypes of pastoral simplicity, feminine passivity, and limitless American potential; others complain that he describes the Acadians as passive victims (see, for example, Eigenbrod and Viau). Similarly, Gruesz points out that Evangeline‟s criticism of the Mexican War avoids the prickly topic of immigrant integration. While it draws sympathetic links between Acadians and Mexicans, [i]t deracinates the potential conflict posed by the entry of mestizo Catholics into a dominant Anglo-Protestant society, making its model Catholics inoffensively white and French-speaking…. [R]eligious and racial differences are minimized so as to intensify readerly identification with an idealized feminine figure who fits within the confines of U.S. domestic ideology. (Ambassadors 99) 142 Seelye, one of the few critics who does examine the connection between Longfellow‟s abolitionist views and Evangeline, accuses Longfellow of escapism for “[i]nsulating the heat of a contemporary controversy” about slavery “by means of historical distance” (42). Finally, historian James Allan Evans suggests that Longfellow‟s discomfort with the role of the Anglo-American militia in the Grand Dérangement led him to overemphasize the involvement of British troops and obscure the role of American ones. All of these critics charge that Longfellow‟s poem either perpetuated dominant ethnic and racial stereotypes in antebellum US culture, or at the very least, didn‟t do enough to challenge them. However, a survey of the mid-nineteenth-century reviews of Evangeline shows that Longfellow‟s sentimental epic did prompt popular discussion in the US about the miserable treatment of the Acadian minority by New Englanders. Moreover, Longfellow‟s readers, recognizing parallels between the actions of imperial Britain and those of the US government in the 1840s, used the poem to speak out against the contemporary violence committed in America‟s name. As Evans has claimed, Longfellow obscured many of the details about the involvement of New Englanders like William Shirley and John Winslow in the deportation. Yet Longfellow‟s reviewers (many of whom did their own, independent research after reading Evangeline) quickly set the record straight, educating their readers about New England‟s participation in this imperial conflict and condemning the kind of historical erasure that US nationalism had promoted. The Daily Whig questioned how “this piece of moral and social butchery” (qtd. in Longfellow, MS Am 1340  130) could have been considered “the patriotic duty” (qtd. in Longfellow, MS Am 1340  130) of New England troops. George Wyndham, in the New York Recorder, went a step further, condemning the 143 American colonists for participating in the expulsion and then persecuting the Acadians once they landed in the US: If, on this sad and shameful occasion, the British lion displayed remorseless cruelty, his Anglo-American whelps growled filial applause. And let it not be urged, in stay of posterity‟s judgment, that the colonists received the poor outcasts with humanity. By getting rid of their Acadian neighbors, the colonists had got rid of a perpetual source of alarms, and surely they could well afford to comfort the wretched exiles with broken victuals and a barn to sleep in! (qtd. in Longfellow, MS Am 1340  158) While Hawthorne stabilized his own view of American identity by inventing such a scene of American hospitality in The Whole History, Longfellow‟s readers were quick to realize that the Acadians had not found such a welcome in the US, and that in fact, American politicians like Shirley were likely representing the francophobia of their New England populations at the time. Other reviewers used the poem to challenge dominant narratives of US history. In an exchange between the Boston Daily Journal and the Boston Courier, a reviewer drew parallels between the francophobia that had led to the Grand Dérangement and the US culture of isolationism in the antebellum period. A negative review of the poem in the Boston Daily Journal had incorrectly suggested (among other things) that Acadia was located in Normandy. The Boston Courier quickly objected with a history and geography lesson: The band of ruthless soldiers” who burned to ashes “the little hamlet in Normandy,” to wit: the village of Grand Prè [sic], or Great Meadow, in Nova Scotia, were citizens of Boston…. Now, that a person attempting to write a critique on Evangeline, should know nothing of an event in which the government and people of Massachusetts took so large and reasonable a part:—of a transaction which forms one of the darkest passages in our history, but is in a manner atoned for by this work of poetical justice:—which happened only ninety years ago, and has left its traces among the 144 living generation of Massachusetts men and women;—which is recorded in all histories of our country, and recurs hundreds of times in the pages of our legislative journals during six or seven years;—that a Boston writer should assume to pass judgment upon a poem, wholly founded on these notorious facts of American history, without the feeblest gleam of knowledge that any such things ever happened, is not very creditable to the primary schools in the “Athens of America.” (qtd. in Longfellow, MS Am 1340  145) In castigating this Journal reviewer‟s ignorance, the writer in the Courier appeals to his readers to develop a new kind of critical American intellectual culture, one that respects the importance of cross-cultural knowledge and that fosters debate about the acts being committed in order to secure the US‟s hegemony in North America. Similarly, the Boston Chronotype argues that Longfellow “ought to have expressed a much deeper indignation” (qtd. in Whittier, “Evangeline” 366) at the events in the poem. After giving a lengthy historical exposé of the Grand Dérangement and denouncing the horrific violence of colonial America‟s past, the Chronotype states: It seems that no period of our history has been exempt from materials for patriotic humiliation and national self-reproach, and surely the present epoch is laying in a large store of that sort. Had our poets always told us the truth of ourselves, perhaps it would now be otherwise. National self-flattery and concealment of faults, must of course have its natural results. (qtd. in Whittier, “Evangeline” 367)87 The Chronotype review continues by defining the responsibilities of a national poet: “[s]ince the public are so strongly disposed to concede to Mr. Longfellow‟s production a position of honor as the first of our great national poems, we cannot but hope he will revise it, and give the parties, motive and instrumental, in removing the Acadians strict poetical justice” (qtd. in Longfellow, MS Am 1340  152). The review thus positions Longfellow as a cultural agent who has a responsibility to provide an accurate, critical view of American history. 87 Longfellow identifies this source as the North American Review. However, Whittier quotes this article in his own review of Evangeline and states that it is from the Chronotype (Whittier, “Evangeline” 366-67). 145 Finally, readers also saw the parallels between the fate of the Acadians and that of Mexican, Native, and African American populations in the antebellum period. Antislavery periodicals introduced reviews of Evangeline in relation to Longfellow‟s previous publication of Poems on Slavery; illustrators of later volumes of Evangeline in fact drew from the iconography of slavery to describe the Acadians. Figure 5, an illustration for an 1850 volume, depicts the Acadian men in chains—an event not described in Evangeline nor in of any of its historical sources, but which would have clearly resonated with antebellum readers familiar with abolitionist visual culture. Meanwhile, other reviewers established a direct parallel between Acadia and Mexico. A reviewer for the New Bedford Herald stated, “Some of the follies and atrocities, which he describes, are said to find a parallel in recent incidents of our disgraceful war with Mexico. But the lecturer leaves it to his hearers to make the comparison, and to determine by their easy judgment of the past, the proper condemnation of the present” (qtd. in Longfellow, MS Am 1340  164). Another reviewer, who unconsciously linked Evangeline‟s wandering with that of indigenous peoples, wished that Evangeline could have finished her wanderings “in some Indian village of the West” (qtd. in Longfellow, MS Am 1340  147). Meanwhile, Punch satirized the poem with an 1849 spoof in hexameters: Dollarine, a young barmaid in California, is abandoned by her father and the rest of her community when they participate in the Gold Rush. In despair, she becomes a “minist‟rin‟ angel” ([Lemon and Taylor] 26) for a corrupt politician, but she finally chooses to leave her national representative for the gold fields as well. However irreverent it may be, the Punch spoof situates Evangeline directly within the context of 1840s expansion, slavery, and class pressures 140 years before literary critics would do so again. 146 Figure 5: [Acadians in Chains], by Jane E. Benham. Source: Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth. Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie. Boston: Ticknor, 1850. Print. Clifton Waller Barrett Library of American Literature, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library. Thus, while Longfellow could be criticized for his failure to represent the Acadian experience accurately or his unwillingness to do so, his readers clearly responded to 147 Evangeline by drawing their own parallels between past abuses by British tyrants and their complicit colonists and present abuses by US imperial aspirations. Longfellow and Hawthorne‟s texts about the Grand Dérangement invoke Acadia as a way of imagining an ideal American community that seemed out of reach to antebellum authors. From the liminal space of Acadia, Longfellow and Hawthorne justify the creation of the United States; yet the conflicts of memory within their works also betray a longing for an alternative America, a shadow space that can live up to the American promise in a way that the antebellum US does not. Their transnational vision becomes a mode of dissent that allows them to define the proper kinds of personal connections to the community and the state that will enable the American nation to prosper. (Bancroft “The Exiles of Acadia; Whittier “Marguerite; Williams) (Lemay; Maillet; Eigenbrod; Fendler and Vatter; Staines) (Kozuskanich; Massé; Fonteneau; Griffiths Migrant) (Higgins; Viau; M. Hawthorne Origin; M. Hawthorne “Man of God; Gruesz “Feeling; Ginsberg; Barkan; Rodrigue and Louder; Richard; H. W. Longfellow MS Am 1340 ) (H. W. Longfellow “Slave Singing; H. W. Longfellow “Witnesses”) (Faragher; Gipson; F. E. A. Longfellow; Bristol, June 26; Evans; N. Hawthorne The House of the Seven Gables; H. W. Longfellow “Building; H. W. Longfellow “Norman; H. W. Longfellow “Paul Revere's Ride; Garrison) (Almonte, Chariandy and Harris; Delany Official Report on the Niger Valley Exploring Party; Arsenault; H. W. Longfellow Letter to Nova Scotia; Haliburton Clockmaker) 148 Entr’acte: The Canadian Migrations of Uncle Tom’s Cabin In Harriet Beecher Stowe‟s abolitionist novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin, a Black slave from a Kentucky plantation and a young white slaveowner‟s daughter named Evangeline meet on a Mississippi River steamboat. Their descent down this “river of dreams” (UTC 226) prompts a longer conversation about the “fearful freight” (UTC 226) weighing on the American consciousness because of the practice of slavery. At the same time, a group of enslaved African Americans from the Kentucky plantation resolve to “„make tracks for Canada‟” (UTC 43) and leave the United States behind. I pause here, between Parts One and Two of my dissertation, to discuss Uncle Tom’s Cabin because this rich text functions as a hinge between my discussion about the legacy of the narratives of the Grand Dérangement discussed in Part One and the narratives of Black cross-border migration to which I will turn in Part Two. In Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Stowe draws from the politics of displacement constructed by Longfellow in his Acadian narrative poem Evangeline—the references to imperial warfare and forced movement, the racial comparisons between the Acadians and other minorities, and the human consequences of the destruction of the family unit—to define the US‟s position within the political landscape of the Americas.88 However, she makes the allegorical subtext of Longfellow‟s poem more explicit, imaginatively combining the Acadian trajectory with the movement of Black flights to Canada in the era of the 88 Stowe echoes the title of Longfellow‟s poem “The Slave in the Dismal Swamp” in her later novel Dred: A Tale of the Great Dismal Swamp. 149 Fugitive Slave Act. Uncle Tom’s Cabin thus demonstrates the symbolic connection between the two narratives of migration to and from Canada that I study in this dissertation. Many critics have explored the series of doublings in Uncle Tom’s Cabin, not only between characters, but also in domestic spaces and narrative motifs. However, Stowe also employs doubled references to Canada in her construction of the implied trajectories of her characters. Throughout the 1840s and 1850s, at the same time that Canada was becoming recognized as the idealized homeland of the Acadians, thanks to Longfellow‟s poem, Canada was also gaining a reputation in the mid-nineteenth-centry American public mind as the terminus of the famed Underground Railroad. Canada‟s antislavery stance and its tradition of providing legal protection for fugitive slaves stood in opposition to the US‟s increasing dependency on slave labour and its pro-slavery ideology. This reputation only increased after the US Congress passed the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act, which allowed slavecatchers to pursue and apprehend fugitive slaves anywhere within the US, even free states in the North. From 1850 on, enslaved African Americans could only protect themselves from the long reach of the American law by leaving the United States altogether. As a result, neighbouring Canada became a well-known destination for fugitive slaves. In short, the ideals and the symbolic geographies of Evangeline and the Underground Railroad converged in the American public mind and, for many, transformed Canada into a space that represented America‟s lost ideals. Stowe weaves these two narratives of migration together to map out the position of the United States within conversations about slavery that were taking place across the world. She depends on the ambiguous Canadian background of the St. Clare family to construct her two imagined trajectories of Canadian migration and to help her represent the United States 150 as a country poised between different approaches towards slavery and integration. Stowe‟s assessment of the “longitude and position” (UTC 261) of the different St. Clare family members frames the cultural and political choices facing Americans in the antebellum period. The narrator states that the St. Clare family “had its origin in Canada” (UTC 239). This brief mention of Canada, and the resemblance between Little Eva and Longfellow‟s Evangeline, imply that the St. Clares are of French Catholic, and possibly, but not necessarily Acadian, origin.89 Ophelia and Augustine St. Clare are the descendants of two Canadian brothers who immigrated to the United States; after arriving, the two brothers made very different choices about how and where to live. Ophelia‟s New England history, her obsessive work ethic, her “Scott‟s Family Bible” (UTC 244),90 and her fear of the “heathen[s]” (UTC 245) living in the “awful wicked place” (UTC 245) of New Orleans, suggest that her side of the St. Clare family has joined the Episcopalian Church, and has assimilated with an anglophone New England culture. Meanwhile, the Louisiana St. Clares have made different choices. Augustine‟s father, a man “of poor and not in any way of noble family” (UTC 335), moved to Louisiana and married “a Huguenot French lady” (UTC 239) to join the aristocratic upper class of creole Louisiana.91 Slavery allows the Louisiana St. Clares to improve their standing in US culture, but Stowe implies that it also causes them to regress to some of their Old World vices: their lack of religious and political commitment threatens to turn their home into a space of decay. Moreover, Brickhouse notices that the St. Clares‟ association with slavery has also called their racial identity into question. Evangeline and Augustine St. 89 Given that the French crown did not permit Huguenot immigration to New France, it is more likely that the St. Clares would have either been French Catholic, or English (and probably Protestant). 90 The Rev. Thomas Scott was an evangelical Anglican minister, and one of the founders of the Church Missionary Society; he wrote the notes for this edition of the Bible. 91 Stowe‟s stance on Catholicism in the description of the St. Clares is decidedly ambiguous. For example, Augustine‟s mother is described as a French Huguenot, but regularly plays Latin and Catholic hymns (UTC 334, 449). The Frenchness of the characters seems inevitably to imply Catholicism. 151 Clare are associated with white clothes and skin. However, as Brickhouse points out, Augustine‟s brother Alfred and his nephew Henrique have much darker hair, eyes, clothing, and horses—in fact they come to resemble George and Harry Harris more than the other St. Clares (243). Brickhouse suggests that these characters, both of whom are associated with a punitive form of plantation slavery, embody the “Franco-Africanist shadow cast by New Orleans and its proximity to Haiti and the larger West Indies” (244).92 The St. Clares thus represent three cultural groups within America: a Northern abolitionist culture as represented by Ophelia, a decadent and miscegenated Southern plantation slaveholding culture as represented by Alfred, and a more racially pure and potentially reformable slaveholding culture, as represented by Augustine. The opposition between North and South gestures towards to two locations within North America that symbolize Stowe‟s best hopes and worst fears for the racial future of the US: an ultra-white Canada free of slavery and a space of Franco-African miscegenation, enslavement and rebellion, symbolized by “that abominable, contemptible Hayti” (UTC 392). Louisiana is 92 Given that the linguistic background of French Canadians was often interpreted as a sign of racial indeterminacy, literary descriptions of French Canada often involved Haiti, especially in the 1850s. The shared language of French Canada and francophone areas of the West Indies such as Haiti prompted anxiety in US culture about the continuity of white racial dominance. Brickhouse explains that in the mid-nineteenth century, writers themselves found the interrelations among Haiti, francophonie, and alternative racial categorization so inescapable that a shadowy series of racially indeterminate francophone or Frenchidentified figures proliferated across the national literary landscape, populating works ranging from Walt Whitman‟s early novel Franklin Evans (1842) to Stowe‟s Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852) to Melville‟s Pierre (1852). At the same time, the history of the Haitian Revolution figured prominently in much abolitionist literature. (24) Any argument, in US popular culture, about Canada as a site of whiteness or a site of francophonie also implicitly indexed Haiti; as Brickhouse explains, Haiti was becoming more and more threatening in the American public eye, “a symbol of racial difference and the hemispheric potential of political chaos” (227). The interest in the Grand Dérangement was linked, in part, to a desire to put an end to the perceived racial instability of French Canadians by classifying them conclusively as members of a white race (thus aligning them as potential Anglo-Saxon American allies in hemispheric racial conflicts). 152 geographically positioned between these poles, and Little Eva‟s family (as ambivalent slaveowners) must choose between them. The description of the St. Clares‟ geographic, racial, and cultural origins helps to triangulate the position of the US in the novel, should it pursue a future of slavery or a future of emancipation. Stowe uses the trajectories of the Acadian expulsion and antebellum Black flights to Canada to navigate between these two predicted outcomes of US slavery: a white North America free of slavery or a Haiti-like space of enslavement and inevitable racial rebellion. Little Eva, Tom, Augustine St. Clare, and George Shelby all depend on their textual ancestors in Evangeline as they model responses to US slavery. Critics such as Kirsten Silva Gruesz and John Seelye have suggested that Stowe named her character Little Eva after Longfellow‟s heroine (Ambassadors 91; Seelye 43). Yet while Gruesz argues that Longfellow “deploys the abolitionist‟s strategy of portraying a political problem as a domestic one, so that the [Acadian] removals come as an outrage against the sanctity of the family” (Ambassadors 91), I would argue the strategy works in the reverse in this case: Stowe‟s abolitionist text actually draws from Longfellow‟s portrayal of the deportation to articulate its abolitionist message. In effect, Stowe‟s invocation of Evangeline enables her to suggest that slavery will destroy American families in the same way that the expulsion destroyed Acadian ones. Like Evangeline, Little Eva commits herself to pursuing principles of equality, mercy, and sympathetic interracial understanding as a way to save her family from corruption. In fact, Little Eva is able to imagine an entire nation founded upon this kind of understanding and sympathetic exchange. Like Evangeline, Little Eva is an otherworldy 153 figure, defined by a form of racial and spiritual perfection that allows her to transcend boundaries. She is so perfect, and so white, that she is able to “move like a shadow through all sorts of places, without contracting spot or stain” (UTC 231). Her ease of physical movement parallels her ability to reach across the seemingly fixed categories of race and class that impede the sharing of knowledge and sentiment within the US. Like Evangeline, she functions like a celibate Sister of Mercy, dedicating herself to caring for those less fortunate and committing herself to cross-cultural knowledge. She dedicates herself to fostering interracial understanding in her home, and finds value in Tom‟s spirituals (with their coded references to Canada), exclaiming, “„Oh yes! he sings such beautiful things about the New Jerusalem, and bright angels, and the land of Canaan….. and he‟s going to teach them to me” (UTC 282). Moreover, unlike the voiceless Evangeline, who implicitly recalls the forced movement of slaves and the destruction of the family unit through her physical movement, Little Eva becomes a spokesperson for interracial understanding. Her “„St. Clare‟ blood‟” (UTC 361) enables her to make passionate speeches in support of enslaved African Americans. Little Eva explains her own death as a human sacrifice that will inspire others to lead a good life and dedicate themselves to the kind of interracial harmony that will end slavery. The Acadian and Canadian references built into Little Eva‟s character thus position her within a tradition of silent feminine dissent; however, Stowe transforms this character into a spokesperson for a new US community that rejects slavery. While the death of Longfellow‟s Evangeline identifies the vast distance between Evangeline‟s America and her imagined homeland of Acadia, Little Eva insists until her death that the world that she imagines can become a reality. 154 Little Eva‟s implied alignment with Longfellow‟s white Acadians helps to identify the kinds of interracial sympathy that Stowe feels white Americans must adopt in order to end slavery. Meanwhile, Stowe makes the stakes of slavery more explicit by using Evangeline‟s trajectory downriver as the basis for Tom‟s journey. As Seelye argues, “Stowe combine[s] the themes of Longfellow‟s slavery poems and the landscape of Evangeline, setting h
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UBC Theses and Dissertations
Canadian migrations : reading Canada in nineteenth-century American literature MacLean, Alyssa Erin 2010
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