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Time, space, and the people of God : Anglican colonialism in nineteenth-century British Columbia Christophers, Brett 1995

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Time, space, and the people of God: Anglican colonialism in nineteenth century British Columbia by Brett Christophers B.A.Hons, The University of Oxford, 1993 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Geography) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA August 1995 © Brett Christophers, 1995 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. , It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of <g €.QgO.A?ti The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date rW v «v-DE-6 (2/88) Abstract Anglican missionaries began to arrive in British Columbia after the mainland had been accorded colonial status in 1858. Here they strove to provide for the spiritual needs of other white colonists, and to convert the territory's Native population to Christianity. In part one of this thesis I sketch out the central convictions of Anglican imperialism — its motivations, aspirations, and biases. I argue that these beliefs distinguished the mission enterprise from other elements of the imperial project. These divergent impulses, moreover, were reflected in different material practices. In its imperial imagining, and in its colonial enactment, missionization was a distinctive breed of nineteenth century British expansionism. In part two I turn to the physical engagements of Anglican colonialism. Here I focus on the work of one missionary in particular, an agent of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel named John Booth Good. Based first at Nanaimo and then at Lytton, Good devoted his mission career to working among Native people. His impact was wide-ranging. I examine the geography of his mission strategy, the structure of his pedagogic regime, and his supervision of Native subjects. As such, I try to locate this history of Anglican missionization within an expanding literature concerned with questions of power, knowledge, and space. ii Table of contents Abstract ii Table of contents iii List of figures v Acknowledgements vi INTRODUCTION Winged words 1 For your eyes only: the politics of the archive 10 A providential opening 25 History, contingency, and situated knowledges 37 What is going on at Lytton? 47 PART ONE MISSIONARY POSITIONS 61 Chapter 1 Redemption 69 Of time and space: from secular exclusivity to Christian inclusion 77 Missionary positions 96 Chapter 2 Reproduction 113 Marriage and moral missionization 119 Femininity, masculinity, and colonial society 127 The bride ships: reproducing England in the colonies 138 PART TWO JOHN BOOTH GOOD IN BRITISH COLUMBIA 154 Chapter 3 Strategy 160 Parochial machinery 168 Central place theory? 178 A victory of space over time 193 Chapter 4 Power 212 Govern them through themselves 215 The limits to power 234 iii With and yet not the same 242 Examination, conversion, and ritualized truth 252 Chapter 5 Conversion 262 The question of conversion 266 Colonial nonsense 270 Patriarchal plurality? 285 The end of an era 292 C O N C L U S I O N A history of the present 301 Colonial land policy, missionary mediation, and white backlash 305 The land question 313 The politics of history 322 Bibliography 332 iv List of figures Figure 1: The location of British Columbia, i860 3 Figure 2: British Columbia, 1860 5 Figure 3: Lytton, ca. 1867 6 Figure 4: Baptism of a chief in his wigwam 70 Figure 5: A study in black and white 74 Figure 6: Settler and his Indian wife 126 Figure 7: Male catechumens of St. Paul's Mission, Lytton 174 Figure 8: The journeys of Paul 179 Figure 9: British Columbia, showing the three dioceses, 1878 186 Figure 10: Road along the Fraser 199 Figure 11: The Thompson Mission 204 Figure 12: Rough sketch of Good's claim, 1870 210 Figure 13: The Rev. J.B.Good and his Indian flock at Lytton 218 Figure 14: List of village chiefs, captains and watchmen of StPaul's Mission 246 Figure 15: Female catechumens of St.Paul's Mission 287 Figure 16: Rough sketch of right bank of Fraser River opposite Lytton 314 Figure 17: Staking claim 331 V Acknowledgements It is my pleasure to acknowledge the many people who contributed to this thesis. Numerous librarians and archivists gave me the benefit of their time when I was ignorant of the countless records available. Doreen Stephens, in the Vancouver School of Theology, was particularly helpful. Alison Blunt, Daniel Clayton, Averill Groeneveld-Meijer, David Ley, Geraldine Pratt, Alisdair Rogers, Michael Smith and Lynn Stewart were generous enough to read one or more chapters, and I appreciate their comments. Derek Gregory read the whole thesis, and that at very short notice; I am extremely grateful. My greatest intellectual debt is to Cole Harris. Without his infectious enthusiasm for British Columbian history I may never have begun this study; and once it was underway his advice and encouragement were invaluable. He scoured successive drafts with a thoroughness for which I was initially unprepared, later receptive, and ultimately enormously grateful. Over the last two years I have also been helped greatly by friends and family, both in British Columbia and England. Here in Vancouver Terry, Ben and Daren, in particular, have proved excellent companions for my extended evenings in local bars. I especially want to thank Averill for her continuing care and affection. Having been through the same experience herself, she has known when to leave me to my computer, and when to insist that I take a break from it all. I owe her a great deal. Although England seems a long way away, many people there have helped me to complete this project. Richard and Sam, perhaps unwittingly, have continually motivated me; they remain the best possible of friends. Finally, I want to thank my family: my brother, sister, and — most of all — my parents. Without their unwavering support and interest, none of this would have been possible. vi Introduction: Winged words I should have understood a cross has four points. Not three. Martin Amis, London Fields In February 19951 was in Oxford carrying out research for this thesis. It so happened that my brief stay in the city coincided with that of a somewhat more distinguished and notorious figure. Desmond Tutu was in town. He was making a number of formal visitations and delivering a handful of speeches, both planned and extempore, and one such impromptu address was delivered on the morning of February 3rd in Keble College chapel. The discourse was fairly brief and general, but included one anecdote which, to my mind at any rate, was particularly telling. It was an anecdote about the history of Christian colonialism in South Africa. Upon their arrival in this foreign territory, Tutu noted, British missionaries urged the native inhabitants to close their eyes and join them in prayer. When the natives closed their eyes, it was they who had the land and the missionaries who had the Book. But upon opening their eyes, it was they who had the Book and the missionaries who had the land. Such were the shifting relations between Christianity, geography and power under conditions of early colonial contact. This thesis endeavors to engage with these issues as they pertain to the colonial history of British Columbia. It focuses upon the role played by the Anglican church within a wider framework of white colonization. While it attempts to identify some of the nuances and specifics of missionary belief and ideology, in order to avoid reducing imperial Christianity to a mere instrument of the colonial state, it does so without overlooking the irreducibly material politics of colonialism. Tutu's allegory is so enlightening because it forces us to place missionary discourse and practice within the context of the land appropriation which ultimately defined the colonial experience. It is to this latter extent, at 1 any rate, that colonial history continues to infuse the British Columbia present, as Native land claims achieve an increasingly prominent position on the political agenda. Colonialism in British Columbia, past and present, continues to focus upon what Edward Said has termed the "struggle over geography."1 My thesis attempts to trace out just a tiny component of this legacy. Hence the opening metaphor of the cross. For what follows is a historical geography of Christian colonialism, with the creeds and convictions of Anglican evangelists set squarely against the backdrop of this symbol, placed firmly within the dual axes of time and space. It was in the late-1850s that the first Anglican missionaries arrived in that part of western Canada which is now known — at least known by its non-indigenous inhabitants — as British Columbia. Vancouver Island had been granted colonial status by the British government back in 1849, but nevertheless it is 1858 which stands out in most histories of the province. It was then that gold was discovered in the Fraser Canyon, and the ensuing influx of miners, mostly from California, apparently demanded some kind of immediate administrative response from the British. Respond they did, and the mainland thus joined the Island within Britain's burgeoning collection of colonies. News of this Proclamation spread immediately, "pointing the minds of men to that space which has recently been constituted the Colony of British Columbia"2 (see figure 1). Amongst those attracted to this 'new' colonial space were British missionary societies. In British Columbia, the Church of England identified a fertile new mission field. Here they perceived not only a duty of ministering to ever-increasing numbers of white colonists, but also rich possibilities for evangelization and 'conversion' offered up by a sizable Native population. But Protestant missionaries were not alone. Upon arrival in the colony, they realized that they were no more exempt from the colonial 'struggle over 1 Edward W.Said, Culture and imperialism, Chatto & Windus, London, 1993, p.6. 2 Columbia Mission. Occasional paper, Rivingtons, London, 1860, p.25. Until 1866, when they were united, Vancouver Island and British Columbia were separate colonies. However throughout this study, except where explicitly noted, I use the name British Columbia to refer to both territories. 2 geography' than were the other interested parties: miners, traders, settlers, other missionaries and, of course, Native people themselves. The relationship between land and Christianity, geography and power, would be both complex and multifaceted. The Church of England was not the first religious body to send its agents to this part of western Canada. A number of French Catholics were already at work in the colony, and they were not about to step aside and see their work interrupted by a rival denomination. So when Anglican interest fastened onto a particular village, town, or district in which a 'foreign' missionary was already at work, conflict was the invariable result. In most cases, the political rankling which ensued would be played out, as Said has it, in a 'struggle over geography'.3 Such a struggle over geography is the principal subject of this introduction, and it concerns one particular event in British Columbia's history as a colony. This was the 1867 'call' to Lytton, in the Fraser Canyon, of Anglican missionary John Booth Good, by members of the Nlaka'pamux nation4 (see figures 2 and 3). Good is the missionary whose work forms the main empirical basis of this thesis. Sponsored by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts,5 he had originally spent three years in Nova Scotia before arriving on Vancouver Island in 1861. After five years on the Island, where he was based at Nanaimo, he moved to Yale, just over 50 miles south of Lytton, in 1866. It was while at Yale that he received this 'call'. This 'event', I argue, revolved around a 3 For a general outline of the development of British Columbia as a 'mission field' for various denominations, see John Webster Grant, Moon of wintertime: missionaries and the Indians of Canada in encounter since 1534, University of Toronto Press, Toronto, 1984, chapter 6. And more recently, Joan Weir, Catalysts and watchdogs: B.C.'s men of God. 1836-1871. Sono Nis Press, Victoria, B.C., 1995. 4 'Nlaka'pamux' is the common term of self-identification employed by those Native people who live in a number of communities in south-western British Columbia, from Spuzzum north to Lillooet, and east along the Thompson to Ashcroft, and along the Nicola Valley as far as Merritt. They have become more generally known as the Thompson nation, but in this thesis I use their own terms of identification. For more information see Wendy C.Wickwire, "To see ourselves as the Other's Other: Nlaka'pamux contact narratives," Canadian Historical Review. 75(1), 1994, pp. 1-20. 5 Throughout this thesis I refer to this Society as the SPG. Today it is known as the United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, but I use the ascription 'USPG' only to denote the Society's archives. 4 Figure 2. British Columbia, 1860. Source: Columbia Mission Report. 1860, opposite p.34 Figure 3. Lytton, ca. 1867. Source: BCARS, Photo # A-03551 6 complex politics of space, a local conflict over geography involving not only the Nlaka'pamux and Good, but also the Roman Catholic church. Catholic priests, having visited the Nlaka'pamux for a number of years, seem to have considered the Lytton area as nominally 'their territory'. But Good was not a man to be put off by such considerations, and in the next few pages I trace his endeavor — in his own words — to "occupy ground that was vainly supposed to be the undisputed possession of the Church of Rome."6 I should stress, however, that my avowed emphasis upon the politics of space relates not to some naive disciplinary fidelity. Rather, it stems from my sense that any history of this 'event' must deal with its conflictual geographical context if it is to avoid abstraction which is not only aspatial, but also ahistorical. The empirics of this introduction are therefore the 'theory' of the whole thesis, and I would hope that this accent on spatial specifics is evident throughout. So why geography? Perhaps surprisingly, I do not seek motivation for this appeal to historical geography in any particular 'theory', but actually in the archives themselves. In this sense, the nature of the archive becomes responsible for the way the study is written; the archive, even, becomes the theory itself. At one level this may seem forbiddingly recondite, but there is a specific reason for this speculation. It concerns the way in which the politics of geography was 'silenced' at the time, in order that Christian imperialists could construct a 'history' of Good's summons which accorded perfectly with their own preconceptions. For Good's 'call' to be presented as rational and inevitable, as the predictable outcome of the assumed superiority of Protestantism, both Good and his evangelical contemporaries had to deny this 'event' its many elements of contention. This they did by scourging their representations of any palpable sense of spatiality. In the internal machinations of what Thomas Richards has termed the 'imperial archive',7 the de-politicization of knowledge was sanctioned and 6 John Booth Good to the Secretary, SPG, August 5th 1868, Archives of the United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (USPG — Rhodes House Library, Oxford, England), E Series (Missionary reports), Vol.23, 1867-8. 7 Thomas Richards, The imperial archive: knowledge and the fantasy of empire, Verso, London, 1993. 7 effected through its de-spatialization. The way to re-politicize these events, and elucidate something of their great complexity and contingency, is to insist on knowledge which is situated, which engages with the geographical struggle at Lytton. This, it seems to me, is one of the lessons of the archive. Just a matter of days after his appearance at Keble, Desmond Tutu delivered a lecture at Rhodes House. For those who do not know Oxford, this is in many ways a very attractive and impressive building. It is also a monument to British history, however, and as such can be viewed only in the context its imperial connotations — connotations shouldered not only by its name, but also upon the building's walls, columns, and external fa9ade. Indeed it impresses (or depresses) one as a standing testament to the power and pretension of British imperial foreign policy. As such there was a great and sad irony in Tutu's presence there. My immediate interest in this building lay not in its exterior, however, but inside. For in Rhodes House library are stored literally thousands of letters and documents detailing the progress of Britain's overseas expansion in the nineteenth century. Amongst this mass of archival material is the correspondence of John Booth Good. Working in these archives was in many ways an odd experience. Here was I, ostensibly studying some of the connections between colonialism, Christianity and geography, whilst sitting comfortably in a building which in many ways epitomizes and eulogizes these links between power, knowledge, and spatiality. After all, the records I was studying were part of a diffuse communication network which kept the core of Empire in touch with its imperial agents, and as such were intrinsic to the perpetuation and fine-tuning of colonial power. Moreover, speaking directly below me was a man whose whole life has been bound up in these very same issues of religion, contestation, and geographical appropriation. If ever I needed convincing of the importance of geography in social life, then my time in Rhodes House gave me all the proof I wanted. 8 It was not just an odd experience, then, but also an enlightening one. I have briefly discussed the importance of situated knowledge, of writing a history which stresses the politics of geography. But 'situated knowledge' also bears with it a whole set of other implications.8 Scholars working within the humanities are now increasingly willing to forego claims to 'objective truths', opting instead for knowledge professedly rendered subjective by means of its avowed positioning, grounding, and personal embodiment: all richly-geographical concepts, of course. However, the historian's tendency to treat the 'past' as past, as distinct from the 'present', is legion. In part it is this artificial distinction which has always enabled historians to efface their own subjectivity, and appeal to the dubious qualities of 'honest scholarship'. As a historical geographer of Anglican imperialism, it is all too easy to believe that a cross indeed has three points, that the past — the zenith of the temporal axis — is fractured geographically between the 'here' and 'there'. But this ignores the base of the cross, the self, the person who is writing that 'past' from the false security of the 'present'. In terms of my 'situated knowledge', a concept which I understand in terms of an explicitly material and biographical geography, it was only my move to British Columbia two years ago which enabled me to rework this understanding. In British Columbia, perhaps unlike England, the extent to which colonial history corrodes contemporary society and politics is immediately and shockingly visible. In Rhodes House, these ideas were brought home with perhaps an even greater resonance. For a start, you would probably have a tough time persuading Archbishop Tutu that 'history' is merely about the past. But in addition, the further I delved into the records before me, the more evident it became that not only did I have access to information which I could not have touched in British Columbia, but that the converse was also true. However much research one might do in England, there is only so much one could learn about British Columbian history without actually going there. The very notion of 'the 8 See in particular Donna Haraway, "Situated knowledges: the science question in feminism and the privilege of partial perspective," in her Simians, cyborgs, and women: the reinvention of nature. Free Association Books, London, 1991. 9 archive' is therefore a bit a of a misnomer, for it turns out that in spite of the equivalence of their putative subjects — namely the architecture of Anglican colonialism — the British and British Columbian archives are in fact very different. This may be self-evident. But there is an important point here, for the upshot of all this is that the location of one's historical research is not insignificant: again, knowledge is situated. Furthermore, some archival material is itself more 'situated' (more suffused with geographical information) than that found elsewhere. The 'archive' thus has a geography, and my own 'situated knowledge' has therefore been concerned with recovering and deciphering the 'geography' within that geography. In Rhodes House, then, some of the many complex and confusing relations between past and present, 'here' and 'there', began to fall into place. Geography, in more ways than one, turned out to be central to the writing of history, both its operation and its content. In this introduction I examine the way in which these two notions of situated knowledge are intertwined. I explore some of the parallels between the spatialization of history, and the situatedness of the researcher. The linking theme here is the imperial archive, and the shifting relation of the researcher with respect to that archive. I should have understood that a cross has four points, I guess; but it is never too late to begin the process of (un)leaming towards that end. For your eyes only: the politics of the archive Thomas Richards' initial premise that "the British Empire was more productive of knowledge than any previous empire in history" is surely correct, at least in terms of written knowledge.9 A staggering amount of material remains to this day for people interested in disinterring Britain's imperial heritage, and in trying to provide that history with a different kind of inflection than has hitherto been afforded. Those elements of this archive which pertain to the religious strains of British imperial expansion are no exception 9 Richards, The imperial archive, pp.3-4. 10 to this rule, and various libraries, records offices and local archives are stacked with the reports and correspondences of missionary societies and their agents.10 Richards' book is principally concerned with the ways in which a number of late-nineteenth century novels propagated "a myth of a unified archive." But in this section, where I discuss the production of the Anglican 'imperial archive', I address a rather different question. I ask whether the drive for "comprehensive knowledge"11 — for 'facts' — was ever consciously avoided for particular political reasons; and if so, what the implications might be for our contemporary approach towards the information contained within that archive. In the nineteenth century, all Anglican missionaries were obliged to keep their sponsoring society informed of their work. This requirement of corresponding on a regular basis stemmed from a number of considerations. First, of course, there was that of simple reciprocity. Whether it was the SPG, the Church Missionary Society (CMS), or any other group, the sponsor organization provided at least some of the funds for the missionary's day-to-day upkeep, and doubtless felt deserving of something tangible in return. There were other concerns too, not least of which was a demand for the kind of 'intriguing' knowledge which would maintain public interest in the missionary enterprise. The societies themselves, as well as missionaries in the field, were dependent upon the voluntary contributions of Britain's reading public, and the missionary endeavor was not without its vocal detractors.12 The correspondence of active missionaries was therefore mobilized to stave off such damaging critique, and as such was both self-interested and self-justifying. Letters pointing out the 'moral' or 'social' worth of evangelization can be seen as part of a wider struggle to survive within the imperial diaspora. Thus, in a letter written to his sponsors from Nanaimo in 1863, Good engaged with criticisms that had 10 For a useful guide to these records, see Rosemary Seton's "Archival sources in Britain for the study of mission history: an outline guide and select bibliography," International Bulletin of Missionary Research. 18(2), 1994, pp.66-70. 11 Richards, The imperial archive, pp.6,7. 12 For an interesting, albeit brief, discussion of such dissonance, see Jean and John Comaroff, Of revelation and revolution: Christianity, colonialism, and consciousness in South Africa. Volume one. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1991, pp.49-52. 11 recently been leveled at missionaries in The Times. He argued that although such reproaches were perhaps applicable to Roman Catholics, the same could not be said for Protestants such as himself; and that "if their private & Daily Journals were shown to the world, probably even The Times would admit that they are a more useful & serviceable Body of men than it supposed."13 It was above all a concern over fragile funding, however, which stimulated the missionary's incessant literary production. Most missionaries could not guarantee their subsistence for much more than a year in advance, and if they were to persuade people of the value of their own particular cause, it was incumbent upon them to keep up with their writing. This was nowhere more true than in the case of Good, upon whom the publishing prerogative bore down unremittingly. In every letter or report which he filed off to his sponsors, he would point out his urgent financial requirements — be it money for a new parsonage, a new church, a new school-house, or the more immediate necessities of prayer books and medicinal kits. So when Good wrote home in the early summer of 1876 to complain that his winter report had been mislaid en route, the reason for his bitterness was plainly financial: it is now abundantly clear that in proportion as the interest of the Church public is kept up in reference to any particular field of foreign labour, aid is forthcoming for the furtherance of that work: and that to be out of print is to be out of mind.14 Good felt that this temporary failure to force himself into the British public imagination could have disastrous financial consequences. His concern was probably quite justified. There seems little doubt that most missionaries, and by no means only Anglicans, were under constant pressure to illustrate the efficacy of their work, although not all were as keen as Good to succumb to these 1 3 Good to the Secretary, SPG, December 28th 1863, USPG, E Series, Vol.14, 1863. 1 4 Good to the Secretary, SPG, Report for the quarter ending June 30th 1876, USPG, E Series, Vol.31, 1876. 12 demands. The Methodist preacher Ebenezer Robson, who had a rather strained relationship with Good whilst his contemporary at Nanaimo, flatly refused to put his public writing before his spiritual ministrations. Perhaps even in reference to Good — whose white congregation was increasing just as Robson's seemed to be dwindling — the Methodist man noted in his diary: Have heard that there is an impression abroad in Canada that I have prooved quite unsuitable for the work in this country. I simply believe that it is owing to the fact that I do not write to the papers as some others do. Robson's worry was that the way in which one was perceived might become more important than one's actual work, and he was simply not willing to pander in this way to the reading public. Robson felt that his duty lay not to them but to God, and that if the upshot of this social irreverence was that "he become a fool for Christ's sake and the gospel's," then "let it be."15 Good was not quite such an idealist, his pragmatism impressing upon him the need to be 'known' to the British public. His various reports and letters were sent direct to the SPG, the society under whose auspices he was working in British Columbia. Indeed, he was officially bound to produce, at the very least, four quarterly reports and an annual statistical return.16 Above and beyond this obligation he would, over the years, send many 15 Ebenezer Robson, Diary, British Columbia Archives & Records Service (BCARS — Victoria, British Columbia, Canada), H/D/R57/R57, April 5th 1862. 16 This requirement applied to all the missionaries of the SPG. Thus in 1861, the Secretary of the Society wrote to Bishop Hills to complain that Alexander Garrett, stationed in Victoria, was not fulfilling his obligation. He thus asked Hills to call Garrett's "attention and that of other missionaries, whether wholly or in part maintained by the Society to ... bye-law (20) and to say that we require an annual return and a quarterly report of his work." Ernest Hawkins to Hills, November 22nd 1861, USPG, CLS Series (Copies of letters sent), Vol.107, 1859-1911. The same issue would be raised by Hawkins' successor a number of years later, who in 1867 wrote an angry letter to Graham Alston, a lawyer who had been recently elected as Secretary of the local committee set up to oversee the SPG's grant to British Columbia. He noted that the lack of correspondence was a pressing issue, and that "the neglect of the Missionary Clergy to supply it is a direct infringement of one of the conditions of the grant." W.T.Bullock to Alston, July 1st 1867, USPG, CLS Series, Vol.107, 1869-1911. This was a general criticism; but perhaps the one man against whom it could not be leveled was Good. 13 additional letters. Such information poured into London from all over the globe, the Society boasting literally thousands of agents worldwide. With these various forms of correspondence as the raw material, the Society produced a number of monthly journals, publications in which many of Good's own words appeared over the years — foremost amongst these were the Mission Field, Mission Life, and the Gospel Missionary. It was through these journals that the SPG hoped to invigorate and sustain a sense of fascination in the British public, urging upon it the significance of missionization to general imperial success. The CMS was no less concerned to promote its own cause, and its principal tools for this purpose were the Church Missionary Intelligencer, the Church Missionary Gleaner, and the Proceedings of the Church Missionary Society. In the first edition of the Intelligencer, published in 1849, the editors laid out their aspirations for the practical influence of the Society's newest mouthpiece. The general philosophy, once again, was to induce widespread 'interest' as a means to an end — that end being to secure as much financial aid as was possible. There is at present no periodical of the Society, that, commending itself to the attention of intelligent and thinking minds, and admitted as a welcome visitant to the drawing-room and library table, pleads with happy influence the claims of the Missionary cause, and wins new supporters from amongst those who, once enrolled amongst its friends, are capable of yielding to it the most valuable assistance. As they emphasized in the next month's edition, under the title of 'The necessity and importance of diffusing missionary information': "Missionary zeal must be based upon Missionary intelligence."17 Another important detail to take out of the CMS rhetoric, is that regardless of the practical and self-enhancing nature of much of what was written, the ultimate effect on the British public imagination was undoubtedly much more broad. Again, the following 1 7 Church Missionary Intelligencer. 1(1), 1849, p.2; ibid., 1(2), 1849, p.26. 14 quotation comes from the first edition of the Intelligencer: "Works on Missions now constitute an important branch of literature: our knowledge of foreign lands, and the habits and manners of distant nations, has been amazingly increased by the researches of Missionaries."18 This is a point picked up on most recently by Nicholas Thomas, who argues that however critical our retrospective view of missionaries might be, we should not ignore the fact that their representations and thoughts had "a tremendous influence on perceptions at home" of places like British Columbia.19 This cannot be denied. However, as I argue at length in chapter 1, I am not convinced that missionary rhetoric was principally concerned with representing the people and places with which its progenitors came into contact. Even Thomas's account, I sense, which sets itself up as an investigation into the differences between secular and religious discourses of colonialism, is too limited. For in fastening onto the particular "conceptions of otherness"20 entailed in Christian thought, it fails to break ground with the many accounts which have followed in the wake of Edward Said's pioneering (secular) work.21 These are primarily interested in examining European constructions of 'others', and in deconstructing the various literary tactics deployed to this end. As I have already intimated in the preceding paragraphs, however, missionary discourse appears to be much more practical and productive than these accounts allow. Moreover 'otherness', as such, was seen as an obstacle to conversion, not as a necessary and reassuring reminder of racial difference and superiority, and it was thus often denied. Protestant authorities, I claim, were more interested in 'sameness', in catholicity and universality. And the way to produce 'sameness' was, as far as they were concerned, to reproduce the (social) self in all its supposed righteousness and propriety. This moral reproduction is put forward as the 1 8 ibid.. 1(1), 1849, p.3. 19 Nicholas Thomas, Colonialism's culture: anthropology, travel and government, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1994, p. 126. 2 0 ibid., p. 125. 21 See Edward W.Said, Orientalism, Penguin, Harmondsworth, 1985. This book was first published in 1978. 15 essence of 'conversion'. The need to represent the 'other', a discursive strategy which seems to pervade the rhetoric of secular European Orientalism, was, if not absent, at least secondary. I then take up this theme of reproduction in chapter 2, suggesting that it had hugely important material consequences. For the obligation to reproduce, rather than to passively represent, implied — among other things — a very particular understanding of femininity. Missionary imperialism in British Columbia therefore had massively differing ramifications for women and men, aboriginals and Europeans. John Booth Good's reportage was perhaps the most practically-inclined of any Anglican at work in British Columbia, either during its days as a British colony, or after it joined the Canadian Confederation in 1871. All missionaries were under obligation to write home, but some were not as concerned as Good about whether or not their thoughts were exposed to a wider audience. This is not to say that they were not interested in having a productive impact, but that when it came to public reception they were, like Robson, nonplused. Alexander Pringle, another SPG missionary who preceded Good to the Fraser Canyon, wrote to his sponsors in 1860: I have always stated the truth — the object of my letters has been to give the Society a faithful account of the Colony & the Mission. What effects the Colony effects the Mission. My desire has not been to appear in type, but to state facts and decisions.22 Good, on the other hand, was always eager to see his correspondence published in one of the Society's journals, and for the most part he had no need to worry: the editors were keen to oblige. And for good reason. His initial work at Lytton in the late-1860s was regarded by the Society as eminently successful, and as a result he was considered quite a feather in its institutional cap. He used them for money, they used him for esteem and public reputation — it was a neat arrangement. As the editors of the Mission Field gloated: 2 2 Alexander Pringle to the Secretary, SPG, July 13th 1860, USPG, E Series, Vol.8, 1860. 16 his reports are so full and interesting, and it is so important nowadays that the world, ay, and the Christian world, should be shown that Christianity has lost none of its aggressive power ... that no apology is offered for the following narrative, compiled from Mr. Good's reports, which it is hoped may serve the purpose of a Mission Lecture where it is not possible for a deputation from the Society to attend.23 High praise indeed. But it was not just the SPG who were quick to stake a claim to a share in Good's productivity. In 1858, the Columbia Mission — a "distinct organisation ... for the collection of funds"24 — had been set up to support the various Anglican missionaries at work in British Columbia, regardless of their organizational affiliation. Good's monetary assistance therefore came not only from the SPG, a group which spread its horizons worldwide, but also from this regionally-targeted funding agency. It too depended on contributions from the British public, and towards this end reports were published annually. It was vital that these reviews of mission work in British Columbia should incite immediate interest at home, for the founders of this Mission — in particular the first Bishop of the Diocese of Columbia, George Hills — were only too aware of the extent to which "the minds of the friends of missions had been bent upon the south, west, and now the east of Africa." British Columbia was a relatively unknown space in the public imaginary, "the very name and position of the colony being strange to the country at large," and it was to rectify this situation that these reports were produced.25 Good's work figured prominently in these editions as well. Indeed, by the late-1870s Good's 2 3 The Mission Field. 14, 1869, p. 190. 2 4 Columbia Mission Report. 3, 1861, p.45. 2 ^ Columbia Mission. Occasional paper, p.31. Hills' worst fears would be realized as, over the years, the SPG grant to the colony was gradually reduced — first in 1869, and again in 1870 and 1872. Such regional biases of particular missionary societies have often been noted, but what is perhaps equally interesting is the extent to which late-twentieth century scholars have worked to reproduce these same disparities. In Stephen Neill's monumental study of Christian mission history, for example, British Columbia does not warrant a single mention; and more recent scholarship, avowedly operating from a more 'revisionist' stance, has done relatively little to redirect the traditional focus upon Africa, India, and the south Pacific, an exclusivist geography first evinced by imperial Christians themselves. I return to this point in introducing part one of this thesis, but for now it is enough to suggest that postcolonial revisionism, given these predispositions, has been historical rather than historical-geographical. See Stephen Neill, A history of Christian missions. Penguin, Harmondsworth, 1964. 17 establishment at Lytton was being celebrated in one such a report as one of the "two great centres of Mission work among the Indians of British Columbia."26 The other mission being referred to here was William Duncan's 'model village' at Metlakatla in northern British Columbia. Duncan was (at least for the first 20 years of his mission experience) a CMS representative, and his work has been subjected to extensive study; the same cannot be said for Good.2 7 In spite of his fetish for publication, however, some of Good's comments were aimed at a much more select audience. Over the years he developed powerful convictions about how missionaries should best go about their work, ideas which had been firmly molded, but not set in stone, during his three years of training at St. Augustine's College in Canterbury in the mid-1850s. These ideas were finally given a free rein when he arrived at Lytton, and his experience there generally confirmed him in his beliefs. Often he would write to the SPG on this matter, laying out over and over again his basic approach. These thoughts were intended not for the general public, but for the cognoscenti of missionization, as Good tried to establish himself within a hotly-disputed methodological field. As early as 1858, not long after his arrival in Nova Scotia, he insisted that although his philosophy might not appeal to the reader as especially heroic or glamorous, its effectiveness could not be denied: Of course it has a plausible sound to write home to the Society and tell of the thousands of miles traversed during the year: of the thrilling adventures connected with those excursions; and of the additional outposts you have succeeded in establishing. But I hold that... before we widen our circle and enlarge our borders our centre ought to exhibit strength, symmetry, and a visible organisation, otherwise we do but weaken our Mission.28 2 6 Columbia Mission Report. 19, 1877, p.24. 2"7 The two best known studies on Duncan are Jean Usher's William Duncan of Metlakatla: a Victorian missionary in British Columbia. National Museums of Canada, Ottawa, 1974; and Peter Murray's The devil and Mr. Duncan. Sono Nis Press, Victoria, B.C., 1985. The only extensive study on Good (to the best of my knowledge) is Peter William Robin's "Beyond the bounds of the West: the life of John Booth Good, 1833-1916," unpublished MA thesis, University of Victoria, 1991. See also, for a very preliminary study, Frank A.Peake, "John Booth Good in British Columbia: the trials and tribulations of the Church, 1861-1899," Pacific Northwest Quarterly. 75(2), 1984, pp.70-8. 2 8 Good to the Secretary, SPG, November 1st 1858, USPG, E Series, Vol.3, 1858. 18 Perhaps the most striking feature of these claims is the way in which they evoke a strictly geographical dissonance. On the one hand is a tactic which demands movement, itinerance, and scope; on the other a strategy predicated on a central, ordered, and controllable space. Good favored the latter approach, and it is this geography of power that I investigate in chapters 3 and 4. In chapter 3 I examine Anglican mission strategy on the large-scale. I explore the way in which the new diocesan administration under Bishop Hills endeavored to come to terms with the geographical immensity of British Columbia, and the migratory habits of its indigenous population. This they did through the production of a network of just the kind of 'strong centers' advocated by Good. Drawing on the work of Michel de Certeau, I argue that this modus operandi, through its emphasis on the 'power of place', emphatically prioritized space over time. If a strong center was established, there was no need to make an immediate, forceful impact, and the temporal dimension was thereby reduced to a secondary status. Then, in the following chapter, I examine in detail the system of control invoked by Good at the mission center of Lytton. Employing the notion of 'pastoral power' suggested — but not developed — by Michel Foucault, I argue that the exercise of power at Lytton produced a system of regulation which was intrusive, intensive, and enduring. During the years he was in British Columbia, Good made many of these detailed, reflective contributions to the Anglican imperial archive. However, by no means every word made its way into the Society's polished publications — far from it. And the same was true with the reports of the Columbia Mission. Indeed, the correspondence of all missionaries, not just Good, was subjected to systematic censoring before it was allowed to escape the surveilling eye of the metropolitan Christian societies. The Anglican archive with which I am working, the very raw material of this study, is therefore fundamentally 19 fractured. On one side are the original letters and reports of missionaries in the field; on the other side, the edited versions of their correspondence which appeared in print.29 The main reason for this selective appropriation of missionary intelligence was the desire of Anglican authorities to avoid undesirable political controversy. They knew all too well that every word printed in Britain, of any relevance to the colony, would eventually make its way over the Atlantic and across the continent to the Pacific coast. They also knew, of course, that they could not rely on their missionaries to practice the requisite political savvy in their quarterly accounts; that would have been too much to ask. So instead they took it upon themselves to 'clean up' the letters of their agents, before letting this information loose on a world where knowledge was circulating with ever-increasing rapidity. Perhaps the quintessential statement of the extreme circumspection required was made by the Bishop of London in 1859. Quite appropriately, the occasion for this timely admonition was a meeting at the Mansion House held the day prior to Bishop Hills' departure for his colonial diocese. The speaker reminded his audience that words were not innocent; that they came with baggage attached; and that, perhaps most significantly, they were apt to travel. In sum, they were 'winged words': And, my Lord, if it be true that words spoken in this hall, even in the festive hour, are winged words which go forth through the whole land we live in, and that sometimes these words have winged their way, not only through our own land but across the Atlantic, and that words uttered in this place have often been the cause of stirring up wrong feelings in distant nations, how responsible is the position in which we are placed who are called to-day to speak of this great work which the Church of England is undertaking in this place, and know that our words must be read, and must be attended to, perhaps, in very distant lands ^ Throughout this study, I have endeavored where relevant to cite published material rather than original correspondence, simply because it is more widely accessible. But obviously, for reasons that are at the very heart of this introduction, that has not always been possible. 30 A sermon, preached at the farewell service celebrated in St. James's Church, Piccadilly, on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 1859, the day previous to his departure for his diocese, by George Hills, P.P. Bishop of Columbia. With an account of the meeting held on the same day at the Mansion House of the City of London, in aid of the Columbia Mission, Rivingtons, London, 1859, pp.39-40. 20 It was first and foremost the propensity of words to travel which informed the missionary societies' editing practices. Indeed, directly after the Mansion House meeting, the capital's newspapers would have reported on the proceedings, and copies of these papers would have been summarily despatched to British Columbia.31 This frightened Anglicans, because anything taken the 'wrong way1 — be it by the secular colonial authorities, or by other denominations — was liable to result in a backlash. For this reason, they expected a missionary's information to be more or less introspective: to reflect on one's own work, sure, but not to make any judgments about the work or character of others. One Anglican minister who felt the full force of such a backlash was Alexander Pringle. His mistake was not in writing critically about Roman Catholics — every Anglican did that! — but in writing critically about Roman Catholics in a British Columbian newspaper. For in this literary realm he was not protected by the paternalistic guile of his mentors, the editors at Victoria's Daily British Colonist obviously seeing no need to make changes to a letter he sent them in mid-January 1861. When Pringle wrote to the Secretary of the SPG later that same month, he appended a clipping from the Colonist in which a Catholic priest had reacted vehemently to his words. In this letter John Vahey contested Pringle's use of "opprobrious terms" such as 'Romanist' and 'Romish Priests'.32 Pringle, not surprisingly, was somewhat more careful in the future. One man who was very much aware of the need for discretion was John Booth Good. This did not always stop him from going on one of his extended political diatribes 31 As an intriguing example of this dissemination of knowledge, Bishop Hills refers in his diary to having met an Englishman — indeed the only Englishman — at Lytton in 1860. This person, a Londoner named Hill, had just actually read about this very Mansion House meeting: a meeting held, of course, in honor of Hills' impending departure for his diocese! See Bishop George Hills, Diary, Archives of the Ecclesiastical Province of British Columbia, Vancouver School of Theology (VST — Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada), June 30th 1860. 3 2 The Daily British Colonist, January 18th 1861, p.2. Pringle's original letter was published in the same newspaper on January 16th 1861, p. 1. His letter to the Secretary was dated January 30th 1861, USPG, E Series, Vol.8, 1860. 21 — castigating alike the policies of French Roman Catholics and of the British colonial authorities — but he did display at least a modicum of prudence. Indeed he would not just rely on the careful censoring of his metropolitan sponsors, but would on occasion add to this safety net his own distinctive brand of editing. This was never more evident than in a letter he wrote to the SPG from Victoria in 1861, just shortly after he had arrived in the Colony. In fact he wrote two letters, one of which contained his substantive information, the other detailing his own wishes for the ultimate destiny of these words. True to his proud nature, he here urged upon the Secretary that if any portion of his letter be deemed "worthy of a place in the 'Mission Field' or 'Colonial Church Chronicle' [it] may be submitted to the judgement of the editors." By no means all of his letter, however, was to be available for publication. As he went on to insist: all paragraphs that are bracketed are only for the eye of the Society. A great deal of trouble has been occasioned here by the indiscriminate publication of the private correspondence of the Bishop & Clergy who have freely written home their first impressions, some of which being possibly hastily formed.33 Now this act of extreme vigilance was informed not solely by his distaste for local political bickering, but more fundamentally by his awareness of information circulation within the British Empire. Indeed, the Bishop of London could not have hoped for a more astute understanding of his Mansion House rhetoric: Good was acutely conscious of the 'winged words' about which the Bishop had warned. Also remarks made by us which reflect at all upon the proceedings or situation of other denominations cannot be too guarded — for it is as well to know — that every thing circulated in England relating to the state of things on this side of the New World is sure to find its way back & is republished with an abundance of comments in the local papers of these districts.34 3 3 Good to the Secretary, SPG, April 16th 1861, USPG, E Series, Vol. 10, 1861. 3 4 Good to the Secretary, SPG, April 16th 1861; original emphasis. 22 Good's second letter, the one in which he actually informed the Society of his recent progress, is therefore a sight to behold. Not only are certain portions clearly delimited by the dark parentheses drawn in by the author himself, but to this personal censoring was added the institutional hand of the SPG — clearly recognizable by the bright red crayon cutting swathes across whole sections of text. There was, therefore, a practice of double-editing at work, and the version which eventually appeared in the Mission Field of July 1861 is but a pale imitation of the original.35 Any comment construed as politically charged, whether it concerned secular administration or the ministrations of other denominations, was cut by the SPG. This is no wonder, but what is perhaps more interesting is the detail willfully covered up by Good's own diplomacy and tact. For within the safe confines of his parentheses, the SPG missionary had indulged in scathing criticism of those Church of England ministers he had come across during his trip from England.36 Most notably there was the Bishop of San Francisco: "scarcely suited," Good claimed, "for the rough work on this coast."37 Good no doubt sensed that if this got out, he would be in an awful lot of hot water! It did not stop there, however, and just two years later, Good was again circumscribing his correspondence with strict instructions. This time, though, it was Britain's colonial authorities that he was careful not to openly slander. As I have already suggested, missionaries were always more than willing to extol their own virtues, and very often this self-interested rhetoric was assembled at the expense of secular administrators. Missionaries adopted as their own the role of the humanitarian colonizer, and implicit within this vocation, they believed, was the necessity of acting 'on behalf of Native people when the latter were in direct dispute with colonial authorities. It was only their own distinctive brand of calm, conciliatory and intelligent intervention which could resolve 3 5 See The Mission Field. 6, 1861, pp. 145-8. 3 ^ Good had returned to England in 1860 to marry before heading out to his new diocese in 1861, accompanied by his wife. 3 7 Good to the Secretary, SPG, April 17th 1861, USPG, E Series, Vol.10, 1861. 23 matters of a delicate political nature. This, at least, was a favorite claim, and brute force was consistently derided. Good himself was keen to make this distinction between the effectiveness of spiritual and temporal power: Indeed the presence of a Missionary, as I can myself bear witness, in a case of difficulty between the races, has effected a great deal more in bringing matters to a satisfactory conclusion between both parties than any amount of civil Force. However, having made this claim, Good seems to have thought better of risking a local controversy, and scribbled in the margin of his text: "Upon reflexion I prefer to suppress the enclosed, lest it should seem to disparage the Executive & impute inafficiency to our Naval forces in these waters which I have no wish to do."38 So Good's criticisms were again reserved for the privileged gaze of the SPG. They were, to borrow a common cliche, 'for your eyes only'. Up to this point, then, I have been advancing a series of suggestions about the Anglican imperial archive, as that archive pertains specifically to the mission enterprise in British Columbia. The principal feature of interest, I think, is the fact that 'pure' knowledge was, on occasion, consciously shunned. In fact it was a political imperative that certain claims and convictions should be kept under lock and key in Britain, lest they escape back to British Columbia — from whence they came — and stir up ill-feeling within the imperial ranks. The production of a published archive was therefore a rigorously controlled exercise. 'British Columbia', in the same moment that it was being cumulatively produced and reproduced as an object of imperial interest and fascination, was being refused a faithful look at itself. The aim in Britain was to invoke a monopoly on knowledge, and then release bits and pieces where it was deemed appropriate. The ultimate result was to be a vital split in the geography of the archive, with Britain possessing 'originals', and the 3 8 Good to the Secretary, SPG, December 28th 1863, USPG, E series, Vol.14, 1863. 24 colony receiving innocuous and harmless imitations. 'British Columbia' was not only being relayed to the British public in a peculiarly sterile fashion, but was itself (and this time as a material and populated, rather than an imaginary, space) denied access to the very information which spoke to the contingency and conflict implicit in its unfolding history. Britain's administrators of religious knowledge were, in effect, endeavoring to hide from white British Columbians the struggles of their quotidian existence, by pumping them full of de-politicized and self-inflected missionary rhetoric. Whether or not much (or even any) of this sanitized revamping was taken at face value is difficult to judge. But in the case of John Booth Good, it is worth asking the question in more detail. For exactly this kind of abstraction characterized published depictions of his 'call' to Lytton in 1867 — an event which came to be seen as an act of transcendent 'providence', rather than the result of everyday struggles and local decision-making practices. But such was the frequency with which Good repeated this interpretation of events that you begin to wonder if, with all other readings muted and thus unavailable, he did not begin to believe it himself. A providential opening We see God's Providence working silently and mysteriously, but effectively, in the extension of His kingdom; pointing out to us, by indications which cannot be misunderstood, and may not be disregarded by us, fresh fields for spiritual action and godly enterprise. ... Divers nations and strange people are seen gathering together to different centres, ostensibly under the influence of lower motives, the love of enterprise, the gain of commerce, the thirst for gold; but, in truth, by the guiding of God's Providence, that His purposes of mercy towards them may be fulfilled; that the heralds of salvation may visit them; that the light of truth may penetrate man's heart. John Downall, June 1861.39 39 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness'. A sermon, preached in St. James' Church, Piccadilly, at the annual service of the Columbia Mission, on the festival of St. Barnabas, 1861. By John Downall, M.A., Archdeacon of Totnes, Rivingtons, London, 1861, pp.4-5. 25 As a child growing up in Lincolnshire, Good had been intrigued by the idea of religious imperialism: it had always been his ambition to be a missionary, to preach the Gospel to the Native people of western North America. As he recalled in his reminiscences, written early in the twentieth century after he had left British Columbia for California, it was the reputed experiences of the parish vicar's father which had originally aroused in him an intense fascination. 'Mr. West Sr.' had been the first CMS missionary attached to the Hudson's Bay Company in eastern Canada: The Vicarage was filled with Indian curios and paintings connected with the mission travels and adventures of Mr. West Sr. during his Chaplaincy, and it was the sight of these from my boyhood that implanted in my mind a desire to go out to evangelize the natives of the same race in the regions beyond.40 Henceforth, Good saw evangelization as his singular vocation in life, and it was with that thought in mind that he attended St. Augustine's College from 1854 to 1856. By the time he graduated from St. Augustine's, he was 23 years of age and ready for the task that lay ahead of him. From the moment he left England, Good had always regarded British Columbia as his "proper field,"41 so his stay in Nova Scotia was understood from the outset to be only temporary. Moreover, his time both in Nova Scotia and, later, at Nanaimo, was spent largely in ministering to white colonists, a task which — although within the stated rubric of SPG missionaries42 — Good himself always regarded as a poor alternative to the 'real' 40 John Booth Good, "The utmost bounds of the West. Pioneer jottings of forty years missionary reminiscences of the Out West Pacific Coast. A.D. 1861 - A.D. 1900," VST, PSA 52/9, p.4. (Original copy in BCARS.) Page references are given as in the VST transcript. 41 Good, "The utmost bounds," p.9. 42 The SPG, and similarly the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge (SPCK), were established "to provide pastoral care for ... emigrants and for soldiers, officials and merchants in colonial outposts." See Stephen C.Neill, "Christian missions," Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol.15, William Benton, University of Chicago, 1973, pp.573-9; the quotation is from p.576. 26 duty of evangelization.43 It was a great personal lift for him, then, when Bishop Hills offered him a post at Yale in the early summer of 1866. Here was a town with a small white population, but one located in a region long inhabited by British Columbia's First Nations. However, Good was never entirely happy during the brief period he spent at Yale, and in that respect he was no different from his predecessors. Among the Anglican ministers who had spent time at Yale before Good's arrival were Alexander Pringle and William Crickmer, neither of whom ever settled to the task. Yale had been a busy town during the halcyon gold rush days of the late- 1850s, but soon into the next decade the main bulk of miners had begun to gravitate north towards the Cariboo and beyond. Yale now served as a mere stop-off point — a place to pass through, but not to stay. The permanent white population was tiny by the start of the 1860s. Pringle had arrived just before Christmas in 1859, but only remained in the town for a matter of months. He noted in January 1860 that of Yale there was "not much to say of a positive character," and alluded to the fact that "the godless majority of Yankees" was his principal problem. So when he removed to Hope, to be replaced by Crickmer, he was very relieved. In writing to his father soon after this relocation, he was still fairly despondent, but hoped that things would soon be looking up: I hope & trust that my own immediate work may now progress more systematically & visibly since Yale is given up. — M r Crickmer who was at Langley is now at Hope with his wife & two small bairns, to take up his residence at Yale. — I do not envy him, quite the contrary — but he is satisfied which is well.44 4 3 Good's desire to work with Native people was accepted and encouraged by his sponsors. Thus the Society's Secretary wrote to Bishop Hills as follows with regard to Good's impending arrival in British Columbia: "Will you kindly bear in mind that he is sent by the Society with the definite object of labouring as a Missionary among the native tribes of Vancouver." Hawkins to Hills, December 14th 1860, USPG, CLS Series, Vol.107, 1859-1911 (original emphasis). For a similar point, see also The Mission Field, 6, 1861, p. 145. 4 4 Pringle to his father, David Pringle, January 10th 1860 & April 7th 1860, BCARS, Add. MSS 369. For information on Hills' offer to Crickmer of the Yale post, and Crickmer's acceptance, see Hills, Diary, April 3rd 1860. Unlike Pringle and Good, Crickmer was not an SPG man — he was sponsored by the Colonial Church Society. 27 Pringle's successor, Crickmer, remained in Yale until late-1861, and he too was quick to condemn. The problem, it seems, was that both he and Pringle were primarily interested in ministering to whites, not in trying to find converts among the local Natives, and for that reason alone they were always going to be disappointed in the possibilities offered up at Yale. 4 5 The kind of permanent, settler society which they were looking for was far removed from the transitory reality of the town. As Pringle pointed out more than once, he would ideally like to work in a town with a stable population of white "agriculturalists and settlers." The ephemerality which in fact characterized the lower Canyon of the early 1860s was condemned by Pringle as "militating directly against permanent impressions being conveyed."46 This was a "general restlessness" which Good himself would also criticize upon arrival, writing of Yale as follows in late-1866: "Everything is new & everyone unsettled ... they are very few who seem to regard this country as yet as their adopted home & permanent abiding place."47 But this persistent worry about white society did not unduly upset Good, for he immediately set about acquainting himself with the local Native population, and procuring some regular attendants for his weekday and Sunday services. Less than a year after he arrived at Yale, however, he came into 'official' contact for the first time with members of the Nlaka'pamux nation. This occurred not through Good making a visit to Lytton, which was the closest white settlement to their principal area of habitation, but through their own visit to see him at Yale. For Good this distinction would always remain crucial. When he had gone to Yale it had been at the request of his Bishop; but the impetus behind his move 45 in chapter 11 talk in more detail about Pringle's predilections, but his adamance that "the white population is the charge I have undertaken" pretty much sums up the stubbornness of his views about Native work. See his Annual Return, 1860, USPG, E Series, Vol.8, 1860. 4 6 Pringle to the Secretary, SPG, December 15th 1861, USPG, E Series, Vol.10, 1861. 47 Good to the Warden, St. Augustine's College, November 6th 1866, Canterbury Cathedral Archives (CCA — Canterbury, England), U88/A2/6/John Booth Good. 28 to Lytton was Native. Good had always wanted to preach to the 'heathen', and now such an opportunity was staring him in the face. His initial 'meeting' with the Nlaka'pamux occurred in the first week of March 1867. A party of men came to see him at Yale, led by a Native leader by the name of 'Sashiatan1, an important figure throughout Good's 16 years at Lytton. Sashiatan carried with him a note from the resident magistrate at Lytton, Captain Ball, and in this note Ball informed Good of the Natives' interest in his teachings: I must now tell you what the Indian 'Sashiatan', who gives you this, wishes me to write about. He is a chief and has great influence with Indians in this part of the country. He has taken a great fancy to you, and is determined that all the Indians shall be followers of yours.... He is a good and valuable Indian, and through him you may obtain an influence over, perhaps, a thousand Indians. Over the next couple of weeks two more Nlaka'pamux groups visited Good, and before long he was convinced of their earnest intent. Although his work at Yale seemed to be moving along quite acceptably, he reflected that it was surely "a matter of grave and pressing moment to have a Mission, opened as soon as possible, at Lytton."48 By late-April, Good had more or less decided that his immediate future lay in Lytton, and as luck would have it a new SPG missionary was about to arrive in the colony from England. After consulting with the Bishop it was agreed that this man, David Holmes, could take over Good's duties at Yale, thus leaving the more experienced minister to move up the Canyon. So on May 1st 1867 he went to Lytton to meet with the many Nlaka'pamux who had assembled in expectation of his impending arrival, and after a brief visit he decided he had made the right decision. By the end of summer he had relocated to Lytton. In his reflections upon this period, Good was quick to point out that it was primarily the spiritual ministrations of his Anglican Church which the Nlaka'pamux had 4 8 Columbia Mission Report, 9, 1867, p.62. 29 found so enticing. There is little doubt that the latter were well aware of a nominal Anglican presence in their territory, for as far back as 1860 the letters and journals of Anglican missionaries recall meetings with members of this nation. Bishop Hills, for example, made annual trips into the interior of his huge diocese, and these generally followed a favorite route which wound its way from Yale, up through Lytton, and on occasion as far as Lillooet. On his first really extended journey, which he undertook in the early summer of 1860, he came across some Nlaka'pamux near Lytton. At this time of year they were living away from their permanent villages, gathering berries in the mountains, and Hills hoped that his chance encounters with this scattered people would bode well for future interaction: I hope these meetings with Indians in this present 'dispersion' may be a means of commencing a good understanding with them. They will recognize us by & by when we visit them at other seasons in their settled homes.49 Hills in fact visited the mainland in 1867 just shortly before Good's move took place, and although on this occasion he did not make it as far as Lytton, he did come across some familiar faces at Boston Bar — noting of those Natives he met with that "I recognized many old friends amongst them [whom] I had seen on my various visits."50 And when he visited Good at Lytton a year later, If months after the SPG missionary had settled in his new spot, he made a similar observation about the important legacy of his annual itinerance: "Some of the Chiefs were old friends of mine whom I had often met in former times & often spoken to about God & the Saviour."51 Now as far as Good was concerned, these visits were crucial. His dogmatism persuaded him that the only rational explanation for the Nlaka'pamux interest in his work was a spiritual one: they had come to realize that Anglicanism represented a considerable 4 9 Hills, Diary, July 3rd 1860. 5 0 Hills, Diary, May 17th 1867. 5 1 Hills, Diary, May 26th 1868. 30 and desirable improvement, not only on their own 'traditional superstitions' — as Christian missionaries would have it — but also on the 'deformed' faith of the Roman Catholics who had made at least a partial impact in the area. His inherited teleology thus suggested to him that such a 'call' for his services was not just likely, but predictable — the inevitable consequence of this spiritual superiority. So it is not surprising that Good made much of Hills' groundwork when he laid out the reasons for his 'invitation' from the Nlaka'pamux. In a sense, he claimed, the Bishop had directly paved the way for his own work: "The seed then sown broadcast by the wayside took root downwards, and has now also begun visibly to show itself on the surface of things."52 The other main precedent for Sashiatan's crucial visit was, Good suggested, the notice which the Nlaka'pamux had taken of his work at Yale in the latter months of 1866. His argument was that their initial interest, aroused by infrequent meetings with the Bishop, had been sustained and solidified by his own spiritual presence in the Canyon: they "could not help being attracted by the work going on amongst such of the Indians who were at that time congregated in this neighbourhood."53 Thus, through a very particular interpretation of local history, Good was able to put forward the argument that, by the spring of 1867, the Nlaka'pamux were so captivated by the possibilities offered up by the Church of England that they could no longer resist — cue Sashiatan's approach, and the ensuing encounters with two other deputations from the same nation. Later that year Good would refer to this cumulative movement as being "sudden, extraordinary & simultaneous ... the burden of their united prayer being uniformly the same viz. 'Come over & help us'."54 The interesting thing about this personal rendition of local change is that this is by far Good's most materialist interpretation of the events. This may strike one as surprising, 52 Columbia Mission Report, 9, 1867, p.63. 5 3 ibid. 54 Good to the Secretary, SPG, Report for the quarter ending December 31st 1867, USPG, E Series, Vol.23, 1867-8. 31 for intuition would itself suggest that there was a good deal more going on in the Canyon than meets the eye — and I argue that indeed there was. But Good's assessment of what took place was rarely more contextual than when he invoked this argument about the spiritual destitution of the Nlaka'pamux, and their consequent attraction to his work. More often, Good was content to appeal to divine providence, to the hand of God, as a satisfactory explanation for everything that transpired. Indeed, by allowing the claim about spiritual needs to blend in with the appeal to providence, Good was able to deny any personal complicity in the unfolding events.55 It was a neat slippage, and served not only to hide any personal involvement, but also to cover up the vestiges of any Native agency which might have remained in the standard account: They besought me to come amongst them and be their father, teacher, and guide. It seemed to me that God was thereby calling me to spend and be spent in their service, and that He himself had opened a way for the preaching of the Gospel, which if we did not enter at once might for ever be shut against us.56 By arguing that some deep spiritual prerogative was at work, Good had already reduced the period to a level of rarefied historical abstraction; by then allowing this de-contextualization to advance a stage further, and identifying a causal providential interruption lurking behind events, published history was rendered even further distinct from the materiality of everyday life. As far as Good was concerned, there was no need to indulge the reader in specifics, for such banality was irrelevant — if not blasphemous — in the face of a transcendent, 55 The Lytton work was opened up to the Anglican Church, Good insisted, "without solicitation or contrivance of our own." Columbia Mission Report, 10, 1868, p.35. 56 jbid., 9, 1867, p.67. An exact precedent for this slippage from human agency to Providence was provided in the Old Testament. Jacob sent his sons from Canaan to seek food in Egypt, and the help they received was granted by their disguised brother Joseph. But Joseph sought to deny the agency of his 'sinful' siblings, choosing like Good after him to refute such agency through the invocation of the Lord's guiding hand: "And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives in a great deliverance. So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God" (Genesis 45: 7-8). The argument is identical. 32 God-given imperative. "I considered it a providential opening, of which I was bound to make the most I could." The minimal Native agency which Good had allowed, itself trivialized through its axiomatic reduction to mere spiritual desire (and thus sundered from the actual needs and problems of everyday life in a concretely temporal sense), was now gone. In its place was a strictly theological interpretation which refused any form of secular motivation, and did so precisely through the invocation of God's transcendence. As Good put it to the readers at home, in quite startling terms: "One thing is certain, I have not sought them, but they me; and who am I, that I should fight against God?"57 Who indeed, and other Anglicans were not about to argue with him. Good was not alone in proffering this treatment of the Lytton 'call'. The appeal to providential interference became the accepted account in the evangelical journals back in Britain, the actual sequence of events rendered ever more distant from the inquisitive reader. In an 1872 edition of Mission Life, Robert Lundin Brown, who had been a missionary at Lillooet in the early-1860s before returning to Britain, repeated Good's rendition in an unequivocal fashion. He wrote of "the mysterious influence of God's Holy Spirit" stirring Sashiatan and his people, and summarized: This event was the springing up of a great religious movement — traceable to no human source, but originating solely in the quickening Breath which bloweth where it listeth — which had begun among those Indians.58 Bishop Hills painted a similar picture in his own report, writing as follows to the SPG in the fall of 1867: 57 ibid., pp.64,74. This notion of God's controlling hand was a central tenet of Calvinism, and was taken on-board by British Protestants too. For Good to suggest that 'history' could have been otherwise would indeed have been regarded as shameful: "God has decided who will be saved and who will be lost in terms of His own will and that decree is irreversible. To suggest that His will is subject to change because of anything man does, whether good or evil, is to blaspheme against His absolute sovereignty." William A.Scott, Historical Protestantism: an historical introduction to Protestant theology, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1971, p.38. 5 8 Mission Life. N.S. 3(1), 1872, pp.95-7,95; my emphasis. 33 The movement is remarkable for an unanimous invitation from the whole tribe that we should come in and be their instructors. ... The case is one of those providential openings ... happening but seldom, which ought to be followed up in the most earnest and efficient manner.59 This is important, if only because Hills, as I show in the last section of this introduction, certainly was aware of the actual details of Good's summons. But this knowledge, it seems, was not to be shared with those back in England. Over the years, Good never saw fit to review afresh his abstract memory of the events of 1867. No other interpretation ever saw its way into print in Britain, and such was this dominance of the 'providential' thesis that there was no immediate reason for Good to question its truth in a public forum. Of course he knew better, but there was never any stimulus for him to admit as much. If he had located his fortuitous move in the context of a highly conflictual local politics, a politics which I discuss below, he would no doubt have felt obliged to append political comment of his own — and he could be fairly sure that such reflection would not escape the surveilling eye of the SPG's editors. The appeal to providence was neat for a number of reasons. Not only did it reaffirm a singular Protestant Truth, and the inherent right of Anglican imperialists to be present on foreign soil, but it also sidestepped political controversy by discarding the need to invoke local criticism. So Good always insisted on the fact that this was, indeed, a "heaven-sent call." This was still his claim over thirty years later, as he recalled the period in his reminiscences: I dared not be disobedient to the demand made upon me and mine, though fully cognizant of what acceptance of such a task would inevitably entail. Did it not seem clear that the hand of God was in all this and manifestly calling this people through me to the knowledge of his Truth?60 5 9 Hills to Bullock, October 18th 1867, USPG, CLR Series (Copies of Letters Received), Vol.149, 1859-91. 6 0 Good, "The utmost bounds," p.70. 34 Another revealing aspect of this hegemonic historicism — a historicism which, in its thorough abstraction, denies any sense of historicity — is that it often included a geographical metaphor. What was evoked in these rarefied descriptions was a fertile space which literally beckoned an Anglican incursion. 'Space' was therefore deployed as the rhetorical tool which seemingly lent the providential argument a semblance of substance, but which in fact denied local geography any sense of materiality. Good often spoke in terms of a "door wide & effectual" opening before him, urging his Church of England compatriots that the time was right to "occupy the field before us."61 Space was conceived as a rich field to be exploited, a vivid metaphor which enabled and necessitated the inexorable forward progression of a teleological Christian narrative. In 1867 "an invisible directing agency and Power," Good claimed in his memoirs, "flung wide an entrance for the propagation of the Gospel."62 In order to justify this Anglican territorial occupation, it was easier to rid that space of content than to claim that the Church was welcomed with open arms. It was the metaphor of a 'field' which, in general, underscored this narrative of providence, and to that extent Michel Foucault's claim that 'field' is "an economico-juridical notion" seems wrong.63 It is surely a Christian metaphor, first and foremost, and Good found it a very convenient one. This metaphor connoted a dormant space, an inert field waiting to be activated by a life-giving Christian catalyst. In that sense the narrative of providence was a discourse not of the present but of the future, for spaces were assigned value not on the basis of contemporary content, but according to unrealized potential. This discourse would later reach its apotheosis in Eugene Stock's history of the CMS, in which he surveyed the world as it would have appeared to zealous Christian imperialists at the end 61 Good to the Secretary, SPG, Report for the quarter ending December 1866, USPG, E Series, Vol.23, 1867-8. 62 Good, "The utmost bounds," pp.66-7. 63 Michel Foucault, "Questions on geography," in his Power/knowledge: selected interviews and other writings, 1972-1977, ed. Colin Gordon, Harvester Press, Brighton, 1980, p.68. 35 of the eighteenth century. After detailing this expectant cartography, from which British Columbia is notably absent, and in which "Africa is only a coast-line," he concludes as follows: "Such, in the closing years of the eighteenth century, is the condition of God's earth — waiting."64 The metaphor of the field was thus a metaphor of anticipation. As far as Good was concerned, it was Lytton and its inhabitants that had been waiting, and waiting moreover for him. It was in this sense that Lytton was an attractive 'field', and the deployment of this graphic metaphorical geography long remained a feature of Good's reports. It was always one of his major complaints that the Society never sent him an assistant to help with the extension of the Lytton mission, and six years after his initial 'call' he lamented that Methodists were now entering into areas which, Good felt, should have been engaged by the Anglican church. His rivals were, he considered, "entering into doors of usefulness that have so long been invitingly open to us — & who can blame them?"65 Similarly, in criticizing the Society's regional biases that I referred to above, Good claimed that British Columbia offered the untapped potential of an 'open' space. Spaces elsewhere in the world, he ventured to suggest, were less viable options precisely because they were 'closed'. It was, he argued, inexplicable why after our [?] experience in Mission extension the Church at home does not more concentrate her energies in entring and occupying to the full the doors standing wide open and the fields white unto harvest instead of battering at gates of brass & seeking to force an entrance where the Spirit has not blown & no man of Macedonia is heard crying 'Come over & help us'.66 0 4 Eugene Stock, One hundred years: being the short history of the Church Missionary Society, Church Missionary Society, London, 1898, p.2; original emphasis. 6 5 Good to the Secretary, SPG, Report for the quarter ending June 30th 1873, USPG, E Series, Vol.28, 1873. 66 Good to the Secretary, SPG, Report for the quarter ending December 31st 1876, USPG, E Series, Vol.31, 1876. The provenance of this passage lies, of course, with StPaul: "And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us" (Acts 16: 9). Cf. Church Missionary Intelligencer, 1(4), 1849, p.75. 36 This use of a de-con textual ized spatial icon is not only very interesting, but also highly ironic. Ironic, because what was hidden by this abstract providential narrative was a struggle over geography T - but geography in the most material of senses. In order to de-politicize and purify their depictions of this event, Good and those who wrote about him had to remove this struggle from the attention of their readers. It is surely relevant that the way they did this was to shift from material to metaphorical geography. At the very least, the fabrication of this strangely ahistorical account suggests to me that the way to re-write this 'event' is to examine that geography in all its specific detail. Only then can the period be reconfigured in terms of all its contingencies and conflicts; and it is only by investigating this 'struggle over geography' that one can begin to grapple with the rapidly shifting power relations which marked this turbulent period of colonialism in British Columbia. History, contingency, and situated knowledges Do not interpretations belong to God? Genesis 40: 8 As for the imposing dogma that 'Providence' has put the Colonies into our hands, and that it is our duty to keep them, we must regard it not as an argument, but as a renunciation of argument. Goldwin Smith, 1863.67 In his book The World, the text, and the critic, Edward Said sets up an opposition between what he terms 'religious criticism' and 'secular criticism'. It is his attempt to pry contemporary literary criticism away from the former which leads him to invoke the latter: secular criticism is his favored route out of the sterile, uncritical dogmas of theological interpretation. In this introduction, I have so far been describing a particularly virulent 67 Goldwin Smith, quoted in Klaus E.Knorr, British colonial theories, 1570-1850, University of Toronto Press, Toronto, 1944, p.371. Smith, alongside Richard Cobden and John Bright, was a prominent member of the mid-nineteenth century Manchester School of foreign political theory; he was, for the most part, highly critical of Britain's imperial pretensions and practices. 37 form of 'religious criticism', a rendition of history which is both self-justifying in its teleology, and violent in its abstraction. In this section and the next I endeavor to work towards a secular understanding of Good's 'call' to Lytton in 1867. In so doing, I am exploring at length Said's thesis that critical consciousness can be seen as "a sort of spatial sense."68 For Said, the problems associated with 'religious criticism' are many, and it is useful to approach them here by way of Erich Auerbach's famous discussion of the Biblical narrative in Mimesis. Auerbach argues that in its attempt to present us with "universal history," the Old Testament necessarily presupposes a self-perpetuating narrative of Christian inclusion: every event, everywhere in the world, must be interpreted and (if necessary) fabricated as part of a preconceived historical sequence, beginning with the "beginning of time," and ending with "the fulfilling of the Covenant." It is thus the epitome of triumphant historicism, of all historical detail being reduced and manipulated at the mercy of a divine plan. In this sense it is also quintessentially colonizing. As Auerbach insists, "interpretation in a determined direction becomes a general method of comprehending reality."69 This understanding of religious historicism speaks directly to the way in which Good's relocation was conceptualized at the time. His summons was a mere component of a Christian master plan, a necessary and portentous ingredient in the Church's drive towards universal conversion. Indeed the 'event' of Good's 'beckoning' could only be comprehended, could only be infused with meaning, direction, and positivity, in the context of this providential determination. Good unsurprisingly appealed, therefore, to a notion of involuntary predestination, a Calvinist, theocentric philosophy, wherein History is conceived and controlled by a mysterious, abstract Power. The providential thesis which 68 Edward W.Said, The World, the text, and the critic. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1983, p.241. 69 Erich Auerbach, Mimesis: the representation of reality in Western literature, trans. William R. Trask, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1953, p. 16. 38 I have been exploring, then, was a prime example of the theological totalization examined by Auerbach: "the universal religio-historical perspective which gives the individual stories their general meaning and purpose."70 Crucially, this abstract rendering of an individual event, the placing of this event in the context of a narrative of transcendence, could only be achieved by taking that event out of its proper place — and by taking the 'place' out of the event. Religious 'interpretation', in this sense, not only effects but also necessitates a thorough de-spatialization of history. Events are not to be examined and understood within the context of their local physical and social surroundings. Instead, they are removed from that place, and transferred to an idealized realm within which local context is disallowed. Indeed once this removal has been achieved, the 'event' itself disappears from view, for now there is nothing to stop its adoptation into a teleology which is both preconceived and overdetermined — determined, in fact, by God. Geographical exactitude is not possible because the interpretive space into which the 'event' is to be slotted is so unflinchingly and intractably rigid. It is this kind of abstraction from detail which so infuriates Said, and he attacks the propensity for such appeals to "divine ordinance" as representing a thoroughly "uncritical religiosity."71 In Goldwin Smith's terms, argument and analysis are renounced in favor of deterministic dogma. The way out of this 'religiosity', claims Said, is by paying thorough attention to specifics, to situatedness, and it is in precisely this context that he has referred to his more recent empirical work as a "geographical inquiry into historical experience".72 70 ibid., p. 17. Salman Rushdie has described this form of religious telos as follows: "religion demands that God's will, not our small vanity, must prevail over history. To make it plain, we could say that religion places human beings beneath history." See his "'In God we trust'," in Imaginary homelands: essays and criticism 1981-1991, Granta Books, London, 1991. The quotation is from p.378. 7 1 Said, The world, the text, and the critic, pp.291,292. 72 Said, Culture and imperialism, p.6. Said's intense interest in the geographical specifics of history is renewed in a more recent article. See his "East isn't East: the impending end of the age of orientalism," Times Literary Supplement, 4792, February 3rd 1995 (where he notes on p.6 his keen regard for "the extension of post-colonial concerns to the problems of geography"). The suspicion remains, however, that in spite of all his allusions to the materiality of historical geography, Said in fact offers us a geography that is still far too abstract to meet his own strict demands. Indeed, this specific criticism has recently been 39 For geography, in this sense, entails the requisite attention to details, and denies the possibility of removing events from their 'place', and places from the 'event'. It holds out the possibility of re-politicizing the event that has been sterilized and subjected to closure. It is this 'spatial sense', therefore, which enables the writing of an ostensibly revisionist account, a narrative which resists the inevitability of theological history. Throughout this study, then, and most especially in this introduction, I try to insist on producing 'situated knowledge', knowledge which articulates the material specificities of time and space. It is important to be clear about this materiality, I think, since the current academic fetish for spatial metaphors is not necessarily adequate. Indeed this should be clear from my preceding discussion of the way in which an extremely rich metaphorical geography itself underscored the de-politicization of the colonial encounter at Lytton. As Neil Smith has pointed out, spatial metaphors tend to reinforce the "deadness of space" by postulating 'space' as an inert terrain upon which 'history' is simply played out.73 This was exactly the purpose served by the metaphors invoked by Good: geography was an unexplored backdrop to the unfolding of a predetermined historical progression. An incessant historicism was thus enacted through the reduction of 'space' to the grounds of metaphor. And significantly, of course, as Robert Young has so brilliantly shown, this appropriative and reductive historicism is emphatically colonial and colonizing.74 In the made by Neil Smith, who claims to find in Said exactly this kind of "geographical ambivalence." Neil Smith, "Geography, empire and social theory," Progress in human geography, 18(4), 1994, pp.491-500; the quotation is from p.494. But for a closer reading of Said's geography, see Derek Gregory, "Imaginative geographies," ibid., forthcoming. Strangely, both Smith and Gregory ignore the spatiality which Said invokes in The world, the text, and the critic, and it seems to me that no adequate assessment of 'Said's geography' can ignore the fundamental (and constitutive) disjuncture between religious and secular criticism which frames not only this crucial text, but the whole of his wider oeuvre. Said's point is that secular knowledge can be situated knowledge, whereas religious knowledge cannot. 7 3 Neil Smith, "Homeless/global: scaling places," in Jon Bird et al., eds., Mapping the futures: local cultures, global change, Routledge, London, 1993, p.98. See also Paul Carter's critique of 'imperial history' in his The road to Botany Bay, Faber and Faber, London, 1987. Imperial history is a history "which reduces space to a stage, that pays attention to events unfolding in time alone" (p.xvi). 74 Robert Young, White mythologies: writing History and the West, Routledge, New York, 1990; see chapter 1 in particular. 40 endeavor to subvert and redress such historicism, then, one must be doubly wary of the limitations and dangers of metaphor. Contemporary theory can learn this much, as I have suggested, from the constitution and politics of the imperial Anglican archive. It is through a focus on the 'struggle over geography', I therefore want to suggest, that it is possible to avoid outright historicism, and move at least some way towards what Foucault has called 'effective history'. Like Said, who has himself learnt so much from Foucault, the latter has attempted to conceptualize history as being "without providence or final cause." This is certainly my own task in depicting the colonial encounter at Lytton, and Foucault's discussion of the event is illuminating in this context. As he recognizes, an "entire historical tradition (theological or rationalistic) aims at dissolving the singular event into an ideal continuity — as a teleological movement or natural process."75 This is the 'uncritical religiosity' attacked by Said, and in the context of colonial history it has its recognizable trademarks: the 'event', whatever its details, becomes a mere illustration and reaffirmation of the predictable success of whites over 'others', of the white superiority which breeds a teleology of colonial conquest and Native ruin. Power relations are fixed and immutable in this scenario, with providence and abstraction denying the event its due uniqueness and radical contingency. My endeavor to re-think this local encounter has, I hope, benefited much from the work of Stephen Jay Gould, and in particular from his insistence upon the vital importance of contingency in history. Gould's book Wonderful Life is a stunning one, focusing on how the Western conceptualization of paleontological history has always been governed by deep cultural convictions and biases. Thus the interpretation of local fossil-beds has invariably been overdetermined, with our understanding of evolution governed by an overarching canon of inexorable progress, an unstoppable march towards the pinnacle of life: namely human consciousness. Gould refers to the specific mechanic of this 75 Michel Foucault, "Nietzsche, genealogy, history," in Language, counter-memory, practice: selected essays and interviews, ed. Donald F.Bouchard, Cornell University Press, 1977, pp. 155,154. 41 overdetermination as a 'shoehorn', where those fossils which do not immediately fit within this pre-ordained sequence are forced into line — a coercion somewhat akin to the effacement of the 'event' by religious teleology. This evolutionary understanding, claims Gould, favors "progress based on conquest and displacement." These terms, of course, are not inapplicable to traditional white narratives of colonialism, and if 'inferior races' are substituted for 'inferior' species, the philosophy of 'predictable replacement' appears remarkably consistent. Moreover, Gould reminds us of the religious prerogative lurking behind this providential paleontological progression. The rational unfolding of history towards its ultimate successional climax (human life and consciousness) was seen as "the manifestation of God's handiwork in the pathways of evolutionary change."76 Comparisons with the theological historicisms criticized by Auerbach and Said are obvious and, I think, not unfruitful. Gould's personal brilliance lies in his alternative vision, with the eventual evolution of human consciousness conceived not as predictable and necessary, but as highly contingent upon the vagaries of 'natural' history. The realization that "the actual outcome did not have to be" is, he insists, crucial. If anything different had happened along the way — and it so easily might have done — then human beings would never have appeared. His central dichotomy, therefore, is that of "predictability versus contingency," and in opting for the latter, the point is clarified that small changes in history can have massive implications in the long-run.77 Thus Gould enables us to think of the 'event' in a different way, not as something problematic to be subsumed within a grand, unchanging teleology; but as itself having important consequences for the nature of local history, because what followed would be contingent upon its unpredictable, shifting outcome. Gould suggests, for example, that this re-conceptualization has enabled him to think in radically different ways about the history of the American Civil War. In a similar vein, I think, David 7 6 Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful life: the Burgess Shale and the nature of history. Penguin, London, 1991, pp.259,262. 7 7 ibid., pp.284 (my emphasis),289. 42 Underdown's Fire from heaven can be seen as an urgent invocation of historical contingency, as opposed to abstract predictability. Underdown argues that the widespread appeal to puritanical Protestantism in the English town of Dorchester in the early-seventeenth century must be placed in local historical context: specifically, a fire had recently burnt the town to cinders. Residents turned to religion not due to any intrinsic imperative of Christian destiny, but because they needed some sort of order in their lives after any previous convictions had been shattered by this unexpected catastrophe.78 In terms of such apparent 'conversion', then, it is just such local contextualization I am searching for in examining the Lytton engagement with imperial Protestantism. This stress on contingency in colonial history is perhaps even more fundamental, I think, if only because the politics of predictability are here predicated upon racist theories of white supremacy. It is in the effort to reveal such contingency, to uncover the 'disturbing strangeness' of this period, that I focus on the politics of space — precisely because it was the removal of this spatiality which itself enabled the Anglican archive to render Good's move inevitable and divinely-inspired, a mere reaffirmation of Protestant destiny. The archive, therefore, inspires the theory. But it does so in more ways than one, for the cunning fracturing of the archive that I have already discussed makes one immediately aware of the situatedness of one's own knowledge claims. It has now become somewhat a commonplace, I think, to 'position' oneself in one's research, and to thus (supposedly) make oneself accountable and responsible for one's own knowledge-claims. The work of Donna Haraway has been especially influential in this context, in particular her endeavor to re-work the notion of 'objectivity' in a way which incorporates embodiment, and which emphasizes "limited location and situated knowledge, not... transcendence."79 ' ° David Underdown, Fire from heaven: the life of an English town in the seventeenth century. Harper Collins, London, 1992. 79 Haraway, "Situated knowledges," p. 190. 43 I must admit that I find these ideas very appealing, and Haraway's employment of spatial metaphors is perhaps part of the instinctive attraction. But too often, I think, 'space' is reduced to the level of metaphor alone, and the material geography of one's own history is ignored. I have already alluded to some of the dangers of such a limitation. Or, alternatively, people may 'position' themselves in their work, and admit that they speak from a 'partial' position, but then go ahead with research in a way which suggests that that subjectivity has no direct bearing on the (again objective) knowledge that is being produced. Thus the 'situating' process becomes a rather pointless indulgence, an exercise in solipsistic introspection. Historians have probably been more guilty than most in these respects, but a careful analysis of Foucault's 'effective history' points up another possibility. He claims that it is only through the effacement of "proper individuality" that "demagogic or religious knowledge" of the type I have depicted can be produced. This abstraction, he goes on, is occasioned by the "unusual pains" taken by historians to "erase the elements in their work which reveal their grounding in a particular time and place." This suggests to me that to produce a knowledge which insists on situation, on the specifics of historical geography, the producer of that knowledge must be rigorously attentive to her or his own contemporary situation. The two notions of 'situated knowledge', like the historical domains to which they supposedly apply — in other words 'past' and 'present' — cannot be rendered distinct. In both cases, there is a close relation between de-spatialized knowledge and de-politicization. In both the colonial appeal to 'providence', and the contemporary appeal to 'objectivity', the situatedness of a material geography is denied. Thus, in a phrase which I find particularly telling, Foucault argues that knowledge must be "allowed to create its own genealogy in the act of cognition."80 The notion of 'situating oneself is not, therefore, to be seen as a necessary addendum or preface to the research 8 u Foucault, "Nietzsche, genealogy, history," pp. 156-9. 44 process. Instead, knowledge must be personally situated in the very moment of its critical creation. Working with the Anglican imperial archive, such as it is, this fact becomes very clear. As should be obvious from my discussion of this archive, the kind of knowledge one produces is bound to be fundamentally influenced by one's relation to the geography of that heterogeneous mass of material. In many ways, my own trajectory — which has taken me from England to British Columbia (and temporarily, for research purposes, back again) — parallels that not only of Britain's former imperial representatives, but also of the polished knowledge which was sent off to the colony for safe public consumption. The argument could be made, therefore, that research in Britain's archives would offer up a richer study, with direct access to the 'pure' knowledge which Christian authorities demanded, and which they expected to receive. But this hypothetical claim ignores a number of considerations. First, it is at best difficult to write coherently about British colonialism from a country that, in so many ways, continues to deny its historical culpability. In those instances where it is not deemed appropriate to atavistically celebrate the 'glory days' of British global power, the imperial era is studiously ignored. In both cases, Empire is conceived as a thing of the past — as a nostalgic indicator of bygone triumphs, and thus of the poverty of the national present (be it in realms as diverse as industrial capitalism, military capacity, and international sport), or subjected to a geographical displacement and portrayed as something that simply happened 'over there'. When one arrives in British Columbia, on the other hand, the history of British colonialism is writ large. No doubt it would have been possible to examine this particular Anglican mission enterprise from Britain, and using Britain's archives; but the results would have been very different from the thesis I have written. The second point relates more specifically to these archives, for the idealistic theory of the 'pure' archive was always flawed. Religious knowledge was never the only colonial knowledge produced, and zealous Christian editors back in England had no control over 45 what was and was not said in the colony's secular domain. Moreover, secular representatives in British Columbia did not feel obliged to fit Good's 'call' into a preordained narrative of providence and Christian teleology; albeit with certain presumptions and predilections, most of them merely recalled what they heard, saw, and believed. They did not produce religious knowledge, but secular knowledge, and these records are located today in British Columbian (and not British) archives. My situated knowledge, then, involves working with records which themselves insisted on situation, on the politics of place — not with records which rendered 'place' invisible and insignificant through an appeal to ahistorical abstraction. It is in this sense that the archive inspires both the conceptions of situated knowledge with which I am trying to work, but which simultaneously renders them indissoluble. The production of one is informed by the partial presence of the other. It seems entirely appropriate, I think, that the information with which one can try to deconstruct colonial History is located in the ex-colony, this distinctive archival spatiality offering up a challenge to the calculated imperial geographies of power and knowledge. This information could not be scanned and dissected in Britain for the simple reason that it never made it there: it was forever out of reach. And lastly, surely nothing could be more appropriate than a secular account, one which attempts to subvert the teleologies and abstractions of a religious narrative, being based at least in part on the letters and journals of those of a thoroughly secular persuasion.81 811 am not unaware of the criticism which has been leveled at 'secularism', and more particularly at Said's self-fashioning as an avowedly 'secular intellectual'. But I am not arguing that secular interpretation is the only way to do history, for I realize that such an unambiguous invocation can easily be taken to belittle the epistemological grounds of non-Western, indigenous societies. Rather, I want to suggest that from my position, working exclusively with white records, it is simply the best available form of historical research and writing — perhaps politically-speaking, but certainly conceptually. For me, secular inquiry can endeavor to deny teleologies, and lean in the direction of openness and anti-essentialism. For as Goldwin Smith so astutely observed, to imply that interpretation 'belongs to God' is not to make an argument, but to renounce argument and the possibility for discussion. It is this imposition of closure that enrages Said, and Salman Rushdie too, the latter castigating what he sees as "the end of debate, of dispute, of dissent." This quotation comes from his "In good faith," in Imaginary homelands, p.396. (For an interesting reflection on Said and secularism, see R.Radhakrishnan's contribution to 46 What is going on at Lytton? The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. Psalms 9: 9 When Good arrived on the mainland of British Columbia in 1866, he was by no means a stranger to inter-denominational controversy. During his time at Nanaimo, Good had come into direct conflict with the Methodist missionary Ebenezer Robson. Hailing from eastern Canada, and sponsored by the Wesleyan Missionary Society, Robson had arrived in Nanaimo before Good, and his personal diary subsequently reveals a running battle over the 'rights' to that particular territory. Initially, this discord revolved around the white residents of Nanaimo, because from his first day in town Good began to lure members of Robson's congregation and school to his own Church. Robson, who in his journal and correspondence strikes the reader as being, in spite of his evident zealousness, fairly honest and level-headed, was not amused. His bemoaning of Good's nefarious tactics is revealing, for it suggests a very different story from the 'providence' which supposedly underwrote the colonial progress of the Anglican church: By hook, crook, and every other way they have got a large number of our Scholars away and alas a number of the people from our congregation. Proclaiming apostolical succession & the exclusive right of the 'apostolical' ministers to administer baptism ... has had its effect with the ignorant. Fair competition I have no objection to but underhanded work of this kind I abhor from my heart82 Soon this friction was to spill over into the realm of their respective work with Natives. Before the arrival of both Good and Robson, the aboriginal inhabitants of the Nanaimo area had seen their lives radically affected by the machinations of secular "Edward Said's Culture and imperialism: a symposium," Social Text, 40, 1994, pp. 1-24; see in particular pp. 18-19.) 8 2 Robson, Diary, September 22nd 1861. 47 colonialism, with its exclusionary political geographies having forced them onto reserve land. All the land in 'town' was now owned by the Hudson's Bay Company. Robson was keen to effect some form of engagement with these Natives, in addition to the ministerial work which he carried out amongst the town's white population, and for this purpose he selected a site on the reserve upon which he planned to build a school-house. In June 1862, however, Good approached Robson and asked him to give up that site in order that an Anglican institution could be erected there instead. This was in spite of the fact that Robson had informed the Natives of his plan, and had also been granted government authority — "to say nothing of my being a year and a half before him in the Indian work." Robson, not surprisingly, refused Good's arrogant request, and his summation of the Anglican minister was again damning: "He does not recognize me as having any equal claims with him — looks upon his church as the only church & acts accordingly."83 I refer to this incident at Nanaimo because, in many ways, there are close parallels with what happened later at Yale and Lytton. Here too there was constant strife with other denominations, though in this case it was normally Roman Catholics that were in dispute with Good's beliefs and practices. But these conflicts, like that at Nanaimo, almost invariably centered upon a 'struggle over geography'. There were, however, some important differences. On the Island, the Nanaimo band appear to have had little control over their own spiritual allegiances. Condemned to reserve-land, they seem in this instance to have been mere pawns in a parochial battle of personalities and theologies. As Robson noted in his diary, Good's efforts to intercede were always destined to be futile, for he had "already placed the plot of ground on the map of the reserve."84 The deal was, as it were, signed and sealed, and the very next week it was delivered: Robson headed off to Victoria for the mere formality of getting permission 8 3 Robson, Diary, June 22nd 1862. 8 4 Robson, Diary, June 22nd 1862. 48 from the Land Office to use the site which had been set aside. In thus rearranging the local cartography, Robson was engaging with a locus of power/knowledge to which the Natives had no effective access, but which nevertheless constrained and enframed their daily lives. Power relations were emphatically in favor of the white intruders. In terms of Good's 'call' to Lytton, however, things were not quite so clear-cut. I suggest here that the Nlaka'pamux, in 1867, retained a degree of control over their everyday lives, and that their 'appeal' to Good was one example of that control being exercised with great tact and intelligence. Indeed, a case can be made that the 'pawn' here was not the communal band, as it seems to have been at Nanaimo, but Good himself — a mere object in a dispute between the Nlaka'pamux and the French Roman Catholics who had periodically visited them in preceding years. The Nlaka'pamux do not then appear as enframed objects in a broader teleology, but as subjects endeavoring to control their own destiny at the level of everyday life. In this scenario, power relations are not skewed immutably towards white imperialists, but are contingent, ever-shifting, and are produced and reproduced from day-to-day. This re-appraisal is important, I think, if only because the discursive denial of Native agency has always underpinned the exploitative paternalism of colonial 'protection'. Those Anglican missionaries who preceded Good to the Fraser Canyon were well aware of the Roman Catholic presence. They were, moreover, keen to imply that not only was Roman Catholic teaching fundamentally flawed, but that Natives were themselves not satisfied with the instruction they were receiving. As early as 1860 Bishop Hills, having taken a canoe up the Fraser from Hope, reported from Yale that a Catholic Priest seemed to have raised a storm with some of the local Natives: A few weeks since a Priest came round & according to their custom baptized all children. Some children have since died & the Indians attribute the disaster to the Priest. Several Indians were despatched after him to kill him & he has only escaped by returning another way by the Douglas route instead of this.85 8 5 Hills, Diary, June 10th 1860. 49 At the time of the Bishop's visit, William Crickmer was the resident minister at Yale, Alexander Pringle having moved down-river to Hope. Crickmer had only recently arrived in town, but one of his overwhelming first impressions was the apparent influence of the Roman Catholic church over Yale's white inhabitants. Indeed, this supremacy was advanced by Crickmer as uppermost in his mind when he decided to open a day-school for the town's children. One great reason for my opening the school is, that it is a great and indirect weapon against Rome, which is very largely represented, in both parish and school, by Italian, Spanish, French, Irish, and French-Canadian Romanists.86 There is little doubt that the Roman Catholic church, in the early 1860s, held a similar authority at Lytton — again, in terms of both the Native and white populations. After Hills' arrival in Yale in June 1860, he and Crickmer set off into the interior, a trip which took them through (amongst other places) Lytton. With respect to its white inhabitants, Crickmer claimed to find "the city wholly given to idolatry — the worship of the golden image, whose votaries in these latter days are alarmingly spreading their rites and religion all over the world." Moreover, he noted that a July 1st discussion with two members of the Nlaka'pamux nation evinced a similar Catholic inspiration. "We have evidence," he boldly asserted, "of the nature and extent of Rome's teaching and apostasy amongst the Indians, even in this farthest region of the earth."87 This Roman Catholic sway in the Canyon was perceived as a major problem by Anglican missionaries, and it was with this foreign 'supremacy' that Good felt determined to engage when he arrived at Yale in 1866. His reports written that year certainly afford the 8 6 "Letter from the Rev. W.B. Crickmer, 1860-1," BCARS, E/B/C873. Bishop Hills thought Crickmer's local 'warfare' with the Catholic church to be imprudent, and for this he criticized him, sensing that he had "offended needlessly the feeling[s] of weaker brethren." Hills, Diary, June 22nd 1862. 8 7 "Letter from the Rev. W.B. Crickmer, 1860-1." 50 impression that, at least in part, the reason he was so pleased to leave the town a year later was the strong Catholic presence there. In one such report, pieced together with extracts from his journal, Good recalled discussions he had had with Natives on the Yale reserve. He noted, however, that not all were immediately willing to talk to him: "Some few, ... from fear of what the Roman Catholic priest might do or say, withdrew after a few moments." Following on from this, he makes the more general observation that the Roman Catholic church had "long held a nominal hold upon the greater number of the Frazer Indians, governing them by fear and the assumption of priestly power."88 Ironically enough, this all sounds vaguely familiar to Ebenezer Robson's criticisms of Good himself, but the point is nevertheless an interesting one — Good was infuriated by the apparent local authority of another denomination. And Good's anger with the Yale situation, it seems, often boiled over into open controversy, just as it had with the Methodists at Nanaimo. Thus in June 1867 Peter O'Reilly, the Chief Gold Commissioner and Justice of the Peace, wrote to the colony's Attorney General to inform him of a conflict between Good and Leon Fouquet, a Roman Catholic Priest who, for a number of years, had been working at various points along the Fraser. O'Reilly indicated that Fouquet had lodged some kind of complaint against Good, but that up to that point in time, his own efforts to settle the dispute had been in vain: "I have done all in my power to settle the matter, but they are like Kilkenny cats."89 This controversy, it turns out, was resolved a few days later and hands were shaken all round; but it would not be the last time that Good was embroiled in such a local conflict. For like Crickmer, Good too was well aware of the fact that it was not only the Natives at Yale who had been in contact with Roman Catholics. When he was first visited by Sashiatan in March 1867, he reflected at length upon the peculiar methods of 'Christian' worship which the Nlaka'pamux deputation had adopted on the evening of this initial 8 8 Columbia Mission Report. 9, 1867, pp.70,71. 8 9 Peter O'Reilly to Sir Henry Pering Pellew Crease, June 10th 1867, BCARS, A/E/C86/C86/Or3. 51 encounter. These, he concluded, could only have been gleaned from Roman Catholic pedagogy, and he lamented that the Lytton band had thus far been left to "the undisputed sway of a foreign power."90 There follows, in a later extract from his journal, a veritable diatribe against this 'foreign power': The Romish clergy have lately been at extraordinary pains to inspire dread of our teaching, misrepresenting our Church in every way they can devise. ... [TJheir teaching is all veiled beneath such a cloud of superstition, error, and ceremonial observances, that an ignorant savage may never hope to find out the simple truth respecting the salvation which 'hath appeared unto all men.' The contest between Rome and ourselves must come 9 1 Indeed, in a sense, it did come, perhaps somewhat sooner than Good anticipated. But in this local contest, which was at base a struggle over geography, these two denominations were by no means the only participants. The real actors, those who were calling the shots, were not missionaries but Native people themselves. This next principal clash involving Roman Catholics and Anglicans occurred in October 1867, a matter of months after Good had received his 'invitation' to minister to the Nlaka'pamux at Lytton, and had taken them up on their offer. This incident revolved around one particular space, the Lytton reserve; and within that space, one particular building — a chapel that had been constructed a few years previously. In mid-October the Governor of the colony, Frederick Seymour, had received a complaint from Fouquet about an 'assault' which had taken place at this chapel, and he subsequently wrote to O'Reilly with the following information: A complaint has been made to me by the ReW [L.M.] Fouquet that a Roman Catholic Priest, Father [LeJacq], was assaulted by some Indians at Lytton & the keys of the chapel taken by force out of his pocket. It is alleged that Mr Hall, the Constable was in some way connected with the affair, but of this I have no proof. 9 0 Columbia Mission Report. 9, 1867, p.74. 91 ibid., pp.75-6; my emphasis. 52 Seymour instructed O'Reilly, within whose jurisdiction Lytton fell, to go up the Canyon to investigate, and also to report back on the ownership of the chapel — Seymour obviously felt this to be an important facet of the case. Perhaps more interestingly, however, Seymour also included in his letter an inquiry as to whether or not O'Reilly believed it entirely necessary for Good to "disturb the minds of the Indians already converted to Christianity by the agency of the Catholic priests as he is alleged to be doing."92 The Governor's intonation implied that he himself did not see it as particularly expedient, and that in his eyes, Good was unnecessarily encroaching upon the spiritual territory of another denomination. The Roman Catholics themselves were inclined to think the same way. In accordance with the Governor's instructions, O'Reilly had gone up to Lytton on Monday October 21st, and immediately contacted the local constable to demand his version of the events. By the end of the week he felt he had obtained all the information he needed, and upon returning to Yale, filed off his report to Seymour. It turned out that a Catholic priest, Father LeJacq, had been 'assaulted' on the reserve, and O'Reilly was of the opinion that the Native culprits should be punished for this offense. But this was not yet possible, he informed the Governor, for "in the absence of a formal complaint it is impossible to take any steps in the matter."93 Within a few days, however, such an official complaint was forthcoming from LeJacq, and O'Reilly served a summons upon the alleged perpetrators for the first week of the following month.94 The case went to court in Lytton on Tuesday November 5th, with O'Reilly entering the following details in his Court Book: "Chillue & Troppasa, Indians, charged by the Revd J.M.J. Lejacq with having assaulted, & taken from his pocket a certain key, at Lytton on the 4th Octr 1867." The penalty handed down by O'Reilly was for the guilty parties to each pay a fine of $25 — in default of which they 9 2 Frederick Seymour to O'Reilly, 14th October 1867, BCARS, A/E/Or3/Se91. 9 3 O'Reilly to Seymour, October 25th 1867, BCARS, A/E/Or3/Or3.18. 9 4 See O'Reilly, Diaries, Thursday October 31st 1867, BCARS, Microfilm R12A. "Father Lejacq lodged information against 4 Lytton Indians for assault & for taking the key of the Church." 53 would serve one month's imprisonment with hard labor.95 This harsh alternative was not necessary, however, for a local Yale merchant came forward and paid the outstanding $50 on the Natives' behalf.96 This man, a Mr. Buie, was (perhaps not surprisingly) a close friend of the Reverend John Booth Good.97 So what was the significance of this 'certain key' referred to by both Seymour and O'Reilly? The most detailed information on the historical precedents leading up to this episode at the chapel is to be found in O'Reilly's report to the Governor. This letter was itself based on the information supplied to O'Reilly by Mr. Hall — who was immediately relieved of any culpability in the whole affair — and it is, I think, worth quoting from at length. For here we get to glimpse, perhaps, some of the real motivations at stake in Good's 'call' to Lytton just months prior to the infamous 'assault': With regard to the proprietorship of the Chapel, it appears to me to be a legal question; from what I have been able to learn, it was built some years since, on the Reserve, entirely at the expense of the Indians, the key has always remained in their hands, and they have been in the habit of performing service in it for themselves; on the other hand, I am informed that the Priests allege, that the Chapel, when built, was handed over to them by the Indians, and was consecrated for the performance of the Roman Catholic worship. It would appear that the Priests, never very regular in their attendance at Lytton, have lately almost ceased to go there, and some months had elapsed since the visit of any priest, when Father [LeJacq] arrived, and the unpleasant circumstances alluded to in Mr. Hall's report, took place. The neglect of the Priests, it would seem, gave offence to the Lytton Indians, and caused them to invite an Episcopal Clergyman, the Revd Mr Good to become resident among them; the result of which is, that nearly the whole tribe now profess the Protestant Religion.98 >^ "British Columbia, County Court Book, Lytton, 1859-1875." Entry for November 5th 1867. BCARS, GR 0594. The severity of this penalty is immediately evident from a brief perusal of other cases which were tried in the Lytton courtroom during the same period. Just over a year later, for example, a white man was charged with having assaulted a Native woman at Lytton, and was demanded to pay $5, in default of which he would be imprisoned for just 48 hours. This in itself suggests the obvious: that all were not equal before the eyes of the law. See entry for December 8th 1868. 96 This information was provided by Bishop Hills in his Diary, May 28th 1868. I will turn to Hills' received interpretation of events presently, but for now it is interesting to note his opinion that the $25 penalty "was deemed excessive." 97 See, for example: Good to the Secretary, SPG, Report for the quarter ending September 30th 1871, USPG, E Series, Vol.26, 1870-1. 98 O'Reilly to Seymour, October 25th 1867. 54 This letter certainly serves to put the chapel 'assault' into some kind of historical context. But surely it does so much more. It helps to provide, I think, a more secular and detailed understanding of Good's relocation to Lytton. For what is invoked here is not the Lord's guiding hand, an intangible 'providential' intervention, but a pragmatism bred of annoyance at Roman Catholic indifference; not an open door to be eagerly pounced upon, but a Native space, a space which the Nlaka'pamux owners were more than willing to 'let out' on a temporary basis. Here, I think, was a politics of space in which the Nlaka'pamux were (at least partially) in charge, and retention of the key to the chapel was a symbol of that power and control. They had built the chapel of their own accord, and had allowed Roman Catholic priests to use the chapel when they passed through Lytton. But it seems they were very much unconvinced by the level of Roman Catholic commitment, and in order to make their point to those who had signally let them down, they decided to give the Anglicans a chance instead. This was a chance, of course, which Good accepted with relish. The most important point, however, about this Anglican fortuity, is its provenance and genealogy — not heaven-sent, it seems, but in fact contingent upon a unique array of local actors and interactions. As in the English town studied by Underdown, the appeal to Protestantism was attributable, as much as anything else, to the intriguing geography of circumstance." To the best of my knowledge, Good never wrote openly about any of this detail, and it was his persistent reiteration of the 'providential' thesis which rendered it hegemonic in the printed press. But Bishop Hills did refer to the incident at the chapel, describing in his diary what he had been able to find out during his trip to the mainland in 1868. 99 Underdown, Fire from heaven. The fact of Roman Catholic itinerance is noted by Ebenezer Robson, who, like Good, moved to Yale after his time at Nanaimo. In 1863 he remarked that Natives at Yale had been periodically visited — "once in 2 or 3 months" — by Catholic priests. See his Diary, July 5th 1863. It was the same apparent lack of attention which irked the Nlaka'pamux at Lytton, and which led them to appeal to Good in 1867. It was perhaps this incident, then, that finally confirmed Good in his belief that the establishment of a 'strong center' had to come before itinerance could be safely undertaken. See chapter 3 in particular. 55 However, when he next wrote to the SPG to inform them of the general progress of his diocese — a letter in which he included many extracts from his diary, including notes taken while at Lytton — all this information was excluded.100 Situated knowledge had become, suddenly and necessarily, blindingly abstract. Readers of the Mission Field and Columbia Mission Report always remained oblivious, therefore, of the real occurrences at Lytton in 1867. Hills' diary is interesting, however, since it helps to flesh out a few of the details ignored in O'Reilly's initial account. Principally, it divulges more information about the key which was apparently taken from the priest by the Natives charged with 'assault'. This key, it seems, was held by Sashiatan, but he was not present when LeJacq arrived in Lytton in the first week of October 1867. In the absence of the Chief, an Indian who travelled with the Priest got the key by false statements from the Chiefs wife & the Priest kept it contrary to the agreement. The Indians heard of it & demanded its [return]. The Priest refused to give it up & they took it out of his pocket.101 It was, therefore, the priest's effort to wrest from them the key (in both senses of the word) to the control of that space, which aroused the ire of these two Native men. The Roman Catholic church evidently believed that Lytton was 'their space' on the spiritual map of British Columbia — just as Good thought the same following his arrival on the scene102 — 1 0 0 Hills to Bullock, 27th June 1868, USPG, CLR Series, Vol.149, 1859-91. 101 Hills, Diary, May 28th 1868. Additional information provided here by Hills claims that the Constable, Mr. Hall, then advised the Natives to return the key to LeJacq. Hall informed LeJacq that the key would only be returned to him if he promised to drop all charges. The Natives stuck to their side of the bargain (the key was returned) but LeJacq evidently did not — "this condition he violated." 102 indeed, Good reflected with pleasure in late-1868 that the "Roman Priests no longer interfere with us in respect to our settled occupation as Missionary to the Thompson tribe." Good to the Secretary, SPG, Report for the quarter ending December 1868, USPG, E Series, Vol.25, 1869-70. The loss of Lytton seems to have been a considerable blow to the Catholics, to the extent that A.G.Morice would later refer to Good's arrival as the "first and only serious check in the history of the Pacific coast missions." History of the Catholic Church in Western Canada: from Lake Superior to the Pacific (1659-1895), Vol.11, Musson Book Company, Toronto, 1910, p.353. 56 but this could only be the case in a metaphorical cartography which ignored Native interest and agency. Of course it was the same Native agency which was muted in Good's appeal to providential intervention. But what I am trying to show is that by focusing upon the materiality of the events of 1867, it is possible to indicate that power relations amongst colonizers and colonized were not, at that stage, fixed, immutable, and transcendent. They were in fact immanent, tied irrevocably to the particular 'struggle over geography' which was undoubtedly central to the changes taking place during that period. By endeavoring to avoid abstraction, I am trying to avoid the easy slippage that can occur into a colonial narrative of imperial conquest and Native devastation. For such is the 'religiosity' of colonial History, a progressive historicism which relies upon the invocation of external powers and divine predestination. Instead, by investigating the aspirations and conflicts implicit in a local geopolitics, I am trying to argue that a more properly postcolonial history must of necessity be a historical geography. The question remains, however, of whether the principal motivation in approaching Good was spiritual or temporal — or whether it was simply an effort to invoke revenge upon a wayward Roman Catholic priest. I think that although' the latter was definitely important, it cannot alone explain the 'call' that Good received in 1867. But I am equally convinced that, despite Good's persistent claims to the contrary, they did not seek his presence purely out of admiration for his reputed spiritual excellence. Indeed, many of Good's own comments and practices over the years imply that he himself detected a strong temporal imperative in their attention to his teachings. This anxiety, which needled him throughout the years he spent among the Nlaka'pamux, was at the heart of the extraordinarily long probationary period upon which he insisted before administering the sacrament of baptism. I discuss this at much greater length in chapter 4, but it suffices to say here that he would not accept Natives into his 'fold' until convinced of their spiritual and moral righteousness. I take this up further in chapter 5, arguing that it was in fact their 57 morality about which he was most concerned — not so much the beliefs hidden in their minds, but the visible rectitude of their respective bodies. It was only in the morality of the body that final proof of 'conversion' could be rendered manifest. Good's angst on this matter stemmed, I believe, from this worry that he was being 'used' for purely temporal motives. If Natives actually changed the way they lived on a day-to-day basis, then perhaps he really could believe them. There was always a danger, though, that they would simply admit to being 'converted' in order to receive his temporal assistance. As Good himself put it, in a passage which hints at his own suspicions: "they are ready to believe anything that may be told them on the strength of our own reputed authority."103 Of course missionaries did provide 'help' for Natives in many ways. Good's medical advice was often sought; and within months of his arrival in Lytton his advocacy on land issues was in much demand. He was English, of course, and ostensibly carried some weight within the English colonial apparatus — as the Nlaka'pamux likely realized, LeJacq did not. This realization may have informed their appeal to Good in 1867, and given this possibility he was forced to elide the land question when trying to persuade his audience that the Nlaka'pamux interest could only be spiritual. He reminded readers of the Columbia Mission Report that "our Indians are under no kind of constraint, but are free and independent in every sense, and that therefore their obedience to our teaching is the simplest result of personal conviction."104 Constraint may not have been total, but there can be little doubt that the restrictive reserve system implored Natives to seek aid where they could find it. Good himself spoke often about the "neglect and injustice" occasioned by the policies of the colonial government; about the consistent secular "abuse of power." Indeed he summed up the history of British Columbia as one of whites "robbing [Natives] of their birth right and title to inheritance."105 Given these views, it is not surprising that 103 Good to the Secretary, SPG, Report for the quarter ending March 31st 1870, USPG, E Series, Vol.25, 1869-70. 1 0 4 Columbia Mission Report. 17, 1875, p.25. 1 0 5 Good to the Secretary, SPG, Report for the quarter ending September 1869, USPG, E Series, Vol.25, 1869-70. 58 Good acted 'on behalf of a number of Native bands when he felt that they were getting a raw deal from the secular authorities. There was at least an element of truth to Good's claim that, in terms of the relationship between Natives and secular whites, missionaries "stand of course as mediators between the two."106 There was, then, a fundamental paradox that missionaries like Good faced. On the one hand, they felt morally obliged to assist Native people where they saw "wrongs & grievances" that were in need of being redressed. But on the other hand, they knew that if they provided such temporal 'aid', they could never be entirely sure of the spiritual conversion of those who pledged their allegiance. As Good emphasized in no uncertain terms: "Let the Natives be as independent of the Missionary in a temporal point of view as English parishioners are of their Clergyman, then he may depend on the sincerity of his adherents."107 Good's own answer to this dilemma was to go with his own moral prerogative, and act on behalf of British Columbia's First Nations when he felt obliged to do so. This occurred first and foremost on reserve issues, and I discuss Good's involvement on this front in the conclusion to this study. I argue that this commitment was terribly important, because the active Native agency which I have been discussing in this section was largely dissolved during Good's tenure at Lytton. When he had arrived, it had been their own decision to invite him: they had been, on the whole, in charge of their own destiny. But by the time Good left Lytton in 1883, power relations between whites and Natives had tilted firmly in the direction of the colonizing population. It seems to me that Good's engagement on the reserve issue had a good deal to do with this change, for in his adopted position as mediator, he removed the Native voice from direct access to discourses of power and secular authority. In 1867 they seem to have had this access, for the medium 1 0 6 Good to the Secretary, SPG, Report for the quarter ending March 1871, USPG, E Series, Vol.26, 1870-71. 1 0 7 Good to the Secretary, SPG, Report for the quarter ending June 30th 1876, USPG, E Series, Vol.31, 1876; original emphasis. 59 they employed with which to 'call' Good was the telegraph system. It was the April 1867 telegram he received (in Chinook), saying "you had better make haste and come," which had finally persuaded him to leave Yale. 1 0 8 This indicates an access to a modern nexus of power/knowledge which, for example, the Nanaimo Natives whose lives were (literally) 'mapped' out by Ebenezer Robson, did not possess. But by the 1880s, the Nlaka'pamux could no longer aspire to such direct control. Good's role in this shift was, I believe, vital. And such was the ultimate impotence of missionaries in the realm of secular politics, that Natives often ended up without the influential temporal assistance they were perhaps looking for in the first place. When exactly this shift in power took place is difficult, if not impossible, to judge. But it is just possible that Good's 1870 decision to move his mission away from the center of Lytton, to the outskirts of town, was in itself important. For as I have argued in this introduction, control over that space, and who might be using it, was a vital component of the constitution of local power relations. In any case, I endeavor to chart something of these changes in what follows. The last word here I will leave not with Good but with, perhaps appropriately, a person of a more secular leaning: the Governor of British Columbia. For when he wrote to O'Reilly in the summer of 1868, expressing his continued concern over Good's "mischief with the Indians," he felt obliged to ask a question that I myself have grappled with in this thesis: "What is going on at Lytton?"109 Columbia Mission Report. 9, 1867, p.76. Seymour to O'Reilly, June 21st 1868, BCARS, A/E/Or3/Se91. 60 P A R T O N E MISSIONARY POSITIONS 61 In part one of this thesis I address the nature of Anglican missionary discourse. It will be readily apparent that much of my discussion uses Edward Said's work on 'Orientalism' as something of a template. In recent years considerable criticism has been leveled at such 'discourse analysis', much of it suggesting that this preoccupation has obscured the work that needs to be done in the more substantive realm of historical-geographical inquiry.1 There is an important point here, for the study of 'discourses' can easily lapse into a rather abstract textualism — but this is not necessarily the case. I argue that the more material investigations which follow in part two of this thesis need to be couched in the context of the beliefs which evangelists like Good took with them to the mission field. It is impossible to understand the practices of Anglican colonization without paying due heed to the idiosyncrasies of missionary thought in nineteenth century Britain. In this way the analysis of Christian imperial convictions, of 'missionary positions', underscores and informs the substance of later chapters. That is not to say that 'discourse' underwrites practice in a mechanical, instrumentalist fashion — many of Good's own policies clearly suggest otherwise — but it is to insist that the discourses of the metropolis provide a necessary framework for any detailed inquiry. As Salman Rushdie reminds us in the instructively expansive sensibilities of Midnight's Children: "To understand just one life, you have to swallow the world. I told you that." I should also note that I am well aware that, as Robert Young has recently indicated, "it is not enough to produce individual instances that appear to contradict Said's thesis."2 That is not my intention at all. Rather, I want to suggest that most of the work which has followed in the wake of Said's Orientalism has been somewhat lacking in two particular areas, and that these 'omissions' probably have a good deal to do with the enormous influence Said's book has had upon contemporary scholarship. For such has 1 See for example Benita Parry, "Problems in current theories of colonial discourse," Oxford Literary Review. 9, 1987, pp.27-58. 2 Robert J.C.Young, Colonial desire: hybridity in theory, culture and race. Routledge, London and New York, 1995, p. 166. 62 been its sway — one author has appropriately referred to its "textbook status"3 — that its own limitations have suffused much of the postcolonial literature. First, there is the important question of regional focus, and the fact that "there has been a noticeable geographical and historical homogenization of the history of colonialism."4 The greater part of work on colonial history continues to focus predominantly upon Africa and India, and this study of British Columbia is in part an effort to unsettle that geographical bias — if only to point out that colonialism differed markedly from place to place. Said's own work focused upon the discursive constitution of that region defined by western Europeans as the 'Orient', but it seems to me that it is not 'place' so much as 'space' which now needs to be reconfigured. In particular, I think that the standard dichotomization of the world into 'West' and 'non-West' is in large part responsible for the continued ignorance of certain local histories. This division has a long colonial heritage, as Said consistently reminds us, with the secular discourses of 'Orientalism' seemingly resting upon a "fundamental ontological division between the West and the rest of the world." Leaving aside the question of the pervasiveness, or otherwise, of such a conceptual divide (I turn to this in chapter 1), it is important to note the immediate slippage in Said's account: for the 'rest of the world' is suddenly transformed into '"the Orient', Africa, India, Australia."5 But what of Canada, and what of British Columbia? To raise this question is not, I think, to be unnecessarily pedantic, for I do not believe that mere coincidence can alone account for this omission. Today, when we think of the 'West', we automatically think of North America and western Europe. But in the mid-nineteenth century, the 'West' was generally conceived in a more constricted fashion, limited solely to parts of Europe — in Said's history of 'Orientalism', the United States 3 Thomas, Colonialism's culture, p.8. 4 Young, Colonial desire, p. 164. 5 Said, Culture and imperialism, pp. 129,130. See also his comments on the "difference separating East from West" in Orientalism, p.57. 63 only entered the 'West' in the twentieth century. The position of British Columbia within this powerful binary cartography has also shifted over time. Today, British Columbia is 'Western', and thus deemed external to the 'non-Western Third World' countries which collectively occupy the attention of most historians of colonialism. But during the British imperial expansion of the 1860s and 1870s, British Columbia was emphatically not part of that space thought of as the 'West'. Our inability to problematize the unstable nature of this overarching spatial dualism through time has, it seems, condemned British Columbia to the interstices of our representational schema. Such an oversight does great injustice to the important history of colonialism in the province, and more acutely to the direct legacy of that history in the context of today's continuing struggles over land.6 The second issue raised by Said's account relates more closely to the nature of colonial discourse. Specifically, the various breeds of 'Orientalism' excavated in his book are almost exclusively secular discourses; as he notes near the beginning of his account, he self-consciously ignores "the background in Biblical scholarship to the rise of what I have called modern Orientalism."7 Similar silences are evident in his more recent work, and it is on that score that he has been taken to task by Linda Colley. It is not possible to come to terms with British imperialism, she claims, unless one engages with the "uncompromising Protestantism"8 which underpinned and (often, but not always) justified that expansive mentality. The point I wish to make is a little different, but, I hope, equally practical. It seems to me that one simply cannot understand the specificities of missionary practice, unless one accepts the fact that Christian colonial discourses differed considerably from their secular counterparts. Chapters 1 and 2 represent an extended attempt to elucidate some of these 6 For an interesting discussion of other problems related to this 'West/non-West' dualism, see Matthew Sparke, "White mythologies and anemic geographies: A review," Environment and planning D: Society and space, 12(1), 1994, pp. 105-23. 7 Said, Orientalism, p. 18. 8 Linda Colley, "The imperial embrace," Yale review. 81, 1993, pp.92-8; the quotation is from p.95. 64 differences, and to begin to work towards an understanding of their various implications. No 'realistic' or nuanced assessment of the missionary impact is possible if Christianity is reduced to a mere component of a broader secular colonialism. At the level of European discourse, my impression is that exactly such a reductive stance had prevailed in the wake of Said's pioneering work.9 In what follows, then, I examine some of the possible 'deviances' of missionary thought when compared to a more mainstream, secular rhetoric. But such a tentative inquiry must itself be tempered by the recognition that, in the final analysis, missionaries — just like traders, merchants, soldiers and government officials — were still part of the colonizing enterprise. To insist upon different beliefs and convictions is fair enough, but only when placed in the context of the massively skewed power relations which ultimately characterized (and defined) the colonial encounter. Such a recognition is certainly important in terms of the reappraisal of history, but perhaps especially so given the contemporary political picture in British Columbia. Given this essential caveat, however, it is important to insist that missionaries were not just agents of the state. The relations between Christian and secular colonialism were invariably complex, in British Columbia as elsewhere, and at other stages in this thesis I examine them more closely — particularly in my concluding discussion of reserves. But before I focus more closely upon nineteenth century missionary thought, it will help if I say something briefly about some of these interactions. In the early-nineteenth century, the notion of a 'civilizing mission' became a standard motif within British imperial rhetoric. The belief that it was Britain's 'mission' to indulge in a humane, benevolent colonial enterprise was recurrent in speeches and publications alike, both secular and religious. British economists working in the shadow 9 For just one example of such 'reduction', see Ronald Inden, Imagining India, Blackwell, Oxford, 1990. Perhaps the most concerted effort to closely examine Christian imperial rhetoric, and to uncover some of its idiosyncrasies and ambivalences, has been that of Homi Bhabha; I look closely at some of his ideas in the last section of chapter 1. 65 of Adam Smith were now roundly condemning the financial burden of the colonies, and it was at this time that Christian, humanitarian rhetoric was appropriated by the state to provide a new justification for empire. Klaus Knorr points out that it was probably no coincidence that this "new line of argumentation made rapid headway at a time when many of the economic arguments in favour of colonization and colonies were being torn to shreds by the economists."10 But this discursive appropriation should not be held to imply that the state looked especially favorably upon Christian colonialism — any more than it should blind one to the fact that state colonial involvement was rarely as benevolent as the rhetoric decreed. In spite of the terminology, the British state was in fact fairly indifferent to the involvement of missionaries in the colonial enterprise. As Stephen Neill has argued: "On the whole, the British [government] maintained an attitude of lofty neutrality toward missionary activity."11 Moreover, not only were missionaries often openly critical of official colonial policy, and what they saw as secular 'abuses of power', but they were also quick to berate official indifference to their own work. Upon the setting up of the colony of British Columbia in 1858, Governor James Douglas had decided that each missionary church should be accorded equal land. By 1861, this plan had been superseded by the offer of $100 grants for each denominational church, but the basic philosophy remained constant: no special attention was to be accorded the Anglican Church. Roman Catholics, Methodists, Presbyterians, Congregationalists — all were to be treated equally. 10 Klaus Knorr, British colonial theories 1570-1850, University of Toronto Press, Toronto, 1944, p.246. For Said's comments on 'la mission civilisatrice', see Culture and imperialism, p. 130. 11 Neill, "Christian missions," p.575. In terms of the Church of England mission to British Columbia, the metropolitan state did give its 'unequivocal' support. But the Church always felt such support was somewhat hollow and meaningless, since it did not include any financial backing. For one statement of this position, see the discussion in A sermon, preached at the farewell service celebrated in St. James's Church, Piccadilly, on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 1859, the day previous to his departure for his diocese, by George Hills, p.42. 66 It was this presumed indifference that Anglican missionaries like Good found so unpalatable, in particular the help that officials apparently gave to the Catholic church. French Roman Catholic priests were the perennial antagonists of Protestant churchmen in British Columbia, and many Anglicans believed that it was this policy of official equality that ultimately prevented their own domination of the whole mission field. In his reminiscences, therefore, Good castigated Douglas and his successors on these grounds, claiming that it was only his own hard work at Lytton that prevented total Roman Catholic 'control' of the region: But for us and our success in dealing with those coming under our influence and training the entire Indian population of the interior of the mainland would have been left to foreign manipulation and control. How the Government of the day could so blindly and readily play into the hands of a power that had never sworn allegiance to its authority surpasses belief. 12 Similar feelings were evinced by the first bishop of the Columbia diocese, George Hills. Regardless of the financial incentive, he often urged local diocesan committees to refuse the grants offered by the colonial government. The grants were available to all, without distinction, and thus, in his mind, acceptance lent tacit support to Roman Catholic doctrine and practice. It was, he claimed, a matter of principle. The upshot of acceptance was unavoidable: "Truth & Error would be placed on the same footing of equality."13 But Hills' policy of refusal also served a wider purpose, for he was always keen to stress that the Anglican missionary church was not merely an instrument of the colonial state. By denying state assistance, substance could be lent to the argument that the secular and the religious were indeed separate spheres. As with the Nonconformist mission to South Africa studied by the Comaroffs, Hills and others attempted "to drive a wedge 1 Z Good, "The utmost bounds," p.61. It seems possible that Douglas, formerly Chief Factor of the Hudson's Bay Company, was in fact more at home with the French, given the large numbers of French Canadians working in the fur trade. 1 3 Hills, Diary, July 31st 1861. 67 between the realm of the spirit and the temporal affairs of government."14 Such a project was pointed, no doubt, for in the early days of the diocese there was much popular concern — expressed especially caustically in the Victoria newspapers — that Hills' church was destined to fulfill precisely this functional role. The Bishop wrote the following of the matter in mid-March 1860: When I arrived, I found the papers full of warfare about the 'attempt' to have a 'State Church,' the idea of an English Bishop being apparently inseparable from tithes, Church-rates, &c. In my first sermon I proclaimed for liberty, and told the people of the Church that upon them rested the burden, and that I did not dream of resting upon the State. This had the desired effect. The movement was crushed. There has not been a syllable since.15 Other commentators were not so unequivocal; but even those who appealed for closer collaboration were adamant that the influence should work in one direction more than the other. John Downall, for example, speaking at the anniversary service of the Columbia Mission in 1861, suggested that the colonial state and church should work together — but "not indeed to make the Church political, but the State religious."16 I make these brief comments in order to foreground my ensuing discussion, and to suggest that because missionary practice cannot be reduced to the concerns of the secular state, differences between religious and secular colonial discourses are of more than passing interest. They need to be considered seriously if the Anglican missionary enterprise is to be understood in any kind of coherent fashion. For the beliefs and convictions of Christian missionaries were not identical to those with which we identify the rhetoric of secular colonialism; they were not so much concerned with the self-certainties of representation, as with the possibilities of redemption. They raised, in other words, an entirely 'other' question. 14 Jean and John Comaroff, Of revelation and revolution, p. 11. 15 Columbia Mission. Occasional paper, p. 13. 16 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness', pp.9-10. The effort to remain aloof from material politics was often in vain, as the efforts of missionaries on reserve issues (discussed in my conclusion) testifies. But in any case, the very effort must surely be taken seriously. 68 Chapter 1: Redemption John Booth Good was not a man to suffer fools lightly, even if those fools happened to be his sponsors back in England. In 1870 a picture appeared in one of the SPG's many publications, the Gospel Missionary, which purported to show Good at work in British Columbia (figure 4). Now Good was a keen subscriber to this journal, and avidly pored over its pages for reassurance that the British public was receiving adequate information as to the progress of his mission. But this picture incurred his unmitigated wrath. This displeasure was occasioned by Good's concerns about the ethics and aesthetics of such images. I begin this chapter by exploring the reasons for Good's resentment. 'Baptism of a chief in his wigwam' presents an image that we seem to recognize all too well: the pious Christian missionary bringing the faith to the 'heathen Indian', the archetypal sinner of the nineteenth century. The wigwam is a necessary backdrop to persuade the urbane reader of an uncultured, rustic simplicity and backwardness — the Native as 'closer to nature' — and the Chief's attire suggests further evidence of immutable cultural difference and inferiority. The Chief's face is sunk in darkness while the Christian missionary's, by contrast, is bathed in light. The differences, it appears, are as clear as night and day. It was precisely this representation of the 'heathen Indian' to which Good objected, both at the time and, some thirty years later, when he recalled the image in his reminiscences. Referring back to his initial reaction upon seeing this picture in print, Good noted that the tendency "in England ... to lump them together" did a great disservice to North America's First Nations.1 It was the capacity of British colonial discourse to portray Native people as a singular, monolithic 'Other' that Good found unpleasant and frightening. And as he reminded the leaders of the SPG at the time, such generalizations 1 Good, "The utmost bounds," p.29. 69 Figure 4. Baptism of a chief in his wigwam. are "calculated to do incalculable harm both here and at home — for it gives people an utterly wrong impression respecting the ancient inhabitants of this country."2 The details of Good's dissension bear repeating in full. On one of his frequent trips away from Lytton, Good had performed services up at Ashcroft, and there had baptized one of the local Nlaka'pamux leaders, a man he referred to as 'John Mahascut'. The following rendition of what ensued is taken from Good's memoirs, written while he was living in California. When the account of the reception of this dear old man into the Household of Faith by Baptism went home to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in London, and they were anxious to insert it in their little publication called the 'Gospel Missionary', they were at a loss for an illustration of my act of initiation!. It] happened that they had by them a picture of some American missionary baptizing one of the Pawnee Indians which they thought would just, as we say in this country, 'fill the bill.' What stood for me, unless I unduly flatter myself, was a perfect caricature, whilst my friend John Mahascut was represented with sharp cut features, scalpknot, tomahawk hard by and altogether a most villainous individual, whereas John was the mildest mannered pleasing specimen of his whole tribe. When that periodical was sent out to me, I carefully kept it out of sight of our Indian congregation, for had they seen it we at home would have been looked upon as woefully destitute of knowledge.3 Good's criticism of this crude representational substitution is as important as it is fascinating. His realization that the British tended to 'lump them together' suggests that the aboriginal inhabitants of North America were discursively homogenized in much the same way that 'Orientals' were conceived of as, in Edward Said's words, "almost everywhere nearly the same." Moreover, Said's observation that the production and reproduction of 'Islam' within the European imperial archive should be seen as a refinement of "Western ignorance" — rather than as a measure of a growing body of objective information about an 2 Good to the Secretary, SPG, Report for the quarter ending June 30th 1871, USPG, E Series, Vol.26, 1870-1. 3 Good, "The utmost bounds," pp.29-30; my emphasis. For another example of Good's opposition to what he saw as 'injurious' representations of Natives in British missionary journals, see his 'postscript' to his Report for the quarter ending December 31st 1872, USPG, E Series, Vol.27, 1871-2. 71 'Oriental reality' — speaks volumes when placed in the context of Good's concerns about the poverty of British knowledge.4 A number of issues are thus raised by Good's remonstrations, all turning around the colonial politics of stereotyping. In general, the strength and power of stereotypes stems from the fact that, to a significant degree, they operate on their own terrain, ever more distinct from their putative subjects as their grip on the popular imagination tightens. The stereotype freezes time and space as it is applied promiscuously to subject peoples living in different times and places. Seeking to establish the ethnological distinctiveness of the Nlaka'pamux, Good recoiled from this image for precisely these reasons. It was primarily the stereotype's "repeatability in changing historical and discursive conjunctures" which he reproached.5 But crucially, there is one property of the stereotype which does not apply to this image. Usually stereotypes seek to establish and authenticate an unchanging identity. For this reason the stereotype was a favorite trope of those nineteenth century colonial discourses bent on branding non-Europeans with an eternal stamp of racial or cultural 'difference'. As Bhabha describes it, the colonial stereotype is a representation of racial permanence. It "impedes the circulation and articulation of the signifier of 'race' as 4 Said, Orientalism, pp.38,62. Interestingly, given my introductory examination of the SPG's editing practices, neither of Good's discussions of this representational 'mishap' ever appeared in press. His June 1871 report was published by the SPG, but the section in which he criticized the Society's rashness was, perhaps predictably, omitted. (See The Mission Field. 16, 1871, pp.293-7.) Likewise, Good tried for years to get his reminiscences published, but all his effort was in vain. (For Good's valiant attempt to publish "The utmost bounds," see in particular his numerous letters to the sub-Warden of StAugustine's College written between 1904 and 1908; in CCA, U88/A2/6/John Booth Good.) Thus, as far as British readers of the Gospel Missionary were aware, there were no significant differences between Native peoples over the whole of North America — they were all 'Indians'. Good's comments were never permitted to disrupt and destabilize the supremely confident and self-perpetuating archive of imperial ignorance. Like 'Orientalism' as depicted by Said, the representational consistency deplored by Good had "the self-containing, self-reinforcing character of a closed system." Said, Orientalism.. p.70. 5 Homi K.Bhabha, "The other question: Stereotype, discrimination and the discourse of colonialism," in The location of culture. Routledge, London and New York, 1994, p.66. 72 anything other than its fixity as racism."6 But 'Baptism of a chief in his wigwam' appeared in a missionary journal, not a secular publication, and as such it is a different kind of image. Unlike the stereotype, it denied stasis. It certainly entailed an indiscriminate repeatability, as Good well realized, but it rejected the fixity of standard stereotypes that is described by Bhabha. In the visual performance of the missionary, in his outstretched hands, we glimpse the possibility of redemption, the enduring promise of change. As such, the differences highlighted by the picture, those most obvious distinctions between light and darkness, are deemed temporary. Although we see Christianity on one side and 'heathenism' on the other, the sacrament of baptism pledges to break down those moral divides. Thus although Good chastised this picture with a barely-disguised anger, it was its epistemological content, not its ontological intent, which troubled him. As an ethnological portrayal it was fraudulent; but as an indication of the regenerative potential espoused by the mission enterprise, it was a wonderfully vivid piece of propaganda. In contrast, it was fixed stereotypical representations which unsettled Anglican missionaries like Good, the kind of static 'Study in Black and White' (figure 5) which declared immutable racial difference. What he disavowed was the colonial concretization and naturalization of 'otherness'. Such stagnation, after all, was much at odds with a religious outlook predicated upon change and reformation. If the original inhabitants of Britain's colonies were destined to remain as they were, as a perpetually inferior 'other', then there was no role for evangelism and moral 'improvement' within the broad colonial enterprise. 'Baptism of a chief in his wigwam' suggested that Natives could be changed. The underlying ideology of imperial Christianity was founded upon the need for, and possibility of, transformation. As I suggested in the introduction to this thesis, Christian dogma assumed an in-built teleology with conversion as the motor of change. This understanding was quite different from the fixation implied by standard colonial 6 ibid., p.75; original emphasis. 73 Figure 5. A study in black and white. Source: Thomas, Colonialism's culture, cover illustration (Crown Studios postcard, ca.1908) 74 representations. The stereotype's imposition of fixity could not be reconciled with the perennial need for change, progress and conversion. This discrepancy between representational stasis and Christian dynamism is one of the principal arguments of this thesis. Fixed, secular representation was inimical to the demands of a dynamic theology. Conceptualizations of a racialized 'other' did not provide, for Good and his contemporaries, the reassurance of a superior self-identity that they did for other Europeans. By contrast, 'evidence' of Native 'otherness' could only ever be taken as a threat, as posing an intractable problematic for a philosophy which necessitates the possibility and probability of moral and spiritual development. This stereotypical fixation is evidenced most clearly in the discourse of 'Orientalism' described by Said, where knowledge about 'Orientals' was "tested and unchanging knowledge, since 'Orientals' for all practical purposes were a Platonic essence."7 Such incorrigibility would be an insurmountable barrier in the pathway of the Christian missionary; an 'unchanging essence' would undermine Good's efforts with the Nlaka'pamux, his long-standing endeavor to illustrate "the transforming power of the Spirit of God turning them into other men."8 In a shrewd assessment of this dissonance between secular and religious canons, between the exigencies of representation and conversion, Good proclaimed: "The world understands its own routine well enough. What it does not understand is the mode of changing that routine. " 9 'Change' was a watchword for Anglican missionaries in the colony of British Columbia. But of course the need for change implied that, although Natives were not perhaps the immutable 'others' construed through colonial stereotyping, they must be 'different' from those who saw it as their vocation to effect such transformation. There 7 Said, Orientalism, p.38. 8 Good, "The utmost bounds," p.74. 9 Good to the Secretary, SPG, Report for the quarter ending December 31st 1876, USPG, E Series, Vol.31, 1876. 75 was, therefore, an ambivalence in missionary rhetoric, for while Christian imperialists insisted on the "essential humanity" of Natives, these Natives were nonetheless 'different'.10 Two important points stand out. First, it was primarily this 'humanity' that men like Good consistently stressed, over and above any clear sense of 'otherness'. On the whole, missionary thought evinced a discourse of 'sameness' rather than of 'difference'. Second, any such difference was emphatically not constituted within the biological dogmas of secular racism. For difference, such as it was, had to be temporary and susceptible to transcendence, unlike the 'Platonic essence' identified by Said. Instead it was located in individual morality — in sin, and not in race. According to an anonymous contributor to the Mission Field. Natives were to be thought of as those who, if they differ from us in religious belief, are of the same flesh and blood, with like affections, like fears and hopes, and like capacities of knowing and loving Him who has revealed Himself to us for our loving adoration.11 These complex questions are discussed more fully in the next section. In particular, I demonstrate how the variance of these secular and religious discourses can be identified through their differential manipulations of history and geography. Within missionary thought, 'time' and 'space' did not (as they did within the broad body of Orientalist literature) serve as distancing tactics, as means of rhetorically producing and reproducing seemingly unassailable 'otherness'. Instead, Protestant geographical and historical imaginations were put to very different ends. 1 U The quotation is from Thomas, Colonialism's culture, pp. 128. Of recent attempts to illustrate some of the differences between secular and religious discourses of colonialism, Thomas's is, I think, one of the most insightful and interesting. 1 1 The Mission Field. 12, 1867, pp.46-7. 76 Of time and space: from secular exclusivity to Christian inclusion The new men of Empire are the ones who believe in fresh starts, new chapters, clean pages. J.M.Coetzee, Waiting for the barbarians Almost without exception, recent analyses of colonial discourse have fastened onto what has been aptly termed the "codification of difference" in nineteenth century ethnography and racial science.12 For the most part, this work has set out to show how, over many years, Europeans endeavored to distance themselves from non-Europeans through the appeal to discriminatory theory. This was part of a concerted cultural attempt to formulate and sustain unimpeachable difference between the 'self and a homogenized 'other'. Such discursive distinctions, the argument continues, served to justify and inform the European imperial enterprise. Here is Bhabha's succinct appraisal: The objective of colonial discourse is to construe the colonized as a population of degenerate types on the basis of racial origin, in order to justify conquest and to establish systems of administration and instruction. The common factor, suggests Bhabha, is this "myth of historical origination" — in other words the belief in racial purity and superiority.13 It was attendant upon this powerful myth that the stereotypical terminology of European racism could gain such formidable currency: hence the labels of 'barbarian', 'savage', and so on. But if one accepts the proposed hegemony of such constructions, it becomes difficult to imagine the following dissenting statement being made by a nineteenth century European. But it was — by John Booth Good in 1862: "I really cannot sometimes attach the idea of 'barbarian' and 'savage' to the orderly, devout, and decently-attired assembly of 12 Said, Culture and imperialism, p. 130. 13 Bhabha, "The other question," pp.70 (my emphasis),74. 77 Indians before me."14 Here, I think, we see Good trying to wrestle free of the straitjacket of secular 'wisdom'. Missionaries were not interested in this credo of unchanging, racial compartmentalization. They were more concerned with explicating the common origins of humanity, with persuading people of an essential, original 'sameness' — since only such an inclusive philosophy could justify the missionary's aspirations for a global community under Christ. It was no surprise, then, that the name Good gave to both his churches — first in Nanaimo, and later at Lytton — was St.Paul's. For it was the early teachings of St.Paul, "the greatest and the prototype of all missionaries," that underpinned both the catholic tradition in Christian dogma and the related expansionary prerogative.15 The foundation-stone for the Lytton version of St.Paul's was to be laid in the fall of 1871, and Bishop Hills organized his annual trip through the interior so that his arrival in town coincided with the date Good had chosen for the service: October 18th. Good had invited Hills to perform the ceremony, and both men would recall the event with much satisfaction, choosing in their own ways to dwell upon the symbolic implications of the consecration. In Good's eyes, it was telling that the Bishop had put aside a mallet and instead had used "an ancient stone instrument of rare interest, value, and construction" for the purpose of planting the foundation-block. This, Good claimed, was no ordinary stone: 1 4 The Mission Field, 8, 1863, p.8. Good would also deny notions of Native ignorance, particularly when talking about the Nlaka'pamux: thus his comments about the "superior ... natural mental capacities of this people." Good to the Secretary, SPG, Report for the quarter ending June 30th 1870, USPG, E Series, Vol.25, 1869-70. 15 The quote is from Neill, "Christian missions," p.574. Paul's catholic, all-inclusive approach to religious instruction stemmed from his conviction that the possibility of God's 'salvation' was by no means limited to Jews: the Lord's mercy was at the hands "not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles" (Romans 9:24). This was no simple awakening for Paul, for he had been raised a strict Jew. But it was this vital coming-to-consciousness which informed Paul's wanderings far and wide within the early Christian world. What is important to note is that this novel philosophy denied the prejudices of social and geographical isolationism: "Particularism, national limitation, in religion is abolished, through the simple fact that Jesus Christ has died for all." Neill, A history of Christian missions, pp.22-3. Note also that not only were Good's churches named after Paul, but that his own ordination took place in Newark Church in 1858 on January 25th: the Conversion of St.Paul. 78 It was proof amongst many of the common origin of the human family, similar instruments having been found not only amongst the Chympseans in the north and the Delawarres in the east, tribes of the great Indian family separated by thousands of miles and by different languages, but also among the New Zealanders.16 Hills, too, recognized the symbolism of this implement, quoting the same archaeological finds as "proofs of a wide spread unity ... confirming so far the Scriptures which assert the derivation of man from one stock and that God made of one blood all nations upon earth." In addition, however, he invoked the example and teaching of St.Paul himself, the man in honor of whom the church was to be erected. Hills referred to St.Paul as "the great apostle who taught the catholicity of the Church breaking down the partition wall of prejudice."17 This testament to universality and singular origins was radically opposed to the distinctions claimed by secular racial theory. But these Christian beliefs in common origins and an essential humanity were not necessarily unconventional until well into the nineteenth century. Robert Young has traced out the various anthropological controversies in Europe over the speciation of humans. For many years, this debate was "more or less settled in favour of a consensus that they were one. The Enlightenment humanitarian ideals of universality, sameness and equality reigned supreme." But, Young points out, such philosophies were more or less displaced in the mid-nineteenth century when post-Enlightenment colonial diplomacy took precedence in Britain and France. At this stage, an explicitly racial doctrine of polygenesis (multiple species) was preferred: "From the 1840s, the new racial theories based in comparative anatomy and craniometry in the United States, Britain and France endorsed the polygenetic alternative."18 However, this displacement did not occur in the humanist discourse of Christianity. Throughout his life, Good insisted on the inclusive theory of monogenesis, and even 1 6 Columbia Mission Report. 13, 1871, p.50. 1 7 Hills, Diary, October 18th 1871. 1 8 Young, Colonial desire, pp.8,11. 79 corresponded with the anthropology department at Berkeley in an attempt to intervene in such debates, and put his ideas in wider circulation.19 But of course Good was only one Christian agent, and others did not necessarily share his views. In addition, there were always distinct variations in theological and social outlook existing between the numerous missionary societies. I have already noted that whereas the SPG was more concerned with the spiritual needs of white colonists, the CMS tended to focus its energies upon the perceived requirements of evangelization.20 Good, an SPG man who in large part ignored whites in favor of Native work, in many ways transgressed and dissolved such divides. But other SPG missionaries, more willing than Good to fulfill their preordained roles, held convictions which dovetailed far more closely with the racism of secular European colonialism. In my introduction I referred to the unhappy time one of Good's predecessors, Alexander Pringle, also an SPG representative, spent at Yale. A close reading of Pringle's correspondence with his sponsors suggests that this dissatisfaction stemmed largely from his own racial preferences. He condemned Yale because there were not enough white people in the town, and because he was not well disposed towards Native work. He appealed for the removal of Natives to reserve-land, and complained to i y For an example of Good's frequent ruminations on the possible provenance of the Nlaka'pamux, see his "The utmost bounds," p.79. Good claimed that the Nlaka'pamux were of central Asian, Semitic origin, basing his claim on their names, their language, and their mode of burial. The exact theory is not in itself important, however; what is interesting is that he attempted to fit them into a 'known' world, rather than representing them as some external, separate 'other'. Good's mild immersion into anthropology makes me think of James Clifford's useful description of Maurice Leenhardt, for it seems very much applicable to Good: "as anthropologist and missionary he took part in the imperial venture while simultaneously struggling against its structures of knowledge and power." James Clifford, Person and myth: Maurice Leenhardt in the Melanesian world. University of California Press, Berkeley, 1982, p. 126. 20 For useful information on these different interests, see the Church Missionary Gleaner, 1, 1874, p. 13 — regarding the 1799 foundation of the Church Missionary Society, it is noted that since the existing groups catered primarily for British colonists, "there was room, and a call too, for the formation of a society whose distinct and proper work it should be to carry the Gospel to the heathen wherever they should be found." 80 his sponsors that the Society rubric had, in his view, been contravened: "Your missionaries felt that they came out to preach & elevate, first of all and foremost a white race."21 Yet among Anglican missionaries Pringle's views represent the exception rather than the rule. For the most part, and this applies in particular to missionaries of the SPG — where the catholic stress on the communal, as opposed to the individual, aspects of Christian faith was always greater than within the more evangelically-minded CMS 2 2 — there was a strong emphasis upon commonality and equality. The general claim was of common origins, and where racial 'difference' was affirmed, it was often only a rhetorical tactic whereby the Christian capacity to transcend and minimize difference could be claimed for the Anglican Church. Hence the familiar argument that, "in the sight of God, the white man and the coloured man are of equal value."23 This could of course be taken as mere rhetoric, but Bishop Hills was keen to ensure that the Christian doctrine of catholicity was translated into a practical equality that (as much as possible) transcended prejudice. The Bishop's views surfaced in a dispute which raged in Victoria in the early 1860s, soon after he arrived in the colony. Hills had taken a necessarily circuitous route on his way to Victoria, crossing the isthmus of Panama and traveling up the west coast of America. In his travels north he was following a well-trod route, for thousands of miners had previously crossed the 49th parallel on their way to Victoria and, eventually, the interior of British Columbia. But mining was not the only rationale for this American migration northwards, many African Americans having looked to British Columbia as a 2 1 Pringle to the Secretary, SPG, October 1st and July 13th 1860, USPG, E Series, Vol.8, 1860. 2 2 This point is important because, at least in the mid- to late-nineteenth century, the great majority of Anglican missionaries in British Columbia were sponsored by the SPG. The most notable exception was William Duncan. 2 3 A sermon preached in St.Stephen's, Westminster, on the Sunday before Advent, I860. By John Garrett, M.A. Vicar of St. Paul, near Penzance, and Commissary to the Bishop of Columbia, Rivingtons, London, 1861, p. 10. John Garrett was the brother of Alexander Garrett, Principal of the Indian School in Victoria. He acted as the metropolitan spokesperson for Bishop Hills. What this 'equality' implied for women is perhaps less certain, and I take up this issue at some length in chapters 2 and 5, as well as towards the end of this chapter. 81 place to escape the prejudice they suffered south of the border. However, the notion of a safe haven initially seemed in vain, for hopes that they would be treated with respect and fairness were soon dashed by religious and secular authorities alike. Both the Roman Catholic and Congregationalist churches enforced segregation in their Victoria churches, a policy so divisive that it forced one Congregationalist minister, a Mr.Clarke, to resign his post. It was in this fraught context that Hills decided that St.John's, his new church to be opened in September 1860, should not be segregated. This was bound to be a contentious decision, especially given the large numbers of white Americans then living in Victoria. Even some of those who were against segregation, Hills discovered, nonetheless adhered to exactly the racialized doctrine he wished to renounce. Thus, he wrote in his diary, Mrs. Trutch, wife of Joseph, "evidently believes the race is a different species of man & spoke of them rather patronizingly with pity rather than honour & respect as of fellow immortals & equal in the sight of God."24 Church of England practice was to follow its catholic tradition: the community of Christ was not to be split up according to any sanctions, geographical or otherwise. As I argue shortly, this decision to allow indiscriminate seating arrangements, somewhat parochial as it may seem, reflected a much more general relationship between 'race' and space in missionary thought. Good's social philosophy was always predicated upon a similar sense of inclusion and sameness. He prided himself on providing exactly the same teaching to Natives and whites,25 and likewise would not discriminate within and between different Native groups. Even when his Lytton project displayed incipient signs of 'success', as some Nlaka'pamux individuals began to follow his moral and spiritual teachings, he was adamant that these 2 4 Hills, Diary, March 15th 1860. Joseph Trutch, a figure who will appear more prominently later in this thesis, had arrived in British Columbia at about the same time as Bishop Hills, and he worked as a surveyor and engineer until appointed chief commissioner of lands and works in 1864. See Robin Fisher, Contact and conflict: Indian-European relations in British Columbia, 1774-1890, University of British Columbia Press, Vancouver, British Columbia, 1992, 2nd edition, p. 160. 25 See Columbia Mission Report. 9, 1867, p.73. 82 few should not be distinguished from the 'unconverted' majority. I explore this policy at greater length in chapter 4; it suffices to note here that they were all kept together, so that the 'heathen' component could learn directly from those who had, as Good would have it, 'seen the light'. In order to lay bare this methodology, he contrasted it with what he called the 'Donatist' theory of separation. He was referring here to a schism which had divided the North African church from the beginning of the fourth century until the end of the sixth. Although the immediate causes of this split lay in personal disputes, the underlying incompatibility was located in the Donatists' rejection of universality as preached in particular by StAugustine. As Good put it in April 1868: I am more and more convinced that it is the true apostolic and primitive system for those who come out, and who are called out of darkness and begin to run well, to let their light shine amidst the wastes of their own dwellings and surroundings, until the little one shall have become a thousand, and the whole lump shall be leavened. The Donatist idea of separating the wheat and the chaff I never could understand. It seems wrong, unnatural, and productive of the worst consequences, to draw an arbitrary line of demarcation between what we may term the saved and the unsaved.26 The vital connections between theory and practice, between abstract rhetoric and Utopian vision, lay in the fact that such a philosophy of 'sameness', of catholicity, could legitimately underwrite the imperial quest for a global Christian community. In 1860, at a meeting convened in London to discuss the progress of the Columbia Mission, the city's Bishop referred optimistically in his speech to "one Church on both sides of the globe."27 And it was the same universalizing philosophy which informed John Booth Good's hopes that Protestant Christianity should "reach and embrace tribes and peoples most remote, till all the ends of this part of the earth shall have seen the salvation of our God."28 Whereas secular imperialism in general rested upon, and reproduced, philosophies of immutable 2 6 ibid., 10, 1868, pp.38-9. For more information on Donatism, see W.H.C.Frend, Martyrdom and persecution in the early church: a study of conflict from the Maccabees to Donatus. Anchor Books, Garden City, NY, 1967. 2 7 Columbia Mission Report. 1860, p. 17. 2 8 The Mission Field. 15, 1870, p.294. 83 difference, what we have here is a prerogative of Christian expansion tied in with a governing discourse of sameness. In theory, therefore, the religious colonial encounter was to be based on community and not on domination. And the linking imagination of that community would be belief in Christ. Sameness, then, but sameness with certain reservations. For just as irrevocable 'otherness' would impede Christian dynamism in the form of imperial engagement, so too would an absolute equivalence. 'Sameness' would imply spatial stagnation, just as the stereotypical production of racialized, original difference similarly blocked transformative potential. The defining feature of 'otherness', therefore, was not for Christians its particular constituence, but rather its social ontology, or more specifically its temporality. Differences had to be transient and malleable, susceptible to conversion, and thus not intrinsically subversive of the overriding doctrine of catholicity. Everyone shared a common humanity, but whereas some had been redeemed through belief in Christ, others had not. It was the role of the righteous to 'save' those still living without God, those living in an original — but temporary — state of immorality. This was a discourse of difference within sameness, where the ephemerality of the former contrasted with the historical foundationalism of the latter. For most missionaries, this was not contradictory. This ideological congruence, at any rate, was the message put forth in 1843 by Anthony Grant, a guru of missionization, in an influential lecture series. In the following passage, taken from his first presentation, Grant brought together the notions of catholicity and 'sin' to provide just such a justification of Christian imperial practice. The Gospel, he asserted, addresses itself not to this or that people, or condition of thought, or social state, or political organization, but to fallen human nature; and therefore it is designed of God to be universal; and the Church as the depository of this remedial scheme, the channel of its spiritual blessings, is evermore to expand.29 2 y The past and present extension of the Gospel by missions to the heathen: considered in eight lectures, delivered before the University of Oxford, in the year MDCCCXLIII. At the lecture founded by John Bampton, M.A. canon of Salisbury. By Anthony Grant, D.C.L. 84 This is an extraordinarily powerful piece of imperial rhetoric, and Good was well acquainted with it: Grant's Bampton lectures were his principal text during his last year at St.Augustine's.30 Original equivalence and temporary difference: these, therefore, were the mutually-reinforcing, enabling narratives of the Anglican imperial enterprise. Through the Church of England mission to British Columbia in the 1860s and thereafter, it was hoped that the 'sins' of the colony's Natives could be rescinded, thus restoring the essential 'sameness' that had justified the whole project in the first place. Given these underlying philosophies, it should now be clear why I prefer the term redemption to others such as, perhaps, 'salvation'. Redemption, like salvation, implies the saving of others from their putative sins, but it also denotes an ethic of recuperation, of the possibility of recovering some original, idealized existence. The concept of 'redemption' links the past, present and future in a manner that is especially resonant for this totalizing discourse of Christian imperialism. Redemption, however, is not a singular idea. While well suited to this notion of 'saving from sin', it also bears a second connotation — one which in the context of Christian imperialism is less widely recognized. This second signification is not so much concerned with the questionable morality of others, but with the equally debatable virtues of the self. This second meaning of redemption refers to what is principally a cultural problematic, not a spiritual one. Spiritually, one cannot redeem oneself, for the Anglican theology of grace teaches that redemption is in the Lord's hands. But in a more prosaic sense, personal redemption is possible. It implies correcting one's own faults, making amends for some recognized indiscretion. In the mid-nineteenth century, Anglicans sought to redeem the faults of a selfish past, the lamentable heritage of British colonialism. This Vicar of Romford, Essex, and late Fellow of New College. Rivingtons, London, 1845, p.3; my emphasis. 3 0 Good to the sub-Warden, St.Augustine's College, April 17th 1905, CCA, U88/A2/6/John Booth Good. 85 cultural redemption was thus self-inflected; and the discourse which articulated it, despite its putative reference to the fate of others, was solipsistic. An emblematic example of this introspective, redemptive discourse comes from an occasional paper of the Columbia Mission in 1860. Its principal thrust is to suggest that the Native people of the new colony represent an unparalleled opportunity for the British to atone for their violent history of secular colonization. Reflecting then with grief upon the terrible history of the first family of America, it cannot fail to add a lively interest to the opening colony of Columbia to find within it a remnant of 75,000 natives. There, behind the Rocky Mountains, in their last refuge upon earth, they stand with painful wonder, while the smoke of the white man is rising up all around them; and Britain has before her another opportunity, on the same great Continent,... to give a different treatment to the Indian whose fair lands she is called upon to occupy and govern.31 Here British Columbia is set up as a Utopian, redemptive present in contrast to a reprehensible past, a past situated principally in the western states of America. It presents, thus, a philosophy of history wherein difference is envisioned and enacted through geographical variation. By providing this 'fairer' treatment of Natives, Christian Britons felt they could 'exorcise' the (secular) sins of their national history. Redemption was not concerned solely with the faults of others, therefore, but was a means of reconsidering and revamping the nation's historical memory.32 Although this.discourse depended upon a familiar colonial narrative of white 'power' and Native passivity and includes the customary invocation of Britain's providential dispensation, what I want to stress here is the emphasis upon the self and upon the imperial enterprise as a means of revising an inherited (and unsatisfactory) imagination of the 'nation'.33 31 Columbia Mission. Occasional paper, pp.29-30. 32 This discourse was of course self-interested, as well as simply self-inflected, for through such a critique of secular colonialism, missionaries could readily justify their own involvement in the colonizing enterprise. As the Reverend John Sheepshanks once put it: "Ought we not therefore to endeavour, that, since they have received evil from us, we may also impart to them some good?" Columbia Mission Report, 6, 1864, p.50. 33 This intriguing cross-cutting of imperialism and nationalism is a topic I turn to in more detail in the next section. Of course this denigration of the national memory stands in stark 86 This prerogative of redeeming the national 'self crops up repeatedly in the abundant missionary rhetoric of the mid-nineteenth century. Here, for example, is what the Bishop of Oxford had to say of the matter at the same Mansion House meeting at which the Bishop of London warned his compatriots of the dangers of their 'winged words': How cruel have been the wrongs they have suffered at our hands! How have we seen our own vices reflected in them!... Well, I say, England owes them a deep debt for past wrongs, which she is bound to repay.34 Similarly, upon his return to England in 1863 for the purpose of fundraising, Bishop Hills implored his audiences to "not let there be the blot upon the history of their Christianity, that this great race passed away beneath our civilization, unclaimed by the Church of God."35 The British had to redeem themselves for what they had done in the past, and the chosen method for such redemption was to be a prioritization of Christian agency within the broader imperial venture. This generalized appeal for historical revisionism was encapsulated in the following refrain, taken from a hymn sung at an unidentified annual meeting of the SPG: The heathen perish; day by day Thousands on thousands pass away. O Christians! to their refuge fly, Preach Jesus to them 'ere they die.36 This discourse of redemption, in so many ways radically unlike the secular discourses with which we are apt to identify the mindset of colonialism, was therefore just as universalizing as the catholic philosophy from which it gained its provenance and contrast to Ruskin's infinitely more famous celebration of "a thousand years of noble history." Said, Culture and imperialism, p. 123. 34 A sermon, preached at the farewell service celebrated in St. James's Church, Piccadilly, on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 1859, the day previous to his departure for his diocese, by George Hills, pp.33-4. 35 Columbia Mission Report, 5, 1863, p. 18. 36 A copy of this hymn sheet can be found in the documents of Bishop Hills, VST, PSA 42/6. 87 authority. The belief in an 'essential humanity', a conviction which denied biological distinctions and immutable racial difference, necessitated a redemptive, recuperative strategy in order to rescue sinners. In a sense the imperial ethic of redemption had to be a double-edged sword, for only such an inclusive strategy could hope to provide for the sense of equality and community offered up by catholic rhetoric. Redemption would imply salvation for Native 'sinners', and a renewed self-esteem for the British nation— and the tool of this incorporative methodology would be imperial Anglicanism. The editors of the Church Missionary Intelligencer were among those who were well aware of this duality: To communicate the Gospel, as freely as we have ourselves received it, to the unevangelized tribes of mankind, is a Christian duty of primary importance. It is one we cannot neglect without serious injury to ourselves and others, nor endeavour with fidelity to fulfil without receiving personal benefit.37 The Bishop of Oxford, a man later described by an avid admirer as "one set on fire himself with missionary ardour," was also conscious of this sense of inclusion and feedback.38 Continuing his discussion of Britain's missionizing 'duty' to British Columbia's Natives, he went on to refer to Hills as "the honoured instrument in the hand of God of welding them into the indissoluble union of the Church of the Redeemed."39 As this suggests, the discourse of redemption was as totalizing in its geographical scope as in its historical pretensions. Its overall vision was nevertheless singular: to reproduce the sense of universality which distinguishes the rhetoric of Christian imperialism from its more secular variants in nineteenth century Britain. The end-point was not meant to be British dominion 3 7 Church Missionary Intelligencer. 1(1), 1849, p.3. For similar comments, see also ibid, 7, 1856, p.5, and the discussion of the "wonderful re-action" implicit in missionization. 3 8 Henry Bailey, "Thoughts on the Day of Intercession for Missions, 1878," CCA, U88/A3/3/15. 3 9 A sermon, preached at the farewell service celebrated in St. James's Church, Piccadilly, on Wednesday, Nov. 16. 1859, the day previous to his departure for his diocese, by George Hills, p.34; my emphasis. 88 over the whole world — or at least not primarily that — but a global community under Christ. What I have endeavored to argue, therefore, is that the dynamism of Anglican imperial discourse brings us a long way from the static essentializations of secular colonialism. The underlying belief in 'sameness', as opposed to 'difference', enabled the constitution of a redemptive discourse that was both practical and productive. But before I move on, in the last section of this chapter, to consider some of the ramifications of these Christian convictions, I want to suggest just how sharply these philosophies contrast with the secular discursive forms that have so interested both Edward Said, and those who, more recently, have worked with (and reworked) his original insights. To do so, I refer principally to the first of three 'logics' of imperial ideology to which one can find, Said contends, "hardly any exceptions."40 For it seems to me that this historical homogenization of imperial discourse depends upon the neglect of its Christian configurations. Said's claim is that European imperial discourse is habitually marked by, and can be recognized in the context of, "a denial of 'coevalness' in time, and a radical discontinuity in terms of human space."41 By this, I take it that part of the way in which Europeans have attempted to distinguish themselves from 'others', and have thus gone on to legitimize imperial rule, is through the creation of a direct correlation between difference and distance. Now this reciprocity turns out to be singularly important because of the principal ways in which we tend to conceive of distance: primarily in terms of space, but also within the framework of time. The upshot of this, therefore, is that 'difference' comes to be produced and sustained through the distancing tactics of geographical and historical discourse. In other words, Europeans have tried to separate undesirable 'others' from themselves by positing that those people belong to non-European times and spaces. Spatial and temporal 40 Said, Culture and imperialism, p. 129. 4 1 ibid., p. 130. 89 discourses are thus integral to colonial rhetoric for they enable Europeans to 'place' others elsewhere, far removed from the history and geography of a bounded, contemporary unit known simply as the 'West'. Said first investigated these issues in Orientalism, where he spoke for the first time about the 'imaginative geography' which has always underscored colonial representations of the 'East'. As he notes early in his account, "Orientalism is premised upon exteriority," upon the basic assumption of a spatial disjuncture between the Orientalist and his (the gendered pronoun is apposite) subject. This separation then enables the construal of an "unfamiliar space" which comes to be understood as a rhetorical affirmation of difference and naturalized inferiority. In the case of 'Orientalism' this external space is, of course, the 'Orient', and it is the perceived distance of this space from the 'West' which underscores the gross incongruence and difference of the people living there. As Said asserts, 'imaginative geography' helps the mind "to intensify its own sense of itself by dramatizing the distance and difference between what is close to it and what is far away."42 In perusing the rhetoric surrounding the nineteenth century Anglican mission to British Columbia, however, it was precisely the absence of such an 'imaginative geography' that caught my eye. There seemed to be none of the exoticized descriptions of 'unfamiliar' spaces that pervade other literatures produced under conditions of imperial engagement. At first this surprised me, perhaps due to the general endorsement that Said's geographical claims appear to have received 4 3 I found it difficult to reconcile my inherited understanding of colonial discourse constitution with, for example, Bishop Hills' prosaic first impression of British Columbia, namely that the "climate is thoroughly English"44 — hardly a foolproof tactic for the assertion of distance and difference. But it becomes easier 4 2 Said, Orientalism, pp.20,54,55. 4 3 A productive use of Said's notion of 'imaginative geographies', and one which draws on precisely this correlation between distance and difference, is found in Derek Gregory, "Between the book and the lamp: imaginative geographies of Egypt, 1849-50," Transactions: Institute of British geographers, N.S. 20, 1995, pp.29-57. 4 4 Columbia Mission. Occasional paper, p.6. See also extracts from speeches Hills made while in England in 1863, printed in Columbia Mission Report, 5, 1863, pp. 11-13. 90 to understand such apparent discrepancies in the light of my preceding discussion. For what I have attempted to argue is that missionaries were not particularly interested in the fixating possibilities of representation, and thus the attendant trope of 'exteriority' is largely absent from their writings. On the contrary, missionary thought was inclusive and incorporative, precisely because it was predicated upon 'sameness' and not 'difference'. Since the intention was to deny — rather than assert — separation, it should come as no surprise that missionaries were not so much concerned with erecting spatial barriers (real or perceived) as with breaking them down. Just as difference is correlated with distance, the catholic doctrine of sameness is predicated upon proximity and propinquity. Hence the 'geographical imagination' of a man like Bishop Hills makes for interesting reflection. I have already referred to his long journey to his diocese; while traveling he found plenty of time to contemplate the implications of recent developments in transportation technology. For a man who believed in forging a global community under Christ, the phenomenon of what Marx labeled "the annihilation of space by time"45 held out the Utopia of boundless opportunity. Thus he was unequivocally enthusiastic about the recent construction of an American railway across the isthmus of Panama: English invention and English capital have enabled our hardy and enterprising offspring to construct a Railway whereby the deadly swamp and mountain heights of Panama may be skimmed over by the gliding train in 4 hours. Upon his arrival at Panama, the southern terminus of this connection, his thoughts turned more explicitly to the imperatives of missionization. In particular, he saw the railway as a great boost to the global project of denying and overcoming the material facticity of space: Altogether I felt deeply interested in this enterprise so successfully carried out and forming another connecting link of nations — and tending by bringing nearer together to promote the civilisation of mankind.46 45 Karl Marx, Grundrisse, Penguin, Harmondsworth, 1973, p.524. 4 6 Hills, Diary, December 12th 1859. 91 Hills' enthusiasm is predictable, I think, for missionaries did not think of 'space' as a useful tool of division, a malleable parameter for demarcating conceptual distinctions between the 'self and the 'other'. Instead, geographical 'space' was regarded as an undesirable material impediment in the way of a universalizing evangelism. The Bishop's geographical imagination was therefore thoroughly practical, remarkably distinct from the 'imaginative geography' which underwrites much secular colonial discourse. For, at the purely conceptual level, 'space' was seen as supremely irrelevant to the prerogatives of Christian imperialism. To understand what I mean by this, one needs to remember that 'difference', transient as it had to be, was equated with 'sin'. Thus distance, the corollary of difference, was construed in terms that were moralized and not spatialized. 'Space' was therefore reduced to the base realm of materiality, as the imagination of distance came to depend solely upon the identification of moral discrepancy. Indeed, the genealogy of such convictions can be traced to St.Augustine, who wrote in his Confessions of exactly this understanding of 'difference'. Distance from God, he insisted, was the unavoidable outcome of (sexual) immorality: "To be far from your face is to be in the darkness of passion." Since separation from God was predicated upon sin, so too was difference and distance between humans. At any rate, 'space' was dismissed out of hand: "One does not go far away from you or return to you by walking or by any movement in space."47 This Christian dismissal of 'space' is evidently at odds with the outright dependence of secular colonial discourse upon the exclusivity of 'imaginative geographies'. It seems to me that this dissonance points to a much more fundamental antagonism between the underlying philosophies of 'sameness' and 'difference'. The catholic requirements of inclusion and unity could not afford to depend upon any signifier of 'difference' that would 4 7 Augustine, Confessions, trans. Henry Chadwick, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1991,1, xviii (28). 92 be anything but temporary. Space was considered too permanent, too material, too intractable. But, as Said reminds us, it is not only 'space' which serves as a signifier of difference within secular colonial discourse. People have also endeavored to construe distinctions between themselves and others by the production of historical compartments — by arguing that 'others' belong to a separate time as well as a separate place. Phrases such as the 'dark, distant past' provide emblematic examples of this conflation of distance and (racialized) difference. In a study of western anthropology that can, in many ways, be seen as a companion volume to Said's work on 'Orientalism', Johannes Fabian shows how temporal discourses have often been deployed in much the same way as the 'imaginative geographies' described by Said. Just as Orientalist 'imaginative geography' purported to produce immutable 'otherness', "anthropology's efforts to construct relations with its Other by means of temporal devices implied affirmation of difference as distance."48 The discursive strategy is the same in both cases, namely the positing of distance — historical or geographical — in order to (re)affirm difference. Within nineteenth century colonial rhetoric, temporal discourse is emphatically exclusive: Europeans belong to one 'time', 'savages' to another. I suggest here, however, that missionary belief in the possibility of 'sameness' demanded an understanding of history and temporality that cannot be reconciled with this exclusionary discourse. After all, a communal unity under Christ was hardly a realistic proposition if people the world over belonged withindifferent historical epochs. Christian imperialism therefore necessitated a thorough reworking of history. Unlike the secular discourse described by Fabian, the rhetoric of universal evangelism did not require the placement of 'others' in their own place and time. By contrast, what was needed was to take people out of their 'place', to decontextualize their contemporary lives — for only then 48 Johannes Fabian, Time and the Other: how anthropology makes its object, Columbia University Press, New York, 1983, p. 16; original emphasis. 93 could they be placed alongside 'enlightened' European Christians within an inclusive, incorporative and colonizing teleology.49 In my introductory discussion of Good's providential thesis, I discussed an especially powerful example of such progressive, appropriative, historical narrative. Here, I want to show how this brand of temporal discourse was underscored by, and in turn reproduced, the catholic philosophy of Anglican imperialism. During the 1870s, Bishop Hills made frequent visits to Lytton in order to assess the progress of Good's 'converts'. On these trips, Hills would often note in his diary what he felt to be the most interesting details about particular Nlaka'pamux individuals. In May 1873, his attention turned to a man he called 'Jacob Quolsopah'. This man, he remarked, "had kept a record of time ever since he turned to God. It is a curious document. The week days are marked by strokes & the Sundays by a shaded globe."50 The Bishop's intense interest in this document stemmed, I think, from the fact that it served as a 'record of time'. For, as far as missionaries were concerned, 'time' essentially began for British Columbia's Natives upon their own arrival in the colony. In the Bishop's eyes, Quolsopah's personal record testified to this unique and shared historical genesis. Such historical foundationalism was necessary if missionaries and Natives were alike to be accorded the same time, the same space. Within both cultural registers, therefore, local 'time' — and local time only — had been reset upon the initial aboriginal engagem