Indigenous London: Native Travelers at the Heart of Empire

Indigenous London: Native Travelers at the Heart of Empire


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An imaginative retelling of London’s history, framed through the experiences of Indigenous travelers who came to the city over the course of more than five centuries

“Thrush has certainly offered a powerful corrective to the usual geographies imagined for Indigenous people in the past, as well as a new layer to the palimpsest history of Britain’s imperial capital.”—Kate Fullagar, William and Mary Quarterly

London is famed both as the ancient center of a former empire and as a modern metropolis of bewildering complexity and diversity. In Indigenous London, historian Coll Thrush offers an imaginative vision of the city's past crafted from an almost entirely new perspective: that of Indigenous children, women, and men who traveled there, willingly or otherwise, from territories that became Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and the United States, beginning in the sixteenth century. They included captives and diplomats, missionaries and shamans, poets and performers. Some, like the Powhatan noblewoman Pocahontas, are familiar; others, like an Odawa boy held as a prisoner of war, have almost been lost to history. In drawing together their stories and their diverse experiences with a changing urban culture, Thrush also illustrates how London learned to be a global, imperial city and how Indigenous people were central to that process.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780300206302
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 10/25/2016
Series: The Henry Roe Cloud Series on American Indians and Modernity
Pages: 328
Sales rank: 636,538
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Coll Thrush is associate professor of history at the University of British Columbia, where he is also affiliated with UBC’s Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies. He is the author of Native Seattle: Histories from the Crossing-Over Place.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Maps xiii

1 The Unhidden City: Imagining Indigenous Londons 1

Interlude 1 A Devil's Looking Glass, circa 1576 28

2 Dawnland Telescopes: Making Colonial Knowledge in Algonquian London, 1580-1630 33

Interlude 2 A Debtor's Petition, 1676 62

3 Alive from America: Indigenous Diplomacies and Urban Disorder, 1710-1765 68

Interlude 3 Atlantes, 1761 99

4 "Such Confusion As I Never Dreamt": Indigenous Reasonings in an Unreasonable City, 1766-1785 103

Interlude 4 A Lost Museum, 1793 133

5 That Kind Urbanity of Manner: Navigating Ritual in Maori and Kanaka Maoli London, 1806-1866 139

Interlude 5 A Hat Factory, circa 1875 169

6 Civilization Itself Consents: Disciplining Bodies in Imperial Suburbia, 1861-1914 173

Interlude 6 A Notebook, 1929 204

7 The City of Long Memory: Remembering and Reclaiming Indigenous London, 1982-2013 209

Epilogue: The Other Indigenous London 238

Appendix: Self-Guided Encounters with Indigenous London 245

Notes 259

Index 303

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