The Frontier World of Edgar Dewdney

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UBC Press, Nov 1, 2011 - History - 182 pages

The Frontier World of Edgar Dewdney is a biographical study of a man who played a key role in the cataclysmic events which marked the political, social, and economic transformation of western Canada in the latter half of the nineteenth century. An immigrant adventurer seeking his fortune in the colonies, Dewdney was embroiled in the gold rushes of the 1860s, the B.C. debates on Confederation, the Riel Rebellion of 1885, political evolution in the North-West Territories, and the Klondike gold rush.

For several years Dewdney held important public offices, such as Indian commissioner of the North-West Territories and Minister of the Interior, positions which allowed him to shape the course of events. In many ways, Dewdney's career is a metaphor for the maturing western frontier. In following his exploits, we follow the story of a region experiencing breathtaking change. Brian Titley's purpose in this book is not to praise, but to offer a critical appraisal of Dewdney as a type -- a representative of that class of adventurer who saw in the new land an unprecedented opportunity for self-aggrandisement.


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CHAPTER 1 The Trailblazer
CHAPTER 2 The Politician
CHAPTER 3 Indian Commissioner
CHAPTER 4 Rebellion
CHAPTER 5 Lieutenant Governor
CHAPTER 6 Minister of the Interior
CHAPTER 7 SemiRetirement
CHAPTER 8 A Frontier Capitalist

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About the author (2011)

Brian Titley is Professor of Education at the University of Lethbridge. He is the author of Church, State, and the Control of Schooling in Ireland 1900-44 (1983), A Narrow Vision: Duncan Campbell Scott and the Administration of Indian Affairs in Canada (1986), and Dark Age: The Political Odyssey of Emperor Bokassa (1997).

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