Negotiating Female Morality: place, ideology and agency in the Red River Colony

Sharron Fitzgerald, Alicja Muszynski

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1 Citation (Scopus)


By 1850 British women had settled in the Red River colony, a British outpost in what became the province of Manitoba, Canada, and where the Hudson's Bay Company established fur trading posts. Through an analysis of documents concerning two unconnected lawsuits involving Countryborn women, it is possible to glean some understanding of how British women became agents of colonialism. Company authorities envisaged that White women would establish households predicated on Victorian patriarchal ideology that defined separate spheres for men and women. This article maps how White women stereotyped non-White women as 'Other,' manipulated their symbolic role as mothers of the English nation, and used rumour to maintain a segregated settlement. It also explores the agency of these White women as they sought to establish a place for themselves through their struggles with one another, with First Nations and Countryborn women, as well as with the White men who ruled the colony.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)661-680
Number of pages20
JournalWomen's History Review
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2007


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