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 Featured Title
Good Intentions Gone Awry
Emma Crosby and the Methodist Mission on the Northwest Coast
Jan Hare   Jean Barman  

$87.00 Hardcover
Release Date: 7/18/2006
ISBN: 9780774812702    

$32.95 Paperback
Release Date: 11/1/2006
ISBN: 9780774812719    

344 Pages


About the Book

• Shortlisted, 2007 Roderick Haig-Brown Award, BC Book Prizes
• Honourable Mention, 2007 Writing Competition, British Columbia Historical Society

Unlike most missionary scholarship that focuses on male missionaries, Good Intentions Gone Awry chronicles the experiences of a missionary wife. It presents the letters of Emma Crosby, wife of the well-known Methodist missionary Thomas Crosby, who came to Fort Simpson, near present-day Prince Rupert, in 1874 to set up a mission among the Tsimshian people.

Emma Crosby's letters to family and friends in Ontario shed light on a critical era and bear witness to the contribution of missionary wives. They mirror the hardships and isolation she faced as well as her assumptions about the supremacy of Euro-Canadian society and of Christianity. They speak to her "good intentions" and to the factors that caused them to "go awry." The authors critically represent Emma’s sincere convictions towards mission work and the running of the Crosby Girls' Home (later to become a residential school), while at the same time exposing them as a product of the times in which she lived. They also examine the roles of Native and mixed-race intermediaries who made possible the feats attributed to Thomas Crosby as a heroic male missionary persevering on his own against tremendous odds.

This book is a valuable contribution to Canadian history and will appeal to readers in women’s, Canadian, Native, and religious studies, as well as those interested in missiology in the Canadian West.

About the Author(s)

Jan Hare is Anishinaabe and member of the M'Chigeeng First Nation. She teaches in the Department of Language and Literacy Education at the University of British Columbia.

Jean Barman is a well-known historian of British Columbia. She taught for many years in the Department of Educational Studies at UBC and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

Table of Contents

Crosby Family Chronology
Simpson's Early Women Teachers and Missionaries

1 Courtship and Marriage
2 Arrival at Fort Simpson
3 Motherhood
4 Emma Alone
5 A Comfortable Routine
6 Adversity
7 Changing Times
8 Good Intentions Gone Awry
9 Repatriation

Afterword by Caroline Dudoward


Good Intentions Gone Awry offers insight into the previously underemphasized role of women in all aspects of missionary life – both as an exploration of the gendered practices within the missionary project that regimented Emma Crosby’s life and the results of the imposition of such practices on Aboriginal girls. The authors invite the reader to accept Emma on her own terms, and offer interpretative tools to make sense of her within her times, without excusing her complacency in the colonialism inherent to Aboriginal missions.
-- Susan Neylan, author of The Heavens Are Changing: Nineteenth-Century Protestant Missions and Tsimshian Christianity.

…Crosby’s words are presented within a clear and well-researched context, making this book a significant contribution to Tsimshian and missionary history.
—Christopher F. Roth, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Pacific Northwest Quarterly, Winter 2006/2007

Hare and Barman have done an admirable job of making sure that Emma Crosby does not become a one-dimensional figure. They allow the daughter, wife, and mother to flourish alongside the missionary, so that she is a sympathetic character, and while we all have heard that "the road to hell is paved with good intentions," there is much to be learned from how that road is travelled, by whom, and how that journey is begun. This book is no simplistic condemnation of Emma Crosby’s life and efforts.

Ultimately, the book does satisfy, and it does so without pretending to be the last word on anything.
- A. Mary Murphy, Canadian Literature 194, Autumn 2007

This is an excellent collection of primary source letters and photographs and is accessible to academic and popular audiences who are interested in the missionary culture of that era and place. […] This book is an important collection of stories which must not be forgotten. [It] also contributes to the historical investigation of missionary wives, usually subjugated in other studies to the work of their husbands.
- Loraine MacKenzie Shpeherd, Winnipeg, Studies in Religion, 37/2, 2008

Sample Chapter

Front Matter and Chapter One

Related Topics

Native Studies > Canada
BC Studies
BC Studies > Native Studies
History > Canada

Other Ways To Order

In Canada, order your copy of Good Intentions Gone Awry from UTP Distribution at:

UTP Distribution
5201 Dufferin Street
Toronto, Ontario
M3H 5T8

Phone orders: 1(800)565-9523 or (416)667-7791
Fax orders: 1(800)221-9985 or (416)667-7832

Ordering information for customers outside Canada

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