Creating Colonial Pasts: History, Memory, and Commemoration in Southern Ontario, 1860-1980

By Cecilia Morgan

© 2015

Creating Colonial Pasts explores the creation of history and memory in Southern Ontario through the experience of its inhabitants, especially those who took an active role in the preservation and writing of Ontario’s colonial past: the founder of the Niagara Historical Society, Janet Carnochan; twentieth-century Six Nations historians Elliott Moses and Milton Martin; and Celia B. File, high-school teacher and historian of Mary Brant.

Examining the grand narratives of colonial Ontario – the Loyalists, the War of 1812, and the creation of settler society – Cecilia Morgan argues that place played an important role in shaping memory and narrative in locations such as Niagara-on-the-Lake, the Six Nations territory at the Grand River, and the Mohawk community at Tyendinaga. Illuminating the pivotal role of women and Indigenous people in historical commemoration and uncovering the existence of a lively and interconnected circle of historians and heritage activists in late nineteenth and twentieth-century Ontario, Creating Colonial Pasts is a virtuoso study of history-making.

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 232 pages
  • Illustrations: 53
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.7in x 9.0in
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SKU# SP003816

  • PUBLISHED JUL 2015

    From: $26.96

    Regular Price: $35.95

    ISBN 9781442626157
  • PUBLISHED JUL 2015

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    Regular Price: $74.00

    ISBN 9781442648371
  • PUBLISHED JUL 2015

    From: $26.96

    Regular Price: $35.95

Quick Overview

Creating Colonial Pasts explores the creation of history and memory in Southern Ontario through the experience of its inhabitants, especially those who took an active role in the preservation and writing of Ontario’s colonial past.

Creating Colonial Pasts: History, Memory, and Commemoration in Southern Ontario, 1860-1980

By Cecilia Morgan

© 2015

Creating Colonial Pasts explores the creation of history and memory in Southern Ontario through the experience of its inhabitants, especially those who took an active role in the preservation and writing of Ontario’s colonial past: the founder of the Niagara Historical Society, Janet Carnochan; twentieth-century Six Nations historians Elliott Moses and Milton Martin; and Celia B. File, high-school teacher and historian of Mary Brant.

Examining the grand narratives of colonial Ontario – the Loyalists, the War of 1812, and the creation of settler society – Cecilia Morgan argues that place played an important role in shaping memory and narrative in locations such as Niagara-on-the-Lake, the Six Nations territory at the Grand River, and the Mohawk community at Tyendinaga. Illuminating the pivotal role of women and Indigenous people in historical commemoration and uncovering the existence of a lively and interconnected circle of historians and heritage activists in late nineteenth and twentieth-century Ontario, Creating Colonial Pasts is a virtuoso study of history-making.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 232 pages
  • Illustrations: 53
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.7in x 9.0in
  • Reviews

    ‘Morgan’s study provides a roadmap for others to explore underutilized collections stored within the local archives across the province—eastern, western, southern, and northern—and their unexplored webs of connections.


    Ross Fair
    Ontario History, Autumn 2016

    “In Creating Colonial Pasts, Cecilia Morgan makes a valuable contribution to the active and ongoing debate about the nature of memory and commemoration in Canada, highlighting the role of place and local knowledge in the construction of historical memory. Each chapter adds a new dimension to this innovative approach to the Canadian study of memory.”
    Alan Gordon, Department of History, University of Guelph

    Creating Colonial Pasts is brilliant. Morgan has presented us with a new way of seeing history, memory, and commemoration in southern Ontario.”


    Donald Wright, Department of Political Science, University of New Brunswick
  • Author Information

    Cecilia Morgan is Professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. She is the author of Commemorating Canada: History, Heritage, and Memory, 1850–1990s (2016), as well as Creating Colonial Pasts: History, Memory, and Commemoration in Southern Ontario, 1860–1980 (2015).

  • Table of contents

    Introduction: Pulling on Threads: Unravelling Histories and Historians

    Chapter One: Books and Mortar: Janet Carnochan’s Historical Town

    Chapter Two: “To Turn the Light on the Other Side”: History and the Six Nations

    Chapter Three: “Among the Six Nations”: Celia B. File and the Politics of Memory, History, and Home

    Chapter Four: “Where Nature Had Joined Hands with Man”: History, Tourism, and Landscape in Niagara-on-the-Lake

    Conclusion: Mending the Threads of the Past

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