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Module 8

Worlds of Work: Pre-Industrial Work, 1880-1860

Daniel Samson

Against a tendency to imagine colonial settlers as forging independent lives on the land, historians paint a much messier picture. ‘Work’ in colonial Canada could mean the ancient customs of pre-industrial urban craft work, the drudgery of female domestic service, the uncertainty of farm-based waged-work, and the many dangers of life in the fur trade. This module offers a window on that complexity, showing a much richer world than most have imagined.

Primary sources:

  1. Text: John Franklin. ‘Narrative of a Journey to the Shores of the Polar Sea in the years 1819-20-21-22’ (1822)
  2. Text: ‘Albion Mines Locomotive Steam Engine Celebration.’ Mechanic and Farmer (25 September 1839)
  3. Text: Correspondence of Strikes at the Welland Canal, Upper Canada (1845)
  4. Text: Agricultural and Domestic Wages, Quebec Mercury (28 June 1831)
  5. Image: The New Urban Workplace: St John’s Burns (1837)
  6. Image: Chinese Miners washing gold (1862)
  7. Painting: Voyageurs (1863)
  8. Painting: Voyageurs (1870)

Secondary sources:

  1. T. H. Acheson. Saint John: The Making of a Colonial Urban Community (2006)
  2. Carolyn Podruchny. Making the Voyageur World: Travelers and Traders in the North American Fur Trade (2006)
  3. Elizabeth Jane Errington. Wives and Mothers, Schoolmistresses and Scullery Maids: Working Women in Upper Canada 1790-1840 (1995)
  4. Rusty Bittermann. ‘Farm Households and Wage Labour in the Northeastern Maritimes in the Early 19th Century. Labour / Le Travail (1993)

Introduction

List of Modules -- 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50