Unlike most missionary scholarship that focuses on male mission-aries, Good Intentions Gone Awry chronicles the experience of a missionary wife. It is based on the letters that Emma Crosby, wife of the well-known Methodist missionary Thomas Crosby, wrote to her family and others in Cobourg, Ontario, while she lived at Fort Simpson, near present-day Prince Rupert. Crosby's letters to her mother are at the heart of this volume. Her correspondence begins just prior to her meeting the missionary suitor who would become her husband. The exchange of letters continued from 1874 until 1881, when her mother passed away. The deaths of her mother and then of her father five years later slowed her letters to her family to a trickle.Good Intentions Gone Awry is a fascinating collection. Crosby, besides being a prolific letter-writer, was well-educated and an informative writer. Her letters shed light on a particular era and bear witness to the contribution of missionary wives. They show that mission work was something much more complex than simple tales of conversion by men invested in Christianity. Multiple participants shaped the missionary enterprise, each of them acting on their own motivations with consequences that no one would have anticipated.
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.
Illustrations Acknowledgments Crosby Family Chronology Simpson's Early Women Teachers and Missionaries Introduction 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 Notes Bibliography Index