The Frontier World of Edgar Dewdney is a biographical study
of a man who played a key role in the cataclysmic events which marked
the political, social, and economic transformation of western Canada in
the latter half of the nineteenth century. An immigrant adventurer
seeking his fortune in the colonies, Dewdney was embroiled in the gold
rushes of the 1860s, the B.C. debates on Confederation, the Riel
Rebellion of 1885, political evolution in the North-West Territories,
and the Klondike gold rush.
For several years Dewdney held important public offices, such as
Indian commissioner of the North-West Territories and Minister of the
Interior, positions which allowed him to shape the course of events. In
many ways, Dewdney's career is a metaphor for the maturing western
frontier. In following his exploits, we follow the story of a region
experiencing breathtaking change. Brian Titley's purpose in this
book is not to praise, but to offer a critical appraisal of Dewdney as
a type -- a representative of that class of adventurer who saw in the
new land an unprecedented opportunity for self-aggrandisement.
Brian Titley is Professor of Education at the University of Lethbridge. He is the author of Church, State, and the Control of Schooling in Ireland 1900-44 (1983), A Narrow Vision: Duncan Campbell Scott and the Administration of Indian Affairs in Canada (1986), and Dark Age: The Political Odyssey of Emperor Bokassa (1997).
1. The Trailblazer 2. The Politician 3. Indian Commissioner 4. Rebellion 5. Lieutenant-Governor 6. Minister of the Interior 7. Semi-Retirement 8. Conclusion Bibliography Notes Index