Domestic Colonies: The Turn Inward to Colony
 9780198803423, 0198803427

Table of contents :
Domestic Colonies: The Turn Inward to Colony
1: Introduction
1.1. Domestic Colonies, Colonization, and Colonialism: Definitions
1.2. The Internal Colonization/Colonialism Literature
1.2.1. Internal Colonialism: Racial and Ethnic Minorities Indigenous Peoples and Internal Colonialism African Americans and Internal Colonialism White Ethnic Minorities andInternal Colonialism
1.2.2. Internal Colonization: Jürgen Habermas
1.2.3. Russian Self-colonization
1.2.4. Settler Colonialism. 1.3. Domestic Colonies Versus Internal Colonialism/Colonization1.4. The Challenge to Postcolonial Scholarship
1.5. Chapter Summaries
2: 'Western ́Colonization and Colonialism: The 'Idle ́and 'Irrational
́ 2.1. Ancient Greece: Apoikia and Emporion
2.2. Ancient Rome: Colonia
2.3. Modern Europe: The Emergence of the Ideology of Colonialism
2.3.1. Lockeś Economic and Ethical Justificationsfor Colonization
2.3.2. Transforming the Idle and Irrational into the 'Industrious and Rational
́ 2.3.3. The 'Liberal ́Thread of Colonialism
2.4. The Domestic Dimensions of External Colonization. 2.5. Conclusion3: Labour Colonies in Europe
3.1. Holland: Van Den Boschś Liberal 'Benevolent ́Transnational Colonialism
3.2. France: Paternal Republican Romantic Domestic Colonialism
3.2.1. Colonies Agricoles: Tocqueville and Beaumont
3.2.2. Mettray: Franceś First Colonie Agricole
3.2.3. Colonies de Vacances
3.3 Britain: Two Waves of Socialist and Liberal Domestic Colonialism
3.3.1. First-Wave British Home Colonization (1820-50) Pauper Emigration vs Systematic Colonization Home vs External Colonization
3.3.2. Second-Wave Domestic LabourColonies (1890-1930). Salvation Army, William Booth, and Labour Colonies3.3.2.2. Salvation Army and Transnational Colonialism Socialist Domestic Colonialism in Britain
3.4. Germany: Liberal and Nationalist Colonialism
3.4.1. Arbeiter-Kolonien: Liberal Colonialism and Open Labour Colonies
3.4.2. German Nationalist Colonialism: MaxWeber and Max Sering
3.5. Conclusion
4: Labour Colonies in North America
4.1. Farm Colonies for Soldiers After Wwi: Canada
4.2. Farm Colonies for Disabled Soldiers After Wwi: United States
4.3. Colonization of Freed Blacks: Racialized Republican Colonialism in Us. 4.3.1. Thomas Jefferson and Virginia: Domestic and External Colonies4.3.2. American Colonization Society
4.3.3. Colonization of Freed Slaves: Abraham Lincoln Lincolnś Colonization Plan: Phase I Lincolnś Colonization Scheme: Phase II
4.3.4. Domestic Colonies for Freed Slaves in the 1860s
4.3.5. Colonization of Freed Slaves: Conclusions
4.4. Domestic Colonies for The Metis/First Nations Peoples In Canada
4.4.1. Early Twentieth-Century Canada: Laying the Groundwork for Colonies
4.4.2. Domestic Colonies for Indigenous Peoples.

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Domestic Colonies The Turn Inward to Colony




Great Clarendon Street, Oxford, OX2 6DP, United Kingdom Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University’s objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. Oxford is a registered trade mark of Oxford University Press in the UK and in certain other countries © Barbara Arneil 2017 The moral rights of the author have been asserted First Edition published in 2017 Impression: 1 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of Oxford University Press, or as expressly permitted by law, by licence or under terms agreed with the appropriate reprographics rights organization. Enquiries concerning reproduction outside the scope of the above should be sent to the Rights Department, Oxford University Press, at the address above You must not circulate this work in any other form and you must impose this same condition on any acquirer Published in the United States of America by Oxford University Press 198 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, United States of America British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data Data available Library of Congress Control Number: 2017935535 ISBN 978–0–19–880342–3 Printed and bound by CPI Group (UK) Ltd, Croydon, CR0 4YY Links to third party websites are provided by Oxford in good faith and for information only. Oxford disclaims any responsibility for the materials contained in any third party website referenced in this work.

Acknowledgements Most academic books, even single authored ones, are only produced with contributions from multiple individuals and institutions. I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the contributions to this volume. The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council provided a multiple-year research grant that allowed me to hire research assistants, travel to conferences to present findings, and delve into archives and primary research sources. The research assistants hired with these funds, Sarah Pemberton, Aylon Cohen, Katrina Chapelas, and Serbulent Turan, made important contributions to this book with various kinds of research assistance. The Department of Political Science at UBC and the Dean of Arts office provided a research award that allowed a term sabbatical from teaching and administration to complete this project, which proved to be an enormously useful and timely gift of time. This project began in an embryonic fashion at a conference organized at the University of Chicago on the legacies of colonialism in 2004 by the late Iris Marion Young and Jacob Levy, which is when I first discovered ‘domestic’ colonies in Britain. I was intrigued by the idea that the colonial legacy might not only be traced to a settler colony like America but also back to Europe, and wanted to develop the idea further. This book is the ultimate product of that original conference. The book also builds upon the first book I published with Oxford University Press and under the guidance of the same editor, Dominic Byatt, to whom I owe enormous gratitude for his support both then and now. I would like to also thank Professors Duncan Bell and Duncan Ivison for reviewing the manuscript and providing important insights into how it could be improved and Olivia Wells at OUP for steering the manuscript through production. The Canadian and American Political Science Associations provided the opportunity to present research findings to scholarly audiences and respondents, who helped refine arguments and rethink premises. Several colleagues are worth a specific mention since our conversations and/or their responses were of particular importance, including Rob Nichols, Joyce Green, Karuna Mantena, Jeanne Morefield, Sankar Muthu, Jennifer Pitts, Anthony Pagden, Onur Ince Ulas, Adam Carmichael, James Tully, Lucas Pinheiro, and Steven Klein. Closer to home, I want to thank Laura Janara and Glen Coulthard. We have had sessions to discuss ongoing work and these were instrumental to this book. Glen suggested to me at one point that I use the term ‘domestic’ rather than internal, allowing me to distinguish what I was doing not only from the literatures on internal colonization but also from the idea of an ‘internalized’ colonialism which both Glen and Frantz Fanon write



about in terms of the psycho-affective effects of racialized settler colonization on the colonized in America and Africa. Laura gave me wonderful advice to clearly distinguish utopian colonies from labour and farm colonies which became instrumental to the way I developed the whole book. Finally, I want to acknowledge and thank my whole family, but in particular, Doug, Katie Anne, and Denby for supporting this work in so many ways—they are as happy as anybody that the book is complete since they will no longer have to endure mini lectures on my latest finding on domestic colonies over the phone or at the dinner table. Finally, in the course of writing this book, my father passed away. He was an inspiration to me throughout my life, in particular, his dedication to uncovering the truth on any question, articulating truth to power even when difficult to do so, and empathy for people struggling to find a better way and learning from their mistakes, so as not to repeat them. I hope this work reflects all of these important lessons that I first learned from him. FRONT COVER: The image on the front cover is from the frontispiece of the 1890 first edition of In Darkest England and the Way Out by General William Booth (founder of the Salvation Army). In this widely-read book, Booth compares the ‘bottom tenth’ of England’s poor to people living in ‘darkest Africa’. In both cases colonization was the ‘way out’ of the darkness with the goal to ‘improve’ ‘idle’ or ‘backward’ people and transform them into industrious and civilized citizens whether at home or abroad. His scheme for the poor of England was organized around three kinds of colonies—the city colony or city shelters to gather the poor and house them temporarily (which is what we are left with now), the farm colony (the image depicted) which lay at the heart of his original scheme within which the idle poor would trained in agricultural labour and finally the overseas colony (or farms in England) to which the newly trained and improved labourer was sent in order to become a productive citizen.


Contents 1. Introduction 1.1 Domestic Colonies, Colonization, and Colonialism: Definitions 1.2 The Internal Colonization/Colonialism Literature 1.2.1 Internal Colonialism: Racial and Ethnic Minorities Indigenous Peoples and Internal Colonialism African Americans and Internal Colonialism White Ethnic Minorities and Internal Colonialism 1.2.2 Internal Colonization: Jürgen Habermas 1.2.3 Russian Self-colonization 1.2.4 Settler Colonialism

1.3 Domestic Colonies versus Internal Colonialism/Colonization 1.4 The Challenge to Postcolonial Scholarship 1.5 Chapter Summaries 2. ‘Western’ Colonization and Colonialism: The ‘Idle’ and ‘Irrational’ 2.1 Ancient Greece: Apoikia and Emporion 2.2 Ancient Rome: Colonia 2.3 Modern Europe: The Emergence of the Ideology of Colonialism 2.3.1 Locke’s Economic and Ethical Justifications for Colonization 2.3.2 Transforming the Idle and Irrational into the ‘Industrious and Rational’ 2.3.3 The ‘Liberal’ Thread of Colonialism

2.4 The Domestic Dimensions of External Colonization 2.5 Conclusion 3. Labour Colonies in Europe 3.1 Holland: Van den Bosch’s Liberal ‘Benevolent’ Transnational Colonialism 3.2 France: Paternal Republican Romantic Domestic Colonialism 3.2.1 Colonies Agricoles: Tocqueville and Beaumont 3.2.2 Mettray: France’s First Colonie Agricole 3.2.3 Colonies de Vacances

3.3 Britain: Two Waves of Socialist and Liberal Domestic Colonialism 3.3.1. First-Wave British Home Colonization (1820–50) Pauper Emigration vs Systematic Colonization Home vs External Colonization

1 3 5 6 7 8 9 11 11 12 14 17 17 22 22 23 24 25 28 29 32 36 37 38 41 41 44 49 50 51 51 53



Contents 3.3.2 Second-Wave Domestic Labour Colonies (1890–1930) Salvation Army, William Booth, and Labour Colonies Salvation Army and Transnational Colonialism Socialist Domestic Colonialism in Britain

3.4 Germany: Liberal and Nationalist Colonialism 3.4.1 Arbeiter-Kolonien: Liberal Colonialism and Open Labour Colonies 3.4.2 German Nationalist Colonialism: Max Weber and Max Sering

3.5 Conclusion 4. Labour Colonies in North America 4.1 Farm Colonies for Soldiers After WWI: Canada 4.2 Farm Colonies for Disabled Soldiers After WWI: United States 4.3 Colonization of Freed Blacks: Racialized Republican Colonialism in US 4.3.1 Thomas Jefferson and Virginia: Domestic and External Colonies 4.3.2 American Colonization Society 4.3.3 Colonization of Freed Slaves: Abraham Lincoln Lincoln’s Colonization Plan: Phase I Lincoln’s Colonization Scheme: Phase II 4.3.4 Domestic Colonies for Freed Slaves in the 1860s 4.3.5 Colonization of Freed Slaves: Conclusions

4.4 Domestic Colonies for the Metis/First Nations Peoples in Canada 4.4.1 Early Twentieth-Century Canada: Laying the Groundwork for Colonies 4.4.2 Domestic Colonies for Indigenous Peoples 4.4.3 Metis Colonies on the Canadian Prairies Metis Colonies in Alberta Metis Colonies in Saskatchewan: Tommy Douglas

4.5 Conclusion 5. Farm Colonies for the Mentally Ill and Disabled in Europe and America 5.1 Modern Political Theory: The Rational Citizen and the ‘Irrational’ Other 5.2 Introduction to Farm Colonies 5.2.1 Early Horticultural Therapy in Germany and America 5.2.2 Dutch and French Farm Colonies for the Mentally Ill

5.3 Farm Colonies in America 5.3.1 First Wave of Farm Colonies for the Disabled in America (1870–90)

56 57 59 64 66 66 68 70 74 74 77 79 81 83 88 89 90 93 96 100 101 102 104 104 106 108 111 113 116 116 117 121 122


Contents 5.3.2 Second Wave of Farm Colonies: (1900–30) Walter Fernald and Eugenicist Colonialism Henry H. Goddard and Eugenicist Colonization Charles Bernstein and Rehabilitative Colonialism 5.3.3 Farm Colonies for Americans with Epilepsy 5.3.4 Farm Colonies for the Mentally Ill

5.4 Conclusion 6. Farm Colonies for the Irrational in Britain and Canada 6.1 Farm Colonies in Britain 6.1.1 Royal Commission on the Care and Control of the Feeble-Minded (1905–8) and Winston Churchill 6.1.2 The 1913 Mental Deficiency Act and Domestic Colonialism

6.2 Farm Colonies in Canada 6.2.1 Farm Colonies and Immigration: Domestic/Settler Colonization 6.2.2 Farm Colonies in Ontario, BC, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba Ontario Farm Colonies: Liberal to Eugenicist Colonialism BC Farm Colonies: Settler/Domestic Colonialism Prairie Farm Colonies: Immigration, Eugenics, and Colonialism

6.3 Conclusion 7. Foucault and Eugenics versus Domestic Colonialism 7.1 Foucauldian Theory versus Domestic Colonialism 7.1.1 Madness and Civilization: Moral Treatment and Farm Colonies 7.1.2 Discipline and Punish: Disciplinary Power and Labour Colonies 7.1.3 Collège de France Lectures: Colonization and Psychiatric Power Colonization of Unruly Youth Foreign Colonization of Non-Europeans Colonization of the Idle Poor/Petty Criminals Colonization as Economic Exploitation/Slavery Colonization of ‘Idiots’

7.2 Eugenics versus Domestic Colonialism 7.2.1 Eugenics and Chronology of Farm Colonies 7.2.2 Eugenics and Agrarian Labour/Improvement 7.2.3 Eugenics and Compulsory Sterilization Buck v Bell: Eugenics over Colonialism in America Sterilization Rejected: Colonialism over Eugenics in the UK

7.3 Conclusion

ix 124 125 127 129 131 132 134 135 135 136 137 140 140 141 142 146 148 150 154 154 157 158 161 162 163 164 166 167 171 172 173 173 174 176 177



Contents 8. Utopian Colonies: Doukhobors and Utopian Socialist Colonies 8.1 Introduction to Utopian Colonies 8.2 Canada’s Doukhobor Colonies: Tolstoy, Kropotkin, and Verigin 8.2.1 Colonies in Saskatchewan 8.2.2 Colonies in British Columbia: Settler and Utopian Colonialism Dispossession and Forced Removal State Assimilation of the Doukhobors

8.3 Utopian Socialist Colonies in America and Britain: Robert Owen 8.3.1 New Harmony in Indiana Treaty of the Delawares (1804) Treaty of Fort Wayne (1809) Robert Owen and New Harmony 8.3.2 Robert Owen’s Home Colonization Plan in Britain

8.4 Conclusion 9. African-American Utopian Colonies 9.1 Booker T. Washington and Utopian Colonies 9.2 Colonies in Kansas: Adams and Singleton 9.2.1 Dispossession of the Kanza and Osage Peoples 9.2.2 Singleton’s Black Utopian Colonies in Kansas

9.3 Utopian Colonies in the South

9.3.1 ‘Freedom Colonies’: Challenging Three Narratives of ‘Race’ in America 9.3.2 Mississippi and Mound Bayou Colony 9.3.3 Oklahoma and Boley Colony

9.4 Conclusion: Utopian Colonies as sites of Intersecting Colonialisms 9.4.1 Utopian Colonies and Settler Colonialism 9.4.2 Utopian Colonies and Domestic Colonialism 9.4.3 Utopian Colonies and Radical Colonialism

10. The Turn Inward: Rethinking the Colonial 10.1 Colonization is Domestic as well as Foreign 10.2 Agrarian Labour is the Central Thread to Domestic Colonies 10.3 Colonization and Colonialism versus Imperialism 10.3.1 Settler Colonization: Colonial Domination/Imperialism 10.3.2 Domestic Colonization: Colonial rather than Imperial

10.4 The Intersecting Histories of Disability and Colonization 10.5 The Rapid Decline of Domestic Colonies: Resistance and Decolonization

180 181 183 186 189 190 191 193 194 195 196 197 197 199 200 201 204 205 206 208 209 211 213 216 218 218 219 221 222 225 227 229 230 232 234


Contents 10.6 Domestic Colonies Sought to Serve Radical Political Ends 10.7 Transnational Colonial Networks and Intersecting Colonialisms 10.7.1 The Ideology of Colonialism: The Key Conceptual Connection 10.7.2 Transnational Colonial Networks: Traversing of Borders Conceptual Networks: Exporting the Colonial Model Material Networks: Emigration and the Colonial Body 10.7.3 Intersecting Colonialism(s)

10.8 Colonization, Colonialism, and the Colonized: The Turn Inward Bibliography Index

xi 236 237 238 240 241 243 245 248 249 269

1 Introduction From the middle of the nineteenth to the early twentith century, colonies were created within the borders of states, as opposed to foreign lands, for fellow citizens who were either ‘idle’ (poor, unemployed, vagrants, beggars, tramps), ‘irrational’ (mentally ill, disabled, alcoholic, epileptic), or members of political, religious, and racial groups in order to segregate and engage them in agrarian labour on uncultivated soil with the express purpose of ‘improving’ both the people and the land through such labour. Indeed, I will argue that, just as Europe made its famous turn outward to empire (Pitts, 2005) via imperial dependencies and settler colonization, it made a simultaneous turn inward to domestic colonies as a solution to virtually every social problem encountered in Europe’s rapidly industrializing and urbanizing societies. Colonialism, the ideology first used to justify colonization overseas, was redeployed to justify these colonies, with proponents claiming the same economic and ethical ‘benefits’ at home, if the principles of segregation and agrarian labour leading to improvement in both the land and the people were applied. The domestic colony model was then exported to settler colonies overseas. Domestic colonies are important to study, therefore, because they fundamentally challenge the standard definition of colonization and colonialism found in both popular dictionaries and postcolonial scholarship—namely a set of processes, external to the colonizing state or metropole, of domination over foreign peoples(s) rooted in racialized differences. The notion of colonization as a process of domination external to the colonizing state is articulated in the Oxford English Dictionary definition: ‘sending settlers to (a place) and establishing political control over it . . . settling among and establishing control over (the indigenous people of an area)’.1 Postcolonial scholars, as Roger Etkind argues, ‘led by Edward Said (1978) emphasize the significance of oceans that separated the imperial centers from their distant colonies’ (2011: 5). Said thus defines colonization as ‘implanting of settlements on a distant territory’ (1993: 9) and Albert Memmi notes ‘the colonizer [is] a foreigner, having come to a


Oxford English Dictionary, OUP, Online Reference, 2012.


Domestic Colonies

land by the accidents of history’(1991: 9). For the foundational scholars of postcolonialism, domination was also key to their definition of colonization. Georges Balandier defines colonization as ‘domination imposed by a foreign minority . . . on an indigenous population’ (1966: 54); Osterhammel defines it as a: ‘relationship of domination between an indigenous . . . majority and a minority of foreign invaders . . . in pursuit of interests . . . defined in a distant metropolis’ (1997: 16–17) and Ronald Horvath concludes of postcolonial scholarship as a whole: ‘it seems generally, if not universally, agreed that colonialism is a form of domination—the control by individuals or groups over the territory and/or behavior of other individuals or groups’ (1972: 47). The third and final characteristic of colonization in most standard definitions is its inherently racialized nature. Homi Bhabba comments: ‘the objective of colonial discourse is to construe the colonized as a population of degenerate types on the basis of a racial origin, in order to justify conquest and to establish systems of administration and instruction’ (1990: 92, my emphasis). Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt define the ‘colonized subject . . . [as] outside the defining bases of European civilized values’ (2001: 124) and Frantz Fanon’s (1994) Black Skins, White Masks defines colonization almost entirely as a form of racialized power. There is a simple reason why colonization is defined in these imperial, external to Europe, and racialized terms. Put simply, the domination of nonEuropean peoples and their lands by European (later white settler states) was and is, far and away, the most profound expression of colonial power in the modern world. This historical reality is important to acknowledge at the outset of this book because, while I shift the focus away from external forms of colonization in order to examine largely overlooked processes of domestic colonization, my analysis should not in any way be understood as diminishing the enormity of the colonization and colonialism experienced by indigenous and non-European peoples around the globe. Rather, I seek to expand upon our understanding of colonization and colonialism by examining them in all of their multiple historical forms. Moreover, domestic colonies make it not only possible but necessary to distinguish the colonial from the imperial. When colonization is defined as racialized domination overseas, it is not surprising that postcolonial scholarship finds it difficult to distinguish from imperialism. As Jennifer Pitts concludes in her overview of the scholarship on imperialism and colonialism in political theory, to ‘distinguish systematically between the imperial and colonial’ is impossible because while some may suggest that the former involves ‘extensive domination’ and the latter ‘substantial settlement’, in most instances, ‘the official, popular and even scholarly usage is unstable and the terms “colonies” and “postcolonial” are applied equally to spaces of significant settlement and to those without; indeed the former now tend to be described as “settler colonies”’ (2010: 213–14). Because the domestic colony



challenges the idea that colonization happens only in foreign lands or is synonymous with domination, the following analysis not only means it is possible to distinguish the colonial from the imperial, but necessary.

1.1. DOMESTIC COLONIES, COLONIZATION, A ND CO LO NIAL I S M: DE F INI T I ONS At the heart of my analysis of the ‘colonial’ (as distinct from the imperial) are important analytical distinctions between colonies (historical entities explicitly called colonies by their proponents and administrators); colonization (historical processes through which people were colonized at home as well as overseas); and colonialism (a common ideology used to justify such processes). By using only entities explicitly called colonies by their proponents and administrators (as opposed to ones similar in form or function but labelled prison farms, communes, or utopian communities) I focus on the specific deployment of the word colony by its proponents during this period. Secondly, the distinction between colonization as process and colonialism as ideology frames the remainder of this book, and thus it is important to understand what I mean by both terms in greater detail. Domestic colonization is the process through which states and civil society organizations in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries segregated fellow citizens deemed to be idle or irrational as well as religious, political, and racialized minorities into strictly bounded parcels of ‘empty’ or uncultivated rural land in entities explicitly called colonies within the borders of their own state in order to engage them in agrarian labour. Domestic colonies fall into three broad categories2 based on the group to be colonized, the problem to be solved, and the name used to describe them by proponents: 1) labour colonies for the ‘idle poor’ 2) farm colonies for the ‘irrational’ and 3) utopian colonies for and by ethno-religious/political/racialized minority groups. These categories 2

There are two kinds of domestic colonies excluded from, or lying at the borders of, this analysis: artist/writer colonies (voluntarily segregated, rural spaces of intense creativity within states) and medical quarantine colonies (leprosy or tuberculosis colonies often within but also outside of state borders). While they were directed at domestic populations and embraced the principle of segregation, I exclude them from my analysis, in the interests of space, but also because they lie outside the central thrust of a domestic colonial ideology rooted in improvement via agrarian labour. Nevertheless, the artist colony exists at the borders of the utopian colony and the medical quarantine colony at the borders of the farm colony for the mentally ill and disabled, both of which I analyse. The penal colony is a final kind of colony I will address in passing—they were also directed at a domestic population and engaged in segregation but located overseas and focused on punishment rather than improvement. The penal colony lies at the border of the labour colony. While not directly addressing any of these colonies, my analysis provides insights into them, as I discuss in the final chapter.


Domestic Colonies

define the chapters to follow: Chapters 3 and 4 analyse labour colonies, Chapters 5 and 6 analyse farm colonies, and Chapters 8 and 9 analyse utopian colonies. Domestic colonialism, as an ‘ism’, is the common ideology used to justify domestic colonies, rooted in three key principles—segregation, agrarian labour, and improvement—to create both economic benefits (improve land and create revenues) and ethical benefits (improve people). The colony model is proposed by domestic colonialists in explicit opposition to institutions such as prisons, workhouses, asylums, banishment, or indentured servitude because the latter were seen as draining to the state and rooted in domination rather than ‘improvement’. In short, domestic colonies were defended by the leading progressive thinkers of their era as a more humane and less expensive way to address a multitude of social problems.3 The analytical distinction drawn between colonization and colonialism in these definitions is important because it underpins my two-pronged methodological approach. In each chapter to follow, I analyse colonies on two levels—at an empirical or historical level, I analyse the process of domestic colonization via primary, archival, and secondary sources on the colonies themselves and the daily lives within them. At a theoretical or conceptual level, I analyse the ideology of domestic colonialism through the writings of leading domestic colonialists of the period. Domestic colonialism is invariably rooted in three key principles by virtually all of its proponents: segregation, agrarian labour, and improvement. 1) Segregation involves the separation of the colonized from civil society, particularly the city, into explicitly named colonies in the rural countryside. Segregation was necessary in the case of farm and labour colonies to protect society from the threat of these populations and to break them free from their home environment and culture (which helped to produce the bad habits of idleness and/or irrationality in the first place). The rural setting was also necessary, as cities were a source of temptation and 3 Creating a singular definition of either colonization or colonialism is problematic for some postcolonial thinkers. Gerald Butt argues: ‘Attempts to establish general theories of colonialism . . . encounter problems . . . rooted in the “experiential plurality” . . . of political organizations which are routinely described as “colonial.” [Thus] overly stipulative definitions should be resisted’ (Butt, 2013: 893). Ann Stoler concurs: ‘[The colony is] always unstable and precarious, plagued by the expectant promise and fear of its becoming another sort of entity’ (2011a: 2). While Butt and Stoler correctly argue that no single definition of colonization is possible if both the empirical plurality of ‘colony’ over hundreds of years and the fluid nature of power as exercised through colonization are recognized, I seek, through these definitions not to encompass all forms of ‘the colonial’ through history but to recover a single, critically important thread of colonial thought and practice manifested in domestic colonies overlooked in most postcolonial scholarship and to analyse the distinctive nature of colonial power as a peculiarly invasive and insidious power rooted in both segregation and universal improvement as distinct from racial domination and superiority, which animates most forms of imperialism.



corruption, causing the poor and unemployed to fall into crime, immoral behaviour, and/or vagrancy and alcoholism. Segregation was also defended, in the case of farm colonies for the mentally disabled, in order to prevent reproduction. Finally, in the case of utopian colonies, members of the colony defended segregation as necessary to preserve their collective and often radically different way of life from assimilation into the broader society. 2) Domestic colonies require engagement in agrarian labour on uncultivated soil. The link between colonization and agrarian labour can be traced from its etymological origins in the Latin word ‘colonnus’ (farmer) through John Locke’s seventeenth-century agrarian labour theory of property to nineteenth-century domestic colonialism. In the case of domestic colonies, there is an economic argument advanced for such labour, since it creates revenues by turning ‘waste’ soil into productive land/sale of agricultural produce, and a moral argument, since it has therapeutic or redemptive qualities (juxtaposed against the corrupting influences of a rapidly industrializing and urbanizing European society). Domestic colonialism was thus fundamentally anchored in the ethical and economic benefits of agrarian labour. 3) Improvement is the third key principle. Because agrarian labour improved both the land and the people engaged on it, rather than simply punishing and/or containing them, progressive thinkers of the period defended the colony model in opposition to punitive institutions (prisons, workhouses, indentured servitude, penal colonies). In the case of utopian colonies, the principle of improvement through agrarian labour underpinned the aspiration to a collective freedom and a selfsustaining and radically different way of life.

1.2. THE IN TERNA L COLONIZATION/COLONIALISM LITERATURE Given the focus of this book is on domestic colonization and colonialism, one might assume that it falls within some preceding ‘internal colonialism’ scholarship. But while there are instances where my analysis overlaps with some parts of this previous literature, it fundamentally represents an important departure. The four kinds of scholarship which deploy the term ‘internal’ colonialism or colonization include: a) ‘internal colonialism’ scholarship and activism of the 1960s and 1970s that focuses on the subordination of ethnic and racial minorities by their own states; b) Jürgen Habermas’s theory of ‘internal colonization’ of the 1980s concerned with a ‘colonization’ of the life


Domestic Colonies

system; c) the internal or ‘self-colonization’ scholarship of Russian historiography; and d) ‘settler colonialist’ scholarship that analyses the colonization of indigenous peoples by settler states. While they use ‘internal’ colonialism or colonization to describe negative power relations exercised by states over certain kinds of citizens and lands, they differ from my own analysis in some very important ways. Let us consider each literature and how it differs from my own analysis of domestic colonies in turn.

1.2.1. Internal Colonialism: Racial and Ethnic Minorities In 1955, the Bandung Conference in Thailand brought together newly independent or about to be independent colonies of Europe, organized around the principle of self-determination. It was an important moment in the development of decolonization in Asia and Africa in particular but had spill-over effects for colonized peoples around the world. During this conference, colonization was circumscribed by powerful settler states in the international community to mean only peoples and lands governed by metropoles at some distance from their colonies, thus excluded settler colonies. By 1960, under the leadership of the United States, the UN implemented Resolution 1514, the famous ‘salt-water thesis’ that delimited decolonization to ‘territories separated by water or . . . geographically separate from the colonizing power’ whom alone ‘could invoke self-determination’ (Corntassel, 2008: 108). It was at this historical moment therefore that colonization became synonymous with external colonization (rather than including the ongoing processes of colonization experienced by indigenous peoples and descendants of Africans brought to America as slaves who shared territory with the state).4 Colonization was a thing of the past, to be replaced by national self-determination within a specifically circumscribed definition of overseas colony. In many ways, I would argue, the ‘internal colonial’ literature and activism of the 1960s and 70s represent a multifaceted response by indigenous peoples, African-American activists/scholars and ethnic minorities living within state borders to counter their continued exclusion or discrimination as subjects of colonial power after WWII, simply because their colonizers still lived within the colonized territory rather than overseas. Scholars also used the term colonialism to describe the power exercised over ethnic and racial minorities by their own state both because of this imperial history but also because the word itself had such rhetorical weight, in the aftermath of the Bandung 4

This policy may help to explain why, in the popular imagination at least, colonization is thought to be ‘external’ to the colonizing state or why Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper remarked in an extraordinary statement in 2009 that Canada has ‘no history of colonialism’. Stephen Harper, News Conference in Pittsburgh, September 2009. 2011/01/canada-as-colonial-power/.



Conference, to express an enormously negative kind of power. Internal colonialist scholarship can be subcategorized even further based on the group and chronological order it appeared, beginning with indigenous peoples, then African Americans, and finally ‘white’ ethnic minorities. Indigenous Peoples and Internal Colonialism One of the first scholars to use the term internal colonialism in the 1960s was Pablo Casanova (1963) to describe the unequal economic development within a state along racial lines, with the state being defined as an internal metropole that exploited marginalized and/or peripherally located ethnic or racialized groups within its borders in much the same way external metropoles had done. These studies were often couched in terms of political economy or uneven economic development. The key case study for Casanova was indigenous peoples of Mexico, exploited by the Mexican state through cultural and economic policies with respect to their land. In 1979, Gary Anders, in an article entitled ‘The Internal Colonization of the Cherokee Native Americans’, likewise argues that the ‘federal government’s policies towards Native Americans conform to a clearly colonial pattern, and that these policies are strongly related to Indian underdevelopment today’ (1979: 42). While these earlier uses of the term ‘internal colonization’ tended to see the implications of colonization through a political economy/development lens, political theorists like James Tully have used the term ‘internal colonialism’ to describe a process of dispossession of indigenous peoples with both economic/ material and political/symbolic implications: ‘The essence of internal colonialism . . . is the appropriation of the land, resources and jurisdiction of the indigenous peoples, not only for the sake of resettlement and exploitation . . . but for the territorial foundation of the dominant society itself ’ (2000: 39). Finally, indigenous peoples and activists themselves also used the term internal colonization to describe the relationship of the settler state to their territories. For example, James Arvaluk, the president of the Inuit Tapirisat of Canada, gave a speech to the Rotary Club of Ottawa entitled, ‘Canada’s Forgotten Colony’, in which he described the Inuit people as a colony within Canada (Hicks, 2004: 10). The term ‘internal colonization’ has given way, more recently, to a literature that uses ‘settler colonialism’ to describe the relationship between states and indigenous peoples. Setter colonial scholars challenge the idea that indigenous peoples are ‘internal’ to any political or economic entity. In other words, while theorists of internal colonization tend to assume state borders and sovereignty (even if in the case of Tully, for example, he does so to critique this power), settler colonial and contemporary indigenous scholars question the ‘internal’ concept altogether.


Domestic Colonies African Americans and Internal Colonialism The second kind of ‘internal colonization’ literature is used in reference to African Americans. As early as 1944, W.E. du Bois described African Americans as having a ‘semi-colonial status’ (1985: 229), but the term ‘internal colonialism’ really took off in the 1960s and 70s with the civil rights movement. In 1964, Malcolm X described America as an internal ‘colonial power’ with 22 million African Americans ‘colonized’ by the state and deprived of their rights. Likewise, Martin Luther King Jr, in 1967 called inner city ‘ghettos’ domestic colonies. ‘The slum is little more than a domestic colony which leaves its inhabitants dominated politically, exploited economically, segregated and humiliated at every turn.’5 In 1967, Stokely Carmichael and Charles Hamilton, leaders of the Black Power movement, published their ground breaking book, Black Power and argued in Chapter 1, entitled ‘White Power: The Colonial Situation’, that the institutional racism faced by African Americans was a form of internal colonialism. Using Franz Fanon’s study of colonialism in Algeria as their framework, Carmichael and Hamilton argue of African Americans: ‘Colonial subjects have their political decisions made for them by the colonial masters and their decisions are handed down directly or through a process of “indirect rule”’ (Carmichael and Hamilton, 1967: 6). The subtitle of the book ‘The Politics of Liberation’ speaks directly to the idea that African Americans, like Africans, need to throw off the yoke of colonial power. Academics, particularly sociologists, followed this lead, and in 1970, Robert Allen published Black Awakening in Capitalist America, in which he drew a parallel between the neocolonialism of European states in Africa and the Bandung Conference with the situation of African Americans in the United States. In his analysis, he argues that direct colonial power of the past in Africa and America has been replaced by the indirect neocolonial power of white overseers. In 1969, sociologist Robert Blauner also claimed that African Americans were an internally colonized population in an article widely cited, which he then expanded upon in a 1972 book. In 2005, Allen looks back at this period arguing the civil rights movement used internal colonialism as a central term for action in the African American context: The concept of the black community as a type of internal or domestic colony in America was widely discussed in the Black Power movement, most famously by Stokely Carmichael . . . and the Black Panther Party. . . . The argument was that the black community was politically, economically, and militarily subjugated to white America, much as colonies in Africa or Asia were colonially subjugated and

5 Malcolm X and Martin Luther King quotations are from James H. Cone, Martin & Malcolm & America: A Dream or a Nightmare (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1991), cited in Hicks (2004: 2).



under the direct control of European powers. Colonies need not be external, they could also be internal . . . what was critical was the colonial relationship and its structures of domination and subordination. (2005: 6)

Thus, all of these scholars and activists use colonialism to mean domination by a state over internally, racialized populations, rooted in dispossession in the case of indigenous peoples and slavery in the case of African Americans. White Ethnic Minorities and Internal Colonialism The third kind of literature on internal colonialism focused on ‘white’ European ethnic minorities who were marginalized and oppressed by their own states through patterns of uneven economic development, exploitation, and cultural division of labour. The first European scholar to use this term in 1926 to describe an intra-European power relationship was Antonio Gramsci in ‘Some Aspects of the Southern Question’, as ‘the Northern bourgeoisie has subjugated the South of Italy and the Islands, and reduced them to exploitable colonies’ (1999: 171). Gramsci used the term for rhetorical purposes—to express the degree to which domination and exploitation rooted in class and cultural divides defined Italy. The most widely cited contemporary use of the term, however, is Michael Hechter‘s Internal Colonialism (1975), in which he argues the ‘Celtic fringe’ (Scots, Irish, Welsh) of Britain are internally colonized peoples because of the ‘cultural division of labour’ that allows them to retain their traditional culture while simultaneously being exploited for labour, land, and resources by the English metropole. Some white ethnic minority activists and politicians also used this term to describe their own situation. In Canada, for example in the late 1970s, Quebec nationalists like Camille Laurin called Quebec ‘an internal colony’ because of its ‘political subordination to the central state’6 and Rene Levesque, the former premier described Quebec as ‘an internal colony under the sway of another people’ in 1982.7 Virtually none of these cases of internal colonialism (other than indigenous peoples) has anything to do with settlement, land, or agrarian labour. ‘Colonialism’ is instead deployed as a powerful rhetorical metaphor to describe domination by the state over a particular ethnic or racial minority, rooted in an imperial past. As Jenny Sharpe argues, ‘internal colonialism’ became ‘an analogy for describing the economic marginalization of racial minorities’ (2000: 106). Eventually, as every kind of ethnic and/or racial discrimination

6 7

‘No lesson learned from language ruling’, The Globe and Mail, 20 December 1979. ‘Levesque says court ruling “the end of all illusions” ’, The Globe and Mail, 7 December 1982.


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and oppression around the world came to be analysed as examples of internal colonialism,8 the framework collapsed under its own weight and internal colonization came to mean everything and nothing.9 Moreover, applying the term internal colonization or decolonization to non-indigenous people, even African Americans in the American context, has been critiqued by indigenous scholars like Jodi Byrd who argue that using ‘colonial’ to describe various forms of domination in settler colonial contexts obscures the underlying situation of indigenous peoples and their land: ‘The problems inherent within Hechter, Blauner, Hooks and others who have tried to frame race as colonialism’ is that it obfuscates the ‘ongoing processes of colonialism that continue to affect American Indians and other indigenous peoples’ (2011: 43). As such she concludes, ‘“internal colonialism” is an empty referent that can be claimed by any marginalized group’ (45). When colonialism and colonization is used as a metaphor for domination in the American context, the underlying dispossession of indigenous Americans is lost and they become one group among many dominated by white settlers. Using internal colonization to describe domination by settler states over indigenous Americans and other racial minorities transforms ‘American Indians into a minority within a country of minorities’, and creates ‘the fait accompli of the colonial project that disappears sovereignty, land rights and self-governance as American Indians are finally, if not quite fully, assimilated into the United States’ as ‘internal’ people. Byrd concludes therefore ‘to use [internal colonialism] to describe the historical and spatial positionality of American Indian nations is a colonial violence that undermines sovereignty and self-determination’ (2011:44–5). Byrd’s critique is of critical importance not only as a challenge to the internal colonial literature but also to my own analysis because domestic colonies created in America for racial minorities, citizens with mental disabilities or illness, the idle poor, or other marginalized groups must be analysed in relation to the prior colonial dispossession of indigenous peoples. Thus, I analyse domestic colonies in the Americas as an intersection between settler and domestic colonialism.


As Jack Hicks notes of the application of internal colonialism worldwide: Theories of internal colonialism have been used to explain situations and movements literally around the world—in Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Britain’s “Celtic fringe”, Acadia and Québec, the Guizhou and Xinjiang regions of China, Colombia, Croatia, Estonia, Finland, Brittany in France, the Jharkhand region of India, Northern Ireland, Italy, the Sanya region of Japan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, South Africa, the Basque and Catalan regions of Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, the Swiss canton of St. Gallen, Thailand, the former USSR, Vietnam and Wales as well as Appalachia’. (2004: 3) 9 Critics of internal colonialism include Smith (1983) and Page (1978). More recently, there have been calls for the term to be revived with respect to indigenous peoples (Chavez, 2011).



1.2.2. Internal Colonization: Jürgen Habermas The second significant body of scholarship on ‘internal colonization’ grows out of Jürgen Habermas’s use of the term (1985). In Habermas’s theory, colonization has nothing to do with ethnicity or race but refers to the negative relationship of capitalism and the neoliberal state to the ‘life world’ of humanity as a whole. ‘The thesis of internal colonization states that the subsystems of the economy and state become more and more complex as a consequence of capitalist growth and penetrate ever deeper into the symbolic reproduction of the lifeworld’ which ‘like colonial masters coming into a tribal society— [force] a process of assimilation upon it’ (1985: 367, 355). Thus, for Habermas, internal colonization was not the subordination of one minority group of people by another based on ‘race’ or ethnicity, let alone land or agrarian labour, but a wholly rhetorical term/metaphor for how the capitalist economy and state penetrates and assimilates non-instrumental human communication and interaction. Habermas’s internal colonization involves a particularly insidious and infiltrating power through which people are assimilated into larger power relations and cultural beliefs. This psycho-affective and internalized dimension of colonialism, as described by Habermas, is similar to my own analysis of domestic colonies for the idle poor and irrational. Indeed, one of the things that distinguishes colonialism from imperialism is the degree to which the former, through the principle of ‘improvement’, seeks to change the person subject to colonization from within, as opposed to imperialism, which seeks to dominate those under its command from outside. At the same time, my analysis differs from Habermas’s because for me, colonization is not a rhetorical/metaphorical device to describe certain kinds of power but an actual historical process involving explicitly named colonies.

1.2.3. Russian Self-colonization The third use of the term ‘internal colonization’ is found in the large and longstanding literature on ‘self-colonization’ as both ‘metaphor’ and ‘mechanism’ (Etkind: 6) by historians of Russia and the Soviet Union. What is different in the use of colonization in this context as compared to the first two is that it is historically oriented rather than a description of current power relations, and agrarian labour/settlement is a key defining feature. In 1856, August von Haxthausen first described Russia as a country ‘involved not in a colonial expansion but, rather . . . “internal colonization”.’ Vladimir Lenin used the concept if not the term in The Development of Capitalism in Russia in 1899 to examine differences between regions in Russia, as both Michael Hechter (1975: 8) and Jack Hicks (2004: 1) have noted. Sergei Soloviev (1988) argues


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that Lenin was only one among many, since the majority of Russian historians and thinkers in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century understood their country’s history as ‘self-colonization’, by which they meant the settling of fellow citizens on ‘empty’ land within their own border to engage in farming. To populate . . . to call people from everywhere to come to empty places . . . to leave a place for newer, better lands, from the most profitable conditions . . . these are the important concerns of a country that [self] colonizes . . . [Russia] was not a colony that was separated from the metropolitan land by oceans [but] selfcolonizing. (Etkind, 2011: 63)

Etkind concurs with Soloviev in his own book entitled Internal Colonization that ‘three generations of nineteenth and early twentieth century Russian historians whose . . . textbooks constitute the core of Russian historiography disagree about many features of the Russian past but there was one formula that they kept repeating: . . . Russia colonized itself ’ (2011: 71). There is a parallel between this literature on Russian ‘self-colonization’ and one of my case studies, namely the internal colonization of Prussia championed by German domestic colonialists Max Weber and Max Sering at the end of the nineteenth century (Chapter 3). In both cases, colonization (the cultivating of ‘empty’ land using the forced movement of fellow citizens to settle ‘empty’ or underutilized land) is interwoven with nationalism as a way to secure the borders of the state and the geographical spaces lying at the periphery of either country. In most other ways, the literature on Russian self-colonization and my own analysis is different. First, this literature on Russian self-colonization is concerned primarily with a process of state building and thus little attention is paid to distinct domestic colonies within the Russian state, such as the Mennonites, Jews, and Doukhobors (as will be discussed in Chapter 8) who, because they challenged state power, were subject to persecution and forced to resettle in the Americas. Such colonies existed in opposition to the principle of state building which was so central to the self-colonization literature; thus challenging rather than supporting state sovereignty, which is exactly why they were driven out of Russia. The Russian Doukhobors in particular, supported by Peter Kropotkin and Leo Tolstoy, use the colony as a vehicle to challenge the sovereignty of first the Russian and then the Canadian state along with the militaristic violence upon which they were built, as discussed in Chapter 8.

1.2.4. Settler Colonialism Scholars of settler colonialism argue that its internal dimension distinguishes it from broader definitions of colonialism: ‘Whereas settler colonialism constitutes a circumstance where the colonizing effort is exercised from within the



bounds of a settler colonizing political entity, colonialism is driven by an expanding metropole that remains permanently distinct from it’ (Veracini, 2010: 6). Thus, as power shifts over time from an external European government to an internal, permanent settler state, the external imperial impulse of the metropole through which foreign non-indigenous peoples dominate indigenous peoples is supplemented and displaced by a settler colonial impulse through which the state claims the right over land and peoples. The literature on ‘settler colonialism’ is, in many ways, a continuation of Casanova’s, Anders’s, and Tully’s theories of internal colonization, except that, rather than assuming the state as a given and hence indigenous peoples are internal to it, settler colonialists argue this assumption itself must be challenged. As such, it is the internal part of internal colonialism that such scholars take exception to, since indigenous peoples are not one group among many subject to the dominating power of the sovereign state within its own borders but peoples whose very territory is usurped by it. As such they are subject to a unique form of settler colonization that underpins all other forms of domination in settler states. There is some overlap between the literature on settler colonialism and my own analysis, particularly in relation to the underlying colonial impulse of Locke’s political thought that justifies both dispossession and assimilation of indigenous peoples but also lays the theoretical foundation for domestic colonies. The most important similarity, however, is that we both use the term ‘colonization’ not as a metaphor for power or domination, as the internal colonial scholars and Habermas did, but to describe actual historical processes and entities explicitly called colonies. But while the focus of settler colonial and indigenous scholarship is on the every expanding process of colonizing indigenous peoples and lands, I use Locke’s theory to examine the internally focused, bounded, and segregated domestic colonies, first established in Europe and later in North America. Thus, my central focus is how a certain kind of colonialism rooted in agrarian labour, as originally articulated by Locke and deployed overseas in the seventeenth century to justify settler colonization in America, could be adapted and turned inward in the nineteenth century to justify bounded domestic colonies for various kinds of non-indigenous populations in European states based on disability, religious belief, and class as well as racialization. It is important to recognize, however, in bringing external and domestic forms of colonization into the same theoretical frame, I am not equating the experiences of indigenous and non-European peoples either quantitatively or qualitatively with those subject to domestic colonialism. First, because the sheer number of indigenous and non-Western peoples subjected to settler colonialism (and who continue to be subjects) absolutely dwarfs the number of non-indigenous people subject to domestic colonialism. Second, while settler colonialism continues to exert power over indigenous peoples and their lands, domestic colonies are historical artifacts, no longer present in


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our world. Most importantly, however, settler colonization was and is qualitatively different, because it involves wholescale dispossession of land and systematic attempts at assimilation of indigenous peoples. These two features of settler colonization make it fundamentally and qualitatively different from the colonies designed for the mentally ill, disabled, and/or idle poor, let alone those living in utopian colonies. There was no genocidal aim in domestic colonies as there was in the settler colonial institutions like Indian residential schools (with the exception of Metis colonies and external colonies for African-American freed slaves, as will be discussed in Chapter 4). While residential schools for indigenous peoples sought to ‘kill the Indian in the child’, domestic colonies for the irrational and/or idle European sought to ‘improve’ and transform those living within them (and this did result in many cases of individual abuse, as will be discussed, but no systematic attempt to destroy culture, language, and history). While they are different, I do hope this analysis of domestic colonialism will be useful to scholars of settler colonialism because it provides a new way of looking at the uniquely insidious power of colonialism, hinted at in Habermas’s definition of internal colonization, but developed even further and in relation to specific populations in my own analysis. Thus, by anchoring colonialism in the idea of internalized ‘improvement’ of targeted populations, rather than simply dominating them from outside through containment and punishment, colonialism, unlike imperialism, justifies a particular kind of internalized power that seeks to change and ‘improve’ people from within. Such a penetrating and internalized kind of power results not only in profound forms of psycho-affective harm but also gives the colony’s superintendent license (through an appeal to improvement) to engage in all kinds of abuse against those living under his authority and the impunity to do so (since the segregation from the rest of civil society puts the colony beyond any community oversight). I shall return to these important points regarding the potential for abuse in such colonies when I discuss the evolution of the ideology of colonialism in Chapter 2, but suffice it to say that the distinction drawn in my analysis between colonialism as ‘improvement’ and imperialism as ‘domination’ has important implications for the ways in which power operates with respect to the domestically colonized in Europe as well as indigenous peoples in settler states.

1.3. DOMESTIC COLONIES VERSUS INTERNAL COLONIALISM/COLONIZATION My analysis of domestic colonies thus has some similarities to these previous literatures, given we are all concerned with the problem of certain people(s) being subject to particular kinds of power relations at the hands of the state or



civil society organizations within a ‘shared’ territory. Individual elements in each body of literature overlap with my own analysis, as discussed above, including a pernicious infiltrating power of Habermas’s internal colonization, the principle of segregation necessary to the internal ‘colonization’ of African Americans as articulated by Blauner, Luther King Jr, and Malcolm X, paternalism of the state as described by Levesque and Hechter in reference to their understanding of internal colonies, the process of settlement via agrarian labour in Russian self-colonization, and most importantly, the profound implications of the psycho-affective internalized form of colonialism as articulated by indigenous and settler colonial scholars. But my definitions of colonialism and colonization are also very different from these accounts of internal and/or settler colonialism. First, most of these scholars (other than indigenous and settler colonial scholars) use ‘colonization’ as a metaphor for various kinds of domination, profoundly negative and oppressive power exercised over certain internal populations by the presentday state. In my analysis, colonization is not a metaphor at all but an empirical reality of the past. Indeed, throughout this book, all of the case studies I analyse were explicitly named colonies at the time they were implemented or discussed. While other kinds of institutions may share some of the same characteristics of the colonies examined in this book—prison farms, communes, utopian communities, for example—my focus is exclusively on institutions actually called colonies at the time. Second, while virtually all of these scholars of ‘internal colonization’ view it as the most negative way in which states can engage with their own citizens, I analyse multiple ‘progressive thinkers’ in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries who viewed ‘home colonies’ as the most positive way that states could interact with certain kinds of citizens within their own society, and far preferable to alternative more punitive and costly institutions. Third, while many of these analyses view colonization, particularly settler colonization or imperialism, as an expansive process that appropriates in its wake ever larger pieces of territory and numbers of people, domestic colonies were discrete, bounded, segregated, and internally focused institutions. Thus, while settler colonialism is by definition focused outward in ever expanding circles, domestic colonialism is focused inward—within the bounded colony itself but also within the minds and bodies of those living within it. Fourth, while Russian self-colonization and much of the internal colonization literature focuses on a single country or population, my analysis examines domestic colonization as a transnational, multifaceted and multidirectional process, as it traverses borders, both conceptually and materially, for a century or more. Indeed, one of the great strengths of this research is a comparative analysis across countries—for example, analysing how ‘home colonies’ in Britain being defended by Robert Owen compare to the ‘agricoles colonies’ of France championed by Alexis de Tocqueville at the same time in 1840. Very


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little of this work has been done previously, since most research tends to focus on the history of a single country or even single colony. Finally, and unlike any of the other internal colonial scholarship, my analysis brings together the history of disability with the history of colonization through the ‘farm colony’ model for mentally disabled people. The farm colony is first created in Europe but then exported and implemented in various parts of the world, including Canada and America. Thus, for the last half of the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century, the ‘farm colony model’ became the most popular solution in Britain and North America, particularly among ‘progressive’ doctors, for treating mental disability. Put simply, this historical form of treatment for the disabled was a form of domestic colonization—challenging the assumption of most scholars that the history of disability is something that runs in parallel to colonization. I show that these two histories intersect in the farm colony. The focus on disability is unique to my analysis compared to either internal or settler colonial scholarship. Indigenous or settler colonialism literature is perhaps closest to my own, since we share the same definition of colonization as not a metaphor for domination but as an actual set of historical processes (which in the case of settler colonialism are ongoing) justified by an ideology of colonialism rooted originally in modern political thought in Lockean principles of agrarian labour and improvement. The large subset of domestic colonies created in North America involve an analysis at various points in this book of the prior dispossession of indigenous peoples—in such instances, domestic colonialism intersects with settler colonialism. Finally, Metis labour colonies in Canada, as analysed in Chapter 4, are assessed as example of both settler and domestic colonization working in tangent with each other. Ultimately, what emerges out of my analysis of domestic colonies in relation to all of these previous literatures are two central questions: 1) How does an historical analysis of domestic colonies extend and supplement as well as challenge previous understandings of internal colonization and settler colonialism in terms of what we understand colonization, colonialism, and ‘the colonized’ to be? 2) How is it that the leading nineteenth- and early twentieth-century progressive thinkers and actors (including radical socialists and anarchists) of North America and Europe (including Alexis de Tocqueville, William Booth, Max Weber, Sidney and Beatrice Webb, Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Tommy Douglas, Leo Tolstoy, Wilder Penfield, Anthony Langdon-Down, Peter Kropotkin, James Mavor, Booker T. Washington, and Robert Owen) could champion domestic colonies as the best possible way for states to interact with particular groups of citizens but within a generation, a parallel group of leading progressive thinkers (Blauner, Habermas, Hechter, Malcolm X, Luther King Jr) defined internal colonization as the worst possible relationship a state could have with its own citizens? How has the meaning of



colonization changed so markedly within less than a century to create the opposite normative meaning for the leading thinkers of each generation?

1.4. THE CHALLENGE TO P O STCOLON IAL SC HOLARSH IP Ultimately, by incorporating these definitions of colonies, colonization, and colonialism in theory and practice of the colonial, my analysis challenges the definition of the colonial in current postcolonial scholarship in five important ways. First, as discussed, colonization in the late nineteenth, early twentieth century is both a domestic policy designed to solve social problems ‘at home’, as well as a foreign policy designed to expand imperial power overseas. Second, colonialism is not synonymous with domination (as is so often the case in postcolonial, settler-colonial and internal colonial literatures); indeed domestic colonialists propose colonies in explicit opposition to institutions rooted in domination, which is why African-American civil rights activists, socialists, and anarchists defended the domestic colony model. Third, domestic colonialists targeted people for colonization based on class, disability, and religious or political beliefs as well as race. As such, the scope of who is included in ‘the colonized’ and the basis upon which this happens is expanded. Fourth, incorporating the ideology of domestic colonialism into the history of political thought expands the number and kind of thinkers engaged in defending colonization in their political and social writings. While much of the history of political theory literature correctly argues that liberal thinkers (Locke, Mill) are key to the defence of settler colonialism in political theory, my analysis argues that, in the case of domestic colonialism, socialist, anarchist, and radical political thinkers do as well. Finally, domestic colonies challenge the postcolonial claim that imperialism and colonialism are indistinguishable; while imperialism is rooted in domination, domestic colonialism is rooted in improvement; while imperialism is directed at foreign peoples and lands, colonialism was directed at fellow citizens, and, finally, while many domestic colonialists were also settler colonialists, some were also ardent anti-imperialists.

1.5. CHAPTER S UMMARIES Over the next nine chapters I engage in a detailed empirical analysis of the process of domestic colonization using evidence provided by archival and


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secondary sources of the three categories of colonies: labour colonies for the idle poor, colonies for the mentally ill and disabled, and utopian colonies for political, religious, and racial minorities. I also engage in a theoretical analysis of the justifications advanced by the leading domestic colonialists in Europe and North America, showing how domestic colonialism varied across countries and thinkers, depending upon the population to be colonized and the other schools of thought (from nationalism to racism to republicanism to socialism) interwoven with colonialism to justify specific kinds of colonies. The analysis thus has a broad comparative sweep, addressing the processes of domestic colonization and the ideology of domestic colonialism across different countries, kinds of colonies, and thinkers. While this runs the risk of glossing over complexities in each case, it has the enormous advantage of placing a variety of different literatures and processes into conversation with each other. It thus is a corrective to the previous literature on domestic colonies, which is relatively scant and, where it does exist, focuses on a single colony or particular country with little comparison between farm and labour colonies or between different countries. Using the lens of colonialism and colonization as the frame, I can engage in this larger comparative analysis of colonies. I begin, in Chapter 2, with the historical and etymological roots of European colonization in Ancient Greece and Rome, before examining the emergence of an embryonic but foundational ideology of colonialism in modern thought through John Locke’s theory of labour, defined in terms of both agrarian labour and improvement. The second part of the chapter turns to examine the domestic dimensions of external colonization in eighteenth-century Europe, showing the degree to which foreign colonization was motivated by domestic policy considerations, specifically the desire to export Europe’s unwanted populations overseas. In Chapter 3, I examine labour colonies for the idle poor in Europe (Holland, France, Britain, and Germany). In each case, I analyse the kinds of labour colonies that were created and the arguments advanced by key domestic colonialists including Jan van den Bosch in Holland (whom so many copy), Alexis de Tocqueville and Gustave de Beaumont in France, Robert Owen, William Booth, Sidney and Beatrice Webb in Britain, and Max Weber and Max Sering in Germany, in order to demonstrate how the three principles of domestic colonialism are combined with ideologies including Christianity, paternalism, republicanism, liberalism, socialism, and/or nationalism to create particular kinds of colonies for specific populations in each country. In Chapter 4, I examine labour colonies in North America. Unlike Europe, neither Canada nor the United States adopted labour colonies for the general populace of idle poor but implemented them either at specific crisis points in history (the First World War for the resettlement of soldiers on agrarian land and after the Depression in internal colonies or settlements for the rural poor) or for racialized minorities over a longer period of time. The bulk of the



chapter focuses on colonies rooted in race because, compared to the colonies created at moments of crisis, they were much longer standing and two of the most iconic and celebrated figures in American and Canadian history respectively, Abraham Lincoln and Tommy Douglas, were key domestic colonialists. Both defended colonies for racialized minorities—specifically colonies for freed slaves in the US and Metis/indigenous peoples in Canada, respectively, and Douglas also defended colonies for the mentally disabled. Domestic colonization in North America, unlike Europe, also intersects in important ways on the ground with settler colonization, as shall be discussed in detail. In Chapters 5 and 6, I examine the second kind of domestic colony, farm colonies for the ‘irrational’. I begin, again, in continental Europe, specifically Germany, Holland, and France (and briefly examine the export of the farm colony model to Dutch Java and French Indochina) before using the bulk of this chapter and the next to provide an in-depth analysis of farm colonies in the United States (Chapter 5) followed by Britain and Canada (Chapter 6). As with previous chapters, I analyse domestic colonialism through arguments advanced in their defence over asylums or other more punitive institutions by various political actors and thinkers including Winston Churchill and Anthony Langdon Downs in Britain, Benjamin Rush, Walter Fernald, and Charles Bernstein in the United States, and Tommy Douglas and William Penfield in Canada. In Chapter 7, I step back from the comparative historical analysis of specific colonies found in the previous four chapters to engage in a theoretical analysis of why my notion of domestic colonialism provides a better explanation for the emergence of labour and farm colonies then the two most popular, alternative scholarly explanations: a) Foucault’s disciplinary power in the case of labour colonies for juvenile delinquents and farm colonies for the mentally ill and b) social historians’ notion that eugenics is responsible for farm colonies for the mentally disabled. In the case of the first, Foucauldian analysis suggests that labour colonies and farm colonies are manifestations of a shift away from constraints and punishment and towards disciplinary power and moral treatment like the panopticon and modern asylum. Similarly, most social historians argue that farm colonies for the mentally disabled are a product of eugenics. I will argue however, exactly because I am examining farm colonies and labour colonies in comparison to each other and across different populations and countries, that they were first and foremost colonies. While eugenics and disciplinary power provide insights into the creation of institutions for these populations in general, neither is able to explain the specific nature of colonies, their distinction from more punitive forms of social control, or why agrarian labour was so central to them all. Finally, in Chapters 8 and 9, I examine utopian colonies, the third and final category of domestic colonies, established by the members of the colony


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themselves along ethno-nationalist, racial, religious, and/or political lines in order to protect and preserve a collective way of life from the immoral society surrounding them. They shared in common with labour and farm colonies a commitment to segregation, agrarian labour, and improvement but differed to the extent that they were voluntary, collectivist, and generally radical in their politics whereas the other two kinds of colonies were involuntary, committed to private property, and generally liberal in their politics. The three specific case studies I analyse are Doukhobor colonies in Canada, Robert Owen’s utopian socialist colonies in both America and Britain, and free ‘negro’ colonies in America. In each case I examine the intersection of domestic colonialism with both radical colonialism—using the colony as the vehicle to resist capitalism, militarism, and/or white supremacy, respectively—and settler colonialism, since the colonies only exist in the first place through the prior removal of indigenous peoples from the land. In the conclusion (Chapter 10), I return to the broad analysis introduced in the first two chapters and summarize, based on the preceding chapters, how domestic colonies expand and deepen our understanding of both colonization and colonialism. Ultimately, my analysis provides a number of key insights at the theoretical level. First, domestic colonies and colonialism require us to distinguish between the colonial and the imperial, whether as historians or political theorists. Not only because they have distinct etymological foundations (agrarian settlement versus domination) but because this difference plays out in the distinct but overlapping histories of European imperial and colonial thought and practice. Nowhere is this more clearly shown then with domestic colonies, where imperialism provides little explanation for their existence but colonialism turned inward gives us an important explanatory framework. The ideologies of domestic colonialism and imperialism are so distinct, in fact, that some of the leading domestic colonialists of the nineteenth and twentieth century (Owen, Kropotkin, Tolstoy) could be simultaneously profound critics of imperial power. As such, this analysis of domestic colonialism provides evidence for why both historian and political theorists need to distinguish the ‘colonial’ from the ‘imperial’, even if on many occasions (particularly in the case of external colonization), in practice they often overlap. Secondly, while I spend most of the book creating an analytical distinction between domestic colonies and external or settler colonies to allow us to focus on the domestic dimensions of colonization, in my conclusion, I deconstruct this analytical binary to propose instead the idea of a transnational colonial network through which nodes of colonization (both external and domestic) are connected materially and conceptually as people and ideas transit across borders from one country to another and from the metropole to external colony. Thus, while my original distinction between external and domestic colonialism is a powerful and necessary analytical device to allow us to focus on the forgotten domestic dimension of European colonization in the nineteenth



and twentieth centuries, I ultimately argue that both kinds of colonies are best understood as parts of an interconnected colonial network. This transnational colonial network overlaps with but is different from the imperial carceral archipelago described by Michel Foucault and Ann Stoler. A third and final theoretical insight emerging from this analysis is the idea that domestic colonies need to be seen as sites of intersecting colonialisms, by which I mean two things: 1) domestic colonialism intersected with other ideologies (eugenics, racism, liberalism, republicanism, socialism, paternalism, anarchism) to create particular kinds of colonies for specific populations and 2) domestic colonialism intersected with other kinds of colonialisms (including external, settler, and radical colonialism) to create a wide range of contradictory colonial spaces. Indeed, one of the most interesting aspects of this analysis is the degree to which radical thinkers, including African-American leaders in the United States, such as Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington, and anarchists and socialists in Europe, such as Peter Kropotkin, Leo Tolstoy and Robert Owen, view colonies in North America as vanguards through which the most basic and, from their point of view, immoral premises of society could be challenged and overturned (white supremacism, capitalism, individualism, and militarism) even as the same colonies were part of settler colonialism.

2 ‘Western’ Colonization and Colonialism The ‘Idle’ and ‘Irrational’

In the first half of this chapter, I trace a specifically agrarian thread in the meaning of the ‘colonial’ from its etymological roots in the apoikia and colonia of Ancient Greece and Rome, through to the early modern colonialism of John Locke’s seventeenth-century agrarian labour theory of property as applied to America. It is this agrarian thread of colonial thought that provides the theoretical foundation for nineteenth-century domestic colonialism analysed in the rest of this book. The second half of the chapter shifts from theory to practice and provides a brief historical overview of the ways in which eighteenth- and nineteenth-century external colonization was often motivated by European states’ domestic social concerns. As many scholars have shown, foreign colonies served not only the foreign imperial goal of expanding power over other peoples and lands but the domestic goal of ridding European states of their problematic populations (the idle poor, petty criminals, and the mentally disabled and ill) through banishment and indentured servitude in settler colonies and exile to penal colonies. These domestic dimensions of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century foreign settler and penal colonization are important to my analysis because domestic colonialists target the same populations of ‘idle’ and ‘irrational’ people in the nineteenth century using the same solution of colonization but with colonies located inside Europe rather than overseas because they were less expensive and more humane. In contradistinction to settler or penal colonies, therefore, domestic colonialists did not seek to remove the ‘idle’ and ‘irrational’ from Europe but house them instead in ‘home colonies’ and transform them (via segregation/agrarian labour) into Locke’s ‘industrious and rational’ citizens.

2.1. ANCIENT GREECE: A P O I K I A AND EMPORION In Ancient Greece, there were two terms for colonies: apoikia and emporion (Whiteley, 2001: 124–5). The apoikia ‘home away from home’ was an

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independent, self-sustaining permanent agrarian settlement located at some distance from the mother city (metropolis). The emporion, on the other hand, was a temporary trading post which colonizers travelled to for a period of time to trade and return home. ‘In direct contrast to the apoikia . . . the emporion was a settlement devoted first and foremost to trade—facilitate exchanges between Greeks and foreigners’ (Whiteley: 124). At the heart of the apoikia was agrarian labour, seen as necessary to create autonomous or independent colonies. As Wilson comments: ‘The apoikia [is] . . . regarded as first and only an agricultural community’ (2005: 113). The apoikia, being a home away from home, was connected to a particular metropolis or mother city.1 Unlike contemporary postcolonial definitions of the metropole rooted in a relationship of dominance, Ancient Greeks viewed the relationship between colony and metropolis as one of equality and mutual respect. These terms apoikia and emporion underline one important feature of European colonization, namely, from its inception, there were at least two interwoven threads of trade and agrarian settlement, with the former often preceding but then being superseded by the latter in both ancient and modern forms of colonization. In modern terms, for example, trading companies like the Hudson Bay Company and Northwest Trading Company were the first to make sojourns into what is now Canada, followed by British and French settler colonization, respectively. Cavanagh (2009) describes this as ‘fur trade colonialism’ by which he means a period characterized less by settlement and more by trade. Needless to say, as emporia gave way to agrarian settlements in modern settler colonial states, conflicts increased between traders and settlers as well as indigenous peoples.

2 . 2 . A N CI E N T RO M E: C OLO N I A In Ancient Rome, the emporion became an emporium and the apoikia became ‘colonia’. Colonia, the root word of colony, colonialism, and colonization, was defined as agrarian settlement, linked etymologically to both colere (cultivation of land) and colonus (farmer). Thus, the etymological foundation of ‘colony’ is agrarian both in theory and practice. Moreover, Roman legislators at the beginning of the second century created coloniae in ‘empty’ rural lands 1

The Ancient Greek metropolis or mother city remains an important part of the definition of colonization to the present day but has evolved since its earliest articulation in Ancient Greece. In the nineteenth century, historian Hugh Egerton defines a colony as ‘a community . . . whose members belong by birth or origin to the Mother country’. In the late twentieth and early twentyfirst century, postcolonial theory redefined the ‘metropole’ as the imperial centre which engages in a process of domination, oppression, and/or dispossession over colonized peoples and lands in other parts of the world, often referred to as the periphery. I thank Duncan Bell for pointing out the ways in which ‘colony’ was defined in the nineteenth century.


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to absorb excess urban poor and put them to work. ‘Tribunes started to propose reform bills [after 133 AD] . . . to support the urban proletariat. These poor daily wagers had to go back to the country and become farmers again. The new colonies were agricultural settlements’ (Lendering, 2003). Thus, the domestic dimension of modern external colonization, which will be discussed in detail shortly (urban poor sent to ‘empty’ lands to engage in agrarian labour) had its earliest roots in Ancient Rome, with colonization used to solve domestic urban problems even as it extended the imperial frontiers. It is this agrarian heart of ‘the colonial’ of both the apoikia of Greece and colonia of Rome that can be traced through modern colonialism to domestic colonies.

2 . 3 . M O D E R N E U R O P E : T H E EME RGE NC E OF THE IDEOLOGY OF COLONIALISM Modern European colonization in the seventeenth century shared many things in common with its ancient counterpart, including the domestic goal of sending excess and unwanted urban populations to ‘settle’ and engage in agrarian labour on ‘new’ lands, while also serving the foreign goal of expanding imperial power. One key difference between the ancient and modern worlds is the emergence of what I call the ideology of colonialism whereby a prescriptive and cohesive set of arguments is advanced by a few key thinkers in order to convince a deeply sceptical audience in Europe of the benefits of colonizing foreign lands. Ideology is defined here as a ‘clusters of ideas . . . that provide directives, even plans of action . . . to uphold, justify . . . the social and political arrangements of a state or other political community’ to an audience which needs to be convinced of its benefits (Freeden, 2004: 6). John Locke was the first modern philosopher to develop a comprehensive defence of colonization in America, as I have argued elsewhere (Arneil, 1996). It may seem anachronistic to describe Locke’s seventeenth-century economic and political theories as an embryonic ideology of colonialism (since the word ideology itself only emerges in the eighteenth century) but I use this term, as Freeden defines it above, as shorthand for a set of comprehensive and prescriptive arguments rooted in three key principles that included directives and plans of action employed by Locke in his political writings, economic treatises, and colonial documents to convince a doubtful audience at home of the benefits of a particular kind of settler colonial project championed by his patron, the Earl of Shaftesbury, in Carolina. Locke’s arguments were not uniquely his but represent the most articulate crystallization of a set of ideas circulating in both America (for example, Governor John Winthrop of Massachusetts and William Strachey) as well in England (Thomas Mun and Josiah Child) as to why colonization is justified in both ethical and economic

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terms. I will show how Locke takes the ideas circulating at the time to develop a comprehensive defence of the colonial project in his writings. The key colonial principles of segregation, agrarian labour, and improvement that Locke advances in his writings are important to this analysis because they are the basis for arguments deployed two centuries later by domestic colonialists in Europe. It is important to note that while Locke’s colonialism provides the ideological foundation for domestic colonialism, this does not mean domestic colonialists explicitly referred to Locke in their writings. I am not arguing Locke had a direct influence on the domestic colonialists—in the way for example he had on early American thinkers and politicians’ Indian removal policies in my previous book, John Locke and America (1996)—rather, I use him to structurally frame a specific understanding of colonization in Western political theory. Put simply, Locke best articulates/ crystallizes a particular thread of colonial thought—one that identifies ‘idleness’ and ‘irrationality’ as the problem (he famously argues that God gave the world to the industrious and rational) and views agrarian labour as the key to improving both people and land. These ideas applied by Locke to American Indians become foundational to the nineteenth-century ideology of domestic colonialism.2

2.3.1. Locke’s Economic and Ethical Justifications for Colonization The foundation of Locke’s colonialism is his agrarian labour theory of property, since it is only through cultivation that the land itself and the people labouring on it (be they settlers or ‘Indians’) will be improved and title will be gained. To acquire the land and these attendant benefits, Locke provides, in his various writings, ‘directives’ and ‘plans of action’ in terms of what kind of crops should be grown, what kind of settlers should be sent to America, and how to develop a shipping industry capable of transporting settlers and slaves to America and returning with profitable agricultural goods for Europe. This multifaceted defence of colonization is found not only in his economic and political writings but in his letters, journals, and other working papers during the time he was Secretary to the Lords Proprietor of Carolina and the Council of Trade and Plantations. In other words, he was a true believer in and defender of colonization—as Cranston argues, Locke was ‘infected with Ashley’s zeal for commercial imperialism [and] seeing the possibilities . . . it offered for personal and national enrichment’ (Cranston, 1985: 119). 2 I want to thank both Duncan Ivison and Duncan Bell for pointing out the importance of clearly defining the role that Locke plays in my analysis—crystallizing a set of ideas that was the first articulation of an agrarian rather than conquest based form of colonialism.


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Thus, for Locke, colonization created wealth in England (economic benefits) and improved the lives of settlers and indigenous peoples (ethical benefits) only if ‘wast’ land was enclosed, cultivated, and properly husbanded.3 The economic benefits of colonization were particularly important to Locke, because two of the greatest economic thinkers of the time, Sir Josiah Child and Thomas Mun, argued not only majority opinion opposed colonization as draining England’s wealth but those who believed in it would need to provide a strong and coherent set of rationales to win the day. Thus Mun, who wrote the first economic work Locke is known to have read (Kelly, 1991: 98), concluded that colonization was ‘so contrary to the common opinion . . . it will require many and strong arguments to prove it before it can be accepted of the Multitude, who bitterly exclaim when they see any monies carried out of the Realm’ (Mun, 1664: 14). Likewise, Child claims in his essay A New Discourse on Trade which Locke responded to in his own economic treatise, Some Considerations on the Lowering of Interest, that only ‘one in a thousand’ support colonization (1689: 170) which is why ‘strong arguments’ are needed to convince the ‘multitude’ of its economic benefits—in short, an economic defence of colonization (Arneil, 1996: 90). In addition to economic concerns, there were also ethical objections raised, as some questioned the right of English proprietors to take already occupied land, including that of indigenous peoples and their English allies such as Rev. Roger Williams, a Minister in Salem, who was closely connected to Locke through the Masham family (he was the minister at the church where Locke’s body is buried and the Masham family worshipped) before emigrating to America. Williams wrote a famous treatise in defence of indigenous land title, proclaiming that the King had no right to grant lands upon which many colonies were founded in America since the land already belonged to other peoples. For his efforts, Williams was arrested and banished from Salem, but his arguments resonated strongly enough in America that John Winthrop, the first governor of Massachusetts, wrote his own treatise, ‘General Considerations for Planting in New England’ (1630) as a response to Williams’ concerns. Andrew Fitzmaurice has recently challenged the centrality of ‘terra nullius, meaning unowned or unoccupied land, to the history of western imperial thought including Locke. “There is not a word of terra nullius in . . . Locke” ’ (2014: 305). Fitzmaurice’s careful accounting of the use of both terra nullius and res nullius in the history of international legal scholarship is extremely useful but could undercut my argument that Locke and domestic colonialists deploy the idea of ‘empty’ or ‘wast’ soil as key to their justifications of colonization. I argue, however, that Locke and domestic colonialists are concerned with uncultivated soil (which Locke calls ‘empty’ or ‘wast’ in the Second Treatise). It is not so much that land is ‘unoccupied’ as it is uncultivated; and thus agrarian labour alone transforms both title (from common to private) and the valueless land to the valuable. Locke refers to land in America as ‘wast’ or ‘vacant’ at paragraphs 36, 37, 38, 42, 43, 45 in the Two Treatises of Government, Treatise II, ch. 5 (On Property). Agrarian labour is the key to both the economic and ethical benefits on such land for Locke and, later, domestic colonialists. 3

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While Williams’ treatise has since disappeared, Winthrop’s essay survives, and Locke owned a copy of it in his personal library and used many of Winthrop’s arguments in his own agrarian theory of property to make the case that colonization was not only economically beneficial to England but ethically justifiable. Put simply, Locke believes that his agrarian theory of labour provided both an economic and ethical defence of colonization against the critics in England and America. Economically, labour creates value in ‘vacant’ or ‘waste’ land in America and thus, if enclosed properly and cultivated, it multiplies rather than drains England’s wealth, which is why he repeatedly claims in the Second Treatise that labour increases the value of land by 100- or even 1000-fold, providing specific directives as to what crops should be grown to maximize profits for England. Ethically, the English settler engaging in agrarian labour (clearing, enclosing, cultivating land)4 on ‘wast’ or ‘empty’ land is not only acting in accordance with God’s will but also providing indigenous peoples with a model for their own ‘improvement’. Locke thus adapts Winthrop’s response to Williams’ critique in his Two Treatises as the basis of his ethical case for colonization in America (Arneil, 1996: 108). Winthrop states, the ‘earth is the Lord’s garden and he hath given it to the sons of Adam to be tilled and improved by them’ (1630: 272) and Locke argues ‘God gave the World to Men in Common; but . . . it cannot be supposed he meant it should remain common and uncultivated. He give it to the use of the Industrious and Rational, (and Labour was to be his Title to it)’ (II: ¶475). Locke further argues that, rather than harming indigenous peoples, colonization via agrarian labour provides a model for ‘idle’ Indians to follow and transform themselves into more ‘improved’ Englishmen and enjoy the same ‘comforts of life’. There cannot be a clearer demonstration of any thing than several Nations of the Americans are of this . . . rich in Land and poor in all the Comforts of Life . . . for want of improving it by labour have not one hundredth part of [what] we enjoy. (II: ¶41)5

These two arguments that agrarian labour improves both the land (economic justification) and the people laboring upon it (ethical justification) are important to analyse in detail because they will be repeatedly used to defend domestic colonies for the idle and irrational in Europe. 4 References to agrarian labour in Locke’s, ‘Two Treatises of Government’, can be found in Treatise II, ch. 5 (On Property): pp. 32, 34, 37, 38, 40, 43, 48. 5 Locke’s claim that indigenous peoples did not cultivate the land was not only historically inaccurate, since the early settlers often learned cultivation practices from them, but Locke knew this from his large library on America. The empirical reality was overrun by an ideological need to juxtapose ‘industrious’ settlers against ‘idle’ Indians; contrasting idleness in nature with industriousness in civil society as required by his colonial narrative of improvement and progress.


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2.3.2. Transforming the Idle and Irrational into the ‘Industrious and Rational’ In the Two Treatises, Locke argues: ‘God gave the World to Men in Common; but . . . it cannot be supposed he meant it should remain common and uncultivated. He give it to the use of the Industrious and Rational, (and Labour was to be his Title to it)’ (Two Treatises ¶475). In the American context, he creates a binary between an industrious and rational settler versus the idle and custombound Indian. It is important to note that the Indian is not idle or irrational by nature but due to his culture. ‘[Indians] never employ’d their Parts, Faculties, and Powers, industriously that way, but contented themselves with the opinions, fashions, and things of their Country, as they found them, without looking any farther’ (1975: Vol. 1, 4, ¶12). Consistent with the tabula rasa of his Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Locke claims that Indians can ‘progress’ and be industrious if separated from their culture, broken free from their customary ways, and, ideally, educated in Europe. Had the Virginian king Apochancan been educated in England, he [would be] as good a Mathematician as any in it. The difference between him and a more improved English man lying barely in this, that the exercise of his Faculties was bounded within the Ways, Modes, and Notions of his own country. (1975: Vol. 1, 4, ¶13–14, emphasis added)

Thus, Apochancan, in Locke’s example, bounded by his customs, if segregated from his ‘own country’ ‘ways modes and notions’ and sent to England could be as industrious and rational as any Englishman. It is worth noting, as James Farr (2009) does, that Locke changed the person referred to in this passage in various editions of the Second Treatise. In earlier drafts he refers to Totopotomy, but in the later 1690 draft he uses Apochancan. Farr argues that Locke does this because the latter was a more famous figure for his English readers (multiple versions of his life story had been printed in England, including by John Smith of Virginia and William Strachey of Massachusetts), underlining the ideological importance of this treatise—that Locke needs to use an example that will best help him to convince his audience at home of the merits of his colonial model which is peaceable and seeks only to ‘educate’ the Indian not war against them. In this context, Apochancan is an interesting choice for Locke, because he was known as the ‘king’ of the Powhatans who was known for his expressions of violent ‘outrage’ at ‘English expansion’ in New England, and he also attacked English settlements. Locke is using his name as an example of how to transform indigenous into the industrious and rational, in order to show that even the most ‘intransigent’ of Indians could be ‘improved’ if segregated and educated properly. The colonial importance of segregation from their own ‘country’ and culture to transforming the Indian was not lost on Locke’s audience. Henry Sacheverell,

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a famous clergyman and politician of the period, wrote in the margins of his first edition of Locke’s Essay: ‘Had they . . . never been transported in another Clime, what ideas could they have entertain’d concerning Languages, Numbers, and True Religion?’ (Farr, 2009: 32). In short, the three principles of domestic colonialism as articulated above— segregation, agrarian labour, and improvement—are found in an embryonic form in Locke’s ideology of external colonialism: 1) Segregation from one’s community allows the idle and irrational to free themselves from their customs and habits in order to be improved; 2) Agrarian labour consistent with God’s command and natural law is key to the transformation of both people and land; and 3) Improvement provides an ethical and economic justification for colonization, respectively, as the idle and irrational are transformed into the industrious and rational (the ethical case) and labour creates revenues and increases the value of land (the economic case).

2.3.3. The ‘Liberal’ Thread of Colonialism Locke’s colonialism can be described as ‘liberal’ or ‘progressive’. I am aware that using a term like ‘liberal’ in reference to the seventeenth century (much like ‘ideology’) could be problematic and anachronistic given that the word itself only emerged in the nineteenth century. Moreover, even without the historical question, liberalism itself is notoriously difficult to define and circumscribe in Western political theory, particularly as it evolves over time, leaving it meaning everything and nothing. Judith Sklar concludes: ‘Overuse and overextension have rendered [liberalism] so amorphous that it can now serve as an all-purpose word, whether of abuse or praise’ (1989: 3). Duncan Bell, in his powerful essay ‘What is Liberalism?’, provides a different way of thinking about liberalism that steers away from canonical or stipulative definitions and towards a contextual understanding. ‘A comprehensive contextualist analysis of liberalism should provide a framework for grasping the diverse ways in which liberal languages emerge, evolve, and come into conflict with one another, rather than trying to distil an ahistorical set of liberal commitments from conceptual or canonical investigation’ (2014: 689). This seems the right way to approach liberalism, as an historical and contradictory kind of language that comes into existence over time and is reinterpreted by others at later points in history. In addition to the problem of defining liberalism, including Locke as a central figure to this tradition is also potentially problematic since his status as a liberal is contested. As Bell argues, Locke was not described by himself or others as a ‘liberal’, including nineteenth-century liberals, until well into the twentieth century due to a particular geopolitical ideological context. In the twenty-first century, however, he is often described as the ‘founder’ of liberal


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thought.6 Bell’s argument that liberalism and Locke’s status within it evolves and changes over time is important and his idea that liberalism must incorporate these various ways in which it is defined historically seems right, but I am making a narrower argument to suggest that Locke can be defined as a liberal colonialist as opposed to an imperialist for three reasons which link him to a set of ideas we would now associate with liberal thought. To put it another way, ‘liberal’ is shorthand for three key ideas in Locke’s colonialism. The first is an economic liberal commitment to private property in land as foundational to civil society and contracts (as opposed to feudalism, absolute monarchical rights, or communally owned land). This ‘property in severalty’ aspect of Locke’s colonialism is important to Thomas Jefferson’s explicit use of Lockean theory to justify Indian removal (Arneil, 1996) but was also central to the domestic colonialism (as shall be discussed) of Jan van den Bosch’s labour colonies for the idle poor in Holland, William Booth’s farm colonies through his Salvation Army in England, and Benjamin Rush’s farm colonies for freed slaves in America. In all of these cases, the goal of colonization was to transform common and ‘uncultivated’ land into individual farms for the idle poor or unemployed so that they through their labour and in keeping with God’s will could claim title to their own piece of land and become industrious. Liberal colonialism, understood in these terms, is an explicit buttress to the capitalist economy and will be contrasted with radical domestic colonialism that rejected private property and capitalism (even as segregation, improvement, and agrarian labour were embraced) in utopian socialist Robert Owen’s ‘home colonies’ in Britain or Peter Kropotkin’s Doukhobor colonies in Canada. All of these domestic colonialisms will be discussed in detail; for now it is important just to recognize that Locke’s commitment to private property will be used by and challenged by liberal and radical domestic colonialists, respectively. The second kind of ‘liberal’ commitment in Locke’s colonialism is to a ‘progressive’ principle of an equal and universal capacity for human beings to reason and labour (we can all be industrious and rational if educated properly), rather than a racist imperial belief in the natural biologically determined hierarchy of peoples. Thus, the ‘idle’ and ‘irrational’ were not biologically different but ‘backward’, held back by their bad habits or customs. The third ‘liberal’ commitment, related to the second, is Locke’s rejection of the principle that ‘might is right’—manifested in Locke’s own theory when he requests conquest as a basis upon which to claim right over the land of the conquered. Locke himself admits this is a ‘strange doctrine’ since it counters the standard view of his time, but it underscores a progressive commitment, at least in theory, to the principle that labour, reason, and/or contract is the basis of Sheldon Wolin writes in Politics and Vision, ‘To the extent that modern liberalism can be said to be in spired by any one writer, Locke is undoubtedly the leading candidate’ (2004: 263). 6

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property and relations between settlers and indigenous peoples rather than conquest or violence. Because of these commitments (private property, universalism, and rejection of conquest), I would describe Locke as a liberal colonialist rather than an imperialist, rooted in domination and conquest. At first glance, one might conclude this progressive or ‘liberal’ form of colonialism which emphasizes universality, labour, and improvement must be less harmful to the colonized than imperialism, which roots itself in the right to dominate based on inherent racial superiority, conquest, or force. But Locke’s liberal colonialism, I will argue, is characterized by a more insidious form of internalized power that arises directly out of the ‘liberal’ commitments articulated above. In essence, if liberal colonialism constitutes certain people as ‘backward’ (be they idle/custom-bound Indians in America or idle poor and mentally ill/disabled in Europe) as opposed to biologically inferior (as imperialists argue) and thus capable of improvement but only if they choose to change themselves from within, using their reason to recognize their own ‘backwardness’ and break from the ‘customs’ or ‘habits’ that keep them from progressing forward and reaching their capacity to be fully industrious and rational, it requires a profoundly internalized form of power to achieve its goals. Liberal colonialism must get inside the minds and bodies of those subject to it, beginning with segregating ‘backward’ people from their communities and families so that they can through their own reason, break free from their ‘ways, modes and notions’ and retrain/reeducate them to become industrious and rational. Imperialism, on the other hand, understood as domination, is exercised from the outside through violence or the threat of violence—that is despotism or martial law. In essence, these two kinds of power are damaging in different ways to the colonized. My analysis of domestic colonialism includes the liberal commitments as described above and speaks to the harm inflicted on the colonized as the result of segregation and the internalized nature of ‘improvement’. These deeply internalized and psycho-affective dimensions of a ‘progressive’ form of colonialism rooted in a ‘liberal’ belief in ‘backwardness’ and progress framed through universal reason and industry have been most critically analysed in relation to indigenous and colonized peoples by scholars such as Frantz Fanon (1994), Taikaike Alfred, Jeff Corntassel (2005), and Glen Coulthard (2014). Indeed, the most profound manifestation of the internalized power of ‘liberal’ colonialism, rooted in Locke’s original ideas of separating Apochancan from his home community in order he give up his ‘ways modes and notions’, improve via an ‘English’ education, and become ‘industrious and rational’, is the nineteenth- and twentieth-century residential/ boarding school for indigenous children in North America (the last school of this kind was closed in Canada in 1996). Such schools were designed to explicitly ‘kill the Indian in the child’ and transform them into ‘citizens’ by


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separating them from their communities and territories, educating them to abandon their ‘ways modes and notions’, and reject their own cultures as fundamentally ‘backward’ in order to be ‘civilized’. Domestic colonies for the idle and irrational of Europe were different from residential schools, as I discuss at various points, most particularly in terms of cultural genocide, but the elements of segregation, improvement, and agrarian labour as key to progress remain the same. Thus, Locke was a key modern thinker in articulating a form of liberal colonialism rooted in ‘reason’ and ‘labour’ rather than conquest or domination. As such, his theory, as I have argued, represents the best crystallization of a broader set of arguments circulating amongst both American and English thinkers in the late seventeenth century who sought to provide a set of economic and ethical justifications for colonization in America for a sceptical audience in Europe, rooted in agrarian labour, segregation, and improvement rather than domination or conquest. Locke’s colonialism thus incorporated ideas from economic thinkers (Child and Mun) and political thinkers (Winthrop, Strachey, and others) to create an ideology (defined by Freeden as a ‘cluster of ideas’ to justify specific kinds of political and social arrangements). Locke’s arguments as the best articulation of these various threads of colonial thought is powerful and resonate for centuries after his death to become the foundational principles of an important thread of settler and domestic colonialism. Thus, having laid the modern conceptual foundation of a colonialism via Locke’s theory (as an articulation of this broader set of ideas circulating between Europe and America described above), in the remainder of this book, I will demonstrate how these three key principles (segregation, agrarian labour, and improvement) along with the economic and ethical benefits he argues will be gained through colonization and the internalized power inherent within them, are adapted by domestic colonialists in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to justify domestic colonies. Colonialism is not static but evolves over time as its defenders interweave it with various ideologies (including paternalism, Christianity, republicanism, socialism, nationalism, anarchism, and eugenics, as well as anti-eugenics) to justify segregated domestic colonies for various populations including the unemployed, vagrants, juvenile delinquents, returning soldiers, the mentally ill and disabled, epileptics and religious, political and racialized minorities in Europe and North America.

2 . 4 . T H E DO M E S T I C DI M E N S I O NS OF E XTE RNAL COLONIZATION As far back as Ancient Rome, colonies were used to solve domestic social problems—ridding the metropole of excess and unwanted populations. In

‘Western’ Colonization and Colonialism


eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Europe, this was taken to another level, as tens of thousands of bounded Europeans (indentured servants, petty criminals, those convicted of bankruptcy, the insane and idle poor) were sent to external colonies (both penal and settler colonies). External forms of colonization were constituted by four interconnected policies motivated by both foreign and domestic ends: 1) an imperial foreign policy through which European states expanded their land base and/or power by sending settlers abroad; 2) a colonial and capitalist policy through which states and private interests transported bounded individuals, namely indentured servants, from Europe and slaves from Africa to create a cheap labour force; 3) a domestic social policy through which those who might otherwise die or find themselves in the poorhouse were instead sent overseas to become settlers and begin a new life; and 4) a carceral penal policy of transporting criminals to segregated penal colonies to punish them and protect society from their likes for long periods of time. Let us consider these various domestic dimensions of external colonization in more detail. Settler colonization included both freely consenting settlers and ‘bounded’ individuals. The majority of those who landed in America in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were in the latter category, as Fogelman notes: ‘For the first two centuries of the history of British North America, one word characterizes the status of the vast majority of immigrants—servitude. From the founding of Jamestown until the Revolution, nearly three-fourths of all immigrants to the thirteen colonies arrived in some condition of unfreedom’, which included 430,000 slaves, 55,000 convicts and prisoners, and 223,000 indentured servants between 1607 and 1819 (1998: 43). It is worth noting that these same groups (African American slaves, Europe’s petty criminals, and idle poor) were later targets of domestic colonization. In the case of Europe’s poor, the key policy was the indentured contract. While some indentured servitude was technically ‘voluntary’ because the poor (often youth) of Europe agreed to go to the colonies in exchange for becoming a servant to a colonial master for a period of five or ten years, they were often driven by profound poverty and once there legally became the chattel or property of their master. Indentured contracts constituted, along with slavery, the basic mechanism for ‘settling’ the ‘new world’ and creating wealth, as together these two groups of people provided a very cheap labour force. David Galenson concludes that indentured servitude was the ‘central institution in the economy and society of many parts of English America’ in the seventeenth century, providing ‘the bulk of labour until slavery began to predominate’. Slavery grew in the Southern colonies in the early eighteenth century, but then the numbers shifted back again to indentured servants from Europe in the middle of the eighteenth century (1996: 158). Fogelman notes, ‘Before 1680 fewer than 10,000 African slaves were imported into the English mainland colonies, while well over 100,000 Europeans settled


Domestic Colonies

there, most of whom were servants. From 1680 to 1720, over 50,000 slaves were imported into the mainland’, while European immigrants ‘decreased significantly’. After 1720, however, the immigration of servants and convicts returned to ‘record levels’ (1998: 48–9). Tomlins argues that indentured servitude was not as extensive as Fogelman claims (48 per cent of total immigrants were ‘bounded’ compared to Fogelman’s claim of 75 per cent) but key to the settlement of America (2001). Anderson and Maxwell-Stewart argue that most European imperial nations engaged in penal colonization, indentured labour, and the slave trade in ways that interconnected with each other through the burgeoning navies of each country. ‘Convicts were . . . transported from Britain, Ireland, Portugal, France and Spain’ and penal transportation, indentured labour, and the slave trade involved ‘complex intertwined histories’. Penal transportation lasted longer than slavery, according to Anderson and Maxwell-Stewart, because it provided a cheap and controllable supply of labour in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries that, unlike slavery, ‘attracted relatively little metropolitan or colonial concern’. It was also popular because it was ‘progressive’ compared to the alternative of the death penalty and cheaper than prisons: ‘transportation was perceived as less costly than the penal alternative—the construction of new or extension of existing penitentiaries’ (2014: 214). By the middle of the eighteenth century, there was a shift away from the ‘assimilation of convicts into larger labour streams’ through settler colonization and ‘towards the establishment of discrete, isolated penal colonies’ or penal colonization (231). Convicts sent to penal colonies were subject to a tightly bounded and segregated prison and engaged in hard labour for the purpose of punishment. The domestic dimension of external colonization was thus highly significant, as banishment, indentured servitude and penal colonization became the way that most criminal sentences were adjudicated in eighteenth-century Britain. As Roger Ekirch argues, two thirds of Britain’s felons were sent overseas: During the eighteenth century, transportation became Great Britain’s foremost criminal punishment . . . After Parliament passed the Transportation Act in seventeeneighteen . . . courts made punishment the leading penalty for property offenses, the most common variety of crime . . . At the Old Bailey . . . more than two thirds of all felons from 1718 to 1775 were ordered for exile. (1985: 184)

As Ekirch points out, those convicted of capital crimes after 1718 had death sentences commuted to fourteen years of indentured servitude; non-capital crimes were given seven-year sentences. ‘Over 30,000 felons boarded ships in England for transportation to America between 1718 to its end in 1775. If one adds convicts from Scotland, Ireland, and Wales, the figure for prisoners sent to America is closer to 50,000 or 25% of the British immigrants to colonial America during the eighteenth century’ (Ekirch, 1985: 27).

‘Western’ Colonization and Colonialism


Thus, while Australia is often thought of as Britain’s penal colony, it only became so after the American Revolution, when America was no longer available. In colonial America and Australia, therefore, the line between penal and settler colony is historically blurred. The Georgia penal colony (now the state of Georgia), for example, was created under the governorship of James Oglethorpe, an MP who served as chair of the Parliamentary Committee on Prison Reform in the 1720s. After reading reports about the abuses occurring in debtors’ prisons, he formed the Trustees for the Establishment of the Colony of Georgia in America in 1730 and created a penal colony for those convicted of bankruptcy in debtor prisons in England. The trustees created a system based on ‘agrarian equality’, so land ownership would be limited to the same quantity for every individual arriving from prison. In his own book defending the colony of Georgia, Oglethorpe justifies his model by appealing to its economic and ethical benefits. Those ‘at home [who] are a Load on the Fortunes and Industry of others, may in the new Province of Georgia well provide by their Labour a decent Maintenance, and at the same Time enrich their Mother Country’ (1733: 39). This penal colony will eventually become the state of Georgia and thus one part of the settler colonial state of America. In addition to the idle poor and criminals, in the nineteenth century, increasing numbers of mentally ill, disabled, and/or orphans were sent to overseas colonies as well. Evidence of this is found in the 1905 Presidential Address by T.J.W. Burgess to the American Medico-Psychological Association (a precursor of the American Psychiatric Association—the name changed in 1921), where Burgess bitterly denounces Britain’s policy of sending ‘large numbers of immigrants [who] are of a low standard of mentality . . . the result is that these incompetents, many of them consisting of the scum and dregs of an overcrowded European population are crowding our Provincial hospitals’ for the insane (1905: 19). He also raises concerns about Britain exporting ‘pauper children’ to Canada through various schemes championed by Elinor Close, the Lord Mayor of London, and Thomas Barnardo. We will discuss these schemes in Chapters 4 and 5, but it is worth noting here that not only ‘idle’ or delinquent Europeans were exported to settler colonies but also ‘irrational’ (20–1). My main point in this brief overview of the domestic dimensions of European external colonization is simply to underline the point that will become even clearer in the case of domestic colonies; colonization was a policy that served not only a foreign policy goal of extending imperial power but also a domestic policy goal of solving social problems at home. Ekirch concludes of British foreign colonial policy: ‘Transportation was intended to serve British, not colonial needs . . . ridding Britain of large numbers of noncapital offenders’ (1985: 200). Anderson and Maxwell-Steward concur that transportation of convicts ‘provided colonial authorities with the means to relocate “undesirable” subjects to the imperial margins’ (2014: 110).


Domestic Colonies

2.5. CONCLUSION As we shall see in the chapters to follow, external colonization as the solution to various social ‘problems’ in Europe in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, as described above, was challenged in the second half of the nineteenth century by a growing number of thinkers and politicians who argued for domestic colonization, claiming the same ends could be achieved more easily and at less cost via ‘home’ colonies rather than overseas ones. Locke’s seventeenth-century theory, the earliest and best articulation of the economic benefits (create revenues and increase the value of land) and ethical benefits (transform the idle and irrational into the industrious and rational) of a colonial model rooted in segregation, agrarian labour, and improvement was ultimately turned inward to become domestic colonialism in the second half of the nineteenth century. Again, not in the sense that domestic colonialists quoted Locke directly in their defence of home colonies but in the sense that his theory, including the ethical and economic benefits of the colony model, provides the basic structure of the argument that would be redeployed by them. Domestic colonialists thus rejected a punitive or imperial model of penal colonies, indentured servitude, and banishment to settler colonies, and replaced it with a ‘progressive’ model of domestic agrarian colonies. Thus, in Chapter 3 we shall examine how, just as Locke had rejected conquest (at least, theoretically) in favour of agrarian labour, domestic colonialists such as Johannes van den Bosch rejected slavery and indentured servitude in Dutch Guyana in favour of domestic agrarian labour colonies in Holland, Alexis de Tocqueville rejected penal colonies in favour of colonies agricoles in France, Robert Owen rejected overseas colonies in favour of home colonies, and William Booth rejected workhouses in favour of farm colonies in England. Domestic colonialism was propounded by progressive thinkers (liberals, socialists, and anarchists) in opposition to penal and settler colonies as the solution to the problem of the ‘idle’ and irrational in Europe. Domestic colonialists also often rejected the imperial ideology of exclusion, domination, and punishment.

3 Labour Colonies in Europe Modern British and Dutch liberal theory and French and American republican theory associated citizenship with industriousness and agrarian labour. In the case of liberal thinkers, labour was the basis for individual rights, particularly the rights to property and to exercise political power, as discussed in Chapter 2; in the case of republicans, labour was the basis for moral and political freedom and therefore citizenship within the Republic, as shall be discussed. To be a citizen and exercise political power, therefore, in either a modern liberal or republican state, was to be industrious. The capitalist/ industrial market served to underline this commitment to labour through economics. It follows, therefore, that one of the greatest political and economic sins of the modern era was to be idle and poor. Such political and economic theories were reinforced by a Christian, particularly Protestant, belief in the redemptive qualities of industriousness. The idle individual thus violated political, economic, and religious norms of modern Europe, giving rise to profound implications for both the ‘idle poor’ of Europe as well as the ‘idle Indian’ in America, as Kliewer and Fitzgerald note: Idleness became the supreme affront to God’s order . . . Hard work served as a manifestation of one’s acknowledgement of the absolute glory of God. This held ominous meaning both for those colonized and those in Europe who appeared not to bear the burden of a community’s labour. (2001: 456)

Many solutions were developed to address the problem of idleness in Europe, from workhouses and poorhouses in Europe to banishment and indentured servitude overseas, as discussed in Chapter 2, but in the middle of the nineteenth century, a new model was proposed—the labour colony—with the goal of not only containing or punishing the idle poor but ‘improving’ and transforming them into industrious citizens. The underlying problem of idleness was compounded, according to the leading thinkers, politicians, and civil society organizations by the increasing urbanization and industrialization of Europe, as city streets became seen as a major source of corruption, leading to drunkenness, immoral behaviour, and crime. Labour colonies were situated in the countryside in order to reverse this trend, remove the ‘idle’ from the city,


Domestic Colonies

return them to the land and segregate them from the source of their bad habits and reengage them in agrarian labour on ‘empty’ soil. In this chapter, I examine in chronological order labour colonies for the idle poor in the following four countries as they developed: Holland, France, Britain, and Germany. In each case, I examine the particular processes of colonization implemented (what kinds of colonies and for whom) along with the specific ideology of colonialism advanced by key political thinkers including Johannes van den Bosch of Holland, Alexis de Tocqueville of France; Robert Owen, Beatrice and Sidney Webb, William Beveridge, and William Booth of Britain; and Max Weber and Max Sering of Germany. In each country and with each thinker, the key principles of colonialism (segregation, agrarian labour, and improvement) remain constant but were combined with various ideologies, including paternalism, republicanism, socialism, nationalism, Christianity, and liberalism, which allows each of these thinkers to justify specific kinds of colonies for particular populations.

3.1. HOLLAND: VAN DEN BOSCH’ S L IBE RAL ‘ BENEVOLENT’ TRANSNATIO NAL COLONIALISM Johannes Van den Bosch created the first labour colonies for the idle poor in Europe using a liberal and ‘benevolent’ form of transnational colonialism, as he returned home to Holland from Java, a Dutch colony in the East Indies. He argued that the ‘cultivation system’ in Java was the best model for transforming the ‘idle poor’ of Holland, concluding in his 1818 ‘Discourse on the Possibility . . . of a Public Institution for the Poor’: I am prompted to make known universally my thoughts on how to establish a colony of poor people since I have already brought a not wholly unfruitful, largely uncultivated piece of ground of several thousand morgens [1 morgen = 2.25 acres] into cultivation; and taught a considerable number of people who formerly made bad use of their time to labor. The fortunate result is that this property has doubled in value each year for eight years. And although circumstances here are certainly not the same, it appears to me that the principles and rules followed so beneficially in the one case, could also with suitable alteration be adopted as the appropriate foundation, in my opinion, to reach this beneficial purpose. (1818, 226–7, cited in Schrauwers, 2001: 301)

Van den Bosch, like Locke, claims ‘empty’ land in Holland can be cultivated both to increase the value/worth of the land (economic justification) and to improve the moral character and productivity of the idle person (moral justification)—hence the emphasis on ‘helping’ the poor to become industrious by engaging them in agrarian labour on uncultivated soil.

Labour Colonies in Europe


He began building colonies around 1820 under the auspices of his Dutch Benevolent Society. Albert Schrauwers argues that van den Bosch’s domestic colonies paralleled his overseas colonies, as both were justified in terms of their ethical and economic benefits: The crucial features of his experiment was that it simultaneously taught labor discipline, relieved paupers (i.e., provided for their subsistence) and, like a plantation, produced profitable cash crops. These three elements form the core continuities between the benevolent colonies for the poor [in Holland] and the Cultivation System [in Java]. (302)

The domestic colonies were extremely successful and eventually became the single most important mechanism for dealing with the poor in Holland in the nineteenth century (Schrauwers, 2001: 303–4). King Willhelm I was so impressed with van den Bosch’s labour colonies that he sent him to Dutch Guyana in South America in 1827, to recommend how it ought to be organized and governed. Van den Bosch recommended abolishing slavery and replacing it with the cultivation/labour colony system overseen by his Benevolent Society in Holland, using the same principles of agrarian labour and internal discipline that characterized it in Java and Holland. This plan for Dutch Guyana was implemented in the 1830s and eventually attracted the attention of Abraham Lincoln in the early 1860s as he sought a colony to settle America’s freed slaves after the Final Emancipation Proclamation (as will be discussed in Chapter 4). Thus, van den Bosch’s colonialism in South America was progressive or liberal in the sense that it rejected slavery, and was benevolent to the extent that it embraced the principle of charity and ‘improvement’ of the poor via agrarian labour rather than punishment via physical abuse or hard labour. Indeed, Schrauwers argues that the benevolent dimension of van den Bosch’s scheme is such that he claims it bears striking similarities with [those of] Robert Owen, the English utopian socialist and correspondent of the Benevolent Society, who was proposing rural colonies for the poor in England at the same time. . . . Both men saw individual character as the product of circumstances . . . however, the malleability of character meant that it could be improved through education and better conditions. (310)

But while Owen and van den Bosch may have agreed on the key principles of domestic colonialism, they differed significantly on their attitudes to religion, capitalism, and the free market. Owen was a secular socialist who viewed his ‘home colonies’ as alternatives to the capitalist system (collectively owned and cultivated by the members of the colony itself); whereas van den Bosch rooted his labour colonies in his Protestant faith, overseen by a benevolent superintendent, and designed to support capitalist labour markets as well as God’s will. In his article National Industry in General and the Netherlands (1819) van den Bosch defends private property and free capital, in keeping with Adam Smith,


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concluding that labour colonies ought not ‘distort markets in either labor or goods’ but support them by turning individuals back into productive labourers and return them to the labour market (Schrauwers, 2001: 304). Thus, Van den Bosch’s ‘benevolence’ was disciplinary in nature, which sought, like Locke’s, to get inside the heads and bodies of the idle poor and transform them not by force but from the inside out, convincing them through their own reason to become industrious and productive citizens in society: ‘The aim was not only to alleviate poverty, but to mold citizens through the application of discipline’ (Schrauwers, 2001: 305). This internalized labourbased colonialism exacted a steep price from indigenous peoples in South America because, like Locke, van den Bosch believed that ‘lazy natives’ of the Americas needed to be broken free from their customs and made into ‘a disciplined, self-directed, simple commodity producing farmer’ (Schrauwers, 2001: 314). Van den Bosch’s colonization scheme was also transnational in nature, with the labour colonies in Holland ideologically and materially intertwined with external colonies in the ‘East Indies’ and South America. Ideologically, the conceptual model of the benevolent labour colony was transported from Java to Holland to South America. It was also conceptually transnational in the sense that the Dutch labour colonies were an inspiration to French and British domestic colonialists, as shall be discussed, shortly, for their own domestic colonial plans. Finally, his colonization scheme was transnational in a material sense, since Holland’s domestic colonies were used as a labour pool for settling colonies overseas. Political economist James Mavor of Toronto (instrumental in the creation of labour colonies in his native Scotland as well as Doukhobor colonies in Saskatchewan, as will be discussed in Chapter 8) notes how urban idle youth of Holland trained in ‘forestry, horticulture and agriculture’ in Dutch labour colonies were often sent to the East Indies or West Indies as settlers (Mavor, 1893: 37). ‘A leading feature of the Dutch system is the securing of situations for the children of colonists when they attain the age of 20 or 22. Many are sent to the Dutch East Indies and enter the service of planters’ (Mavor, 1893: 36). The domestically colonized labourer became the settler colonialist in these transnational schemes. Thus, from the outset, van den Bosch’s colonial model was rooted in a transnational Protestant, liberal ideology of ‘benevolent colonialism’ that rejected slavery or punishment in favour of trying to discipline and improve the externally and internally idle via ‘education’ and agrarian labour in both domestic and external colonies. The domestic and external colonies were connected both conceptually through a common ideology of colonialism rooted in agrarian labour, and materially as the colonized poor of Holland were ‘exported’ to the overseas colony to settle the land. In essence, van den Bosch creates a transnational colonial network of people and ideas in transit across borders for both economic reasons (create wealth/increase productivity) and ethical reasons (improve individuals).

Labour Colonies in Europe


3.2. FRANCE: P ATERNAL REPUBLICAN ROMANTIC DOMESTIC COLONIALISM A ‘colony’ meant two things in France at the beginning of the nineteenth century: 1) French imperial settler settlements in Africa, America, and Asia; and 2) penal colonies that housed French prisoners overseas. Over the course of the nineteenth century, two additional kinds of colonies were added to this list, both located within France and targeting French youth in the countryside: colonies agricoles and colonies vacances. Like the Dutch colonies, they were the product of and justified by the principles of domestic colonialism (agrarian labour, improvement, and segregation) but interwoven with paternalism and a republican/Romantic belief in the morally redemptive qualities of nature. As such, French colonies differed from those in Holland because of a singular focus on youth and the emphasis on the countryside as a redemptive force in the service of a republican rather than liberal citizenship.

3.2.1. Colonies Agricoles: Tocqueville and Beaumont In the late 1830s, French political thinkers first introduced the concept of domestic colonies agricoles. Initially intended for young criminals, they differed from external colonies (either settlement and/or penal colonies) in location (inside France) and purpose (embracing a rehabilitative rather than punitive approach to young criminals, as penal colonies had done with agrarian labour on ‘empty’ rural land key to improvement). Alexis de Tocqueville and Gustave Beaumont, two early proponents of farm colonies, were commissioned by the French state to study the American penal system in the early 1830s (Toth, 2006). In 1833, they submitted their report (before the former wrote his famous Democracy in America) and recommended eliminating the ‘barbaric’ penal colony model and implementing agrarian labour colonies instead. Their farm labour colony, or colonie agricole, was explicitly modelled on van den Bosch’s scheme in Holland, as detailed in the fourth appendix of the report entitled ‘Agricultural Colonies’. In it, they argued that van den Bosch had the answer to France’s idle poor and criminal class problem, particularly if they were young. As the report notes: ‘General van den Bosch, while in the Island of Java had learned . . . how to make use of land . . . When the General returned to Europe, he laid before the King of the Netherlands a plan of pauper colonies on uncultivated land. Thus the first agricultural colonies sprang into existence’ (Beaumont and Tocqueville, 1833: 167). Tocqueville and Beaumont concluded the French government should create agricultural colonies, similar to those . . . in Holland . . . If such colonies were established in France, no idler could complain of not finding labour; the beggars, vagrants, paupers and all the released convicts whose number


Domestic Colonies

continues to increase . . . could find a place where they would contribute to the wealth of this country by their labor. (1833: 104)

Beaumont and Tocqueville embraced colonization because of their beliefs in Christian and modern ideas of charity and economic efficiency, respectively. On the first point of religion, August Cochin, a contemporary, notes: ‘M. de Tocqueville, one of the founders of Mettray [colony], uses this beautiful expression: “No human power is comparable to religion for reforming criminals, upon it especially the future of penitentiary reform depends”’ (Cochin, 1853: 15). On the second point of economic value, both Beaumont and Tocqueville argued, like Locke had done in America, vast tracts of empty land in Europe were available and could generate considerable revenues: ‘By the side of these useless fields, a population . . . is often placed who are in want of soil and of the means of existence. In France nearly 2 million of poor are numbered and the uncultivated lands form the seventh part of the area of the kingdom’ (Beaumont and Tocqueville, 1833: 167). Such colonization should happen, therefore, throughout Europe: In all countries of Europe, without exception of those where agriculture has perfected to the highest degree, vast territories are found, the arid and unpromising soil of which has not attracted the industry of man, and which remain the property of all, because no individual would take the trouble to cultivate them. (167)1

While they shared some key ideas in common, there were three important differences between French domestic colonialism and the Dutch/English form of colonialism as articulated by van den Bosch and Locke. First, unlike Locke or van den Bosch, who thought external and domestic colonization had the same goal, namely, improvement of the idle whether at home and abroad, Tocqueville’s domestic colonialism (which emphasized ‘improvement’ and benevolence) stood in stark contrast to his external theory of imperial colonization that emphasized French power and national glory. Margaret Kohn and Jennifer Pitts have both argued that Tocqueville’s defence of France’s colonization of Algeria was not concerned with serving ‘the interests of the native peoples . . . nor did his defense of colonialism rely on a concept of a civilizing mission’; rather, it ‘reflected and reinforced the glory of France’ (Kohn 2008: 256; Pitts, 2005). As a result, Tocqueville argued for martial law in the case of

1 Farm labour colonies were defended by other ‘liberal’ reformers in France in the 1830s, including L. F. Huerne de Pommeuse in Des colonies agricoles et de leurs avantages (1832), Pierre Bigot de Morogue in Du pauperisme (1834), Villeneuve Bargemont in Economie politique Chretien (1834), and Joseph-Marie de Gerando in De la bienfaisance publique (1839). De Pommeuse was particularly important and also used van den Bosch’s system as his model, arguing once again that agricultural colonies would not only solve the problems that accompanied youth in the city but would increase wealth in the vacant land of France, noting: ‘oneseventh of territory in France was not under cultivation’ (Crossley, 1991: 40).

Labour Colonies in Europe


native Algerians as appropriate to their governance while rejecting penal colonies as barbaric for the idle poor or juvenile delinquents of France. Recognizing Tocqueville’s deep and abiding interest in and support for domestic colonies thus creates a new and quite different lens with which to examine the continuing debates in Tocquevillean scholarship on the role that colonialism versus imperialism plays in his political theory, as I shall discuss after analysing the famous Mettray colony that Tocqueville strongly supported and helped to establish. In particular, while most of this scholarship sees colonialism and imperialism in Tocqueville’s theory as largely interchangeable, when viewed through external colonies such as Algeria, my analysis demonstrates, for Tocqueville, domestic colonialism and the colonie agricoles were rooted in a distinct philosophy from imperial arguments about glory and power. Secondly, French colonialism, as Toth (2006) and Crossley (1991) have argued, had a distinctively Romantic or Rousseauian dimension to it, with a deep belief in the redemptive powers of the ‘countryside’: [What mattered to] the proponents of the agricultural colonies . . . was the power of the rural environment to mold behaviour. Closeness to nature offered the promise of an authenticity that had been lost within urban society. The countryside seemed to possess a restorative, a regenerative power; away from the corruption of the urban environment. (Crossley, 1991: 52)

As such, the countryside was seen as an exalted physical and conceptual space lying between the corruption of the city/civilization and the untamed wild/state of nature. ‘Early discussions about the colonies were marked by a condemnation of urban, industrial society and a countervailing valorization of the countryside as a site for the restoration of authority, order and social discipline’ (Edington, 2011: 268). Thus, for French thinkers, while the ‘citizen’ (in old French city dweller) existed in opposition to the ‘wild savage’ in the state of nature, as articulated by Rousseau, the colony is located in the rural space or countryside between them; and thus allowed both the idle citizen living in the corrupt city and the idle savage living in the wild to be transformed via the rural countryside into the industrious citizen through engagement in agrarian labour: ‘This was not the countryside as escapism: agricultural work—with religion in support—was understood as a process of socialization’ (Crossley, 1991: 52). And that socialization had a distinctly republican ring to it since labouring in a rural field was seen as key to not only turning the idle into the industrious, but citizens with moral freedom within a republic. The third aspect of French domestic colonialism that distinguished it from the British and Dutch was a singular focus on youth, as juvenile delinquents became the main group targeted but also foundlings/orphans and poor urban youth. Again and again, defenders of agricultural colonies argued that the young were the group most likely to change their habits of idleness if they were


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removed early from the corrupting influences of the city and their family. Thus, French domestic colonialism was explicitly interwoven from the outset with a Romantic focus on the countryside, a paternalistic focus on youth, and a republican focus on citizenship and virtue. Put simply, if Dutch domestic colonies were justified by a benevolent liberal Protestant colonialism, colonies agricoles were justified by a Romantic, republican, paternalistic French colonialism. The French colonies were thus similar to, but also different from, the Dutch colonies, with a particular population targeted.

3.2.2. Mettray: France’s First Colonie Agricole The first domestic agricultural colony for juvenile delinquents was established in France at Mettray in 1840 by Frederic-Auguste Demetz and Viscount Courteilles, bringing together Romanticism, republicanism, paternalism, and colonialism: ‘Our aim’, declared its founders, ‘was to rescue young offenders from the influence of a prison life, and to replace the walls with which they had been surrounded by liberty and labour in the open air’ (cited in Jones and Porter, 1994: 125). Mettray was thus established under the auspices of ‘La Societe Paternelle pour l’education morale et professionnelle des jeunes’ (Paternal society for the moral and professional education of young people), which included both Tocqueville and Beaumont as members. It is worth noting that in mid-nineteenth-century France, a private civil society organization, not the state, provided the solution to delinquency and idleness in France, much like van den Bosch’s benevolent society did in Holland. While paternalism and Romanticism were part of the justification, the core belief remained the colonial commitment to agrarian labour. Thus, the motto of Mettray, coined by DeMetz, was: ‘ameliorer l’homme par la terre et la terre par l’homme, sous le regard de Dieu’ (improvement of man by the earth and earth by man, under God.) An English ‘leisure’ journal in 1867 argued DeMetz’s motto was the basis for many institutions for ‘misguided’ youth in Britain and the United States: ‘Most reformatory schools in Great Britain and America have at least adopted one of M. DeMetz’s principles: To improve men by means of labour upon the land, and to improve the land by the labour of men’ (Miller, Macaulay, and Stevens, 1876: 191). There is perhaps no better summation of the ideology of modern colonialism than this one sentence which succinctly expresses both the economic and ethical dimensions of colonization, anchored in agrarian labour. In the same way that van den Bosch’s system in Holland became the model for other European thinkers and states interested in domestic colonization (including Tocqueville himself) to implement their own colonies, so too Mettray became the model for other parts of France, Europe, and eventually

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the world for their own colonies for ‘troubled’ youth. As historian Stephen Toth notes of France itself: the Mettray agricultural colony spawned the establishment of 50 other agricultural colonies [in France] during the 1840s and eventually led to the passage of legislation in 1850 that made the private agricultural colony the most common form of incarceration for juvenile criminals . . . By 1853, half of the minors under correctional care lived in agricultural colonies. (2006: 5)

The populations to be housed at Mettray and other colonies expanded in the second half of the nineteenth century. In 1862, Count A. de Tourdonnet argued that the Mettray colony should also be used to house poor children, orphans, and foundlings, along with juvenile delinquents. Woven through his essay was the Romantic view referred to earlier that saw the city as the source of bad habits, idleness, and indigence in all kinds of vulnerable young people, and segregation in the countryside as the best way to instil industriousness and norms of republican citizenship. As Ann Stoler notes, for Tourdonnet, agricoles colonies were ‘seedbeds’ to raise honest citizens and hardworking laborers with limited aspirations, by removing them from the unhealthy immoral cityscapes of indigent adults and by investing their time in soil and soul . . . Mettray was a benchmark against which to measure the costs and benefits for reform of the new colonies he proposed. (Stoler, 2011b: 25)

Tourdonnet also linked Mettray to external colonies—thus, like Dutch colonization, French domestic and external colonies were connected. ‘The ties between . . . agricultural colonies and the settlement of Algeria are threaded through de Tourdonnet’s essay’ (Stoler, 2011b: 31). Tourdonnet points out the idea of linking external and internal colonization is nothing new: ‘La transplantation des enfants assistés en Algérie n'est pas, d'ailleurs, un fait nouveau. Il y a déjà des précédents significatifs’ (Tourdonnet, 1862: 170).2 The precedents he refers to were the Ministry of Interior Commission in 1852 (171) and another commission in 1856 that recommended French agricoles colonies provide settlers to Algeria. Tourdonnet argues that the commissions disagreed on how to design this transnational network, so he provides his own model. He proposes a ‘three-stage process’ with ‘preparatory colonies’ for children ages one to twelve in France, colonies of transition, and finally exporting of youth to agrarian settler colonies in Algeria (Stoler, 2011b: 32). The tripartite nature of this colonial scheme will be echoed in William Booth’s colonial scheme in Britain, as will be discussed shortly, connecting the farm colonies in Essex with the emigration to and settlement in colonies overseas. The interconnections ‘The transplanting of young children in Algeria is nothing new. There are already significant precedents for this practice.’ 2


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between domestic and external colonization are both ideological and material, since both the model of the colony itself and many ‘idle’ bodies transited from France to Algeria. Mettray became very popular as a model for other countries outside of France. Indeed, so much so that DeMetz had to build a ‘Hotel Colonie’, outside the gates of Mettray to accommodate visitors who wished to visit and study it. Delegates came from Britain, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United States (Chassat, Forlivesi, and Pottier, 2005). In Britain, Jones and Porter note ‘the leading theorists of pauper education and training in England, James Kay and Edward Tuffnell, argued for a Mettray like colony for paupers’ (1994: 126). John Ramsland likewise documents how Mettray became a model for countries as far away as Australia. In the late 19th century Mettray achieved international fame. Its methods of childsaving were widely mythologized and imitated in Europe and the English- speaking world. English experts in juvenile delinquency . . . promoted interest in Mettray and its ideology . . . In the Australian colony of New South Wales, Mettray was recognised in official reports and described as an ideal model for organizing government institutions for delinquent children. Three institutions in Denmark were based on Mettray . . . A similar institution was founded in Belgium. The Dutch boasted of the Netherlands Mettray . . . Similar agrarian institutions were founded in . . . the United States, Canada and in England. The provision of agricultural training well away from the evils of city slums became a popular method of child reclamation with the Mettray system providing the ideal template. (Ramsland, 1990: 31)

Even with all of its fame at the time, Mettray became even more famous in contemporary social and political thought due to the central role it plays in Michel Foucault’s Discipline and Punishment, where he famously argues that the day that Mettray opened marks the moment when discipline replaced punishment in France: ‘Were I to fix the date of completion of the carceral system . . . I would choose . . . 22 January 1840, the date of the official opening of Mettray’ (Foucault, 1995: 293). As important as Foucault’s account of Mettray has been to contemporary theory, my analysis of domestic colonialism challenges it in two important ways. First, while its opening may have indeed marked the birth of ‘discipline’ and ‘surveillance’ in the French criminal system, Foucault ignores the fact that Mettray was not a prison or even a penal farm but a farm colony, not only in name but in purpose. Indeed, he never refers to it as a ‘colony’, other than in direct quotes from people who lived there. Thus, what I add to Foucault’s analysis of Mettray is a new focus on its existence as a colony, and the role played, therefore, by the ideology of colonialism in its creation and defence, as distinct from disciplinary power. Secondly, I challenge Foucault’s definition of colonization, since he defines a colony in Discipline and Punishment as inherently external and engaged in domination—hence his two examples of colonies are the penal colony of Guinea and the colony of Algeria.

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I will take up this question of Foucault’s theory of disciplinary power and his definition of colonization in comparison to my own analysis of domestic colonialism more fully in Chapter 7, after I discuss the evolution of farm colonies for the mentally ill and disabled in Chapters 5 and 6. Suffice it to say for now, that I believe Foucault’s theories of disciplinary power within a carceral archipelago and his critique of moral treatment in the modern asylum ignore the colonial dimensions of labour colonies and farm colonies, respectively, and specifically, why agrarian labour is so central to both. This is particularly troubling in the case of French colonies agricoles, both because the colony at Mettray is Foucault’s quintessential example of the shift from punishment to discipline and because labour colonies were the most common form of incarceration for French youth in the second half of the nineteenth century. In addition to challenging Foucauldian scholarship, my analysis of French colonies agricoles also provides a new lens on the contemporary scholarship on Tocqueville, particularly the role played by colonialism in his political thought. In essence, what needs to be added to this literature is two things: a) the role played by domestic (Mettray); and b) the role played by settler colonialism, in addition to what is now recognized as external imperial colonialism (Algeria) in the literature on the role played by colonialism/ imperialism in Tocqueville’s political theory. The lively debate among Tocquevillean scholars (Pitts, 2000; Pitts, 2001; Kohn, 2008; Welch, 2003; Duan, 2010) on how to reconcile his liberal philosophy in America and Europe with his despotic and authoritarian support for colonization in Algeria has a new vector from this analysis since few, if any, of the scholars writing on Tocqueville and ‘colonization’ mention his support for colonies agricoles, despite his sustained interest in them, beginning with the 1833 report, through his membership in the Paternal Society that founded the Mettray colony in 1840, to his written support for this colony as it came into being. Understanding what colonialism means for Tocqueville will be expanded and complicated by including agricoles colonies because, unlike van den Bosch, whose external and domestic colonialisms were largely the same, Tocqueville had a different colonial ideology to justify Mettray compared to either America or Algeria. With respect to America and settler colonialism, Adam Dahl has argued recently in a compelling analysis of Tocqueville’s views in Democracy in America, that he incorporates settler colonialism and dispossession into his republican/democratic theory in this work. ‘The Tocquevillean moment reverses the supposition of the mutual opposition of colonial expansion and democratic-republican politics present in the Machiavellian moment by casting settler colonialism as the precondition of popular sovereignty and democratic self-rule in settler societies’ (Dahl, 2015: 5). Thus, in addition to domestic colonialism in France, one needs to add to the role played by colonialism in his political theory, settler colonialism in relation to America.


Domestic Colonies

But in addition to this, I would argue the analytical distinction between imperialism rooted in domination and the ideology of colonialism rooted in agrarian labour is useful in comparing Algeria to Mettray because, in essence, Tocqueville deploys an imperialist defence of French colonization in Algeria rooted in the principles of national glory and domination, but a domestic colonialist defence, as I have defined it in France to defend Mettray, rooted in the principle of improvement of the land (economic benefits) and people (ethical benefits) via agrarian labour. Thus, Pitts, Kohn, Duan, and Welch are correct when they describe Tocqueville’s defence of Algeria as rooted in ‘empire’s law’ (Kohn, 2008: 255), but my point in that his defence of Mettray is rooted in colonialism rather than imperialism. Tocqueville thus takes three simultaneous ‘turns’ in his imperialism/ colonialism—the first is Pitt’s famous ‘imperial turn’ outwards through which he justifies authoritarian rule in Algeria, a settler colonial turn outwards in relation to American democracy, and a simultaneous ‘colonial turn’ inwards to justify colonies agricoles in France. Tocqueville provides an important example of why imperialism and colonialism, even though they are often used interchangeably in postcolonial scholarship, need to be distinguished conceptually and historically, as Tocqueville defends both a domestically oriented colonial, paternalistic defence of agrarian labour through which land and people were improved, an externally oriented French racist imperialism through which Algerians were dominated for the glory of France, and a settler colonial defence of American democracy. Tocqueville’s republicanism helps to unite his different forms of French external imperialism and domestic colonialism. As Duan (2010) has argued, Tocqueville’s imperialism was shaped by French republicanism, meaning he saw the colony of Algeria largely through the way in which it might strengthen the French republic in relation to other European states. Likewise, his commitment to republicanism at home led to the idea that French youth who will otherwise lead a life of poverty and crime can be improved and made industrious while still young and hence contribute to the well-being of the French republic rather than be a drain on it for the rest of their lives. When seen through a republican lens, therefore, the more ‘charitable’ form of domestic colonialism is reconcilable with Tocqueville’s defence of imperial power, since both serve the French republic’s glory and strength. Finally, it is exactly the divergence in Tocqueville’s thinking between external imperialist and domestic colonialist defences of Algeria and Mettray, respectively, that makes him different from Dutch and English liberal colonialists who reject domination (at least in theory) in relation to both external and internal populations. Instead, they embrace a universalist liberal colonial ideology through which idle or irrational individuals, regardless of geography or race, are not, in theory, to be dominated, enslaved, or punished but rather brought, through their own reason, to recognize the benefits of turning

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idleness into industriousness. Liberal colonialists, at least in theory, believe people ought to be improved from the inside out, not dominated from the outside through martial law, as Tocqueville argued was more appropriate for the colonized peoples of Algeria.

3.2.3. Colonies de Vacances Domestic colonialism remained popular throughout the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries in France, expanding in a uniquely paternalistic, republican, and Rousseauian way in the creation of a second kind of domestic farm colony, the summer time ‘colonies de vacances’ for French youth. These colonies de vacances, which eventually became the equivalent of summer camps for children, were, in their earlier form, rural collective experiences away from the city for young people in the summer, rooted in the same colonial principles of segregation, agrarian labour, and improvement along with paternalism and republicanism but targeting, over time, an increasingly large group of urban youth. Beginning in the mid-1870s, as industrialization and urbanization dominated French cities, a Swiss pastor Wilhelm Bion established the first colonies de vacances in the French countryside, to allow urban working-class youth of Paris to experience rural life in the summer months for educational and health benefits. Agrarian labour was key to these colonies: ‘half the total number of colons [were] placed on local farms’ (Downs, 2002: 25). First propounded by evangelical Protestant Christians in the 1870s to 1890s to improve the physical and mental health of young, working, poor city dwellers, colonies de vacances were eventually championed in the early twentieth century by socialist municipal councilors who rallied around a model of ‘child villages’, as an ‘incomparable school of social education that is life in a collectivity’ (Downs, 2002: 291). These colonies took in hundreds of thousands, growing to ‘over a million each summer [by] 1955’ through to the 1980s, but then diminished dramatically as summer colonies yielded to individual family vacations. (Downs, 2002: 3) As Downs notes in her book on these colonies de vacances, they evolved ‘from charitable work bestowed by late 19th century do-gooders on . . . sickly proletarian children, to a robust institution of popular education in interwar France to the preferred institution by which children’s universal “right” to health, happiness . . . and a piece of the French countryside was disbursed across . . . France’ (2002: xiv). Unlike the colonies agricoles run by religious and civil society associations for city-bound juveniles delinquents in the nineteenth century, twentieth-century colonies de vacances were run by municipalities for all French urban children to experience collective rural life beyond family and city. These colonies also had the explicit purpose, like the colonies agricoles, of inculcating republican civic virtue in childhood through agrarian labour and a


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belief in the redemptive qualities of the rural countryside. Downs concludes ‘the colonies de vacances . . . far from home and in the open air—resonated with a powerful Rousseauian current in French . . . thought’ (15) that sought to create a ‘politics of republican virtue’ (16) via education of the body and mind in the countryside. The colonial ideology underpinning these colonies, therefore, was still Romantic (French countryside), paternalistic (youth as would be citizens), and republican (inculcation of civic virtue through rural life) but also, in their early twentieth-century form, socialist (working in a collective fashion). What remained constant between the French colonies agricoles of the nineteenth century and the colonies vacances of the twentieth century, albeit with different emphases, were the bedrock commitments to segregation from the city in the rural countryside, improving the body and mind of youth through outdoor labour and creating the foundations through such colonies of a healthy French republican citizenry.

3.3 BRITAIN: TWO WAVES OF S OCIALIST AND LIBERAL DOMESTIC COLONIALISM As discussed in Chapter 2, British modern external colonization in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries had both a foreign dimension (‘settling’ ‘empty’ lands for the purposes of expanding imperial power, engaging in trade, or exploiting the resources of foreign lands to increase the wealth of the British state and investors) and a domestic dimension (banishment, indentured servitude and penal colonies served to get rid of domestic problems of poverty, crime, and idleness). A new kind of colonialism, however, emerged in Britain in the 1820s through to the beginning of the twentieth century as domestic colonialists argued colonization would be easier within Britain rather than overseas. In this section, I analyse two waves of domestic colonialism—the first in the 1820s–50s; the second in the 1890s–1920s—which generated significant colonial debates in Britain in the nineteenth century over whether it is better to colonize unwanted British populations at home or overseas. British colonization was as much a domestic policy as it was a foreign policy. The story of domestic colonies in Britain is complicated by the fact that there were not only two waves, but within each wave one finds both socialist and liberal variants of domestic colonialism, each of which create different kinds of colonies. The liberal, benevolent (often tinged with Christian) variant of domestic colonialism led to colonies organized under the auspices of philanthropic organizations throughout the nineteenth and into the twentieth century that focused on improving individual moral character and industriousness while also offsetting the costs of the state of maintaining such populations. Socialist domestic colonialism, on the other hand, focused on the

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collective, but even then took very different forms in each of the two waves of domestic colonization, in part due to the evolution in socialist thought from a more utopian version in the middle of the nineteenth century to more scientific socialism by the end. Thus, the first wave of socialist colonialism, championed by Robert Owen in the 1840s, took a utopian form that led to small communes created by the members themselves under the leadership of Owen, as will be discussed. In the second wave of socialist domestic colonialism at the beginning of the twentieth century, a ‘scientific’ form of socialist colonialism rooted in statistical analyses of the poor and championed by Charles Booth, Sidney and Beatrice Webb, and William Beveridge in England and James Mavor in Scotland proposed large farm colonies run by the state as agricultural training programmes for improving the job prospects of the unemployed rather than improving individual moral character or industriousness. Let us examine these two variations of domestic colonialist in each wave in turn.

3.3.1. First-Wave British Home Colonization (1820–50) In the early nineteenth century, debate over colonization in Britain was organized around three competing paradigms. The first paradigm, pauper emigration, was championed by Sir Robert Wilmot-Horton, the UnderSecretary of State for War and the Colonies (1821–28), first chair of the Emigration Committee of the UK Parliament and, according to Robin Ghosh, ‘the leading advocate of colonization . . . in the 1820’s’ (1964: 385). He propounded state-aided transportation of the poor overseas to settler colonies, as discussed in Chapter 2. The second paradigm of systematic colonization, championed by Edward Wakefield, embraced a foreign colonial policy driven by external profits rather than social concerns, directed at expanding British economic power via ‘settler colonies’ and ‘imperial dependencies’. The third paradigm was home colonization, championed by various socialist and liberal thinkers. Like Wilmot-Horton, defenders of ‘home colonies’ viewed colonization as primarily a policy to solve domestic problems, but colonies were to be located at home rather than overseas. Let us consider first the debate between Wilmot-Horton and Wakefield over which paradigm should govern external colonization, before turning to consider the third paradigm of home colonization. Pauper Emigration vs Systematic Colonization The key defender of ‘pauper emigration’ was Wilmot-Horton, who believed that external colonization would benefit Britain’s economy (by removing a vast underpaid working class and bringing back wealth from external colonies


Domestic Colonies

via their labour and the sale of the goods they produced), while also helping the idle poor to become industrious. Whilst he was strongly opposed to Wakefield’s scheme of systematic colonization (as shall be discussed shortly), he did not oppose home colonization, preferring external colonies, since he saw home colonies as ‘unprofitable [as] proved by the circumstance, that no capitalists were found to engage in such an enterprise.’3 Wilmot-Horton’s model of colonization as pauper emigration was the reigning orthodoxy in Britain in the first half of the nineteenth century until challenged by the two other paradigms and eventually supplanted overseas by Wakefield’s imperial colonial vision and labour colonies for the idle poor at home. In 1830, Wakefield established the National Colonization Society and convinced the leading colonialist of the day, Wilmot-Horton, to join it. Almost from the beginning, the two men argued over the ends and means of colonization. Wakefield argued that ‘mere emigration’ of single male paupers drained the British state of wealth, and what was needed instead was ‘to substitute systematic colonization for mere emigration, and on a scale sufficient to produce important effects on the mother-country’ (Wakefield, 1914: 39–40). Wakefield’s notion of systematic colonization was different from pauper emigration in a number of key ways. First, Wakefield saw colonization as rooted in the private market rather than public welfare and thus argued that land overseas ought to be sold rather than given away, as was done under Wilmot-Horton’s scheme; second colonization should focus on the emigration of young married couples rather than single male paupers; and third, while both Wakefield and Wilmot-Horton viewed colonization as rooted in agrarian labour, they had different visions for how agricultural settlements should be organized. Wakefield supported ‘a large farm worked by hired labourers under the direction of capitalist-farmers [and thus he] proposed restrictions on the appropriation of colonial lands so as to prevent labourers from becoming landowners too soon’, but WilmotHorton argued for a more Lockean version of creating ‘independent thriving peasant-proprietors from the pauper-emigrants to Canada’, which meant immediately giving emigrants land in small lots (Ghosh, 1964: 392). Finally, they differed on the appropriate auspice under which colonization ought to be organized. Because Wakefield was interested in profit, he argued that ‘systematic colonization’ ought to be run by privately funded enterprises as opposed to large emigration schemes paid for by the state, ‘leaving the general process of colonial development of the forces of free enterprise’, but Horton argued that a public authority needed to provide the initial stimulus and oversee development. Indeed, because of Wakefield’s commitment to private


R.J. Wilmot-Horton, Speech, Hansard’s Parliamentary Debates, Vol. 18, 17 April 1828, Col. 1551.

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enterprise and profit, liberal John Stuart Mill supported his colonization scheme, even as his father James Mill and Malthus supported WilmotHorton’s. Thus, Wilmot-Horton and Wakefield may have been the two key architects of nineteenth-century British colonization, but they certainly had two very different visions: ‘The difference between the two plans lay in this: while Horton wanted to carry out emigration at the public’s expense, Wakefield proposed to throw the burden on private capitalists’ (Ghosh, 1964: 398). Ultimately for Wakefield, colonization should not be directed at seeking to solve the domestic problems of crime, idleness, and poverty at home but rather must be focused on expanding Britain’s imperial and capitalist power via privately organized, permanent agrarian settlements upon which hired labour would work. Wakefield’s argument ultimately won the day in both theory and practice, becoming the basis upon which British rule in settler colonies such as Canada, Australia, and New Zealand was implemented, and his theoretical version of colonization was endorsed by J.S. Mill and then used by Karl Marx in Capital as the basis for his own analysis of empire and capital. Home vs External Colonization Around the same time, the debate was occurring between Wakefield and Wilmot Horton, a group of thinkers who propounded that home colonies were also entering the debate over colonization. In the historical literature on British colonial policy in the nineteenth century, little has been written on this third paradigm of British colonization, even though it was a popular alternative to both Wilmot Horton and Wakefield’s foreign colonial schemes. Beginning in the 1830s, many argued against external colonization and in favour of home colonization, by which they meant cultivating ‘empty’ land in Britain rather than overseas. Liberal supporters of home colonization were concerned with the costs of foreign colonization, believing the same ameliorative ends for the poor could be achieved for less cost. In 1832, John Burn writes in his essay ‘Familiar Letters on Population, Emigration and Home Colonization . . . ’ that ‘the change from mechanic to agricultural employment of the poor’ is advisable, which leads to the ‘single point . . . to colonize at home instead of going to foreign and distant regions to make the same experiment’. Burn argued, like Tocqueville, that van den Bosche’s agrarian colonies provide the best model for domestic colonies. ‘Let any man look to what has been done in Holland in their poor colonies and then doubt if he can that the same may be done here’ (Burn, 111–12). Several other liberal British writers, including Rowland Hill and William Atkinson, also made the case for ‘home colonization’. Atkinson’s 1832 essay, entitled A Plan of Home Colonization for gradually liquidating the National


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Debt, reducing Pauperism, and giving to the Destitute the means of obtaining comfortable provision by their honest labour, defended it as a means of reducing the cost of the poor to public authorities while making the idle into honest labourers. Like other colonialists, Atkinson views uncultivated land as key, chiding Wilmot-Horton and ‘advocates of Foreign Colonization and their partisans’ for suggesting that Britain must go abroad to find ‘empty’ land when there is plenty of uncultivated ‘waste’ in England to absorb the idle poor. ‘Though the population should increase 400,000 annually, many years must elapse before the land is too strait to employ and sustain its population’ (Atkinson, 1832: 7).4 Rowland Hill, who invented the postage stamp, also published a paper on ‘Home Colonies: Sketch of Plan for the Gradual Extinction of Pauperism’. In it he argued, like Tocqueville in France (and around the same time), that ‘It is proposed to established in this country, Colonies similar to those in Holland and Belgium. . . . These people were placed on waste soils, which they have brought into a state of considerable fertility. . . . They supply nearly all of their own wants and have a considerable surplus for sale’ (Hill, 1832: 15). British liberal philanthropists did not just write about home colonies, they established them at various points, as Harrison notes, A verity of experiments and suggestions for allotments, cultivation of waste lands, cottage building and industrial schools appeared between 1790 and 1848, often under the title of Home Colonies. William Allen initiated a scheme at Lindfield, Sussex in 1825, John Gurdon . . . conducted an agricultural cooperative society . . . from 1830 until the 1860s. All such schemes had at least two features in common: their object was to make the poor self-supporting and they depended upon an individual philanthropist for their initiation and guidance. (Harrison, 2009: 18)

These early labour colonies can be distinguished from those later in the nineteenth century because they were small-scale products of individual philanthropists, whereas the latter were products of large civil society organizations (like the Salvation Army). Socialists also supported home colonization during this first wave of domestic colonialism, the most famous being utopian socialist Robert Owen.


As John Harrison writes in his book on the subject of Robert Owen and Owenites, There is a large literature on this subject [of home colonies] e.g. William Allen Colonies at Home; or, the Means for Rendering the Industrious Labourer independent of Parish Relief (new edn. Lindfield, Sussex, 1832); Rowland Hill, Home Colonies: Sketch of a Plan for the Gradual Extinction of Pauperism and for the Diminution of Crime (London, 1832); E.J. Lance, The Cottage Garden; or, Farmers’ Friend Pointing out the means of making the Earth serviceable to the Rich and Poor, by giving Employment to Capital and Labour on all Sorts of Land (London, 1832). (Harrison, 2009: 18)

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In 1840, Owen, William Galpin, and Frederick Bate formed the Home Colonization Society to raise funds and publish materials to convince others of the benefits of labour colonies. In 1841, a year after the Mettray colony was established, this society published Owen’s blueprint for the ideal utopian home colony in an essay entitled A Development of the Principles and Plans on which to Establish Self-Supporting Home colonies. . . . Like van den Bosch and his British liberal counterparts, Owen’s scheme was rooted in a new moral order that emphasized ‘idleness’ as a social problem and ‘benevolence’ as the appropriate response. Rooted in segregation from society and agrarian labour, Owen argued that home colonies would allow both people and land to be improved and made productive. While van den Bosch and the British liberals followed a Lockean notion of individual improvement, Owen followed a socialist philosophy that created two significant differences in his model of colonies. First, membership in the colony was voluntary rather than required, but was designed for the idle poor. Second, the colony would become the joint property of its members rather than a site owned by the state or a religious organization and overseen by them for training the idle poor to become private homesteaders. Owen had many followers who supported the Home Colonization Society either financially and/or morally in Britain, as Harrison (2009) documents in his book. Owen’s colony was a colony, therefore, set up in opposition to the capitalist society, and best understood as a ‘utopian colony’. Thus, while I introduce Owen in this chapter as an example of a domestic socialist colonialist in the first wave of home colonization in Britain, I will fully analyse his colonial model in more detail in Chapter 8, where I discuss utopian colonies in Britain and America. In the end, Wakefield’s vision of systematic colonization (which married settler colonialism with economic imperialism) won the debate over pauper immigration and home colonization and was thus the dominant paradigm among the three paradigms of colonization discussed. My analysis of domestic colonialism adds to an increasing body of literature which challenges the generally accepted idea within postcolonial scholarship that colonialism and imperialism are indistinguishable historically (Pitts, 2010). Duncan Bell (2016) has recently argued that while British nineteenth-century thinkers were ambivalent about empire and imperialism, they were universally supportive of settler colonialism in Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. David Armitage (2012) has likewise distinguished between the two in relation to John Locke, arguing he was a colonialist but not an imperialist. Finally, with respect to Edward Wakefield specifically, Robert Nichols (2013) argues Wakefield distinguishes very clearly between imperial dependencies (like India) where Britain ruled over a society and made it subordinate (which Wakefield steered away from), and settler colonies like Australia and Canada, where Britain engaged in a full-scale settlement rooted in private capital. Nichols argues


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the problem in Wakefield’s theories of settler colonization more specifically was his presumptions about the ‘supposed relative levels of . . . indigenous inhabitation’ (2013: 23) in Canada or Australia; that is, viewing them as empty or waste, as Locke had done, as opposed to the imperial dependency of India, which was heavily populated and therefore already occupied. Nichols concludes that Wakefield defended external colonialism as better economically for Britain than imperial dependencies. Thus, Nichols, along with Armitage and Bell, constitute an emerging body of scholarship that challenges the presumption that imperialism/colonialism (at least within English political thought) are indistinguishable. My analysis, which adds a third paradigm of domestic colonization to the debate about colonies within nineteenth-century Britain provides further evidence that colonialism and colonization need to be distinguished from imperialism and imperialization. Such a distinction was not only recognized and well understood by the leading political thinkers debating Britain’s nineteenth-century colonial policies, including Wilmot Horton, Wakefield, and Owen, but was central to the debate they were having.

3.3.2. Second-Wave Domestic Labour Colonies (1890–1930) British support for home colonization reached a second zenith at the turn of the twentieth century, as both liberal and socialist thinkers again championed the idea of domestic labour colonies. The earliest colonies were established by liberal Christian organizations, including the National Christian Union for Social Service (NCUSS), which established two farm labour colonies at Lingfield Surrey and Stamthwaite in Westmoreland in the 1890s. Within a decade, both became farm colonies for the ‘care and training of epileptics’ and the NCUSS established another colony in Oxfordshire. In 1895, a conference of ministers of ‘every denomination’ was formed in London, with ‘the avowed object of taking the necessary steps for the formation of farm colonies’. Members of this group justified the farm colony rooted in both charity towards the poor and the economic benefits of productive citizens, but a new set of political arguments were used, which will recur in Germany: that colonies counter revolutionary socialism in urban centres. Thus, Dr Paton, the founder of this conference, argues: ‘Christians had to fight . . . the spread of an anti-Christian Socialism, which was . . . rapidly gaining ground in consequence of the failure of the present mode of government . . . In this matter of farm colonies . . . he felt sure could set a good example to the State’ (Proposed New Farm Colony, 1895). In 1903, the London Unemployed Fund took over the Hollesley Bay Farm Colony, until 1938, when it became part of the prison system (Higginbotham, 2013).

Labour Colonies in Europe


There were also labour colonies for women. Lady Henry Somerset created the world’s first all-female colony for women ‘inebriates’ at Duxhurst, Surrey in 1895, five years after she became the president of the British Women’s Temperance Association (Aslet, 2010: 110). Like Tocqueville and van den Bosch, Somerset viewed colonization as a social policy and rejected punishment in favour of what she saw as charitable colonies using agrarian labour and education to ‘save’ women from alcohol. The Windsor Evening Record, reporting on this colony on 15 May 1897, quotes Lady Henry as follows: ‘It is encouraging to believe that we . . . are feeling our way toward a solution of the difficulty that has perplexed us sorely—how to deal with our drunken women. We have hitherto relied on penal treatment, now we are beginning to see that we need educational methods . . . our method is fresh air and hard work, kindness . . . We have found that the outdoor employment in which most of our patients are engaged have a seriously exhilarating effect, both mentally and physically’ (A Female Farm Colony, 1897). As with other colonial schemes, the language was generally utopian and idyllic in tone, but, also like many others, the colony did not last long and ultimately failed. The Duxhurst colony closed in 1921, when, two years after Somerset’s death, it was transformed into a home for poor women, then a prison camp which fell into ruin after the Second World War (Aslet, 2010: 110). Salvation Army, William Booth, and Labour Colonies The most famous and influential British domestic colonialist at the end of the nineteenth century for the idle poor was William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, who published a book, In Darkest England: The Way Out, in 1890 that laid out his ambitious colonial plan for the globe. While today the Salvation Army is known for its urban based centres that provide food and shelter to the very poor and homeless, in Booth’s original plan, these ‘city colonies’, as he called them, were meant to be mere conduits to the central feature of his plan: the farm colony. Booth begins his book by making a direct parallel between darkest Africa and the ‘submerged tenth’ or idle poor of England or ‘darkest England’, focusing on the role that bad habits play in the darkness encountered by both the ‘negroes in the Equatorial forest’ and the idle poor in the streets of London. ‘Just as in Darkest Africa . . . so with us, much of the misery of those whose lot we are considering arises from their own habits’. But ‘for Darkest England, as for Darkest Africa, there is a light beyond’ (W. Booth, 1890: Part 2, Chapter 1, Section 2). The light in both cases is colonization, but rather than arguing over the merits of home versus external colonization as was done in the debate in the 1820s–40s, Booth combined the two in a single scheme, creating a tripartite colonial model (echoing Tourdonnet’s three-stage colonization system in France) that included: a city colonies to gather the idle poor in urban centres


Domestic Colonies

and transport them to, b) ‘farm colonies’, where they would be trained in agricultural skills and improve their moral character: ‘Here [in the farm colony], the process of reformation of character would be carried forward . . . especially including those forms of labour and that knowledge of agriculture’ and then on to labour on farms in England or else transportation to, c) overseas colonies where they could be settled (W. Booth, 1890: Part 2, Chapter 1, Section 2). At the very heart of the scheme and therefore the frontispiece of the first edition of this book is the farm colony. In essence, Booth, like Van Den Bosch, Tocqueville, and Somerset, combines a Christian ‘progressive’ view of idleness as a failure in one’s moral character, with a ‘benevolent’ and ‘liberal’ view which preferred rehabilitation over punishment for the poor but embedded within an transnational colonial network through which the poor of Europe could be transformed via the domestic farm colony into an industrious agrarian settler to be resettled at home or to the external colony. As Booth developed and implemented his scheme in the 1890s, he believed it could solve poverty worldwide. As such, for Booth, colonization was once again a social policy developed to solve domestic problems rather than an imperial policy (even thought it had foreign and settler colonial implications). Booth argued there were still ‘millions of acres of useful land to be obtained almost for the asking, capable of supporting our surplus population . . . were it a thousand times greater’ (echoing Locke’s references to land in America that could hold ‘a hundred thousand times as many’ if only labour were introduced to it). Booth concludes that, in addition to securing land for farm colonies in Britain, ‘we propose to secure a tract of land [overseas] . . . prepare it for settlement . . . settling it gradually with a prepared people [i.e., trained in agrarian labour] and so create a home for these destitute multitudes’ (Part 2, Chapter 1, Section 2). In assuming there was ‘terra nullius’ land ‘overseas’ to be settled, Booth embraces settler colonialism. Booth’s ideas were widely disseminated: ‘Darkest England was a great popular success, selling roughly 115,000 copies within the first few months . . . In addition, Booth received strong support in the British press’ (Haggard, 2001: 73), and his ideas were promoted and implemented by supporters in England, Scotland, America, and Canada. He was challenged by conservatives in Britain, who saw his scheme as socialist. ‘Booth lost credibility among conservatives when several of his strongest supporters—T.H. Huxley, Ben Tillet and the editors of Reynold’s Newspaper—argued that his system of colonies . . . promoted socialism in Britain’ (Haggard, 2001: 73). One of his greatest critics was the Conservative Herbert Spencer, to whom Booth responded in 1894: ‘I am not discouraged by anything Herbert Spencer may have said about such colonies . . . there is not a liberal in the present [British] government who is not in hearty sympathy with me. (In 70 New World Cities, 1894). In other words, the Conservatives may oppose him, but the Liberals and Fabians were with him.

Labour Colonies in Europe


Booth established a 3200-acre farm labour colony at Hadleigh, Essex in 1891, along with five city colonies and eighteen labour bureaux in London, all designed to feed people into the farm colony (Haggard, 2001: 72). In contrast to Owen’s scheme but consistent with Wilmot-Horton’s original idea, the Hadleigh colony sought to train farmers who would become private property owners. As Brown says of the Hadleigh colony and two others at Laindon and Hollesley Bay: ‘the aim was largely land reform . . . providing work for the unemployed but also . . . giving them the necessary training in agriculture to allow them to become small-holders’ (1968: 357). Both the ethics (improve the men themselves) and the economics of colonization (raise revenues in the short term for the care of the poor and/or turn the idle into productive citizens in the longer term) were at the forefront of any discussion in the media about Booth’s scheme and central to Booth’s defence of them. Thus, the headline of an article in the Pall Mall Gazette in 1892 reads, ‘Will the General’s Farm Colony “Pay”?’ and the author argues, ‘The two points everybody is interested in are—Are the colonists better men . . . second, is the colony going to pay?’ Or to put it another way—are the ethical and economic benefits worth the investment in (domestic) colonization? The answer, to both questions, according to Booth (as with Locke, trying to convince English public opinion of the merits of investing in foreign colonization) was a resounding yes, rooted in the principles of agrarian labour and improvement (1892). Salvation Army and Transnational Colonialism As with van den Bosch’s model in Holland and Mettray in France, Booth’s domestic colonial model travelled across borders to other countries, where it was copied. The first country after England to implement colonies based on Booth’s scheme was Scotland. In 1890, Booth explained his farm colony system at St Andrew’s Hall in Glasgow. An article in the Dundee Courier and Argus on 20 October 1890 elaborates on Booth’s three colonies and recommends the farm colony for solving the problem of poverty in Scotland (New Scheme by General Booth, 1890). Shortly after Booth’s visit, both the Charity Organization Society and the Scottish Labour Colony Association began to implement colonies in Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Dumfries in Scotland. There were various threads of ideological support in Scotland, from those who supported them due to a Protestant belief in the reforming of moral character by sending them ‘back to the land’, to social democrats who saw labour farm colonies as collectivist employment programmes through which the poor could get work to more conservative thinkers who sought to simply segregate and control the poor. As Ronald Johnston argues, Booth’s ‘labour colonies . . . developed along two broad lines: a Utopian back to the earth strand and a more extreme vision in which colonies were seen as solutions to the problem of society’s misfits’. ‘Labour colonies . . . [were also] part of an


Domestic Colonies

important shift in social policy that [believed] . . . individuals had a right to social welfare’ (Johnston, 1998: 77). Between 1890 and 1930, various colonies were established in Scotland, but home colonization as an idea had died by the 1930s, as ‘the notion of charity provision was gradually superseded by that of charity entitlement [which] finally rendered the labour colony solution untenable as the argument for a universal form of income for the unemployed superseded the idea of colonization’ (Johnston, 1998: 94). The Salvation Army, under Booth’s direction, also sought to export domestic colonization beyond the British Isles—both the colony model itself, as well as actual people from the Hadleigh colony to countries in the British Empire and beyond. Thus, as with van den Bosch and Tocqueville, a transnational colonial network with both conceptual and material dimensions underpinned Booth’s scheme. In the case of the Salvation Army, land was purchased for its own ‘colony overseas’ rather than relying on British external colonies because Booth believed that the Salvation Army would be better at emigration and building a transnational colonial network than the British state. In 1891, Booth visited Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and India to try and purchase land for his overseas colony and then sent deputies including his son and wife to North America for the same purpose. In 1895, the Sheffield and Rotherham Independent reports Colonel Stitt, the governor of the Salvation Army’s farm colony at Hadleigh, returned to England after a tour through western parts of Canada. . . . The colonel was sent to spy out the land with a view to the formation of the Over Sea Colony, which it will be remembered, comprised the third part of the Darkest England scheme. (Progress of General Booth’s Farm Colony, 1895)

While searching for an ‘overseas colony’ of his own, Booth also sought to convince other countries he visited to adopt his colony system for their own urban poor and, in the case of British colonies like Canada and Australia, accept British ‘graduates’ of his Hadleigh colony to be settlers. The Windsor Evening Record on 26 October 1894 reports: ‘General William Booth . . . has outlined the plans for a campaign . . . in seventy cities in Canada and the United States’. The idea of sending settlers from his own labour colony created a common criticism of his emigration plan in external colonies—namely, that he was sending the ‘dregs’ of British society overseas to rid England of these problem populations. Indeed, Booth felt compelled to respond to this criticism, as reported in this same article, where he states: ‘The essence of my farm colony scheme . . . is the transfer of “prepared” persons from the overcrowded slums [of Britain] . . . Their habits may be changed so that they may help to form . . . an honest, hard working peasantry’. He concludes by asking whether it was in his best interest to send ‘loafers, abandoned women and criminals to my colony’ in North America (In 70 New World Cities, 1894).

Labour Colonies in Europe


In the 1890s, newspapers also reported multiple speeches given by Salvation Army advocates on the farm colony system in various American cities, often reporting large audiences in attendance. Frank Leslie’s Weekly, a journal out of New York City, notes in 1892: ‘in almost every city of the Union the leading representatives of [the Salvation Army] can at any time command immense audiences and large subscriptions in aid of their work particularly the farm colony and food depots and shelters’ (Topics of the Week, 1892). There were a twin purpose to these talks: to convince Americans of the benefits of accepting immigrants from Booth’s Essex colony, and to help the Salvation Army to purchase land for its own overseas colony. According to the Maine Bangor Daily Whig and Courier on 31 May 1893, Major Susie Swift of the Salvation Army emphasized the need to send those working on the farm colony in England, after six months of training, to ‘foreign places’, including Maine (Darkest England, 1893). In 1896, the Oregonian likewise describes a speech in Portland by Commissioner Higgins, General Booth’s international representative, describing the farm colony in England and the need to establish ‘over- the-sea’ colonies in America and other countries. Higgins describes a vast tract of land in Western Australia under negotiation for this purpose (The English Branch, 1896). Booth also wanted to convince American cities to adopt his farm colony model for their own idle poor, and did so, in a limited way. In 1896, the Boston Daily Advertiser records that a farm colony, the size of the one in Essex, was about to be built in New Jersey to deal with the 100,000 idle poor of New York State and ‘render them self-supporting and decent members’ of society (Farm Colony Salvation Army Ranch, 1896). Emphasizing the acquisition of private property was particularly important in the United States, since Americans believed in the free market over state/collectivist solutions to social problems. Americans also appreciated Booth, as the head of the Salvation Army was proposing that a religious civil society organization (as opposed to the state) solve poverty and idleness by creating homesteaders. It should not be surprising, therefore, to find Salvation Army representatives in the United States emphasize both the religious and private property dimensions of Booth’s colonization schemes. The Arkansas Democrat in May 1899 describes Brigadier Stillwell laying out the ‘farm colony’ scheme of William Booth, concluding that the colonized are able ‘from the profits of his labour . . . [to secure] quit-claim deed to his homestead’ (Stillwell spoke, 1899). In Stillwell’s description, we find the centrality of agrarian labour directed towards private property, similar to Locke’s theory of property rooted in agrarian labour and Wilmot-Horton’s pauper emigration scheme. In the 1890s, Booth develops a comprehensive plan to develop a nationwide farm colony scheme in America, with Chicago as the hub. An article in the Milwaukee Sentinel in February 1897 describes it as follows: ‘This city


Domestic Colonies

[Chicago] is to be made the center of a vast system of social settlements . . . organized and made famous by Gen. William Booth . . . its boundaries are to “be the limits of the United States, and its object the solution of the national pauper problem”’ (Give Work to All, 1897: 4). General Booth would direct it, supported by the president of the University of Chicago and North Western University, along with other educators and philanthropists. At the heart of this vast domestic colonization scheme was an attempt to move urban poor to the countryside to work the land. ‘As far as possible the tide of immigration is to be turned backward from the city to the land . . . they will thus cease to be dependent on charity and instead will become producers and consumers’. The article in the Milwaukee Sentinal concludes with a sentence that seems to go against the classical liberal ideology of American society and may help to explain why the Salvation Army failed to get its vast farm colony scheme off the ground in America or indeed why so few farm labour colonies of the type envisioned by Booth were ever implemented: ‘We even hope to see the time when this system of [colonization] will be taken up by the government’ (Give Work to All, 1897). The Chicago Tribune reports, in an article entitled ‘To Farm the Vacant Lots’, that William Booth would not be in charge of the proposed scheme but Commander Booth-Tucker (William Booth’s son-in-law) and his wife, who arrived in Chicago to begin work in 1897. Booth-Tucker submitted to the mayor on behalf the Salvation Army a ‘scheme of colonization, which will begin with the self-support and education of the city poor into farmers and which will end in the establishment of independent, self-supporting colonies of small farmers in the south and west’. The submission included the plan for a ‘farm colony about 1000 acres not far from Chicago, for the completion of the agricultural training’ (Salvation Army Wants to Muster, 1897). Once again, the theme of ‘empty’ or vacant land being made productive and idle citizens becoming independent farmers was emphasized. Booth finally arrived in Chicago in 1898, but his grand scheme fizzled out soon after and never came to fruition. Indeed, in the end, only three Salvation Army farm colonies were established (Fort Amity in Colorado, Fort Romie in California, and Fort Herrick in Ohio), and they had withered away by the first decade of the twentieth century, when efforts to secure funding to support them died in Congress (Spence, 1985). Despite these difficulties in the United States, in 1904, the British government began to explore whether the Salvation Army’s farm colony system might be the vehicle through which the British state might resolve the problem of the poor at home. They commissioned Rider Haggard to write a report on the subject. ‘It appears to the Secretary of State that if these experiments [in the US] are found to be successful, some analogous system might to great advantage be applied in transferring the urban population of the United Kingdom to different parts of the United Kingdom’ (Haggard, 1905: vi). At the

Labour Colonies in Europe


same time, Earl Grey, the Governor General of Canada, was also exploring the possibility of using the Salvation Army colony system in Canada. Indeed, it was at the prompting of Earl Grey that ‘Haggard was commissioned to report on the Salvation Army’s rural training colonies in the United States of America; the investigation was . . . granted official status [and] Haggard’s report was published in 1905 under the suggestive title The Poor and the Land’ (Williams, 1990: 28). In his report to the British government, Haggard argued that farm colonies in the United States were working, and that the Salvation Army should become the overseer of emigration to North America. Haggard also secured 360 square miles of fertile land in Canada for Booth’s ‘overseas colony’, provided by Earl Grey and the Canadian government. Haggard describes his recommended scheme as follows: Combine a judicious use of the Public Credit with that of what I have called ‘wasted forces of Benevolence’ and by means of these levers to lift some of the mass of human misery which destroys itself in the great cities of civilization to a new level of plenty and contentment. (Haggard, 1905: ix)

The plan sounds like an early twentieth-century agrarian version of Tony Blair’s Third Way, with the government bankrolling a civil society organization, the Salvation Army, to set up domestic colonies and send those who have been improved in the agricultural skills to the overseas colony in Canada. The British government ultimately rejected Haggard’s scheme, in part because he admitted in the report that the Salvation Army schemes in the United States were losing money rather than being revenue-neutral as had been promised. With this admission, the writing was on the wall for what the British government saw as a failed experiment in the United States. It is also clear that the British state, under these circumstances, did not want to hand emigration over to a civil society organization. Haggard was deeply bitter for the remainder of his life over the rejection of his plan. Notwithstanding the failure of an organized transnational colonial scheme between farm colony and overseas colony as envisioned by Booth and Haggard, enormous numbers of settlers were still sent from the Army’s Essex farm colony to Canada and other British settler states. One Salvation Army report concludes: ‘In 1905, through the agency of the Army, 2500 men were sent out from London to Canada . . . by 1907 over 15000 men were sent out.’ Overall, it is claimed the Emigration Department of the Salvation Army settled 250,000 people in Canada in the twentieth century to become farmers (Boy Farmers Brought to Canada, 2010). Thus, domestic colonization, as defended by liberal colonialists like Booth, was rooted in the same ideological commitments to the ethical and economic benefits of agrarian labour propounded by domestic colonialists in Holland and France. Just like those two countries, domestic colonies were intertwined


Domestic Colonies

ideologically and materially with external colonization. Ideologically, van den Bosch had seen the idle of Java and Guyana in the same light as the idle of Holland, Booth viewed the idle poor of England as similar to the ‘darkest’ savages of Africa, with all of them in need of colonization in order to become industrious. Materially, there was a connection between domestic colonization and overseas settler colonization in the hundreds of thousands of settlers sent from the Salvation Army farm colonies in England or Scotland to Canada and Australia. Socialist Domestic Colonialism in Britain While Booth articulated a Protestant liberal colonial defence of labour colonies, there were also socialist defenders of home colonization in the second wave of home colonization, including James Mavor, Charles Booth, Sidney and Beatrice Webb, John A. Hobson, and William Beveridge. In 1892, Mavor, a Scottish-Canadian professor of political economy and constitutional history at the University of Toronto, formerly of the University of Glasgow, submitted a report, along with three other colleagues, to the Association for Improving the Condition of the People in Glasgow in which he compared the Dutch and German farm colonies (Mavor, Motion, Speir, Wright, 1892). Unlike Tocqueville’s and Booth’s disciplinary, closed colonies, Mavor et al. recommended a voluntary, open colony system for Glasgow, much like the German Arbeiter-Kolonien system (which will be discussed shortly) to provide rural relief and training for the unemployed: ‘A farm colony would . . . offer a healthy and regulated life to a certain number . . . who are presently depressed by irregularity of employment and unhealthy conditions of town existence. It would be . . . a working sanatorium where, for a time, a man would have healthy exercise’ (1892). Mavor et al. argued, like Owen, and unlike van den Bosch, Tocqueville, and Booth, who put religion at the centre of their colonization schemes, that farm colonies in Scotland must be secular. ‘It appears to me that an experimental colony ought, so far as the administration is concerned, to be wholly secular’ (Mavor et al., 1892: xvi–xviii). The report concludes with a series of appendices that provide statistical evidence for both the existence of the idle poor and the need for colonies. Thus, the first difference between liberal and socialist domestic colonialists was the latter’s emphasis on science, and economic science in particular, over religion, rooting their recommendations in a statistical analysis of poverty, which allowed states to rationally plan and engineer society to provide a better future for all (Booth, 1888; Brown, 1968). Charles Booth (no relation to William) presented a paper at the Royal Statistical Society in 1887 in which he recommended labour colonies for the very poor because, ‘the entire removal of this class [the very poor] . . . is the only solution to the problem of poverty’. (299) James Hobson supported Booth’s plan, concluding

Labour Colonies in Europe


the scheme is economically sound, that is to say, if such communities could be maintained . . . two great benefits [would result], human care and a decent standard of material comfort for the class which is unable to look after itself, and a distinct relief from the glut of low-skilled inefficient labour which would considerably strengthen . . . those working classes which stand just above the class that was removed. (1896: 137)

Secondly, the Webbs and Beveridge were critical of the moral undertones of liberals and their emphasis on the ‘improvement’ of character. Sidney Webb comments: ‘A liberal reform is never simply a social means to a social end, but a campaign of Good against Evil’ (Webb, 1901). In the Minority Report of the Royal Commission on the Poor Laws and Relief of Distress (1905–9), penned by Beatrice Webb (in collaboration with both Sidney Webb and Beveridge), she disagreed with the Majority Report on the principle of moral improvement, stating ‘character was irrelevant in discussions of unemployment’ (Welshman, 2006: 592). The socialist and Fabian view of colonies was that improvement ought to be directed more towards training and education rather than moral character. The majority report of the Royal Commission on the Poor Laws and Relief of Distress (1905–9) supported farm colonies ‘in the country . . . with land attached or available. Some would be of the nature of labour colonies, or farm colonies, where test work or training could be given; others would be country workhouses’ (Royal Commission, 1909: 147). Finally, socialists rejected the liberal colonialist economic argument that colonies ought to provide revenue streams for the state or civil society organization: ‘[Colonies] should be run exclusively as places of training, with a single goal . . . the improvement of the inmates, without . . . producing anything for sale or use outside the institution itself ’ (Webb and Webb, 1912: 143). They also reiterate that farm colonies ought to be run by a ‘Public Authority’ in partnership with ‘voluntary agencies’. Webb argued for two kinds of colonies: ‘for the residuum of men in distress from want of employment’ there would be ‘residential Farm Colonies, where their whole working time would be absorbed in varied beneficial training of the body and mind’ (Royal Commission, 1909: 344); the second, ‘Detention Colonies . . . to which men would be committed . . . and compulsorily detained and kept to work under discipline’ for vagrancy and ‘incorrigible laziness’ (Colledge and Field, 1983: 154). Beveridge, in his Unemployment: A Problem of Industry (1909), also supported different kinds of labour farm colonies but emphasized educational and training activities. Thus, the difference between liberals’ and socialists’ support for colonies was fourfold—while the former tended to emphasize moral character, religion, charitable organizations, and cost recovery; the latter emphasized statistics, the vagaries of the industrial market, and the state’s role in colonies as centres of training, and opposed wealth creation as a justification for such colonies. While we generally view British colonization as a foreign policy directed at expanding imperial power, exploiting and dominating the land and resources


Domestic Colonies

of non-European peoples, under Wilmot Horton, colonization was understood in a second way, as a domestic policy designed to rid Britain of its unwanted ‘paupers’. What I have been discussing here is a third understanding of colonization, namely the ‘settlement’ of urban poor on ‘empty’ land at home; that is, in colonies within the state itself rather than overseas. Seen through the lens of managing the urban poor rather than extending imperial influence, colonization, in Wilmot Horton’s overseas scheme, as well as Owen’s, Booth’s, Beveridge’s, and the Webbs’ schemes, was a domestic or social rather than foreign or imperial policy. The debate in Britain over colonization engaged all three paradigms, but ultimately, Edward Wakefield’s systematic colonization won the day over others forms of colonization—either pauper emigration or domestic colonization. As a result, we continue to view nineteenth-century colonization in Britain as exclusively a process of imperial expansion via settlement, exploitation, and dispossession, whereas, although it certainly was this, it was also understood to be these two other kinds of domestic policies as well. As my analysis shows, the leading socialist and liberal thinkers from Owen, to both Booths, to the Webbs, to Hobson, to Beveridge understood colonization as a domestic as well as a foreign phenomenon from the 1840s until the 1920s, characterized by the principles of segregation from the city, agrarian labour, and improvement, and justified through ethical and economic justifications (less costly and more humane) over other forms of settler or penal colonization as well as domestic workhouses or prisons.

3.4. GERMANY: LIBE RAL AND NATIONALIST COLONIALISM Around the same time that William Booth was penning his book on domestic colonies in England and agricoles colonies were introduced in France, in Germany, a system of Arbeiter-Kolonien was emerging—open domestic labour colonies to provide work to unemployed single men which James Mavor had championed in Scotland. Later in the nineteenth century, a second kind of domestic colonization emerged, understood as a policy of mass resettlement of German urban poor to Prussia through ‘internal colonization’ policies, motivated by both solving social problems as well as nationalist aspirations. Let us examine each in turn.

3.4.1. Arbeiter-Kolonien: Liberal Colonialism and Open Labour Colonies The German labour colonies of the late nineteenth century were extensive. As Mavor comments: ‘By far the most extensive and instructive of the

Labour Colonies in Europe


developments of the Labor Colony system [were] . . . the Arbeiter-Kolonien of Germany’ (1893: 30). The labour colony movement arose in Germany in the aftermath of the Franco-German war and ensuing economic depression of the early 1880s. There were mixed motives for their establishment, including the ones we have already seen in Holland, France, and Britain, namely, a liberal colonial ideology that viewed agrarian colonization as the best policy to ensure both the ‘improvement’ of the idle poor and the creation of revenues via the sale of produce to provide upkeep for the poor rather than having them remain a drain on the state. But there were also political reasons for establishing labour colonies; in particular, to counter revolutionary socialism among the disaffected urban working class, as Mavor comments: The rise of the German Labor Colony may be ascribed to two influences . . . the humanitarian spirit [and] . . . the semi-political influence arising from the assumed need of offering . . . positive means of social amelioration as a counterfoil to the revolutionary propaganda of the Social Democrats . . . The German labor colony system is thus the outcome on the one hand of religious humanitarianism, and on the other of political conservatism. (1893: 33)

Defenders of the German labour colonies argued that the provision of temporary work for unemployed men via labour colonies undercut support for socialism. Simultaneously, colonization shifted the disaffected out of the cities and into the country, preventing them from organizing. As one Australian journalist noted in a newspaper article after a visit to the German labour colonies: ‘People about here tell me that Wihelmsdorf [the first colony] and its kindred institutions in Westphalia are a defense against Socialism’ (The Labour Colonies of Germany, 1893). The German system of colonization developed rapidly, and by 1889, there were twenty colonies in operation all over Germany (Warner, 1892: 462) run under a variety of auspices: state/local government, civil society organizations, churches, and penal institutions (Mavor, 1893: 31). An article in the Brisbane Courier claims that there were twenty-five colonies in operation by 1893, ‘with the ruthlessly merciful purpose of extirpating loafers from the soil of Germany’ (The Labour Colonies of Germany, 1893). There were important differences between the German system of domestic colonization and other European colonies. While the Dutch and British housed both individuals and families in their domestic colonies, had indeterminate periods of stay, and were largely closed systems, the German labour colonies only allowed single men, were temporary places with strict time limits, and the colonized were free to come and go as they pleased. Also, while many of the Dutch, French, and British colonies were motivated by a progressive Christian attempt to morally improve the poor through segregation and training in agrarian labour, the German colonies were (at least initially) a social unemployment programme that provided temporary agrarian relief work for men displaced by the labour


Domestic Colonies

market. As such, they provided a model for British social democrats like Mavor, who envisioned temporary colonies with a greater freedom of movement. But if the German colonial scheme was meant to be a kind of social programme with open borders, it changed into something more punitive, as least from the perspective of observers at the time. A. G. Warner writes: ‘The colonies are not serving the class for the benefit of which they were instituted. It was originally thought that they would afford an opportunity to unemployed but willing and capable men . . . the large proportion of readmissions indicates that this freedom is being abused by habitual vagabonds’ (1892: 463). Mavor goes further to state ‘The plain fact is that the colonies have become the resort of ex-convicts’ in large part because this is the only door open to them. If the colony’s purpose, from a more social democratic perspective, was to address the vagaries of the market and periodic unemployment, ‘it only meets [these] evils caused by fluctuations of industry to a modified extent’ (1893: 52). English socialist Hobson writes, ‘The twenty-six German Labour Colonies . . . are chiefly utilised by ex-criminals who number no less than 76 percent of the population of these colonies’ (1896: 137). Thus, the initial utopian vision of free and open colonies as places that would provide employment for the unemployed failed, giving way to a darker reality of a punitive colony populated by permanent residents who were often ex-convicts.

3.4.2. German Nationalist Colonialism: Max Weber and Max Sering A second form of domestic colonization in German in the late nineteenth century was ‘internal colonization’ or resettlement in Eastern Germany. While German domestic labour colonies as described above were bounded rural institutions within which members of the colony engaged in agrarian labour in order to secure room and board, internal colonization was, by contrast, a massive resettlement scheme through which German urban poor were to be moved to East German rural land and work the soil that was either empty or populated by Polish peasants working on large estates owned by landed German nobility. There is some similarity between this Germany policy of internal colonization in Prussia and the Russian notion of self-colonization, discussed in the first chapter. While German domestic colonies were the product of domestic colonialism and political opposition to socialism, internal colonization was the product of domestic colonialism and German ethnic nationalism that sought to reclaim Prussia as a territory populated by Germans rather than Poles. Two of the strongest proponents of internal colonization were Germany’s leading economist at the time, Max Sering, founder of the Verein fur Sozialpolitik

Labour Colonies in Europe


(Social Policy Association), and his colleague, sociologist Max Weber. Their defence of an explicitly named ‘internal colonization’ policy in Germany shared in common with the British, Dutch, and French colonialists the idea that agrarian labour on underused land was key to Germany’s future. But unlike other forms of European domestic colonization that we have discussed, the focus was on resettling a large territory rather than on small, bounded colonies. German internal colonization was nationalist, but like other forms of European domestic colonization, it engaged in transnational colonialism, meaning that it borrowed its colonial system from other countries. Indeed, just as Tocqueville and Beaumont had gone to America to learn about penal institutions for the French government and came back recommending farm colonies, the German Agrarian Economics Council and Prussian Ministry of Agriculture in 1883 sent Max Sering to visit Canada and the United States in order to report back on how they settled their ‘empty’ spaces and managed or removed their native populations on the Prairies and Midwest, respectively, in order to make recommendations for settling the ‘empty’ and ‘waste’ lands of Prussia and governing/removing the population of ‘uncivilized’ Polish peasants. Sering spent three months in the American Midwest and a month in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, visiting several internal colonies, including the Metis settlements at St Laurent and Oak Point, before visiting Fort Qu’Appelle, near Regina, as well as Moose Jaw and Medicine Hat, Swift Current, and back to Winnipeg, where he visited the Mennonite colony at Riverville in Canada. During his trip, Sering was interested to understand how Metis peoples were dealt with in order to apply the lessons learned to the Polish peasants of Prussia, whom he viewed like many Germans as a kind of ‘half-breed’— inferior to the Germans but capable of improvement. As historian Robert Nelson notes, Sering rejected what he saw as the ‘American approach to aboriginal peoples, with their rounding up and expulsion to reserves where they were left to do nothing and presumably die out’ and embraced instead what he saw as a ‘Canadian approach with natives placed “on reserves” and taught “modern” farming techniques with the expectation of . . . selfsufficiency and . . . assimilation’ (Nelson, 2010: 447).5 The juxtaposition by Sering of these two models—forcible removal versus assimilation—was central to the debate on internal colonization in Prussia as to whether Polish peasants should be expelled from the land or assimilated by German settlers. Sering preferred ‘the Canadian method’, with the focus on assimilating the Metis into a ‘superior’ culture, and thus explicitly used it to frame his own recommendations to the German government. Canada’s assimilationist policy 5 Once again, it must be noted that the historical reality was not what Europeans projected upon it for their own ideological purposes. In reality, the British and Canadian states engaged in various forms of forcible removal and expulsion of indigenous peoples from their lands.


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informed [Sering’s] view of Poles. He would come to believe that by surrounding Germany’s own . . . ‘half-civilized Metis’ with culture and modern farming, the Prussian Poles would become good members of German society. Nevertheless, Sering would be increasingly challenged (and eventually usurped) by nonassimilationist racial thinkers who saw Poles as ‘Red Indians’, fit only for reserves and/or eventual expulsion/extermination. (Nelson, 2010: 447)

The most important advocate of the expulsion school of thought was Max Weber, who not only shared a very strong commitment with Sering to internal colonization but also visited North America. According to his wife Marianne, he ‘felt one of the most important political problems was the winning of the East by a policy of settlement’ (Zimmerman, 2006: 61). But Weber disagreed vehemently with Sering on what was to be done. In 1892, Weber produced a report for the Social Policy Institute, of which both he and Sering were members, concluding that internal colonization of Prussia required the forcible removal of Poles and Slavs: ‘The dynasty of the Kings of Prussia is not called to rule over . . . a Slavic migrant population next to small Polish farmers . . . but rather over German farmers and large landholders whose workers know that they can rise to self-sufficiency in their own homeland’ (Quoted in Zimmerman, 2006: 62). Weber also argued, contrary to Sering, that the Junkers’ large holdings need not be broken up into smaller farms. Thus, at the end of the nineteenth century, the two leading thinkers of the German Social Policy Institute provide two distinct views on domestic colonization with explicit connections to North American colonization policies and the choice between policies of assimilation (Sering) and dispossession/expulsion (Weber). There is no question that German internal colonization had profoundly negative implications for Poles and Slavs already living on the land, just as external colonization had for indigenous peoples in North America. The Royal Prussian Colonization Commission, in line with Weber’s argument, removed 30,000 Polish peasants as they resettled thousands of German urban poor at the end of the nineteenth century (Koehl, 1953: 256). What remains constant in both forms of German internal colonization is the belief in agrarian labour on ‘empty’ or unused land—while the earlier Arbeiter-Kolonien were designed as an employment programme but also motivated by a fear of revolutionary socialism, the internal colonization of Prussia was informed by both colonialism and nationalism. Weber’s vision favoured a nationalist ethnocentrism that required the expulsion of non-Germans; Sering’s liberal colonialist vision favoured assimilation.

3.5. CONCLUSION Despite differences in geography, culture, ideology, and passage of time, the three key principles of domestic colonialism were present in all of the labour

Labour Colonies in Europe


colonies for the idle poor in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Europe. First, segregation—separating out the ‘idle’ poor from society and cities to resettle them on rural land—was needed to allow authorities to break them free from their bad habits, protect ‘civil society’ from the threats of vagrancy and idleness, and prevent their corruption in cities. Second, as urbanization compounded the social/moral problem of idleness—either by corrupting the poor and/or fomenting socialist revolution—all labour colonies moved the urban poor to empty rural land to work the soil. Third, the land upon which colonies were established was seen as ‘empty’ or waste, leading to the argument that not only people but land was improved, which in turn was a source of revenues in a way that alternative policies were not. Thus, in most cases, economic justifications were used, dating back to John Locke’s original case that settling people on empty rural land creates wealth through labour. Fourth, and most importantly, domestic colonization defined as improvement of individuals via agrarian labour was defended as a better solution than ‘alms’ (pure charity) or ‘prisons’ (punishment), since neither of these policies ‘improved’ the poor. As James Mavor noted in 1893: ‘the general principle that underlies the labor colony is, “work, not alms”’ (26). It is not surprising, therefore, that liberal Christian charitable organizations (Benevolent Society in Holland, Paternal Society in France, Salvation Army in Britain) championed colonies, as they saw themselves ‘saving’ the poor through labour rather than punishment. Once again, this reiterates Locke’s other key ‘ethical’ principle: colonization improves rather than harms the people working on the land, in accordance with God’s will. Finally, domestic colonization was transnational in all four European countries, in two senses. First, domestic colonies were deeply interwoven materially with the settler colonies of each country, as European idle poor, after being ‘improved’ in domestic colonies in Europe, were often sent to settle in their state’s external settler colonies or an ‘overseas colony’, including the Dutch idle poor who were sent from Dutch colonies to the East and West Indies, the French idle poor in the agricoles colonies of France who were sent to Algeria, and the idle poor of the Essex farm colony who were sent to British settler states. Second, the labour colony as a conceptual model was also exported from one country to another by colonialists, whether van den Bosch himself, as he took his original model from Java back to Holland; or Tocqueville explicitly recommending van den Bosch’s labour colony for France; or Britain’s early defenders of home colonies using the Dutch, French, and German colonies as their models; or any number of countries, including Australia and South American nations, using Mettray as a model; or Sering and Weber using the settler colonial policies of North America to model their internal colonization policies. Ann Stoler calls these transiting bodies and ideas within European empire a ‘carceral imperial network’, but my analysis has shown it might be better described as a ‘transnational colonial network’ which may have some imperial and carceral dimensions but which cannot be reduced to either imperialism


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or incarceration. Domestic colonialists were progressives who rejected domination (as is implied in the word imperial) and favoured improvement over punishment. Thus, domestic colonialists proposed colonies in explicit opposition to penal colonies (Tocqueville) or workhouses (Owen, Webbs, Booths). Finally, the word ‘colonial’ is more accurate than ‘imperial’ because agrarian labour was foundational to all these domestic colonies. Domestic colonies in Europe also differed from each other, depending upon what threads of thought were interwoven with domestic colonialism by their defenders (nationalism, paternalism, Protestantism, liberalism, or socialism) to justify particular kinds of colonies for specific populations. Thus, the infusion of a ‘benevolent’ Protestantism characterized by a philosophy of ‘charity’ through which the ‘backward’ were to be ‘helped’ to become industrious in every part of the Dutch Empire rather than punished or enslaved, combined with a liberal commitment not to undermine labour markets, produced a ‘liberal benevolent transnational colonialism’ for the ‘idle poor’ of Holland. In France, agricoles colonies directed at young people were produced using a republican, Romantic, paternalist form of colonialism, as the French paternal society rejected penal colonies and focused on how the ‘fathers’ of France could help to break French youth, in particular, of their bad habits of idleness in order to become full citizens of the Republic. This same kind of republican and paternalistic domestic colonialism underpins the French colonies vacances of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, which offered French youth the experience of rural life, and thus prepared them for full citizenship in the Republic. British domestic colonialism had at least two ideological threads in the two waves of domestic colonialism. The first was a Protestant liberal domestic colonialism manifested in William Atkinson and William Booth’s domestic colonialism (first and second wave, respectively), which combined (like the Dutch) Protestant Christian benevolence with a classical liberal commitment to civil society rather than states as the solution to poverty, in support of free markets and private property. The second thread was socialism, which manifested itself in the first wave, through Robert Owen and others, as a utopian socialist form of domestic colonialism that viewed the colony as a collectively owned communal agrarian living experience in opposition to industrialized capitalist society, and in the second wave as a scientific socialist/ Fabian domestic colonialism rooted in statistical analysis, where the colony was an unemployment programme but combined with agricultural training. Finally, German domestic colonialism was shaped by nationalism as well as a liberal internal colonialism that focused on the idle poor and the corrupting influence of city streets, yet it was equally concerned with the threat of socialism as well as the perceived need to reclaim Prussia through resettlement of Germans from cities to work the land, and the assimilation or expulsion of Polish peasants in Prussia.

Labour Colonies in Europe


Despite these variations, what cannot be denied is the degree to which colonialism as an ideology and colonization as a process was an inwardfocused process in the nineteenth century, meaning, both within Europe as perhaps the leading social policy for dealing with idleness (at least among liberal and socialist thinkers), but also within the individual, as they were not to be dominated from outside, through servitude, enslavement, or punishment, but transformed from within—their bodies through labour; their minds through a particular form of education or agrarian training. What I have described here is a two-way movement: as European states turned outward to empire, liberals and socialists within those states turned inward to colony. Yet despite the lofty claims made on their behalf that such colonies would solve global poverty forever, the domestic colonial experiment was relatively shortlived in comparison to settler colonization, which has lasted for centuries. Born in the 1840s, labour colonies for the idle poor disappeared completely within a century, so that by the 1930s the term was rarely used other than in France for colonies vacances. Many specific colonies lasted only as long as their originator was alive. But despite this checkered history, I hope to have shown that, during the second half of the nineteenth century and first quarter of the twentieth century, colonization in Europe was a domestic as well as foreign policy.

4 Labour Colonies in North America Unlike Europe, labour colonies for the general populace were largely rejected in Canada and the United States1 because they were too ‘socialist,’ and solving idleness was seen to lie more in the purview of the church/civil society/family than the state. So, while there was some interest in the Salvation Army model, as discussed in Chapter 3, labour colonies were implemented in a more restricted way, namely, either a) at specific moments of historical crisis— such as WWI or b) for certain racialized or disabled populations over a longer period of time. In this chapter, I begin with a short examination of the first case—farm colonies for returning soldiers after WWI in Canada and disabled soldiers in the United States—before turning to spend most of the chapter on domestic colonies for freed black slaves in America and indigenous/Metis peoples in Canada.2 This latter category, as we shall discuss, involves an intersection between external, settler, and domestic colonization, with domestic colonies being both the products of and vehicles for various kinds of colonialism.

4. 1 . F A R M C O L O N I E S F O R S OLD I E RS AFTE R WWI: CANADA At the end of World War I, questions arose as to what was to be done with thousands of young demobilized soldiers returning to North America. 1 Once again, it needs to be reiterated that the most profound form of colonization in North America was and is the ongoing colonization of indigenous lands by European and settler colonial states. Settler colonization is present throughout this chapter as an underlying condition for any of these labour colonies to exist in the first place; but my focus is on bounded colonies created by the state and/or civil society organizations to segregate and ‘improve’ particular groups of people in Canada and the United States. Domestic colonies are created within the process of settler colonization. 2 By selecting to examine colonies for freed slaves in America and those for Metis/indigenous peoples in Canada, this is not to suggest that similar processes did not happen in both countries (African Canadians were indeed resettled in Africa and the American Bureau of Indian Affairs engaged in similar agrarian-focused domestic colonization in the United States). Rather, I use each as a case study in order to more deeply analyse both forms of colonization within a specific state.

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An article in the New York Times published October 18, 1916 entitled ‘Canada Plans Farm Colonies for Soldiers’ describes the overall plan by British settler states in the following way: “A determined attempt is being made all over the British Empire—in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and even in the United Kingdom itself—to make such arrangements that a large proportion of the soldiers shall settle in the country and not in the towns . . . [through] a scheme of home colonization” (“Canada Plans Farm Colonies,” 1916). The goals behind such colonies in Canada, according to the article, were threefold: 1) create employment opportunities for ‘idle’, that is unemployed, soldiers that would steer them away from the corrupting influence of the city; 2) help soldiers become private property owners by granting land in cooperative communities that would help soldiers to begin life as farmers and; 3) ‘settle the vast expanse of fertile land in the West . . . [and] the large area still uncultivated in the East’. Thus, like other kinds of colonization, farm colonies for soldiers were deeply embedded and intertwined with the ongoing process of settler colonialism on ‘empty’ or ‘waste’ land. The President of the Canadian Conference of Public Welfare, Dr Bryce, argued as early as 1916 that preparations should begin immediately to create farm colonies, suggesting there were as many as 200,000 idle or unemployed men who had gone to war who would need to find work on their return. Bryce, like other colonialists, defended such colonies in both ethical and economic terms. ‘Dr. Bryce suggested the farm colony scheme . . . aside from the moral effect upon the men and their families . . . will be cheaper in the end to finance . . . than to support these families in enforced idleness’ (‘Care of Returned Soldiers’, 1916: 3). Canada implemented both domestic colonies (agrarian communities) as well internal colonization (the resettlement of individual soldiers or on agrarian land) often on land belonging to and/or reserved by the state for indigenous people[s] through treaties. The Canadian Soldier Settlement Board (SSB), created in 1917, sought to put soldiers in designated colonies and educate them in agricultural skills while providing them with the resources to become farmers. But the SSB processes over land were mired in ethnic/racial politics in two distinct ways. First, those arguing for domestic colonization often used racially and ethnically charged arguments against non-British settlers, particularly religious-ethnic pacifist minorities who came to Canada at the end of the nineteenth century and had been granted land for colonies of their own, including the Mennonites, Hutterites, and Doukhobors. Some argued that such groups had forfeited their land due to their refusal to fight in the war, even though they had come to Canada under the clear agreement that they were pacifists. Their land, it was argued, ought to be reallocated to soldiers of British origin who had fought in and were returning from the war. This argument went even further in some cases when it was argued that white soldiers of British ancestry were required in order to provide for


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the ‘rejuvenation of western Canada’ as a clearly ‘Anglo Saxon’ territory, as historian Sarah Carter comments: Some vocal interests promoted the idea that the ethnic diversity of the West was a source of danger and weakness, and that it was necessary to take steps to ensure that the West would become an Anglo-Saxon country. There was concern about the potential danger of peoples identified as the “foreign element” who live in colonies, compact settlements or reserves. Influential people promoted the idea that such land could be put to much better use if settled by patriotic native sonssoldier settlers. (Carter, 1999: 9)

In other words, there was a racialized, religious, and white supremacist set of arguments at work in some of the ideological defences of farm colonies for soldiers. The second way in which the process of domestic colonization for idle soldiers was racialized is with respect to indigenous peoples and their territories. Carter documents in detail how the Canadian Department of Indian Affairs (DIA) on behalf of the SSB ‘vigorously pursued’ the repossession of reserve land which had been negotiated through treaties, via an ongoing policy of ‘land surrenders’, in order to facilitate ‘non-Aboriginal soldier settlement’. The principle of ‘land surrenders’ was mentioned in the original Indian Act of 1867, where it stipulated land not actually owned by indigenous peoples but held in trust for them by the Crown could be taken back if left ‘empty’ or ‘vacant’ (1999: 2). William Morris Graham, the Indian Commissioner for the Prairies, was the central figure in this campaign of land surrenders that began before the end of the war but accelerated dramatically in its aftermath. In January 1918 ‘Graham . . . outlined to [then Prime Minster] Meighen the need to use “idle” Indian reserve land’ for non-indigenous soldier settlement (Titley, 1986: 40). In the same year, amendments to the Indian Act allowed the Department of Indian Affairs to require reserve land ‘be surrendered and leased to others’ without the consent of the indigenous peoples whose territory was to be usurped. At the heart of the colonialism that justified such ‘surrenders’ was the old Lockean idea that this land was vacant and the Indians were idle. The new Soldier Settlement Act passed in 1919 specifically authorized the SSB to acquire ‘uncultivated’ land on Indian reserves. Prime Minister Meighen claims: ‘We would be only too glad to have the Indian use this land if they would; production by him would be just as valuable as production by anybody else. But he will not cultivate the land and we will cultivate and that is all’ (Carter, 1999: 12). What is ironic about Meighen’s statement is that the federal government had placed any number of obstacles in the way of indigenous peoples to engage in cultivation in the first place (i.e., limiting the kind of equipment they could use due to racist and developmental based theories of the primitive capacities of indigenous farmers), as will be discussed in more detail later in this chapter.

Labour Colonies in North America


Ultimately, Graham’s tireless pursuit of land surrenders and the policies of the Soldier Settlement Board led to over 85,000 acres being taken from indigenous reserves and given to non-indigenous soldiers for settlement and cultivation. Several MPs challenged the policy, arguing that, rather than taking land from Metis or indigenous reserves, it would be better to use some of the vast land holdings of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) and the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) who held ‘empty’ land strictly for the purposes of financial speculation. Thus, while Canada engaged in the domestic colonization of idle soldiers returning from war, it was deeply racist, involving both a settler colonial policy of dispossession from indigenous peoples (requiring them to surrender yet more territory) and the ethnocentric exclusion of nonBritish religious minorities (taking back land from Doukhobor, Mennonite, and Hutterite communities) because it was designed to make Canada more ‘Anglo-Saxon’ and strengthen the British Empire. This form of domestic colonialism was thus deeply intertwined with racism, ethno-centrism, settler colonialism and imperialism.

4.2. FARM COLONIES FO R DISABLED S OLDIERS AFTER WWI: UNITE D STATES In the United States, Frederic Howe, Commissioner of Immigration at the Port of New York, argues in an article published in the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science (1918) that America should follow the example of the British Commonwealth and create colonies for its own demobilized soldiers which would serve to educate and improve them as farmers. In England, Australia and Canada, a new kind of agriculture is being developed known as the farm colony—the state will sell to the returning soldiers ready-made farms of from three to thirty acres, which a single man can cultivate. The farms are grouped about a village community, with . . . cooperative agencies for marketing and buying . . . An educational expert directs the activities of the colony. (Howe, 1918: 152)

Elwood Mead, chairman of the California Land Settlement Board and later Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation, published a book entitled Soldier Settlement in English Speaking Countries, in which he laments ‘all English speaking countries except the United States has passed special soldier settlement legislation’ (1918: 7). Mead further argues, in an article entitled ‘Placing Soldiers on Farm Colonies’ (1919), that the ideal scheme would be statesponsored collective farms to provide land and instruction to help soldiers settle on their own individual farms. Howe and Mead thus embrace the ideology of domestic colonialism first articulated in the British Empire, with its emphasis on the importance of agrarian


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labour, the rural countryside, and the need for a collective and educative bounded enterprise to transform unemployed soldiers into industrious farmers and settle them on their own farms. Using Europe as his model, Howe argues colonies must have a collective element to succeed: ‘all of the warring countries are emphasizing the necessity of returning the solder to the land . . . [on] the farm colony. Experts have admitted that the soldier will not take up an unbroken piece of land where he is isolated from his fellows’ (1918: 152). Mead argues for a ‘carefully thought out social land settlement policy’ for demobilized soldiers to include colonies. He goes on to say that the ‘farm [is] not solely a place to make money, but the means of a healthy independent existence and the center of family life’. It is important to ‘fix the size of farms’ to ensure ‘the ability of the settler to cultivate them properly’ (1919: 62). Mead’s farm colonies, like the farm colonies for soldiers in Canada, were racialized, with specific ethnic minorities being targeted for dispossession in order to ‘settle’ white Anglo-Saxon soldiers over other ethnic groups: In some sections of the United States, the American farm labourer has almost disappeared. His place has been taken by immigrants from Southern Europe and Asiatic countries, men with low standards of living and indifferent to their status as citizens or to their social position. If these soldier settlements are to be really democratic all this must be changed. (1919: 70)

A number of bills recommending farm colonies and soldier settlements were proposed to Congress, the most important being one ‘by Franklin Lane, Secretary of the Interior, William B. Wilson, secretary of labour, and Raphael Zon of the forest service and officials of the American Legion’. (Reid, 1965: 241). Lane’s bill was the most widely debated. It recommended a collective or community settlement/colony rather than individual homesteads because of the capacity for improvement and education through such a system. Unlike Canada, however, the US Congress and state legislatures rejected farm colonies for all soldiers because the idea of state sponsored collective farms was considered un-American and unfair competition for private family farms. The only exception to this was colonies for disabled soldiers. In 1917 and 1918, legislation was passed in Congress to provide funding for farm colonies for disabled soldiers. The Veterans Bureau established colonies in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana, but like so many other domestic colonial schemes they did not succeed for long. ‘The little colonies of disabled veterans [faced] the bleak reality of failure’ (Reid, 195: 243). The only other time in American history that farm colonies were proposed and implemented for the idle poor was by Franklin Delano Roosevelt during the Depression to address drought, unemployment, and displacement; the most famous being the Dyess Colony in Arkansas. This particular colony is famous in large part because country singing legend Johnny Cash grew up there. At the time, the Dyess Colony was ‘the only purely agricultural colony

Labour Colonies in North America


project in the nation this side of Alaska’ (Pittman, 1970: 314). As we shall discuss in Chapter 5, Roosevelt’s inspiration for such agrarian labour colonies likely came from his knowledge of the farm colonies for the mentally disabled in New York run by Charles Bernstein when he was Governor of New York and visited the Rome Colony on a regular basis. It is important to understand that domestic colonies for disabled veterans as well as short-lived colonies for the unemployed in the Depression were aberrations in American social policy—the general rule was that the state should not be in the business of colonies for the general populace of idle poor. Ultimately, the only groups of Americans who lived in domestic colonies were the disabled (mentally disabled Americans and physically disabled WWI veterans) and/or mentally ill Americans in farm colonies; or racial, religious, and political minorities who voluntarily formed utopian colonies. The most important labour colonies in nineteenth-century America were proposed primarily for freed African-American slaves linked inextricably to the issue of emancipation. In the remainder of this chapter, therefore, I examine two kinds of domestic colonies for racialized minorities deemed to be in particular need of colonization in North America: the first is colonies for freed slaves in America and the second is colonies for indigenous/Metis peoples in Canada. The racialized character of colonialism in North America is not new—and it is worth reminding ourselves that foreign colonization by European states and settler colonization by newly formed governments in Canada and the United States engaged in the first and most profound form of racialized colonization (dispossessing, assimilating, and exploiting large numbers of indigenous peoples while forcibly transporting large numbers of Africans to engage in slave labour on this land). The following analysis of colonies for freed slaves is only understandable, therefore, in light of imperialism, which brought slaves to America in the first place, and settler colonialism, through which land was dispossessed and indigenous peoples removed and/or sent to domestic colonies of the state.

4.3. COLONIZATION OF FREED BLACKS: RACIALIZED REPUBLICAN COLONIALISM I N US As the campaign for abolition grew and increasing numbers of slaves were freed at the end of the eighteenth and beginning of the nineteenth centuries, the question of what to do with what were now perceived to be unemployed and ‘idle’ ‘free blacks’ was one of the most serious ‘problems’ thought to be facing the republic. The solution that emerged during the nineteenth century, largely in the writings of abolitionists, was domestic and overseas colonization. ‘The idea of solving the race problem by means of colonization preoccupied the minds and efforts of most leaders in America, both inside and outside of government, from 1800 to 1864’ (Lockett, 1991: 428).


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As we explore the various colonization schemes, it could be legitimately asked whether some of the colonies to be discussed (for example, the colony of Liberia created by the American Colonization Society (ACS)) ought to be described as domestic, given its location overseas. What is striking, however, in the debate over the colonization of African-American slaves, including within the ACS, was how many champions of colonies for freed slaves, including Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln, argued for colonies both within America and outside of it. Secondly, all of these colonization schemes were domestic in the sense that their main purpose was to solve a social problem created by internal populations of the United States (namely the ‘idleness’ or unemployment of free slaves). To put it another way, domestic colonization of freed slaves was the primary goal; whether colonies were located within the United States or outside of it was secondary. The colonization of the freed slave thus, again, demonstrates the importance of distinguishing between imperialism and colonialism, since the colony in Liberia under the American flag was really a product of domestic colonialism (targeting African Americans through segregation, improvement, and agrarian labour) rather than imperialism (seeking to expand America’s power and dominate people living in Africa). The first person to champion domestic colonies within the United States for freed African-American slaves was Benjamin Rush, psychiatrist, medical doctor, signatory to the Declaration of Independence, and ardent abolitionist. As we shall see in Chapter 5, he was also among the first to recommend agrarian labour as the best therapy for the mentally ill as well—a forerunner to the farm colony for the mentally disabled and ill in America (thus he saw colonization as the solution to ‘idleness’ and ‘irrationality’ in America). Rush demonstrates how, within the mind of one of the leading progressive thinkers of the late eighteenth century, the principles of domestic colonialism could be applied to both mentally ill people and freed slaves—problems solved by segregation, improvement, and agrarian labour. The increasing number of freed slaves made ‘bold new projects’ for the ‘negroes’ necessary according to Rush, including ‘regular education and religious instruction’ along with domestic agricultural colonies necessary to fulfill God’s wishes (Lockett, 1991: 420). In 1794, Rush proposed ‘negro farm settlements’ and ‘model farm colonies’ in Bedford County, Pennsylvania, where he purchased 20,000 acres of fertile soil to this end. He was ‘determined to act on his belief that yeoman farming was the best way of life for the Negro [and] presented 5,200 acres of his Bedford holdings to the Pennsylvania Abolition Society’ in 1795 (D’Elia, 1969: 421). Rush argued that land should be distributed in ‘fee simple’ to those deemed worthy enough to become yeoman farmers as demonstrated by their capacity for industry. In 1804, he made another donation of land to the Abolition Society of Cambria County, ‘still confident . . . in the project of Negro farm colonies’ (421).

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Rush’s colonialism was similar to the domestic colonialism of Europe since it was characterized by segregation, improvement, and agrarian labour, but it was also woven together with racism, since only African Americans required such colonies and abolitionism, following from his belief that colonization was its necessary corollary (an argument Lincoln will also later champion). His colonialism was also mixed with a messianic republicanism, because America for him had a unique role to fulfill in God’s plan for the world, linked to a Protestant theology of industry and reason. Rush described America as ‘[the] center from which God was reforming the world through perfected reason’ (D’Elia, 1969: 416). Labour colonies within an agrarian-based republic were part of that plan towards God’s vision of progress. Despite lofty claims and significant grants of land, Rush’s original schemes in Pennsylvania never actually came to fruition, but the idea of colonizing freed blacks in America did not end with him. As both Lockett and Nicholas Guyatt document, any number of individuals, often abolitionists, explored and championed colonies within North America in the first half of the nineteenth century, including Benjamin Lundy, the mentor of William Lloyd Garrison who argued ‘a black homeland should be located in North America’, specifically Texas, which at that time was governed under the Mexican state, as well as Thomas Jefferson in Virginia and later President Abraham Lincoln (Guyatt, 2014: 97).

4.3.1. Thomas Jefferson and Virginia: Domestic and External Colonies As far back as 1781, Thomas Jefferson argued for the creation of colonies for freed ‘negroes’ in Ohio in his Notes on the State of Virginia. Gustave de Beaumont, an advocate with Tocqueville of colonies agricoles in France, was scathing in his response to these proposals in his 1835 novel Marie, on the subject of race relations in America: ‘Jefferson . . . wanted a portion of American territory assigned to the Negroes, after the abolition of slavery, where they would live apart from the whites. One is struck at once by the defects and unwisdom involved in such a system’ (1835: 208). This is noteworthy because Beaumont, as discussed in Chapter 3, championed colonies agricoles in France but nonetheless rejected Jefferson’s plan because he argued it would create a hostile and segregated population in the midst of America, threatening the republic. Given that France and the United States shared a republican set of values, it is not surprising that leading French and American political thinkers would view the republic as a central concern—but while Jefferson argued that a domestic colony for freed slaves inside America supported the unity of the republic, Beaumont argued the opposite.


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Jefferson’s views on the location of colonies shifted after 1800, in response to a slave rebellion led by Gabriel Prosser in Virginia. A resolution was passed by the House of Delegates of Virginia that the Governor correspond with the President of the United States on the subject of ‘purchasing lands without the limits of this state for settling “persons” deemed to be “dangerous to the peace of society”’.3 This led to an important exchange of letters between then President Thomas Jefferson and Governor James Monroe of Virginia (later President), with the latter asking the former if he still held to the plan of moving ‘negroes’ on to separate colonies within America. In his response to Monroe on November 24, 1801, Jefferson suggests a colony might be established for freed slaves within America but notes, ‘Questions would . . . arise whether the establishment of such a colony within our limits . . . would be desirable?’ and more pointedly, ‘should we be willing to have such a colony in contact with us?’ (Jefferson, 1801: 420). He goes on to suggest an overseas location might be best—the ‘West Indies’ could ‘offer a more probable and practicable’ solution since it is ‘inhabited by a people of their own race and color’ (421). He concludes ‘Africa [is] a last and undoubted resort . . . if all others that are desirable fall short’ (421). While, at this moment Africa was his last resort, within a year he changes his mind and supports it as the first priority. After a second revolt of slaves (this time in the West Indies) in 1802, Jefferson writes to Rufus King, the US Minister to Great Britain in July 1802 that the current ‘course of things’ (the slave revolt) ‘appears to have given an impulse to minds of slaves . . . a disposition to insurgency’ and as a result Africa is now ‘the most desirable receptacle’ for colonization and he hopes the United States might be able to send slaves to the British colony of Sierra Leone (Jefferson, 1802: 54). What started out as a scheme proposed by Benjamin Rush for domestic agricultural colonies within Pennsylvania to ‘improve’ freed slaves and help them transition to freedom by providing plots of land to cultivate gave way over time, as the result of increasingly racist views over the threat of freed slaves to public order, to colonies in the West Indies and Africa. Colonization remained the answer, but the colonialist principle of segregation influenced by a growing racism completely trumps improvement or agrarian labour. While the idea of locating freed slaves in colonies outside of the United States grew in popularity, arguments on behalf of colonies within the United States continue throughout the nineteenth century. The General Assembly of Virginia in 1805 passed a resolution requesting the US government use a portion of territory in the Louisiana Purchase to create a ‘residence of people of colour . . . who have become dangerous to public safety’ (Brawley, 1921: 122).


Remarks on the Colonization of the Western Coast of Africa by the Free Negroes of the United States. Anonymous, New York: Burrough’s Steam Power Press, 1850, 14.

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While African Americans were still viewed as ‘threats’ by some to be segregated entirely from white civil society, others continued to argue colonies could be located in the United States. In the nineteenth century, the single most important civil society organization involved in the debate over colonization of freed slaves was the American Colonization Society.

4.3.2. American Colonization Society At the beginning of the nineteenth century, the increasingly popular idea of colonization of African Americans crystallized in the founding of the American Colonization Society of Free Colored People (ACS). A gathering of supporters in 1815 at Princeton University has been described as: ‘the first meeting ever called to consider the project of sending Negro colonists to Africa’ (Brawley, 1921: 123). Louis Mehlinger argues ‘in the midst of the perplexities arising from various plans for the solution of the race problem [at the beginning of the nineteenth century as] the colonization movement became all things to all men’. But, importantly, from its inception, AfricanAmerican leaders loudly denounced external colonization. ‘Almost as soon as the Negroes had a chance to express themselves they offered urgent protest against the policy’ (Mehlinger, 1916: 276). The two individuals foundational to the ACS were Robert Finley and Charles Fenton Mercer. Within the historical literature on the ACS, there is a heated debate as to which of these two men played the decisive role in its founding. The debate goes beyond simply identifying the original founder, since it is wrapped up in identifying the ideological impetus of the ACS— specifically whether or not it was anti-slavery and reformist or pro-slavery and punitive. In reality, the ACS contained both elements. Finley, a scholar and minister (president of the University of Georgia when he died), like Benjamin Rush, was an abolitionist and saw colonization as a way to support the antislavery cause while ‘helping’ the freed slave. Finley was also a colonialist in his ideological commitment to improvement through agrarian labour and thus believed that sending ‘a population of partly civilized and Christianized’ freed slaves to Africa would both be ‘for its benefit’ (that is Africa itself ) and because ‘our blacks themselves would be put in a better condition’.4 In other words, there was an external and domestic civilizing mission implied in Finley’s colonial stance, with the colony in Africa serving to both improve those being sent to it and creating the conditions for native Africans to become more industrious. 4 Robert Finley, Letter to John P. Mumford, February 14, 1816. Biography of the Rev. Robert Finley with an account of his agency as the author of the American Colonization Society, 1857,


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On the other hand, Charles Fenton Mercer, a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, opposed abolition and supported colonization because of his concern that African Americans were a revolutionary underclass and threat to civil society. Mercer, writing to the President, states, ‘the rapidly increasing free black population endangered the peace of the State and impaired in a large section the value of slave property’. This was a widely held perception as discussed above: ‘Virginia slaveholders saw in Negro colonization a means to relieve the State of a dangerous population’ (Sherwood, 1917: 213). Freed slaves, Mercer suggests, without a scheme of colonization, would do injury as they ‘infest the suburbs of the towns and cities, where they become the depositories of stolen goods’. It is worth noting that, for Mercer, the city in relation to a particular subset of the population is threatening to the social order (which echoes Tocqueville’s and Booth’s concern that the city in conjunction with juvenile delinquents and the idle poor, respectively, pose threats to civil society). Segregation in all three cases must not only be from the ‘white’ race but also from urban centres to rural, arable land. Thus, while Finley thought of colonization as a means to ‘improve’ the freed slave, reflecting both a liberal colonialist belief in improvement and a racist belief in the impossibility of whites and blacks living together as free people in America, Mercer thought of the colony as a means to protect civil society via segregation, reflecting a penal colonialist belief in segregation but also a deeply racist belief that African Americans were fundamentally threatening to white society.5 Ultimately, as Gary Nash (1988: 234–5) argues, both men were instrumental and the ACS served mixed motives; both the anti-slavery ‘progressive’ ideology dedicated to abolition and the ‘improvement’ of freed slaves by engaging them in agrarian labour and the pro-slavery ideology that sought, above all, to segregate blacks from whites and settle them as far away as possible from white American society. D. R. Egerton argues that the problem with many histories of the ACS, particularly earlier ones, is the tendency to view it only through the former lens, that is, as a ‘religiously inspired,


Mercer led a second domestic colonial project, later in his life, in the Republic of Texas (at the time when Texas was an independent republic between 1836 and 1845 before joining the United States). After seven trips to Texas from Virginia starting in 1841, he negotiated a ‘contract of colonization with the President of the Republic’ on 29 January 1844, which ‘secured for each settlement of one hundred families, a section of six hundred and forty acres.’ The colony ran into legal and financial problems, and Mercer towards the end of his life said of this project in Texas: ‘I could not more usefully terminate a long life devoted to objects of public improvement by planting and nourishing a colony of which I could become the moral head and in the midst of which I meant to live and die.’ (Nancy Eagleton, ‘The Mercer Colony in Texas 1844–1883),’ Southwestern Historical Quarterly 39:4 (April 1936): 275–91, 288–9. Mercer’s colony was one of four colonies contracted by the Republic of Texas (Peters, Fisher and Miller, and Castro being the three others). Thus, once again, a colonialist was engaged in more than one kind of colonial project

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benevolent, mildly emancipationist reform movement’ founded by Finley, rather than also as a pro-slavery one concerned with civil unrest and class warfare as envisioned by Mercer (1985: 480). In December 1816, Henry Clay, then Speaker of the House of Representatives, chaired a meeting that included Benjamin Rush’s son and Robert Finley (Mercer had been invited but could not attend). The society was explicitly dedicated to creating colonies governed by the American state, and these were to be located outside of continental America, either in Africa, Haiti, or Central America, where freed blacks would be sent and engaged in agrarian labour. But even within the ACS there was debate over colonies located within America. In July 1832, the 15th Annual Report of the ACS discusses the possibility of creating a colony on the borders of the American republic but rejects it as impractical: ‘The territory which might be procured should, at all events, be without the limits of the United States . . . A domestic Colony . . . would be impracticable, on account of the number and disposition of those who must be parties to such an arrangement’ (ACS, 1832: 128). It becomes clear who the author has in mind as ‘parties’ when he goes on to talk of the single ‘feasible’ colony proposed by Senator Tucker of Virginia in 1825 who offered a Resolution to the National Senate, the object of which was to ascertain through the War Department, the probably expense of extinguishing the Indian title to a portion of the country lying west of the Rocky Mountains, that may be suitable for colonizing the free people of color, the best known routes across the said mountains, and the probable cost of a road and military posts, necessary to a safe communication with such colony. (20)

The author dismisses Tucker’s proposal out of hand as impossible to realize in light of costs and indigenous title/resistance. Henry Clay as President of the ACS from 1836 until 1849 shared Mercer and Jefferson’s views that African Americans were a threat to American civil society, but he also argued, paradoxically, that the emigration of freed slaves to Africa provided a civilizing model to Africans. Thus, at an address in the Hall of the House of Representatives at the annual meeting of the ACS in January 1827, Clay stated: ‘Of all classes of our population, the most vicious is that of the free colored. It is the inevitable result of their moral, political and civil degradation. Contaminated themselves, they extend their vices to all around them, to the slaves and to the whites’ (Clay, 1827: 12). In the same speech, however, he also observed that ‘every emigrant to Africa is a missionary carrying with him credentials in the holy cause of civilization, religion and free institutions’ (1827: 12). These two claims by Clay manifest a central paradox at the heart of the ACS, which, as Magness and Page point out, ‘according to its misguided philanthropy, the ACS argued that the same freeman population whose very presence inflicted only misery . . . in America . . .


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could better itself . . . in Africa and bring Christianity and republicanism to that continent’ (2011: 2). Streifford suggests such contradictory claims are the result of a strange ‘combination of republicanism and racism’ (1979: 201). They were republican in the sense that the ACS saw the ideal republic as made up of homogenous communities of virtuous citizens marked by equality, and African Americans who were free but still inferior to whites undermined the principles of both homogeneity and equality. Streifford concludes, ‘though black slavery did not violate the principles of classical republicanism, the existence of a class of legally free but practically dependent and degraded blacks stood in stark contrast to the republican ideal of homogenous communities’ (204). Streifford is right that both republicanism and racism were important to Clay, the ACS, and the project in Liberia, but he misses the key role played by the ideology of colonialism distinct from either republicanism or racism. Colonialism helps to explain how African Americans could both be part of a ‘civilizing mission’ much like the ‘idle poor’ English settlers in America through settler colonialism but also be ‘improved’ themselves through settlement and agrarian labour through domestic colonialism. Thus, often missing from the historical accounts of the ACS, including Streifford’s, is the centrality of agrarian labour to the colony in Liberia, consistent with a colonial justification. The American leaders of the ACS constantly call for the central focus to be on agrarian labour in Liberia, much like Rush had done with his farm colonies in Pennsylvania. In the Report of the Board of Managers of the American Colonization Society at its Annual Meeting in 1827: The agriculture of the Colony has received less attention than its importance demands . . . Although commerce has thus far taken the lead of agriculture, yet the excellence of the soil, the small amount of labour required for its cultivation and the value and abundance of its products cannot fail, finally, to render the latter the more cherished, as it is, certainly, the more important interest of the Colony.6

Likewise, in a memo sent to John Pinney, the Colonial Agent in Monrovia in 1834, the leadership of the ACS states: The encouragement of agriculture at Liberia has been regarded by every Board of Managers since the foundation of the Society, as a most important instrument in accomplishing the great object of the Institution . . . the Board will always be eager to afford any suitable facilities for the promotion of agriculture at the Colony. (ACS, 1834: 99)

6 This quotation is taken from the Appendix to Henry Clay’s speech published by the ACS in 1827 entitled ‘Excerpts from the Report of the Board of Managers of the ACS’, presented at its annual meeting, 13 January 1827: 2.

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They also emphasize the importance of modeling good kinds of agrarian practices because ‘backward’ Africans could be ‘improved’ by the model provided by more ‘advanced’ African Americans in agricultural skills in terms similar to that of John Locke with respect to English settlers and indigenous Americans. It is clear, however, despite the goals of the ACS in America, that the settlers and colonizers on the ground in Africa were not necessarily following their lead. In 1834 at a meeting of the Board of Managers of the ACS, Walter Lowerie tabled a report expressing concern about ‘the secondary attention bestowed on the encouragement of education and agriculture at the Colony, both of which the friends of the Society have so much at heart . . . The Colony must be sustained by all necessary supplies: the cause of education, the cause of agriculture there, cannot, will not, be neglected.’ (ACS, 1834: 12, 15). Liberia remained a colony of the United States until July 1847, when independence was declared and it became a self-governing republic. During this period in which the ACS was engaged largely in overseas colonies for freed slaves, the idea of colonization at home in America did not disappear amongst other white Americans. Horace Greeley, editor of the New York Tribune, and later presidential candidate, made the case for domestic colonies in response to an attack from Frederick Douglass to a previous column that advocated external colonies. Douglass is clear that external ‘colonization . . . to us, means ultimate extermination’ (Douglass, 1852b: 186). Greeley argues in response to Douglass that he was quite as willing that the blacks should colonize in this country as out of it . . . We would like to see them buy out a township in Southern Jersey, or a county in Nebraska . . . and go to plowing, hoeing and harvesting their own fields, where the world can see what they do and who does it. Hitherto the great mass of them have acted as if their race were made for servitude and unfit for anything else. (Douglass, 1852a: 187)

While Douglass continues to oppose Greeley’s agrarian colonies in the north in the 1850s, claiming ‘contact with the white race, even under the many unjust and painful restrictions to which we are subjected, does more toward our elevation and improvement than the mere circumstances of being separated from them could do’ (187), he eventually supports Congressman Eli Thayer’s proposal for colonies in Florida in the 1860s under Lincoln, as well be discussed shortly. Other African-American thinkers, however, supported Greeley’s domestic colonial proposals. ‘In the 1850’s, as black intellectuals debated colonies in the Caribbean, Latin America, and the American West, figures as diverse as Martin Delany, Sella Martin and James Holly took Greeley’s side of the argument.’ (Guyatt, 2014: 238).


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4.3.3. Colonization of Freed Slaves: Abraham Lincoln The most significant individual supporter of colonizing African Americans in the second half of the nineteenth century was Abraham Lincoln.7 In the 1850s, Lincoln joined the Illinois branch of the ACS, stating in a speech in Springfield Illinois in 1857 that ‘the separation of the races’ was necessary and ‘must be effected by colonization’.8 Colonization was one of the centrepieces of his presidency, viewed as a necessary corollary by Lincoln to the emancipation of African Americans. There were two phases to Lincoln’s colonization policies during his presidency—before and after the Emancipation Proclamation. In both phases he proposed colonies located both within and outside the United States. The first phase included a public defence of colonization and several attempts to implement schemes overseas, under the auspices of private interests rather than charitable organizations or the state. The second phase, beginning after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed in January 1863, involved secret negotiations with foreign states, the British and Dutch, to send freed slaves to colonies in Central and South America, respectively but also exploration of domestic colonies in Florida and Texas. This second phase is the subject of a heated debate in the historical literature, with many historians arguing that Lincoln, as the Great Emancipator, entirely dropped his interest in colonization after the Final Declaration was signed in January 1863. Recent historical analysis, however, suggests he continued to explore colonies after the Proclamation. Let us examine each of these phases in more detail.

There is a scholarly literature on Lincoln and colonization that largely examines the ‘first phase’ (before the Emancipation Proclamation): John G. Nicolay and John Hay, Abraham Lincoln: A History (New York: Century Co., 1890), 6: 354–67; James G. Randall, Lincoln the President (New York: Dodd, Mead, and Co., 1945–55), 2: 137–41; Charles H. Wesley, ‘Lincoln’s Plan for Colonizing the Emancipated Negroes,’ Journal of Negro History 4 (1919): 7–21; Warren A. Beck, ‘Lincoln and Negro Colonization in Central America,’ Abraham Lincoln Quarterly 6 (1950): 162–83; Paul J. Scheips, ‘Lincoln and the Chiriqui Colonization Project,’ Journal of Negro History 37 (1952): 418–53; Willis D. Boyd, ‘Negro Colonization in the National Crisis, 1860–1870,’ Ph.D. diss., UCLA, 1953; Robert H. Zoellner, ‘Negro Colonization: The Climate of Opinion Surrounding Lincoln, 1860–65,’ Mid-America 42 (1960): 131–50; Walter A. Payne, ‘Lincoln’s Caribbean Colonization Plan,’ Pacific Historian 7 (1963): 65–72; Gary R. Planck, ‘Abraham Lincoln and Black Colonization: Theory and Practice,’ Lincoln Herald 72 (Summer 1970): 61–77; Gabor S. Boritt, ‘The Voyage to the Colony of Linconia: The Sixteenth President, Black Colonization, and the Defense Mechanism of Avoidance,’ The Historian 37 (1975): 619–32; Jason H. Silverman, ‘ “In Isles Beyond the Main”: Abraham Lincoln’s Philosophy on Black Colonization,’ Lincoln Herald 80 (Fall 1978): 115–22; M. Vorenberg (1993) ‘Abraham Lincoln and the Politics of Black Colonization,’ Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association 14:2 (1993): 22–45; Charles H. Wesley, ‘Lincoln’s Plan for Colonizing the Emancipated Negroes,’ Journal of Negro History 4:1 (January 1919): 7–21. 8 Roy P. Basler et al. ed., The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (New Brunswick, N. J.: Rutgers University Press, 1953–1955 [eight volumes and index]), Vol. II, pp. 405, 8, 9. 7

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89 Lincoln’s Colonization Plan: Phase I Colonization, for Lincoln, was absolutely intertwined with the ending of slavery. Soon after he became president, he began to implement colonization plans, and his first mention of colonization came in his annual address of 1861. ‘It might be well to consider whether the free colored people already in the United States could not, so far as individuals may desire, be included in such colonization’ (Vorenberg, 1993: 27). From the beginning, Lincoln believed that colonization must be a voluntary choice of the freed slave. In early 1862, ‘as a result of the persuasive efforts of President Lincoln, the US House of Representatives created the Select Committee on Emancipation and Colonization for the express purpose of thoroughly examining all aspects of the question of colonization in an attempt to determine its feasibility.’ (Lockett, 1991: 431). As the name of this congressional committee would suggest, emancipation, for Lincoln, was inextricably linked to colonization, and he asked Congress for funding to support it. In the summer of 1862 not only did Congress provide funding ($600,000) which Magness and Page estimate represented about 1 per cent of the entire federal budget (2011: 4) but ‘President Lincoln [was made] sole trustee of colonization’ (Lockett, 1991: 431). The connection between emancipation and colonization is central to the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation of September 1862, where Lincoln explicitly links the two ideas together in the first full paragraph and makes clear colonies could be located within the United States and outside of it: ‘It is my purpose upon the next meeting of Congress to again recommend . . . the effort to colonize persons of African descent, with their consent, upon this continent, or elsewhere.’9 On 1 December 1862 (in his second annual message to Congress), he again recommended compensation and colonization to support emancipation. The Final Emancipation Proclamation issued on 1 January 1863 was silent on colonization, even though the day before it was signed, 450 freed slaves were sent to one of two colonies Lincoln created in the previous year for the express purpose of facilitating emancipation (Page, 2012). Lincoln’s initial colonies were created and implemented under the auspices of private interests and in conjunction with his emancipation policy. The first of the two colonies created in Chiriqui (current-day Panama) ‘which Lincoln personally drafted and edited a proposed colonization contract for’ (Magness and Page, 2013: 7; Page, 2011) was created on land owned by a Philadelphian shipbuilder, Ambrose Thompson. Almost immediately, Lincoln learnt of the opposition of neighbouring Central American countries. A second colony created in 1862 by Bernard Kock was in Ile a Vache near Haiti (DiLorenzo,

9 Abraham Lincoln, Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, September 22, 1862. http:// html


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2002: 18). Both colonies were run for private profit even with government involvement—a different model from labour colonies in Europe that were run by states or charitable organizations as a public service. Chiriqui was also different from previous labour colonies, including Liberia, because the focus was on mining rather than agriculture, with the plan to mine coal for the US Navy (Ile a Vache was agrarian based). Both colonies were thus less about colonialism understood as improving the colonized under the state or religious organizations than racialized segregation to support emancipation and the union of the republic along with profits for private interests. Lincoln faced several problems as these colonies were planned and developed. The first was that African Americans were not interested in settling outside of America. Lincoln was so determined to convince leaders of the African-American community to support colonization and go to Chiriqui in particular that, on 24 August 1862, he held a most extraordinary meeting at the White House with a small delegation of leading African Americans to convince them to ‘emigrate’ and persuade other African Americans to do the same. While this delegation promised to try to do so, ‘they encountered strenuous outcries everywhere they appeared on behalf of Lincoln’s colonization scheme.’ (Lockett, 1991: 436). The second problem was that his own cabinet were deeply skeptical of his colonial schemes. The third was these two colonies at Ile a Vache and Chiriqui were disasters. In the former, at least 20 per cent of the colonized died from small pox within a year, and the survivors returned to the United States by navy boat in 1864. In the latter, Central American countries protested the plan and some of the private interests were corrupt in their use of the money (Vorenberg, 1993: 30). With corruption, political divisions, international resistance, and the complete failure of the first two colonies, Congress withdrew all funds for colonization plans in July 1864. Lincoln’s Colonization Scheme: Phase II The historical scholarship on Lincoln is divided as to whether he rejected colonization after the Final Emancipation Proclamation was signed or entered into a second phase pursuing the same policy but through other means. Vorenberg argues that, among the most contested questions in Lincoln’s presidency is ‘exactly when—or even if—the president relinquished his idea of settling black people outside the country’ (2007: 119). As Henry Louis Gates argues, there is much at stake in this debate, because if historians’ claims ‘about Lincoln’s continuing support of colonization as late as 1865 turned out to be true, our image of the Lincoln who had wrestled with and by the end of his life had transcended anti-black racism . . . would be deeply troubled.’ (Gates, 2009: liv). Gates concludes that this narrative of Lincoln is important to America as a whole, but particularly to African Americans, who see

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Lincoln as a hero of racial equality (Barack Obama, for example, began his first campaign for president in Springfield, Illinois, the birthplace of Lincoln). The dominant view is that Lincoln rejected colonization after the Final Emancipation Proclamation because his attitudes towards African Americans changed during the Civil War to view them less as inferior and/or obstacles to the unity of the republic and more as citizens. There is historical evidence that Lincoln moved away from colonization after 1862, since he did not publicly endorse it, and a note in the diary of Lincoln’s private secretary, John Hay dated 1 July 1864, notes that Lincoln ‘sloughed off the idea of colonization’ (Magness and Page, 2011: 94). Phillip Magness and Sebastian Page (2011, 2013) have provided compelling evidence that Lincoln remains seriously engaged with colonization until his death in 1865 but was far more secretive about his plans after 1862 for three key reasons. First, the colonies established in Central America and the Caribbean via private speculators had failed spectacularly and Congress rejected any further plans, leaving Lincoln politically isolated and without funding for any further proposals. Second, his previous colonies created diplomatic problems with neighbouring countries in Central America, thus, negotiations with the British and Dutch governments over sending freed slaves to their external colonies in the same region required delicacy and secrecy to avoid the resistance to the earlier colonies. Third, the proposals for domestic colonies in Florida or Texas seemed outlandish (even to members of his own government) so he likely feared ridicule if he discussed them publicly, yet he did explore the idea privately. Thus, it is not that Lincoln believed colonization was no longer necessary, but the various possibilities both within and outside of America were investigated covertly, with only those needing to know being informed of his proposals. There were three avenues Lincoln continued to explore in the second phase: British and Dutch colonies in South/Central America, an American colony in Panama, and domestic colonies in Florida and Texas. Let us consider each in turn. In 1863, after the Final Proclamation, Lincoln began to think it might be better to send freed slaves to colonies of foreign governments long engaged in agrarian cultivation in South and Central America, specifically, the Dutch and British. This was not the first time such an idea had been discussed. Jefferson had approached the British about settling slaves in the British colony of Sierra Leone at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Similarly, when Lincoln read his original draft emancipation declaration to his cabinet on 22 July 1862, one of only two cabinet members who supported emancipation, Edward Bates, did so on the condition that freed slaves were sent to colonies of foreign governments, using the colonial argument of their labour as key to create liberty and property. Far better for everyone [Bates argued] if the government established treaties granting aid to foreign governments willing to . . . settle freed slaves . . . and


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provide for the just and humane treatment of emigrants—e.g. ensuring an honest livelihood by their own industry and . . . guaranteeing to them . . . their liberty, property. (Kearns-Goodwin, 2005: 466)

In late January 1863, Lincoln called upon Lord Lyons, the British Minister in the United States, to propose a colonization scheme between the British and American governments, with the Americans providing freed slaves to the ‘labor-starved’ colonies of the Caribbean and Central America. Lincoln also directed the State Department to develop proposals for colonization in Surinam, or Dutch Guyana where, of course, labour colonies existed based on Johannes van den Bosch’s ‘benevolent’ colonialism of the early nineteenth century, discussed in Chapter 3. At the heart of both schemes were agrarian labour and the promise of private property, much like Rush’s original scheme: Just three weeks after signing the Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln personally approached the British minister to the United States . . . Lincoln knew that the agricultural colonies of the British West Indies were perpetually plagued by labour shortages and offered [that] the two countries would reach an agreement to resettle the slaves freed by the proclamation by encouraging and subsidizing their voluntary migration to the colony of British Honduras. In return for this labor . . . the freedman [would be supplied] with parcels to be earned over time from their agricultural produce. (Magness and Page, 2011: 10)

By June of 1863, Lincoln entered into an agreement with Britain to colonize freed slaves to the West Indian colony of British Honduras (now Belize) but never finalized one with Holland. The second colonial scheme that Lincoln explored in his second phase of colonization was Panama. Major General Benjamin Butler claims in his autobiography that he discussed colonization to Panama with Lincoln in April 1865, a few days before the president’s death. It would seem that Butler got the exact date of the meeting wrong in his autobiography, leading historians to question the veracity of his account. But, as Magness and Page demonstrate, according to the scheduling notes of Lincoln’s secretary, two meetings were held between Lincoln and Butler in April 1865, with one on a different day than Butler had identified (Magness and Page, 2011). Additionally, in a New York Times article on 20 August 1884, Butler again recounted the meeting with Lincoln: At the close of the civil war [General Butler] . . . proposed to Lincoln that the United States should immediately begin construction of an interoceanic canal across the isthmus. He submitted his scheme to Mr. Lincoln a few days before Booth’s bullet did its fatal work. In brief, it was to transport to Central America 50,000 freedmen and begin the work.10


‘Spain to Abandon Cuba’, New York Times, 20 August 1884.

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Butler’s proposed plan would be under the auspices of the American state and while the work was not agrarian in nature, it is another piece of evidence that Lincoln continued to explore options for colonization until the week of his death.

4.3.4. Domestic Colonies for Freed Slaves in the 1860s A third dimension to Lincoln’s second phase of colonization, largely overlooked in the historical literature, even in Magness and Page’s detailed analysis of this second phase, were proposals for domestic colonies within the United States, specifically in Florida and Texas.11 While the idea of domestic colonies had been around since Rush’s plans in the late seventeenth century, it reached a climax in the 1860s, as Nicholas Guyatt argues in ‘“An Impossible Idea?”: The Curious Career of Internal Colonization’ (Guyatt, 2014). In the 1860s, Senator James Lane of Kansas, a General who enlisted black troops during the Civil War and a staunch abolitionist, along with Congressman Eli Thayer, proposed domestic colonies in Texas and Florida, respectively. Thus the archival evidence suggests that Lincoln was particularly interested in the possibility of domestic colonies. First, while Lincoln and Thayer exchanged letters as early as 1861 on the subject of domestic colonization, Lincoln’s appointment schedule shows he met with both Senator Lane and Congressman Thayer after the Final Proclamation to discuss their respective proposals for colonies and on 17 February 1863, Lincoln met with Thayer and his congressional committee to discuss the Florida colony. Thayer’s proposed colony was a response to Southern slaveholders who wanted slaves to be removed from their states and to concerns expressed in northern states, as Paul Escott argues (2009: 57–8), that emancipation would lead to a flood of freed slaves moving north. It is in this context that Thayer proposed Lincoln should ‘send free laborers to Florida’. He describes his colony in the following agrarian terms: ‘Northern men going there to cultivate the lands would employ the negroes . . . and the negroes would go there from the Northern and Border States from choice, because they would there find labor remunerated and a more genial climate’.12 It is important to note that Frederick Douglass, who vociferously opposed the ACS and external colonial schemes, as well as Horace Greeley’s earlier segregated colonies within the 11 Texas was annexed to the United States in 1845 making it the 28th state, but seceded from the Union in 1861, only to rejoin in 1870, so although Texas was technically ‘outside’ of the United States at this point in time, it was seen as part of the republic geographically and politically in the long term. It is also true, however, that some of those recommending colonization in Texas thought the proximity to Mexico and its peripheral position in the United States was an asset. 12 Address of Hon Eli Thayer at Cooper Institute. New York Times, 8 February 1863, p. 9.


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north, supported Thayer’s plan to create a colony in Florida, believing ‘thousands of Northern blacks would participate’ (Escott, 2009: 58). Douglass concludes: ‘Let the freed slaves be sent into that state with implements to till the soil and arms to protect themselves’, concluding a ‘colony in Florida would rescue freed people caught between the “two fires” of white southern hostility and northern prejudice’ (Guyatt, 2014: 240). Thus, Douglass not only sees an ethical distinction between domestic and external colonies but also an economic difference, comparing the cost of Thayer’s plan ‘to the plans for overseas colonization—in which Congress would spend millions of dollars ‘deporting black laborers to a foreign country’—Thayer had discovered the ‘true solution of this difficulty’, which Douglass ultimately describes as a possible utopian colony or ‘Canaan’ (Guyatt, 2014: 240). Journalists also got on board with the idea of domestic colonization. Perhaps ‘the most influential proponent of internal colonization’ in the 1860s was Daniel Goodloe, Washington correspondent for the New York Times (Guyatt, 2014: 239). Through him, the New York Times ‘became a leading advocate of specific schemes for internal colonization in the South’ (Escott, 2009: 58), in particular, Florida and Texas in the 1860s. In an editorial published on 3 October 1862 in support of Thayer’s proposal, the editors of the New York Times sound very much like the home colonialists in Britain responding to Wakefield and external colonization supporters, as they ask: Why should not the freed Africans be colonized in Florida? . . . Why expatriate our labor and give it to Denmark, or Hayti [sic], to create in foreign countries and contribute to foreign wealth, the rich products that might be grown by that same labor on our own soil? Why send away an honest, humble people who love America as their native land, and have committed no crime to demand their forcible exile, if we can give them a home on our own soil . . . without at all displacing, jostling or interfering with our white population?13

Thus, in the United States, as in Britain, the debate around colonization in the middle of the nineteenth century involved a central question of whether it should be domestic or external. Most importantly, the question of whether it should be external or domestic mattered profoundly to most African-American leaders, as evidenced by Frederick Douglass’ strong views on the matter—the former is extermination, the latter is the promised land. On 11 January 1864, Senator Lane, ‘introduced a bill in Congress that sought to create a colony of four million blacks [in Texas] stretching from the Rio Grande to Colorado and westward to New Mexico.’ (Vinson, 2004: 146). In his speech to the US Senate on behalf of the bill, Senator Lane described its purpose as the voluntary relocation of ‘all people of African descent to Texas after the


New York Times, 3 October 1862, p. 4.

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Civil War ended’ and then went on to describe the agrarian nature of the colony and through that labour to acquire title to the land they cultivate. The nation should make a reasonable effort to secure for the millions of freed men proper homes in a habitable . . . country on our south western border . . . where, by acquiring an undisputed title to the soil, and an independent legal organization, they may enjoy the privileges of republican civilization and there concentrate their whole strength for mutual improvement. (Lane 1864: 7, emphasis added)

The liberal colonial undercurrents in Lane’s defence, including segregation, agrarian labour, and improvement are thus unmistakable. ‘A strong desire for a title to the soil is a marked characteristic of the people of our country; and it is reasonable that the man of color should partake of this feeling’ (7). Finally, on 25 June 1864, when Senator Wilkinson attached a clause to repeal any remaining colonization funds for Lincoln to the Sundry Civil Expenses Bill, Lane argued in the Senate for an ‘amendment with the view that the fund would be transferred into a newly proposed domestic colonization scheme in west Texas.’ (Magness and Page, 2011: 94). Lane’s plan was interesting enough to Lincoln that he even explored the proposal for a domestic colony in Texas for freed black slaves on his own time. Lucius Chittenden, Registrar for the Treasury in Lincoln’s administration, noted in his memoirs that in December 1862 ‘parties were ready to undertake the removal [of freed slaves] to Western Texas.’ (Chittenden, 1891: 336). Shortly after, in early 1863 (at the time Lincoln was exploring options with the British and Dutch governments), Chittenden recounts a visit from Lincoln to his office to ask him if he knew of any ‘energetic contractor . . . who would be willing to take a large contract, attended with some risk?’ Chittenden naturally asks about the nature of the contract and Lincoln replies: ‘There will be profit and reputation in the contract I propose . . . It is to remove the whole colored race of the slave states into Texas’ (337). Chittenden recommended John Bradley of Vermont and arranged a meeting between the two that lasted for two hours. Bradley reported to Chittenden after the meeting that the ‘proposition . . . is to remove the whole colored race into Texas, there to establish a republic of their own’. He also adds the president had not ‘made up his mind’ as to whether to go ahead (338). Chittenden goes on to say in his memoirs that the proposal was coming from Senator Pomeroy of Kansas but ‘the President had it under examination’. This idea of a colony in Texas has received little attention in the literature on Lincoln’s colonization schemes because there is only one extended account of Lincoln’s interest in it (Chittenden’s), it never came close to implementation, and it is unclear how serious Lincoln may have been. Chittenden himself thinks Lincoln was ultimately not very serious about an idea that he and Bradley both considered ridiculous. But seen in light of earlier plans by Rush in Pennsylvania and Jefferson in Ohio, the plans by Thayer and Lane in the US


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Senate, the hundreds of labour colonies created in Europe during this same period (as described in Chapter 3), and the fact Lincoln’s own Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation in September 1862 refers to colonies on ‘this continent’, the Texas plan no longer seems a singularly crazy idea but rather one example in a long history of proposals for domestic colonization. President Lincoln’s death in April of 1865 put an end to his plans for domestic colonization, and President Andrew Johnson, who followed him in office, returned to foreign colonization schemes in 1865 and 1866, earning a ‘sharp rebuke from Frederick Douglass’ for it (Guyatt, 255).

4.3.5. Colonization of Freed Slaves: Conclusions Ultimately, the idea of colonization for African Americans travelled from the original farm colonies in Pennsylvania of Benjamin Rush, to the proposals in Ohio by Jefferson, to the ACS’ colony in Liberia, Africa, to privately run colonies in Central America and the Caribbean, to proposed colonies under the auspices of foreign states in Surinam and Honduras, before finally returning home to the idea of a colony in Florida or Texas. As with various labour colonies in Europe, American colonies for freed slaves required a specific kind of ideology to justify them. Rather than paternalism (France’s colonies agricoles), nationalism (Germany’s internal colonization) or Protestant ‘benevolence’ (Holland and Britain), it was the ideologies of racism and republicanism that were combined with the three principles of domestic colonialism—segregation, agrarian labour, and improvement. Racism led white politicians to argue that African Americans (as opposed to white Americans) required colonies to become industrious—an idea that Douglass (in response to Abraham Lincoln’s plans for colonization) found patently ridiculous given slaves’ daily labour and agrarian skills: ‘[The slave] is used to [work], and is not afraid of it. His hands are already hardened by toil, and he has no dreams of ever getting a living by any other means than by hard work’ (Kearns-Goodwin, 2005: 407). Racism increased over time, as Rush and Jefferson’s original support for domestic colonies gave way to the ACS and foreign colonies, explicitly designed to separate the two races. Republicanism also played a role, most obviously in Lincoln’s schemes during the Civil War, as the unity of the republic was uppermost in his mind but dating back to Rush’s messianic republicanism of the 1780s. I concur with Magness and Page that Lincoln continued to pursue colonization schemes after the Final Emancipation Proclamation, but my analysis adds two important dimensions to this historical scholarship. First, by examining theses colonies in the comparative context of domestic colonies for many other people in Europe and North America, we can see that colonialism is an ideology directed not only at African Americans but many other groups and with had multiple goals. I disagree, therefore, with Magness and Page that the

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sole motivation behind African American colonization can be reduced to ‘the separation of the races’ (2011: 1). Without doubt, these colonies were the product of racism, and segregation was a key element to that end; but I have also shown that they were manifestations of a transnational colonial ideology rooted in agrarian labour. Thus the ACS’ colony in Liberia, the colony in Ile a Vache, proposed colonies in Texas and Florida, as well as external colonies in British Honduras and Dutch Guyana were all anchored in agrarian labour. The exceptions to the agrarian model were Panama (industrial labour) and Chiriqui (mining coal deposits). Moreover, while some colonies were entirely exploitative external colonies (such as Chiriqui and Ile a Vache) other proposed domestic colonies supported by African Americans themselves were dedicated to finding land for African Americans and helping their transition into freedom. As such, the ideology of colonialism and it emphasis on agrarian labour and improvement helps to explain the variety of proposed colonies, and that many involve more than simply segregation rooted in racism. The second important insight my analysis provides into the colonization of freed slaves is the degree to which domestic colonies within America itself were debated and discussed throughout the nineteenth century—a fact largely overlooked in the literature on colonization, particularly that of Abraham Lincoln, which by definition is assumed to be external to America. There are a couple of notable exceptions to this in the literature, including Guyatt’s recent in-depth analyses of various schemes for internal colonization in the second half of the nineteenth century (2013, 2014). I showed how not only Rush and Jefferson but Lincoln himself, from the preliminary Emancipation Declaration, where he explicitly refers to colonies within America, to his meeting with Thayer to discuss Florida colonies, to his own exploration of a colony for freed slaves in Texas, embraced colonies on American soil. This focus on the domestic nature of Lincoln’s support for colonization is critically important because, while most white leaders supported external colonization, most African-American leaders (like Douglass, Delany, Martin, and Holly, as discussed) opposed it (since they thought its sole purpose was the elimination of African Americans). W.E.B. Dubois summarizes this opposition in 1903, looking back to the emerging African America leaders of the mid nineteenth century, writing: ‘Schemes of migration and colonization arose among them, but these they refused to entertain, and they eventually turned to the Abolition movement.’ (1903: 12). What Dubois does not discuss, however, is Douglass and other African-American leaders’ support for domestic colonies because they seemed to promise not segregation or deportation, but a way for African-Americans slaves to transition into freedom and property title within America. As discussed earlier, Douglass endorsed colonies proposed in Florida by Eli Thayer and in the Dominican Republic by Ulysses Grant, and Delany, Martin, and Holly supported northern domestic colonies proposed by Horace Greeley.


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But while African-American leaders may have preferred domestic colonies to external colonies, the principle underpinning such colonies within America (including those created by African Americans themselves in the late nineteenth century, as will be discussed in Chapter 9) was often the prior dispossession and/or removal of indigenous peoples already living on the land. Senator Lane, defending his proposed colony in Texas, even compares the industrious African with the idle indigenous peoples in his defence of the former group’s right to land over the latter: We devote immense tracts of land and millions of dollars money to a few thousand savages, who are not producers in any sense . . . It is true they have a claim on us as the original owners; but have the negroes no claim? Have not they and their fathers toiled to build up our country and our country’s wealth without pay or award? (17)

Like Locke, Lane argues that the right to property lies in labour as much as prior occupation. Thus, these domestic proposals and the imperial annexation of the Dominican Republic in Grant’s proposal provide yet another lens through which to examine ‘colonies’ for freed slaves, namely, as manifestations of settler as well as domestic colonialism. If we return to Henry Louis Gates’ critically important question as to whether Lincoln’s support for colonization after emancipation undermines the generally accepted narrative of him as the ‘Great Emancipator’ who overcame his ‘antiblack racism’ at the end of 1862 before the Final Emancipation Proclamation was issued, two insights from my analysis (the broad comparative context of labour colonies in Europe and African-American support for domestic colonies) allow us to view Lincoln’s support for colonization in the history of nineteenthcentury American race relations in a new way. First and foremost, it needs to be acknowledged that Lincoln’s continued support for external colonization, notwithstanding that it was ‘voluntary’, both before (via his own private schemes) and after 1862 (via Panama and the British/Dutch colonies), involved the complete removal of African Americans from America. External colonization is in part a product of racism, as Douglass understood. This analysis like that of Page and Magness, challenges Lincoln understood as only the ‘Great Emancipator’ after 1862; he ought to be understood as the ‘Great Colonizer’ as well, since, throughout his presidency, he saw the two issues inextricably bound together, and pursued both simultaneously. At the same time, what is missing from Gates’s as well as Magness and Page’s analyses of Lincoln and colonization is his support for domestic colonies (that is, colonies within the United States). Recognizing this aspect of colonization in Lincoln’s policies changes the very meaning of colonization—instead of being a policy rooted almost entirely in racism and focused primarily on the separation of races (as external colonization was), it becomes a product of domestic

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colonialism and focused on ‘improvement’ of the lives of African Americans within America (which is why Douglass and other leading African-American thinkers could support domestic colonies but oppose overseas colonies). Lincoln was motivated (however misguided) by the principle that domestic colonies could improve the lives of freed slaves within America. Seen in a larger global context, this liberal colonial principle of improvement through agrarian labour was applied not only to African Americans, but also to various populations in Europe deemed to be idle. Indeed, the focus I have brought to domestic colonies is critical in relation to ‘race’ because while African-American leaders strongly opposed foreign colonies, they often defended domestic colonies. From their perspective, colonization itself was not the issue but the degree to which colonies served the interests of African Americans by allowing them, for example, to stay in the only land they knew as home, provide them with an opportunity to gain title to their own property through labour, earn a living, and become economically independent within a deeply racist country versus simply eliminating them from the continent altogether. Seeing colonization in domestic as well as external forms is important for understanding Lincoln’s legacy from an African-American perspective. It also helps us to answer Henry Louis Gates’s original question of the implications of Lincoln supporting colonization even after emancipation in a more nuanced way. Gates’s argument that such support would undermine entirely the notion of the ‘great emancipator’ is premised on the assumption that while emancipation is positive and progressive, ‘colonization’ must be, by definition, only racist, negative, and reactionary. I hope to have shown how, in Lincoln’s historical context, colonization, particularly domestic colonization can cut both ways—it is negative in the sense that colonization is something which targets African Americans alone, but it can also be seen as positive in the immediate aftermath of slavery since it provides African Americans with a path to freedom, for the reasons discussed above and hence in some forms was supported by Douglass and others. Indeed, as we shall discuss in Chapter 9, the next development in this idea of domestic colonization for African Americans in the United States after 1870 will be utopian colonies created by and for African Americans themselves, both in the South and the North in order to secure land and create a protected space within which they could be ‘free’ from the white supremacist society that surrounded them. Segregation within domestic colonies eventually became not a product of racism but a bulwark against it, as deployed by African Americans themselves. Seen in this longer historical as well as cross-comparative context, domestic colonization as supported by Lincoln has many different purposes and needs to be viewed through a more complex lens that include both positive and negative dimensions in America.


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4.4. DOMESTIC COLONIES FOR THE METIS/FIRST NATIONS PEOPLES IN CANADA From the late nineteenth to the middle of the twentieth century, the Canadian federal government, along with particular provincial governments, established agrarian labour colonies for the Metis and other indigenous people within the larger process of settler colonization (Barron, 1990; Bednasek, 2009). These were bounded, segregated colonies, created by the state as the next stage after residential schools for ensuring indigenous adults would, in the words of Locke, continue to give up their ‘ways, modes and notions’ and become ‘industrious’ workers and rational citizens rather than ‘idle’ and ‘custom bound’ ‘Indians’. These domestic colonies, in other words, existed within and were thus part of a settler colonial process of assimilation. As such they had profoundly negative implications for those living within them. The colonies analysed in this chapter include the Metis Rehabilitation Colony at Green Lake, the Colony at Lebret in Qu’Appelle Valley, the File Hills Farm Colony on the Peepeekisis Reserve,14 along with a number of smaller colonies at Crooked Lakes, Lestock, Crescent Lake, Blajennie, Willow Bunch, Duck Lake, and Glen Mary, among others (Barron, 1990: 252; Bednasek, 2009). While these colonies were, of course, products of external and settler colonialism, what makes them domestic colonies in my view is twofold. First, Metis and other indigenous peoples at the beginning of the twentieth century were living within the borders of Canada (even if they did not and many still do not recognize them as such) and hence were viewed as citizens by a state who seeks to create colonies within which to ‘improve’ them. Secondly, and more importantly, like other kinds of domestic colonies described above, they are examples of bounded colonies (in this case within a larger settler colonial process) designed to segregate and then improve Metis and indigenous peoples through agrarian labour. In other words, these colonies both contribute to the ongoing process of settler colonization and represent a unique kind of bounded domestic colonial formation within this broader process. If settler colonialism is focused on the expansive process of removal and dispossession, domestic colonies are a tool in the settler colonial process of assimilation (along with residential schools) that warrant specific attention in light of the ideology of colonialism. However, while I am drawing parallels here between these domestic colonies for indigenous peoples and the labour colonies of Europe and America 14 The File Hills Colony provided a model to other jurisdictions including the North West Territories. David Laird of the Indian Commission for the NWT wrote in his 1902 Annual Report: ‘Too many ex-pupils have gone back to the ways of the old teepee life. Convinced that it is desirable to separate the most promising graduates of the schools from the down-pull of the daily contact with the depressing influence of those whose habits still largely pertain to savage life, the department has authorized an experiment to be made of the colony system.’ (Bednasek, 2009: 74).

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because the populations targeted are all deemed to be ‘backward’ and/or idle/ custom bound; it is critically important to acknowledge, from the outset, the profound difference between colonies for indigenous and Metis peoples versus colonies for other groups. In the former case, domestic colonies like residential schools were engaged in assimilation and genocide, whereas colonies for the idle poor or irrational in Europe, even domestic colonies for freed slaves in America, were not (external colonies for freed slaves could be described as genocidal—or, as Douglass call them, a process of ‘exterminating’ the African American). Thus, while labour colonies in Europe created on ‘empty’ land sought to break the habits and ‘improve’ groups of people with the goal of making them ‘industrious’ and ‘rational’, none of them required dispossession of an already existing people on that land, nor did they seek to break those groups’ very ways of being (that is their attachment to language, history, customs, and of course, above all, territory) in order to assimilate them into ‘civil society’. Put simply, domestic colonies for the idle poor in Europe were different in kind and not simply degree. And thus while they certainly engaged in segregation, discipline, and ‘improvement’ (and of course various kinds of abuses under these names), no non-indigenous person in a domestic colony, not even African Americans, were required to give up their language, culture, or ways of life in order to realize the goal of ‘improvement’. Indeed, this difference, the profoundly internalized, genocidal dimension of colonialism, as analysed by Glen Coulthard, Taiaiake Alfred, and other indigenous scholars and activists through which the state sought to ‘kill the Indian’ within the child is important to keep in mind. Despite this profound difference I include domestic colonies for indigenous and Metis peoples in this analysis because they were such an important form of racialized domestic colonialism in the Americas and, in many ways, their existence followed the same logic as other colonies with the same principles of segregation, agrarian labour, and improvement. With all of this in mind, let us turn to examine how the ideology of colonialism combined with racism and genocidal policies was manifested in domestic colonies undertaken by both federal and provincial governments in Canada nested within a broader process of settler colonialism.

4.4.1. Early Twentieth-Century Canada: Laying the Groundwork for Colonies At the end of the nineteenth century, the federal government adopted a ‘series of policies designed to encourage Indians, especially those of the western interior, to adopt agriculture’ (Miller, 2000: 269). Beginning in the 1880s, the Department of Indian Affairs (DIA) sent ‘farm instructors to the prairie


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west’ in order to teach indigenous people ‘how to farm’. (Bednasek, 2009: 64–5) As Sarah Carter15 has argued, under the leadership of Hayter Reed, DIA’s deputy superintendent general, an aggressive policy of ‘peasant farming’, ‘private property’, and ‘individualism’ on reserves was introduced. ‘The peasant farming policy emerged during an era when the stated priorities of the DIA were to dismantle what they called the “tribal” or “communist” system and to promote “individualism” . . . one way to undermine the tribal system was to subdivide reserves into separate farms’ (Carter, 1989: 30). Reed himself states at the time: ‘The policy of destroying the tribal or communist system is assailed in every way possible, and every effort made to implant a spirit of individual responsibility instead’ (Carter, 1989: 30). Along with this push towards ‘individualism’ and ‘private property’, there was an emphasis on peasant farming, meaning small acreages using hand implements only—without new technology. The idea of eliminating any kind of labour-saving tools such as binders or machinery which could harvest crops quickly was based on ‘an evolutionary argument’ on the part of the Canadian state in which ‘primitive’ peoples were seen as needing to move through progressive stages in order to ‘improve’ gradually rather than leaping ahead via technology. Reed adamantly refused, therefore, to allow labour-saving tools, machines, and technologies on reserve and required all labour to be done by hand. As Carter concludes, it is not surprising that indigenous peoples ‘made very little progress in reserve farming during the 1890s’ not because they rejected agriculture as they were accused of doing, nor because they ‘lacked industry’ as the government claimed, but because the Canadian state itself had restricted and undermined production on reserves through their own paternalistic colonial policies and racist development ideology (Carter, 1989: 52).

4.4.2. Domestic Colonies for Indigenous Peoples It is against this background (indigenous people on reserve being viewed as ‘failing’ to become industrious while being prevented from using the tools required for the job) that colonies for adults were introduced. In his 1900 Annual Report, Indian Commissioner David Laird argued the key concern for the Canadian state with respect to indigenous peoples was the need to prevent them from returning to their customary ways on ‘reserves’ after attending residential schools. The problem as Laird saw it, as it had been for Locke more than two centuries earlier, was indigenous peoples continued to cling to traditional ‘ways, modes and customs’ rather than adopting ‘improved’ Sarah Carter, ‘Two Acres and a Cow: “Peasant” Farming for the Indians of the Northwest, 1889–97,’ Canadian Historical Review, 1989: 30. 15

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Euro-American ways of doing things. ‘Too many Indians are idle and shiftless and have fallen back into the old habits of their parents and other relatives on the reserves. How best to guard the ex-pupils [of residential schools] from lapsing into the barbarous ways of the band’ is the problem.16 Laird argues for domestic colonies which could monitor the transition from school back to reserve with a specific focus on preventing indigenous peoples from ‘lapsing’ back into their own ways and ensuring industriousness via the colony’s emphasis on agrarian labour and improvement. In 1901, William Morris Graham, then an Indian agent in Saskatchewan and later the Indian Commissioner for the Prairie provinces (and as discussed earlier, the key federal agent in the 85,000 ‘surrendered’ acres of indigenous land for soldiers returning from the First World War) took up Laird’s challenge and proposed the first domestic colony, the File Hills Farm Colony in south eastern Saskatchewan, along exactly the lines described by Laird. As Carter notes, ‘Graham was the man . . . who implemented, carefully supervised and tirelessly promoted the File Hills Colony.’ (Carter, 1999: 11). Drew Bednasek analyses the File Hills colony using indigenous oral histories and interviews, because as he points out, previous histories by John Milloy (1999), J.R. Miller (1996), and Jacqueline Gresko (1975) relied on state sources and tended to ‘frame the colony as an isolated colonial scheme within Canadian history’ (3–4). Instead, he argues, based on his research, that File Hills Colony was not an isolated case as is thought but part of a much broader agenda with a very specific goal: ‘the primary objective of the [File Hills] colony [was] to prevent “regression” to Aboriginal cultures and ways of life after residential schooling. Graham . . . selected graduates from various schools to settle . . . as colonists and live in Euro-american style houses, cultivate crops, go to church, and live a “civilized” life, well away from reserve influences.’ (Bednasek, 2009: 1). Domestic colonies thus continued the ‘education’ and ‘training’ for adults first begun in the residential school system, to further the process of breaking them ‘free’ from their traditions, customs and land. Bednasek concludes the agenda behind such colonies was ‘betterment’ sciences/eugenics (2). While I agree that such colonies were products of a broad ideological project rather than one-off experiments, it was not eugenics, as Bednasek argues, which provided the main justification for such colonies but domestic colonialism’s emphasis on agrarian labour, improvement, and segregation within settler colonialism. While eugenics explains the principle of segregation and ‘betterment sciences’ explains improvement, only domestic colonialism explains the centrality of agrarian labour to the transformation of both the ‘empty’ land and those deemed to be ‘idle’. Colonialism, dating back to Locke,


Dominion of Canada, Annual Report of the Department of Indian Affairs, 1900, 288.


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sought to not only segregate indigenous peoples or view them as irredeemably inferior (as imperialists might argue) or simply prevent them from reproducing (as eugenicists might argue). The key for colonialists of segregation was to break indigenous people internally, ‘free’ them from their ‘ways, modes and notions’ in order to improve themselves and the land. Within such an ideology, as discussed, is an insidious and internalized power that carries with it a genocidal impulse through which the state can justify destroying all attachments within their own bodies and minds to culture, language territory, and history.

4.4.3. Metis Colonies on the Canadian Prairies Across the Prairies of Canada, the Church, in particular the Catholic Church, and various provincial governments created ‘Metis colonies’ beginning in the 1870s through to the middle of the twentieth century. Laurie Barron argues that such colonies, like those for other indigenous peoples described above, were proposed by Catholic priests to transform the Metis into agriculturalists/ ‘civilized’ people. Historically, the idea of a Metis colony or reserve was closely associated with Catholic missions in the West. During negotiations ending the Riel Resistance in Manitoba, Father Ritchot had broached the idea to [Canada’s first] Prime Minister Macdonald. Likewise in 1870, Bishop Tache of St. Boniface once more raised the issue this time with the Minister of the Interior as a solution to the destitution of Metis throughout the West. But the most determined advocate of Metis reserves was the Reverend Albert Lacombe, one of the first Oblates to be sent to the Territories . . . In 1895, he drew up a comprehensive plan, which was forwarded to the federal government. The scheme called for a reserve on which the landless destitute Metis of the West would be relocated, and it included provision for . . . an agrarian sedentary existence. (Barron, 1990: 265)

The Ministry of the Interior agreed and the Saint-Paul-des-Metis colony, under the authority of the Catholic Church supported by the state, was created in Northern Alberta. It collapsed by 1909, but as George Stanley argues (1978), the notion of Metis colonies using agrarian labour as the path to ‘civilization’ and prosperity continued in Alberta and Saskatchewan into the twentieth century. Metis Colonies in Alberta In 1934, the Alberta government appointed the ‘Half-Breed Commission’, also known as the Ewing Commission, chaired by Justice Albert Ewing to look into the welfare of the Metis people of Alberta. It was the result of the ‘Metis Association of Alberta’s vigorous lobbying focused on the financial and social

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state of the Metis people.’ The commission held hearings and ultimately recommended a ‘comprehensive scheme’ that would offer ‘an ultimate solution’ (Government of Alberta, 1936: 8). The commissioners rejected the idea that ‘half-breeds’ should be accorded ‘the status of the Indian’. Instead, they conclude that ‘the only hope of making a half-breed a self-supporting citizen is through agriculture and in particular stock raising’. In order to help the Metis make the transition from farming and hunting to agrarian labour, the commissioners recommend farm colonies. After considering all the representations made and giving their best thought to the problem, your Commissioners are of the opinion that some form of farm colonies is the most effective, and ultimately the cheapest method of dealing with the problem . . . over a long period of time the tendency will be to make the half-breed more and more dependent on farming . . . this is the aim and purpose of the plan. (9–10)

The colonies were to be divided into individually allotted pieces of property but title would remain with the Crown and ‘the final control of these colonies must continue to rest with the Department . . . the management will be carried out under such superintendents or instructors as may be necessary’ (12). The schools built in these colonies were to teach agrarian labour for boys and domestic labour for girls. ‘The boys should be taught stock raising and farming, while the girls should be taught the elements of sanitation, cleanliness, sewing and knitting’ (14). It is worth noting that the Commission also argued that since the Metis were the original inhabitants of the land, they ‘should be given preference over non-residents in respect of fur, game and fish’ (12). And they also suggested governing councils of these colonies should include Metis members, but only in an advisory role. Some Metis communities embraced the recommendations because, as Poelzer argues, ‘government assimilationist goals and Metis aspirations for a land base coincided’ in these colonies (1997: 204). Perhaps in a way similar to African American leaders in the Reconstruction Era, the desire for land within a deeply racialized system and the promise of a segregated reserve from which white people would be excluded led Metis leaders to support the idea of colonies within Alberta. The settler colonialist/assimilationist dimensions of the Ewing Commission Report, however, are clearly articulated in the central principle of the Commissioners themselves: ‘The logic of the situation would seem to be that he [the Metis] must either change his mode of life to conform with that of the white inhabitants or he must gradually disappear’ (Government of Alberta, 1936: 5). Thomas Pocklington argues that at the heart of this key principle is agrarian labour: ‘In concrete terms, the commissioners took this to mean that the Metis must become farmers and stock raisers or vanish. The alternatives were stark: either assimilate or disintegrate’ (1991: 18). Thus, the commissioners believed ‘segregation was a necessary step toward assimilation’ (18),


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but the Metis saw segregation as probably a way of resisting assimilation, particularly if they were able to be members of the governing council. Like other colonialists from Locke to van den Bosch to Tocqueville and Booth, the Commission argued that it was important to separate the ‘idle’ from their customs and bad habits, or, in the words of the Commissioners, their ‘traditions’, including travelling and trading, and encourage them to become sedentary farmers. At the same time, like the ACS in the United States, the Commissioners used racist thinking, seeing ‘the Metis as inevitable losers in competition with whites and therefore proximity to white farmers would be discouraging and not conducive to assimilation’ (Ibid.: 18). The recommendations were implemented in the 1938 Metis Population Betterment Act and twelve colonies were established in Alberta. Constitutions were established and emphasis was placed, at least initially, on the idea that ‘making and altering constitutions should come from the settlements, with the government either endorsing or rejecting such initiatives’ (31). But in 1952, the Alberta Legislative Assembly amended the ‘Metis Betterment Act’ to essentially allow the ‘government to administer the settlements as they saw fit’ (30). In other words, whatever degree of self-governance had been allowed in the original settlements and constitutions was supplanted by paternalism, assimilation, and settler colonialism. Metis Colonies in Saskatchewan: Tommy Douglas In Saskatchewan, Tommy Douglas, the socialist premier between 1944 and 1961, an iconic and celebrated figure in Canadian history (voted ‘the greatest Canadian’ in 2004 in a nationally televised Canadian Broadcasting Corporation contest),17 was a strong defender of domestic colonization for the Metis. He was also, as shall be discussed in Chapter 5, a proponent of colonies for mentally disabled people. His government created colonies for Metis people18 in the 1940s in order ‘to teach the Métis farming techniques, as well as to produce livestock and animal feed for the settlement.’ (Barron, 1990: 249). As with the colonialism first articulated by Locke in which American Indians were to give up their ways, modes, and notions and became ‘industrious and rational’ through education and agrarian labour, Douglas sought the same things and for the same reasons for the Metis in Saskatchewan, seeing it as a ‘social democratic’ social policy.

17 It is worth noting, as Barron (1990) does, that the term ‘colonies’ was not used in correspondence and reports about Métis ‘rehabilitation’ in Saskatchewan; officials preferred to call such settlements projects. Nevertheless, they are called colonies by Barron and included in my analysis since they were identical in purpose, substance, and form to the Metis colonies in Alberta. 18

Labour Colonies in North America


F. Laurie Barron argues very little attention has been paid to this aspect of Douglas’s policies. ‘Among the most important but least known Native policy initiatives of the Douglas government was the establishment of Métis colonies or settlements. These colonies were set up in a number of rural municipalities in the southern portion of the province and were seen by the government as an important step in addressing the so-called “Métis problem”.’ (1990: 244). Much like the Ewing Commission in Alberta a decade earlier and the domestic colonies proposed for freed African-American slaves in the United States the previous century, Douglas’s project was rooted in a similar agrarian-based, racist but also ‘liberal’ colonial ideology. The first Metis colonies were proposed at the end of the Great Depression by Liberal Premier Patterson who was concerned that ‘idle paupers’ had moved from their rural homes to the city streets of Regina and Saskatoon. The Patterson government established the first ‘Metis rehabilitation colony’ at Green Lake with the idea that ‘Natives could be grouped into a settlement and through a process of social engineering molded into productive members of society’.19 Three years later, when the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation, with Douglas as their leader, came into power (1944), Douglas immediately endorsed the northern Green Lake colony and used it as a model to develop other colonies in the south of Saskatchewan. As Barron and Seymour Lipset (1950) have argued, by the time the CCF was elected in Saskatchewan in 1944, it had lost its ‘socialist trappings’ and instead embraced a social democratic set of beliefs, coupled with an interventionist Protestant Christianity (including Douglas himself, who was a proponent of the Social Gospel) (Barron, 1990: 251; Lipset, 1950: 187–8). While Barron argues it was a populist ideology that allowed Douglas to justify colonies as forms of ‘local community development’, I would argue it was a combination of the ideology of domestic colonialism, with an activist Protestant Christianity similar to Booth of the Salvation Army and a social democratic ideology similar to the Webbs and Beveridge who believed in the capacity of the state to engineer results that led Douglas to support farm labour colonies for the Metis. A Metis colony was established in 1945 by the CCF near Lebret, and in 1946 Tommy Douglas called a conference of the Metis together, asking them to organize themselves into a provincial organization and to ‘work out a long term policy for the rehabilitation . . . of the Metis people’. He insists he wants to know what the Metis want. Overall the government seeks to ‘help them to help themselves’, but then goes on to mention the Lebret colony, adding ‘that may be the solution to be tried in other places’ (104). Education and training was key: ‘You can’t take men and turn them out in a bush with a team and a hoe and mower and expect them to make a living . . . you need training . . . you need 19

SAB, Department of Education, Ed Addendum, File 49, Métis Schools, Commissioner G.J. Matte to the Hon. Ivan Schultz, 19 June 1941.


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some assistance’ (104). Douglas built farm labour colonies at ‘Crooked Lakes, Lestock, Crescent Lake, Bljennie, Willow Bunch, Duck Lake and Glen Mary’, all under the control of the Department of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation (Barron, 1990: 252).20 In keeping with a social democratic philosophy, some of these colonies attempted to organize farm production cooperatives. Like so many of the other experiments in domestic colonization, however, while trumpeted as a great success by the CCF government, by the early fifties, they were beset by administrative and structural problems resulting from the resistance of the Metis people themselves to paternalism and assimilation. And by the mid-fifties, ‘the CCF administration had largely abandoned colonies as a solution to the Metis problem’ (255). Barron argues that there were many problems with the colonies, beginning most fundamentally with ‘the fact that the CCF has misinterpreted what Metis people wanted. It was simply assumed that an agrarian existence was the most appropriate means to self-sufficiency. Even as late as 1954, the Premier was still insisting that “Only in this way [farming] can they ever hope to make a decent living and to become part of our society.”’21 Douglas’s beliefs are consistent with decades of practice under the banner of domestic colonialism.

4.5. CONCLUSION Ultimately, while European states and organizations created labour colonies for a variety of populations deemed to be idle; in North America, both a laissez-faire liberal lens and a conservative punitive lens led to the rejection of labour colonies for the general population of idle poor as found in Europe. Domestic colonies for the ‘idle’ poor were limited to crisis points in history and directed largely at racialized and disabled minorities. In both cases, settler and domestic colonialism were often woven together with racism and various other ideologies from social democracy to republicanism to create not only the targets of colonization but also the appropriate locations and colonies to be created. At the centre of this history of labour colonies in North America for racialized groups (Metis/indigenous and African Americans) are two iconic and heroic figures of each country: Abraham Lincoln and Tommy Douglas.


Quotations by Douglas are taken from Proceedings of the Conference of the Metis of Saskatchewan, Regina, 18 July 1946. Native Studies Review 10:1 (1995): docs/Native_studies_review/v10/issue1/pp89-106.pdf 21 SAB, T.C. Douglas Papers, Files of the Premier, ‘Métis,’ R-33.1 XL.859 c(44), Douglas to Alex Bishop, 4 May 1954, cited in Barron, p. 255.

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Both saw themselves as visionaries and progressives who, consistent with the principles of the ideology of colonialism, sought to ‘improve’ freed slaves and Metis peoples, respectively, by segregating them from society and engaging them in agrarian labour. But Lincoln and Douglas were also influenced by important ideologies besides colonialism. Lincoln, shaped by republican concerns over the future of the union and racist beliefs that whites and blacks could never live together as equals, sought in large part to move AfricanAmerican freed slaves to overseas colonies, but his colonialism was also shaped by classical liberal views, so he sought to create colonies under the auspices of a civil society organization like the ACS or private speculators. Only very late in his presidency did he finally look to government (including foreign governments) but also the US military in Panama to oversee colonization. Throughout his presidency he also explored the possibility of domestic colonies in Texas and Florida. Tommy Douglas, on the other hand, whose ideas were shaped by a Protestant Christian social gospel and social democracy as well as colonialism, created colonies within Saskatchewan overseen by the state who alone could engage in these kinds of projects for the good of the whole. In other words, while Lincoln’s colonies were primarily non-state segregationist colonies situated overseas but requiring voluntary consent, Douglas’s colonies were primarily state assimilationist, collectivist projects at ‘home’. Both were justified by the same domestic colonialism and hence advanced the principles of segregation, agrarian labour, and improvement. Despite the long-term promises made for them, the colonies were nothing close to what either Lincoln or Douglas envisioned for them. Instead, while some colonies never materialized, those that did get off the ground often failed very quickly—a story similar to so many other domestic colonization schemes discussed in this book: the highest of hopes followed by a very rapid downfall, suggesting the model itself was deeply flawed and the people who were to be colonized engaged in active resistance against them. Drew Bednasek, using Ann Stoler’s and Michel Foucault’s theories to underscore and amplify his own conclusions, speaks to the rapid and spectacular failure of indigenous/Metis colonies of Canada, but his comments could just as easily apply to Lincoln’s proposals in the United States: ‘The colonial archive is filled with proposals, non-implemented plans, brief experiments and unsuccessful projects. [Stoler] argues that these colonial schemes were not examples of achievement, but “blueprints of distress”.’ Despite the fact these colonies were short-lived (the Metis colonies in Saskatchewan and Lincoln’s colonies in the Caribbean and Central America) or never came to fruition (Rush, Jefferson, and Lincoln’s colonies in Texas, Panama, British Honduras, and Dutch Guyana), Stoler (2011a) and Bednasek argue (citing Foucault’s ‘panopticon’ as the classical example) that the proposals themselves, however short-lived, are worthy of study because their existence reveal a settler


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and domestic ‘colonial imagination’ in each country. The fact that these colonies failed quickly or never got off the ground should also push us away from seeing colonialism as ‘impenetrable and totalizing’. Indeed, such failures may be better described as victories from the perspective of the colonized, since it was often the result of their resistance (Bednasek, 2009: 18).

5 Farm Colonies for the Mentally Ill and Disabled in Europe and America If labour colonies, as discussed in the previous two chapters, were directed at the problem of ‘idleness’ within industrialized society, farm colonies sought to address the ‘problem’ of ‘irrationality’, including mental illness (referred to at the time as lunacy, madness) and mental disability (referred to as idiocy, feeble-mindedness, imbecility, and mental deficiency). Farm colonies were created throughout Europe and its settler colonies in Asia, South America, and North America from the late nineteenth to mid-twentieth century. Once again, colonialism as manifested in farm colonies for the mentally ill and disabled was focused on a domestic rather than foreign policy concern with farm colonies designed to solve a social ‘problem’ created by individuals who lack reason and therefore are unable to govern themselves. If idleness is the opposite of industriousness in the modern liberal theory of citizenship, irrationality was likewise the opposite of rationality. The link between reason and labour with freedom and political power in modern political thought goes back to John Locke, who famously defended the ‘industrious and rational’ as the bedrock of his labour theory of property and citizenship. Labour and reason were thus the key requisites, according to both God and natural law, for modern citizenship. Farm colonies like labour colonies sought to transform the irrational into the rational, to the extent this was possible, or to govern the irrational in perpetuity (separate from civil society and citizens) as Locke also argued in the Two Treatises, but under the authority of the state or a civil society organization rather than their parents. Thus, farm colonies were characterized by the same principles of colonialism, namely: segregation, agrarian labour, and improvement, justified through both their ethical benefits (improving and providing therapy to the irrational) and economic benefits (offsetting costs of maintaining such populations to the state and producing to the extent it was possible, citizens). These colonies differed from labour colonies in that segregation served both colonialist (improvement) ends and eugenicist (repress reproduction) ends, as shall be discussed shortly.


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While farm colonies for the mentally ill and disabled have received some attention in the historical literature, it is relatively small, and the focus tends to be on either the mentally ill or disabled with little comparison to each other or to labour colonies for the idle poor. This lack of comparative study between different groups of ‘irrational’ individuals or to other kinds of colonies is the result of a literature divided into three kinds of scholarship: first, Foucauldians interested in the history of madness who focus almost exclusively on farm colonies for the mentally ill; social historians interested in eugenics who study colonies for the mentally disabled as one mechanism used to repress reproduction; and scholars interested in labour history who analyse colonies for the idle poor in terms of economics and class relations.1 Thus, there are three separate literatures organized on the basis of the targets of domestic colonization: the mentally ill, the disabled, and the idle poor rather than through the lens of the institution championed for their benefit. My analysis thus brings them together as examples of colonies through the lens or shared frame of colonialism. In addition to a lack of comparative analysis across different kinds of colonies, there is also little comparison between countries, with most studies focused on farm colonies in a single nation.2 By using a colonial lens across a variety of countries to study how colonialism travelled across borders and to different groups, I depart from the Foucault’s ‘history of madness’ of confinement in France, the farm colony of Britain or America as a manifestation of eugenics in each country or the single country histories of labour colonies in Holland, France, or Britain. Using both kinds of comparisons (different populations and different countries), I can draw the ideological links between various kinds of domestic colonies in theory and practice. What will become clear in the next two chapters, is that the colonial turn inward in the second half of the nineteenth century in Europe was as much focused on irrationality as idleness. Like labour colonies, farm colonies were justified by weaving colonialism with various other ideologies to produce particular colonies in different countries. In this chapter I examine the empirical reality of domestic colonies for the ‘irrational’ in Europe and the United States of America in the nineteenth and

1 There are a few notable exceptions, like David Wright’s ‘The Discharge of Pauper Lunatics from County Asylums in mid-Victorian England’ (1999) and Claire Edington’s thesis (2013) which includes a chapter (5) ‘Labor as therapy: agricultural colonies and the psychiatric reeducation of the insane’. 2 For exceptions, see Stoler and Edington (although even here the analysis is focused on Dutch colonies at home and abroad and/or French colonies) without tying these into similar processes happening simultaneously in North America, Britain, and various other countries. In other words, the analysis I am providing here complements these in-depth country/imperial studies with a broader conceptual and comparative analysis of domestic colonization across Europe and their settler societies.

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twentieth centuries, along with the ideological justifications advanced for them by the leading domestic colonialists. In Chapter 6, I examine farm colonies and their justifications in Britain and Canada at the beginning of the twentieth century. In Chapter 7, I step back from these historical accounts of domestic colonies to examine my thesis in relation to contemporary scholarship; specifically, whether domestic colonialism provides a better explanatory framework than the two dominant explanations in the scholarly literature—eugenics and disciplinary power—to explain colonies for the mentally disabled and ill, respectively. Ultimately, in the next two chapters, I hope to show the full historical scope of domestic colonization through the ubiquity of the farm colony model in various countries to treat ‘irrational’ citizens and the widespread articulation of domestic colonialism by medical doctors, superintendents, leading political figures, and presidents, prime ministers and premiers to justify their existence. In Chapter 7, this comparative historical analysis allows me to show that neither eugenics nor Foucauldian disciplinary power fully explains the peculiarly colonial dimension of this history (including the blending of disability and illness into one category of ‘irrationality’, the centrality of agrarian labour to all of the colonies, and the economic and ethical arguments advanced in their defence against either asylums or sterilization).

5.1. MODERN POLITICAL THEORY: THE RATIONAL CITIZEN AND THE ‘ IRRATIONAL’ OTHER To begin, it is worth reviewing why ‘irrationality’ was such a key concern for liberal democratic theory and practice, from its origins in John Locke’s social contract, because this central concern of modern liberal-democratic theory is linked from its inception to the defence of colonialism. Reason was necessary to exercise political power in Locke’s theory because he argued that consent was the basis of political authority in explicit opposition to Sir Robert Filmer, whose popular theory postulated that divine patriarchal authority was the basis of the king’s power. For Filmer, Englishmen need not be rational beyond the capacity to simply obey, because no rational consent was needed as subjects of an absolute patriarchal king. But Locke’s social contract based on the reasoned consent of ‘freemen’ with natural rights required reason not only to consent to the original contract but, in an ongoing way, to ‘know the law’ under which one was governed. Thus for Locke, to be a ‘free man’ who exercises political power is to have the capacity not only to labour (as discussed earlier in order to own property) but to reason. This is exactly why the ‘industrious and rational’ are at the heart of the birth of modern political theory.


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But Locke is faced with an immediate practical problem in a theory of citizenship rooted in reason. While he is clear that most children will gain rationality over time if educated properly, in the case of adults who remain ‘irrational’—the mentally disabled and ill—he needs to explain how they are to be governed. His answer is clear: ‘ideots’ and ‘lunaticks’ are never ‘freeman’, nor do they have rights or exercise political power in the public sphere. Instead, they are governed within the private sphere under the permanent domestic authority of their parents. If through defects that may happen out of the ordinary course of Nature, anyone comes not to such a degree of Reason, wherein he might be supposed incapable to know the Law . . . he is never capable of being a Free Man, he is never let loose to the disposure of his own Will . . . And so Lunaticks and Ideots are never set free from the Government of their Parents. (1988, II: 60)

Thus, for Locke, the irrational (lunatics and idiots) are separated from civil society and governed within the domestic realm of their parents. This is consistent with the prevailing ideas of seventeenth-century England, as Peter Rushton notes, as the mentally ill and disabled were viewed as a ‘familial responsibility’ and ‘official compassion hardly ever extended to replacing the family as the primary source of care’ (Rushton, 1996: 59–60; Andrews, 1996: 74). This division between rational citizens in the public world and unfree lunatics and idiots in the private sphere dates back to the Ancient world, since the word idiote means ‘private person’ (Sparkes, 1988: 101). To be a citizen in the Western world, particularly in its modern incarnation, therefore, is to be rational. As discussed in Chapter 2, Locke also argues that ‘custom bound’ indigenous peoples by virtue of their ‘ways, modes and notions’ were less rational than the more improved and educated Englishman. Unlike idiots and lunatics, however, Locke argues, using the chief Apochancan as his case study, indigenous peoples were not born with less capacity for reason but rather need to be transformed and improved from their custom-bound ways. Thus, they could become citizens, if they gave up their customs and were educated into the European ways of being and thinking. American Indians, therefore, did not lack reason by virtue of biology or race but culture. The solution was to remove them from their ‘own country’ and customary ways in order to be educated (ideally) in England (Locke, 1988).3 3 Jeremy Waldron has criticized James Tully on this idea that Locke was a colonialist, suggesting instead that Locke was ‘hostile . . . to colonial imposition’. Quoting from the Essay on Toleration, which suggests Locke does not believe Christians should impose their religious views on a ‘pagan country’, Waldron argues that Locke was hardly the ‘epitome of colonial insensitivity’ (2002: 167). Waldron’s point is important with respect to religious toleration given the degree of intolerance at the time Locke is writing; but while Locke was opposed to religious intolerance, his belief in ‘reason’ and the more improved Englishman in opposition to the ‘customs’ of indigenous peoples is in some ways more insidious, as it requires that the former transcend the latter culturally if the Indians are to progress or improve. In other words, Locke is

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As such, if the claim of idleness justified the dispossession of land (rooted in the English settler’s agrarian labour on empty land), the claim of irrationality, understood as bounded by customary ways, justified assimilation of indigenous people (and their ‘improvement’ via segregation and ‘education’). As such, modern liberal colonialism wedded from its inception to the universal principle of progress or improvement led inexorably to the principle that ‘backward’ peoples (idle/irrational) would be transformed into the industrious and rational and thus the state of nature would give way to civil society. While this kind of colonialism in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was directed largely at colonized indigenous peoples, by the nineteenth century, it was turned inward and used to ‘govern’ the irrational of Europe. The first important shift to this end occurred at the beginning of the nineteenth century when leading thinkers and politicians argued ‘lunatics’ and ‘idiots’ should not remain in the family home as Locke and others had argued in the previous two centuries, but ought to be placed in public institutions (asylum, sanatorium, hospital, and/or special school). As Lucas Pinheiro concludes in his history of modern thought with respect to disability: ‘In contrast to the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the nineteenth century marks a well-documented “institutional turn” in the history of intellectual disability, both in Europe and the United States.’ (2014: 8). The same is true of mental illness, as ‘lunatics’ were increasingly taken from their homes and confined to asylums. Within this broad shift toward institutional care, at the end of the nineteenth century came the increasing popularity of the ‘colony model’, that is, farm colonies for the mentally ill and disabled defended in opposition to hospitals, homes, asylums, or sanatoriums. Domestic colonialists advanced the case that the mentally ill and disabled were better off housed in villas in the countryside rather than large institutional buildings in the city and engaged in agrarian labour outdoors rather than constrained and left idle indoors. Superintendents of colonies categorized people in accordance with their level of ‘rationality’ with the ‘highest functioning’ idiots (as opposed to morons or imbeciles), transformed into productive members of society while also creating revenues for the colony via the sale of produce. Thus, as the domestic colonial notion of improvement via segregation and agrarian labour develops into its fully fledged form at the end of the nineteenth century, the mentally ill and disabled of Europe were subject to the same ideology of colonialism as indigenous peoples were (minus, as discussed earlier in relation to labour colonies, the genocidal implications of the latter). In this chapter, I begin with domestic colonization for the mentally ill and not making a colonial argument in the name of Christianity but in the name of ‘reason’, as is necessary to be a ‘freeman’ in his political theory—this is what makes him a liberal rather than missionary colonialist.


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disabled in Europe in the nineteenth century, before showing how, by the turn of the twentieth century in America, domestic colonies become the most common way for states to treat mental illness and disability.

5.2. INTRODUCTION TO F ARM COLONIES While there is a large literature on the history of the institutionalization or ‘confinement’ of the mentally ill and disabled in Europe and European settler states in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, much of it growing out of Foucault’s analysis of moral treatment and disciplinary power, very little attention has been paid to the emergence of the farm colony as a specific kind of confinement. As we shall see, the ‘colony solution’ was an extremely popular solution around the turn of the twentieth century in Europe and its various external and settler colonies. Domestic colonialism comes to mean a variety of things to advocates who emphasize different aspects of the colony model for their own purposes and in combination with other ideological imperatives, but at its heart we find (in different degrees) the colonial principles of improvement, segregation, and agrarian labour.

5.2.1. Early Horticultural Therapy in Germany and America The first European thinker to champion agrarian labour as beneficial to the mentally ill and disabled was Johan Christian Reil of Prussia, who as early as 1800 argued: ‘the appropriate asylum must have agriculture, cattle-breeding and horticulture’ elements (Neuberger et al., 2006: 194). Around the same time in the United States, Benjamin Rush, the first proponent for farm colonies for African American freed slaves, as discussed in the previous chapter, argued the best treatment for the insane was horticultural labour for men and domestic work for women: It has been remarked, that the maniacs of the male sex in all hospitals, who assist in cutting wood, making fires, and digging in a garden, and the females who are employed in washing, ironing, and scrubbing floors, often recover, while persons, whose rank exempts them from performing such services, languish away their lives within the walls of the hospital. (Rush, 1812: 226)

Rush anchors his therapy for the mentally ill, like his farm colonies for the freed slave, in the benefits of labour over ‘languishing’ in idleness or even rote exercise and links it to changing both groups’ customs or habits. ‘Labour has several advantages over exercise, in being . . . more durable in its effects, whereby it is more calculated to arrest wrong habits of action and to restore such as are

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regular and natural’ (226). Thus, today’s proponents of what is called ‘therapeutic horticulture’ identify Rush as their founder, albeit without reference to the colonial dimensions of his thought. ‘Benjamin Rush is credited as being the “father” of modern therapeutic horticulture through his apparent observations that working on the asylum farm was beneficial.’ (Sempik, 2010: 14). It is worth noting that colonialism and in particular agrarian labour was used by somebody like Rush to solve two seemingly different problems: mental illness and freed slaves. For Rush, these groups benefit from farming to become more ‘rational’ and ‘industrious’, respectively. The first colonies for the mentally ill and disabled then emerged in Continental Europe in the middle of the nineteenth century. ‘Between 1854 and 1883 there was a broad discussion in psychiatric journals on the pros and cons of farm work as a treatment of the mentally handicapped: So-called “Agricultural Colonies” were founded all over Germany between 1850 and 1900, combining horticulture and agriculture with healing and caring for mentally handicapped people’ (Neuberger et al., 2006: 194). The Bielefeld Colony in Germany established by Lutheran Pastor, von Bodelschwingh in 1863 was often used as a model by other European countries and in North America to create their own colonies, as will be discussed. Stirling notes: ‘As in England, the Bielefeld Colony had been the inspiration behind the North American colony movement’ (2010: 158). Belgium has the longest standing colony for the mentally ill and disabled at Gheel, dating back to the Middle Ages, but, interestingly, this self-titled and pre-modern colony actually rejected the principle of segregation and instead boarded out its patients, for centuries, in the local community. Gheel colony is thus one of the few domestic colonies of any kind that represents not only an exception but direct repudiation of the principle of segregation of the mentally ill/disabled from the larger society. This may be because Gheel was established in the thirteenth century, preceding the modern ideas of ‘rationality’ as the goal and segregation as the means to improvement.4

5.2.2. Dutch and French Farm Colonies for the Mentally Ill Holland also experimented with agricultural colonies for the mentally ill in the middle of the nineteenth century and France at the end of the nineteenth century. Claire Edington, using detailed archival analysis of French and Dutch farm colonies for the mentally ill, argues both states go beyond a Foucauldian notion of constraint, discipline, or confinement to embrace the principles of 4 Gheel colony is thus a fascinating counter-example to other colonies discussed herein that emerged in the nineteenth century to the extent that it rejected segregation. For more see Goldstein and Godemont, 2003.


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‘improvement’, and citizenship through labour. Edington argues it is labour that distinguishes farm colonies from Foucault’s carceral imperialism. By taking a broader view of the history of confinement, we can see how agricultural colonies for . . . the insane both intersected with and departed from these imperial visions for reform in important ways, most crucially by introducing an explicitly therapeutic element into the justifications for state organized labour. The use of labour as a kind of medical intervention . . . to recalibrate the mind, remains little explored in the colonial historiography. (Edington, 2013: 186)

Agrarian labour is not only important for therapeutic reasons but also for political reasons: to develop a character consistent with a modern republican form of freedom: ‘the agricultural colony seemed to offer . . . not only “cerebral hygiene” and discipline through physical labor but also, in simulating the appearance of freedom and normal life, a kind of moral education’ (2013: 184). She concludes labour and freedom outdoors rather than punishment and confinement was justified by both therapeutic and political/colonial motivations. ‘Strategies for the “psychiatric re-education” of the insane emerged as part of a broader network of colonial reform projects that sought to produce a new class of colonial subjects through the disciplinary effects of labor.’ (2013: 224). Thus, the justifications advanced for French farm colonies developed a clear link between labour, reason, and citizenship in a way that parallels Locke’s original political theory. But for French defenders of the farm colony, much like Tocqueville in the case of labour colonies, agrarian labour was connected to a republican rather than liberal citizenship via the central idea of moral ‘freedom’. ‘The introduction of labor in asylums in early nineteenth-century France also promised its own kind of moral transcendence, allowing the mentally ill to not only regain their sanity but also, in so doing, the ability to be free.’ (2013: 185). One psychiatrist, Firmin Lagardelle, in his 1873 defence of agricultural colonies for the insane notes: ‘Work is an invaluable blessing, and liberty, a need which cannot afford to be misunderstood . . . the word is holy and that which above all is the most desirable, but liberty in all its forms and all its degrees presupposes a state of reason.’(Edington, 2013: 185; Quetel, 2009). Republican freedom in France is thus dependent on the capacity to labour and reason as necessary to moral freedom, leading French domestic colonialists like Lagardelle to propose agricultural colonies as the best way of transforming the mentally ill, to the extent it was possible, into rational and therefore free citizens of the republic. Edington argues that the Dutch and French governments exported their farm colony model to settler colonies in Java and French Indochina, respectively, at the end of the nineteenth century, under the near unanimous support for their therapeutic benefits in the European medical world: In their annual reports, colonial psychiatrists in Indochina drew extensively on international studies, conferences and publications that heralded labor practices

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as adhering to a universal standard of psychiatric treatment. Remarking that when it comes to patient labor there is a ‘unanimity that is rare among doctors especially concerning therapeutic methods,’ [the director of a large colony in Viet Nam] Augagneur and others quoted widely from the early nineteenth century works of the celebrated French alienists Pinel and Ferrus to the latest studies emerging out of Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, Italy, the United States and Canada. (2011: 275)

Thus, the domestic agricultural colony as a model travelled conceptually between European countries as well as from Holland and France to their settler colonies in Asia. In Chapter 6 we shall examine how Britain imported its farm colony model for the mentally ill and disabled from America. The Dutch were the first of the two countries to create farm colonies for the mentally ill in their overseas colonies in Java, South East Asia at the end of the nineteenth century as they had done (in reverse) with their labour colonies at the beginning of the nineteenth century under van den Bosch. ‘In Java, at Buitenzorg . . . in 1881, the Dutch [converted] the entire asylum system into a massive agricultural colony . . . [which] represented the first systematic application of this kind of care premised on the idea of labor as therapy, to a colonial setting’. (Edington, 2013: 182). The French in Indochina modelled their farm colonies for the mentally ill on the Dutch colonies in Java. Underpinning the French colonies was the idea that patients could be transformed into republican citizens and gain their moral freedom via agrarian labour. In Indochina, [the French] designed the colony’s two asylums as large colonies agricoles where patients could work the land on the path to healing and eventual liberation. In spite of its early origins, the agricultural colony seemed to offer colonial psychiatrists a modern conception of psychiatric care that promised . . . a kind of moral re-education towards republican citizenship. (Edington, 2013:184)

There is a clear link in other words between what Edington is describing in Indochina as farm colonies for the insane at the turn of the twentieth century and the labour colonies and colonies vacances back home in France itself. Colonies were justified in terms of both economic and ethical benefits. Agricultural colonies [for the mentally ill in Indochina] could also yield significant financial and administrative benefits to the asylums themselves. Annual asylum reports reveal the ways in which colonial psychiatrists framed the therapeutic and economic imperatives for labor, and they came to articulate a vision of psychiatric rehabilitation [in which] rather than confinement itself, it was the act of working that would transform those previously on the margins into industrious, disciplined and fully integrated members of society. (Edington, 2013: 185)

Always, labour was the key focus: ‘What allowed members of colonies to return to society was not so much their mental capacity but their “ability or willingness . . . to work”.’ (185). Edington is describing the ideology of colonialism— segregation of those deemed to be idle or irrational into colonies and engaged


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in agrarian labour for the express purpose of being transformed into productive citizens via agrarian labour while raising revenues to defray their costs. Edington’s analysis also demonstrates how ‘labour’ in these colonies for the mentally ill intersected with race and class in fascinating and surprising ways. Thus, while both Europeans and Vietnamese were sent to farm colonies, Europeans were less likely to work the land than Vietnamese, but among the latter, the ‘Vietnamese bourgeoisie’ were exempt from working the land after a ‘paying service’—a policy introduced, for example, at Bien Hoa agricultural colony in 1934. While anybody who was deemed to be mentally ill, regardless of race or class, was segregated into the colony, the degree to which they actually engaged in labour seems to have been determined by class as well as race. Finally, like so many of the other domestic colonies discussed in this book, the idyllic vision described by those defending them in Java and French Indochina, Holland, and France, where members of the colony would be happily tilling the soil, breathing fresh air, and transformed by the experience into flourishing citizens, rapidly became something else and then failed. In reality, colonies almost always degenerated into something more punitive, abusive, and overcrowded than those who initiated them had ever imagined. Edington thus concludes, ‘despite the discourse around the moral value of labor, agricultural colonies in Indochina and throughout the region instead came to be characterized by the more brutal and punitive aspects of their labor’ (2013: 186). My only disagreement with Edington’s analysis of French and Dutch farm colonies for the mentally ill is her claim that economic and ethical justifications were by necessity in tension with each other. ‘The discourse of patient freedom and work therapy clashed with the everyday imperatives of surveillance and economic profit.’ (223). While a conflict between these two seemingly contradictory ends makes sense through the lens of Foucault’s moral treatment, from a domestic colonialist perspective, not only does an ethical justification for improvement dovetail quite easily with an economic justification of revenue generation, liberal domestic colonialists repeatedly deploy both to defend colonies as preferable to asylums because they not only provide better treatment but are more efficient. Farm colonies for the mentally disabled and ill were created in the first part of the twentieth century by settler states in South America as well. Once again, the model was imported from Europe and North America. In Brazil at the end of the nineteenth century, the attention paid to agricultural colonies by the Federal Government is . . . notable for its interest manifested in knowing the experiences of other countries. Thus . . . the Ministerial Reports of 1892 and 1893 [recorded] the trip that the Director- General of [Medical-Legal] Care [to the Mentally Ill] took to visit the

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establishments for the mentally ill including the agricultural colonies in Belgium, Austria, Prussia, France, Switzerland, Italy England and the United State of America. (Venancio, 2011: 40)

The key lesson learned through these trips was the following: ‘the isolation of patients in colonies was . . . readily associated with rural life, distant from cities, less by virtue of the potential benefits of the climate than the possibility that the exercise of agricultural labor would play a therapeutic role’ (36). Once again, the key elements of domestic colonialism come to the fore: segregation, rural land, improvement, and agrarian labour. Thus, farm colonies rooted in ethical arguments (improvement, therapy) and economic arguments (defraying of costs), justified colonies in Europe, Asia, and South America.

5.3 F ARM COLONIES IN AMERICA While farm colonies for the mentally ill, disabled, and those with epilepsy existed in Continental Europe and their external colonies in the late nineteenth century, as discussed above, there was also a very rapid expansion of farm colonies in North America at the turn of the twentieth century. Farm colonies for ‘lunatics’, ‘epileptics’, and ‘feeble-minded’ individuals were introduced to the United States in two waves: the first wave of colonization in the last decade of the nineteenth century introduced the farm colony; in the second wave in the 1910s and 20s, the colony was taken to be the standard of care in America (meaning both best and most popular). The American farm colony for the mentally disabled and ill then became a model for other states seeking to solve the problem of irrationality. Britain and Canada modelled their own colonies on the American colony, as will be discussed in Chapter 6. Edouard Seguin, a French doctor who trained in Paris, emigrated to America in 1850 where he published his book Idiocy and its Treatment by the Physiological Method in 1866. In it he argued in favour of separate schools to help ‘idiots’ become productive citizens where teachers focus exclusively on physiological training. James Trent notes: ‘Seguin more than any other nineteenth century figure shaped Americans interest in educating the mentally retarded.’ (1994: 3). Under his influence ‘training schools’ and ‘idiot schools’ were opened in the 1860s and 70s within which the mentally disabled were segregated and improved through physiological training. Seguin thus lays a certain kind of conceptual groundwork for farm colonies (segregation and improvement), but in other ways, the training school was not like the farm colony (in particular, having no arable land and no focus on farming or agrarian labour). Domestic colonialists thus often saw colonies as an alternative to ‘idiot schools’ as well as homes or asylums.


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5.3.1. First Wave of Farm Colonies for the Disabled in America (1870–90) The first wave of domestic colonialists were superintendents, members of the Association of Medical Officers of American Institutions for Idiotic and Feeble Minded Persons, and/or philanthropist members of the National Conference of Charities and Correction. Indeed, many superintendents were members of the second organization and attended the annual meetings where arguments for labour colonies for the idle poor were made in America alongside those for farm colonies for the irrational. The superintendents building upon Seguin’s notion that the ‘idiot’ should be improved via education and segregation, relied on European models of labour and farm colonies, to actively advocate for the ‘colony model’ in the last two decades of the nineteenth century. As Rose comments of this first wave of colonization: ‘Farm colonies first became popular at American idiot asylums in the 1880’s (Wilbur’s Fairmount farm colony being one of the first). The American farm colonies [were] pioneered by Hervey B. Wilbur in New York, Isaac N. Kerlin in Pennsylvania, George Henry Knight in Connecticut’ and William Fish in Illinois (Rose, 2008: 52). It is worth noting that Issac Kerlin was also appointed during the Civil War to colonize escaped slaves on an island settlement (Barr, 1934: 145–6). Trent argues that Wilbur was important in reinterpreting Seguin for American purposes. ‘Going beyond Seguin . . . Wilbur defined idiocy to emphasize gradations of the condition.’ (1994: 17). Classifying mental disability was central to domestic colonialists need to work out who was most amenable to ‘improvement’ via agrarian labour. ‘Specialization . . . was dependent on the cottage or colony system’ since you had to identify the ‘higher functioning’ idiot who could be engaged in farm labour (1994: 91). The American colony model was thus based on a cottage system with cottages ‘housing different functional grades, sexes and medical conditions’ (94). Labour in domestic colonies was also gendered. In 1884, at the National Conference of Charities and Correction, Isaac Kerlin argues for ‘colonizing lads as they grow into manhood . . . as farmers, gardeners and dairy help’ (Kerlin, 1884: 259). Women were to be engaged in domestic labour. The colony model grew in popularity and by 1892, a report written by William Fish and George Knight on behalf of superintendents concluded that ‘the colony plan commends itself to us as superintendents’ of institutions for the mentally disabled (Trent, 1994: 93). Thus, while early farm colonies and Seguin’s training schools shared in common a broadly charitable approach of seeking to ‘help’ rather than constrain the mentally disabled and improve them in segregated institutions, they also differed in important ways. First, farm colonies required large acreages of land for farming, which in turn allowed them to accommodate greater numbers of ‘feeble-minded’ than the more restricted size of schools or

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asylums. Satellite colonies were often located in rural areas close to existing asylums or institutions to accommodate growing numbers. Secondly, while training schools ended at a certain age, like other schools, colonies often provided custodial care in perpetuity for adults with severe mental disabilities. Colonies were thus both permanent institutions for the severely mentally disabled but also sought to return ‘higher functioning’ idiots to society as farm or domestic labourers. Indeed, one of the great debates around farm colonies for the mentally disabled in both Britain and the United States was the degree to which they ought to try and return individuals back to society to be productive citizens or keep them in permanent custodial institutions but earn their keep through their agrarian labour. Thirdly, superintendents of colonies thus classified the mentally disabled into different categories, based upon their relative capacity to reason and labour (something begun by Seguin but developed much further by colonialists in relation to the question of who ought to be trained and returned to society). Each group segregated by classification was then housed, in the colony system, in ‘villas’ or ‘cottages’ within a village (rather than traditional asylum buildings) with inhabitants able to wander the grounds (thus, for some, the colony provided greater freedom than the closed barracks of the institutional asylum). Finally, while schools were largely an economic drain on the state (having to be built in addition to ordinary schools), colonies were justified by their capacity to provide revenues. William Fish, in 1892 argues for the ‘colony plan’ because, compared to Seguin’s training school, it can ‘train farm laborers and domestics and relieve the State from a life-long guardianship’ (Fish, 1892: 161). Thus, both economic and therapeutic reasons were advanced for colonies over homes, training schools, or asylums. As Thomson notes, The colony was designed to address both the practical and the therapeutic problems of institutional care. Practically, the design addressed the problem of institutional overcrowding, as colonies would be able to expand, villa by villa, to potentially huge scale . . . Therapeutically the villas were to be small enough to maintain an intimate atmosphere and were grouped together to create a kind of village community . . . [within] a rural idyll. (1998, 114–15)

Trent concurs: ‘the success of the farm colonies was the result not only of their productivity but also of the relief they provided to growing and increasingly crowded institutions’ (1994: 106). In 1903, Alexander Johnson, Superintendent of the School for Feeble Minded in Indiana authored a report for the National Conference of Charities and Corrections as Chair of their Committee on Colonies for Segregation of Defectives, recommending a farm colony for all defectives, noting while ‘the term “colony” . . . has been criticized [it] is probably as nearly correct as any we


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shall be likely to find.’ (Johnson, 1903: 4, para. 15). The emphasis is again on classification of mental disability, economic efficiency, and transformation of the ‘backward’ into industrious and rational citizens via agrarian labour. A colony of defectives, in our use of the term, means a large institution because it should be conducted with rigorous economy . . . It occupies many houses because it has many classes and an essential of successful institution management is accurate classification. It occupies much land because another essential of success is occupation and it is easier to use labor of a low quality on the soil than anywhere else. A colony is a place where people, who . . . would be useless or mischievous . . . may be transformed into orderly . . . useful citizens. (4, para. 15)

As the farm colony grew in popularity and evolved, it was criticized for being driven more by economics and eugenics than care and rehabilitation. Charles T. Wilbur, brother of the more famous Hervey Wilbur, wrote in 1909: ‘The whole aim of society is now to drive them into Colonies with very little effort as to their mental development. My views are decidedly changed since I learn that society only desires to get rid of them and be protected from them when the older ideas were to uplift them by very means that could be used.’ (Penley, 2002: 229).

5.3.2. Second Wave of Farm Colonies: (1900–30) American domestic colonialists in the second wave, however, were more rather than less committed to the therapeutic role of colonies (to improve and transform the ‘irrational’). It was Charles Bernstein’s commitment to improvement that made his colony so appealing to progressive politicians like Franklin Delano Roosevelt, but there were also eugenicists who began to support the colony model as well, at least until sterilization became available as a way of preventing reproduction among the feeble-minded. Whatever the motivation, by the second decade of the twentieth century, the farm colony model had become ubiquitous: ‘By 1910 the colony model had permeated virtually all public institutions for mental defectives.’ (Trent, 1994: 98). The three leading defenders of the colony model in the second wave of American domestic colonization of the mentally disabled were Walter Fernald, M.D., Superintendent of the Waverly Farm Colony in Massachusetts and Chairman of the Special Commission Relative to the Control, Custody and Treatment of Defectives, Criminals and Misdemeanants, Henry Herbert Goddard, psychologist and eugenicist and Director of Research at the Vineland Training School for Feeble Minded Girls and Boys in New Jersey, and the aforementioned Charles Bernstein, Superintendent of the Rome State Asylum and colony, and founder of over sixty colonies in the state of New York. All three were committed to the principles of segregation, agrarian labour, and improvement, emphasizing how vulnerable the ‘feeble-minded’

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were to exploitation and corruption in the city. Fernald and Goddard were also eugenicists who viewed the feeble-minded as a ‘menace’ to society, particularly early in their careers, and thus needed to be segregated for both colonial and eugenicist reasons. Bernstein opposed eugenics and supported farm colonies as a way to train and return people to society. Let us consider the arguments of all three for farm colonies in more detail. Walter Fernald and Eugenicist Colonialism Walter Fernald, described by the Chairman of the Ontario Royal Commission on the Care and Control of the Feeble Minded in Canada as ‘the leading exponent for care for the feeble minded’ in the United States defends the farm colony for both ethical and economic reasons consistent with the ideology of colonialism, but also for eugenics reasons as a way to protect society from the ‘menace’ of the mentally disabled. His first address on the subject came in 1893, when he spoke to the National Conference of Charities and Corrections on the history of the ‘feeble-minded’ in America. Referencing Seguin’s ground-breaking work, he notes how it had been expanded in America by incorporating the colony model. ‘Nearly all of the states making provision for the feeble-minded have practically followed what is known as the colony plan of organization’ (Fernald, 1893: 219). By 1903, Fernald emphasizes the agrarian dimensions of his own farm colony in Massachusetts: ‘We bought land for our farm colony . . . two thousand acres of wild land . . . The best and most fertile farms in that part of Massachusetts are on the hill tops . . . the essential thing was to get fertile land and enough of it.’ (1903: 74). At this point in time, what Fernald means by a colony model is an institution located on a large piece of land, with cottages divided in accordance with the distinctive needs of particular groups of people who were engaged in industrial, domestic, and farming labour. Key to Fernald’s colony model like Goddard’s was the classification of the mentally deficient based on degrees of reason. Thus, the original binary found in Locke’s political theory between the irrational (lunatics and idiots) and rational is divided into further categories. The colonized are measured as wanting relative to the rational citizen but now separated into low grade, middle grade, and high grade ‘defectives’ who are each grouped in separate villas. By 1920, the American Association for the Study of the Feeble Minded had adopted terms that are now ubiquitous in common parlance (but used as pejorative slurs rather than scientific categories as they were though of then) based on Fernald’s theory of ‘mental age’ as well as Goddard’s ‘IQ testing’: idiots (IQs of 0–25), imbeciles (26–50), and morons (51–70) used by the US Census in their classifications until the 1970s (US Census, 1926: 14). In 1912, Fernald gave the ‘Annual Discourse’ to the Massachusetts Medical Society on ‘The Burden of Feeble Mindedness’, defended sterilization and a


Domestic Colonies

‘policy of segregation of the feeble minded, especially those of child bearing years’ (Fernald, 1912: 3) consistent with his eugenicist beliefs. He also defended the economic benefits of the colony system. ‘The expense of . . . farm colonies for the feeble minded will be counterbalanced by the reduction in the population of almshouses, prisons and other expensive institutions’. Ultimately, ‘mental defectives in our penal institutions’ ought to be in the ‘permanent custody of farm colonies’ (4). The first person to respond to Fernald’s address was Charles Bernstein, who questions Fernald’s argument with respect to both sterilization and permanent custody, claiming ‘the place for those [whom Fernald thinks should be sterilized] is in the institution or on the farm’ (6); and the objective should not be to keep them indefinitely in colonies but return them to society to labour in rural communities. ‘Their employment in the country [is] advisable instead of the city. Those that we have in the country are the ones that are getting along the best’ (6). Thus, for Bernstein, agrarian labour for men is the key to the colony model, ‘you cannot work those boys too hard . . . Let them go out and work just as hard as they will work. That is what they do for me when they are on the farm.’ (8). Fernald’s 1917 article ‘The Growth of Provision for the Feeble-Minded in the United States’, reflects a change in his attitude, under the influence of Bernstein, moving away from control, eugenics, and permanent custody to emphasizing the principles of ‘improvement’ as well as the economic efficiencies of farm colonies: ‘Experience has shown that there is a form of care that not only greatly improves the physical and mental condition of one group of the feeble-minded, but also reduces to practically nothing the actual cost of their maintenance. I refer to so-called “colony” care.’ (Fernald, 1917: 166). He goes on to argue like Bernstein that ‘colonies . . . should be located in the country . . . on land suitable for cultivation’ and introduces the Lockean idea that uncultivated or ‘wild’ land owned by the state in America should be used ideally: ‘Temporary or permanent colonies may . . . be established on wild State lands for the purpose of clearing them and maintaining them’ which shall ‘return to the State a maximum revenue’ (166). Fernald also embraces a gender distinction between men’s labour—clearing land for cultivation and farming and women’s domestic labour. ‘In these colonies are placed the men and large boys who are able and who can be taught to do the necessary work’ (166). Fernald concludes his article, by noting farm colonies will create wealth by selling produce to offset the costs of maintaining this population. ‘Such colonies . . . can be made self-supporting and seem to offer a most hopeful means of providing for a greatly increased number of cases at a minimum expense to the State.’ (166). Fernald is clear that although many of the families questioned moving ‘imbeciles’ into the country, it was absolutely necessary because labour was key.

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There was a great prejudice when we moved into the country. In our reports we explained to parents and to the public the necessity for that sort of thing. If you wish to really reach the feeble-minded boy you must do it through work, for you can do it in no other way. (Fernald, 1903: 78)

Ultimately, Fernald, initially influenced by eugenics more than colonialism, argued first for sterilization and the permanent segregation of the mentally disabled in colonies, but by the end of the second decade of the twentieth century, he reversed his views on permanent segregation, in part after visiting Bernstein’s colony and in part as the result of his ‘After Care Study’ in 1919, which revealed, much to his surprise, that many former members of his own colony supported themselves independently. Colonialism then became the more influential ideology over eugenics and his farm colony model became a place of rehabilitation where ‘high functioning’ disabled people could be improved and returned to society after they were properly trained in agricultural or domestic labour. Henry H. Goddard and Eugenicist Colonization Henry Goddard, superintendent of Vineland Training School, famously adapted Alfred Binet’s IQ test from France to the United States, arguing it was the best way to assess mental capacity. Goddard claimed that mental disability was hereditary and that, through IQ testing, the feeble-minded could be separated from those without disability and then into different levels of rationality or intelligence. Goddard combined eugenics with colonialism and his focus was on permanent custodial care of the feeble-minded, at least in the earlier part of his career. It was clear to him that farm colonies were the only option: ‘[The] facts of feeble mindedness should determine the policy of the state . . . there is only one answer. [The children] must be removed . . . they must be segregated, colonized’ (Goddard, 1912, cited in Ryan, 1997: 682). Vineland ‘joined other facilities in experimenting with . . . the most popular . . . “farm colonies”. In 1912, the Training School purchased an additional five hundred acres of uncleared oak scrub’ and named it ‘Menantico Colony’; the ‘goal would be to transform this wasteland into a thriving agricultural community’ (Zenderland, 2001: 227). Thus, Goddard emphasized segregation and agrarian labour as key to the ethical and economic benefits of the colony model: Society must set to work to discover all of these feeble-minded persons and as rapidly as possible segregate them in colonies . . . Every one admits that permanent custodial care is the ideal solution of the problem, both from the standpoint of the effectiveness and from the standpoint of the humanity of the case. (Goddard, 1911: 512)

He goes on to say with respect to agrarian labour and the economic benefits of colony care: ‘Colonies for these feeble minded would to a large extent take the


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place of prisons and almshouses with the advantage that the persons in these colonies could be trained to more or less useful work . . . whereas the inmates of our present institutions . . . are practically of no use to society’ (512). Goddard concludes ‘This colony idea is the ideal . . . from that of the welfare of the person and of society’ (513). Like Fernald, Goddard viewed the colony model and the categorization of mental disability as interwoven. Goddard was responsible for introducing into the lexicon of treatment for the mentally disabled the term ‘moron’, to be distinguished from both the ‘idiot’ and the ‘imbecile’, first defined by the Royal College of Physicians in London and then adopted by the Royal Commission on the Feeble Minded in the UK, as shall be discussed in Chapter 6. Goddard believed they could best be defined by their IQ, and coined the term ‘moron’ in 1910 to describe the highest level (with IQ between 51 and 70) of feebleminded person. Finally, it’s worth noting that Goddard, a strong eugenicist but even stronger domestic colonialist, rejected sterilization as the optimal response to mental disability, differing significantly from other leading eugenicists in America at the time—Charles Davenport and Harry Laughlin. He was clear that colonization was far preferable to sterilization for both ethical, economic, and eugenics reasons. Finally, Goddard tended to blur the lines between ethnicity, class, and disability in his statistical ‘research’ on feeble-mindedness. In 1913, Goddard was invited to do intelligence tests at Ellis Island on recently arrived immigrants. He tested ‘35 Jews, 22 Hungarians, 50 Italians and 45 Russians’ who were deemed to be either ‘average normals’ or ‘defectives’ and concluded ‘out of a total of 148 cases none passed all of the tests and only two scored as high as 12 years’ (Goddard, 1917: 243, 244). Goddard emphasizes that he is not making claims about ‘immigrants’ in general, but at the intersection of class (his study is limited to ‘steerage’ passengers), ethnicity, and what he calls ‘defectiveness’ in ‘small highly selected groups’ (243). Nevertheless, he feels justified in concluding the following, using his own invented term, ‘One can hardly escape the conviction that the intelligence of the average “third class” immigrant is low, perhaps of the moron grade’, which presumably suggests that they should either be prevented form immigrating altogether or, if allowed into America, should be colonized (243, emphasis added). And he also claims, based on 150 cases or so, that while these tests ‘will not give us the percentage of Ellis Island immigrants who are defective, nevertheless the figures would only need to be revised (reduced) by a relatively small amount.’ (244). In other words, the majority of immigrants arriving in the US, according to Goddard, are feeble-minded. Thus, there is an ethnic/racial/racist as well as class dimension to Goddard’s analysis of both disability and colonization. The solution is labour, and he concludes therefore, by suggesting that America can ‘use moron [immigrant] laborers if we are wise enough to train them properly’ (243).

Farm Colonies for the Mentally Ill and Disabled

129 Charles Bernstein and Rehabilitative Colonialism Bernstein opened his first farm colony in 1906, followed by sixty-one more colonies over the next forty years in rural settings, including fifteen colonies for women (Trent, 1994: 208). He championed the economic benefits of the farm colony: There are in New York some 30,000 feeble-minded and socially unfit in need of care . . . a heavy burden upon the state if they are all to be maintained permanently in institutions . . . It is our opinion that the time has come when something much less expensive and many times more wholesome and natural than the physical custody of brick walls and iron enclosures . . . is possible . . . that many of them can be rehabilitated . . . by careful training in the kinds of work that they are capable of performing. (Bernstein, 1920: 1, emphasis added)

The key was ‘independence’ through labour. ‘Self-respect is engendered in the individual rather than dependence . . . we are instructing our patients not only in hygiene and animal inhibition, but also in habits of industry.’ (Bernstein, 1921: 44). Labour is again defined by gender: men trained in agrarian work and women in domestic service. Bernstein argued ‘paroling’ members of the colony to privately owned farms would have both economic and ethical benefits: A system that renders a large percentage of them self-supporting, apart from the benefit to the individuals directly concerned, performs a threefold service: It relieves the state financially, it permits . . . increased facilities for the . . . lower grades of feebleminded; and it adds to the community’s supply of labour in fields in which the demand for works is far in excess of the supply—namely agricultural and domestic work. (1920: 2)

Bernstein’s parole and discharge programme was unique initially but Fernald and others became convinced of the benefits (and also savings) of returning colony members to society and ‘by 1925 most institutions were trying colonies and parole.’ (Trent, 1994: 214). Paroling members back to society, however, was linked in many American superintendents’ minds to sterilization, particularly for women, to avoid what they viewed as the ‘menace’ of future generations of feeble-minded people. Bernstein opposed eugenics and forcible sterilization (other than in a few exceptional cases when patients and the family sought it out) especially in response to the Supreme Court decision in favour of forcible sterilization in 1927. In 1930, he published an article in the Psychiatric Quarterly: ‘There are several arguments which lead to the conviction that . . . sterilization will not result in the benefits to the human race predicted by its advocates’ (1930a: 285). He argues that colonization, specifically, ‘training and rehabilitation’ in either domestic work for women or farming work for men, results in better outcomes than ‘eugenic sterilization’ (289).


Domestic Colonies

In the same year, Bernstein wrote a pamphlet (1930b) at the request of the National Catholic Welfare Council, who was working actively against sterilization. It was thought that such a pamphlet coming from a non-Catholic (Bernstein was Jewish) would be very effective. In the pamphlet ‘Bernstein advocates a colony system in which children and young adults could be educated and trained for productive work and potential employment in agricultural, domestic and industrial tasks.’ (Leon, 2013: 86). While ‘Bernstein did not support sterilization . . . most superintendents followed his lead in paroling . . . inmates [did so] only with the reassurance provided by sterilization’ (Trent, 1994: 215). Thus, it’s worth noting, given the tendency in the most of the literature to argue that colonies were the product of eugenics, that one of the two most important colonialists in the United States actively campaigned against it. Bernstein’s domestic colonialism was endorsed by one of the most powerful figures in American politics in the twentieth century, New York Governor (and later President) Franklin Delano Roosevelt. ‘Bernstein found a kindred spirit in . . . Roosevelt [who] along with Eleanor Roosevelt made annual visits to the institution [Rome Colony].’ (Trent, 1994: 212). As always, agrarian labour was key to both men: ‘Roosevelt, a gentleman farmer himself, had advocated for “back to the farm” policies, especially after the depression worsened. Bernstein’s reclamation of abandoned farms fit closely with Governor Roosevelt’s interest in resettling depression-ridden city folk on New York farms’ (212). Indeed Roosevelt, as president, will be instrumental in creating agricultural colonies as part of the New Deal (including the famous Colonization Project Number 1 in Arkansas where Johnny Cash grew up, as noted in Chapter 4). Thus, while the principle of farm colonies was given considerable support in the first wave of domestic colonialism, at the height of the second wave, Fernald observes that support for the farm colony model was universal: ‘During the past decade, this form of care [farm colony] has rapidly grown so that now there is general approval of the formation of colonies for adult male feeble-minded persons in good physical condition’ (1917: 166). By 1930, multiple farm colonies for the mentally disabled were established in New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, South Carolina, Texas, California, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida, and Hawaii (Waggaman, 1920). James Trent argues in his book on the history of the treatment of mental disability in America that the construction of ‘feeble-mindedness’ and later ‘mental deficiency’ in the first three decades of the twentieth century was largely the product of superintendents like Bernstein and Fernald as a way to ‘ensure their personal privilege and professional legitimacy’. He also argues that the ‘economic vulnerability of these people and their families’ was key as opposed to their ‘irrationality’ (1994: 5). Trent concludes that the first to

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second waves of domestic colonialism was a shift from ‘care’ to ‘control’ and surveillance. While I concur with Trent that superintendents were central to the creation of the evolving meaning of ‘feeble-mindedness’ and ‘deficiency’ and they sought, in part, to protect their own standing, I disagree that professional legitimacy and personal privilege were the primary factors in championing the colony model. Bernstein, Goddard and Fernald, the three leading exponents of farm colonies, were motivated by what they viewed as the economic benefits of colonization over asylums, prison, or workhouses. Waggaman comments ‘Any successful plan for the care of these unfortunates which makes for their well-being, increases their economic value and consequently reduces their cost to the State should be a vital interest to the humanitarian and the taxpayer. Such a plan is the so-called colony system.’ (Waggaman, 1920: 12). Likewise, after analysing reports of Fernald and Bernstein, Wolfensberger concludes of their views: ‘apparently everyone believed that self-sufficiency . . . was to be found in the work potential of residents’ (Wolfensberger, 1975: 46). Domestic colonialists were also motivated by the ethical benefits of colonization over the asylum. Wilbur and Fernald viewed the ‘charitable’ principles of agrarian labour (securing wild land to cultivate) and improvement of utmost importance, hence the name, farm colony. In short, they were motivated primarily by the ideology of domestic colonialism rather than their own self-interest—segregation from society to improve empty land and people via agrarian labour, generating revenues (economic) and making individuals self-supporting (ethical).

5.3.3. Farm Colonies for Americans with Epilepsy Americans with epilepsy were also subject to colonization even though they could not be thought of as ‘irrational’ in the same way that the mentally disabled or ill might be. Nevertheless, they were included in the group of people who ought to be colonized domestically, but often separated from the mentally disabled and ill. As mentioned earlier, the most famous European farm colony, which in turn became a template for American colonies for people with epilepsy, was the Bethel farm colony in Bielefeld Germany. Then Governor, later President William McKinley, whose wife had epilepsy, opened the first colony for epileptics in America, the Ohio colony, in 1893. Henley Rutter, the first manager of the colony viewed the ‘Bielefeld colony as the initial and persisting standard’ (Kissiov et al., 2013: 1528). Like other domestic colonialists, Rutter argued there were both ethical and economic benefits of colonial care, as shown in Germany: ‘we shall not find, in any State institution, a parallel to the establishment to Bielefeld . . . [but] we may hope to bring . . . better care than they are now receiving, at a greatly reduced cost.’ (Rutter, 1898: 68).


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After the colony in Ohio, one of the largest colonies opened was the Craig Colony in New York, in 1896. In 1892, the New York State legislature passed legislation that directed ‘the commissioners of the State board of Charities . . . to establish a suitable site . . . on which to establish an institution on the colony plan for the medial treatment, care, education and employment of epileptics.’ (Friedlander, 2001: 184). The Craig Colony was discussed in glowing terms in the British Medical Journal in June 1894, as it is claimed this colony will ‘surpass the Bielefeld Colony’, being three square miles and hoping to house 2000 people (British Medical Journal, 1894: 1371). It is worth noting that, in creating this colony for ‘epileptics’, the New York state was using land previously occupied by indigenous peoples. As the BMJ notes: the colony ‘was formerly the site of the Indian village of Sonyea or Sunshine’ but in recent years had been a settlement of the Shakers before becoming a farm colony (1909: 1371). Thus, this domestic colony was like others in North America, simultaneously engaged in settler colonialism. Two decades later, the Illinois ‘Committee of Fifty’, a group of American businessmen, scholars, and social reformers including Jane Addams, published a booklet entitled How the uncared-for epileptic fares in Illinois; Colony care the remedy (Illinois, 1913) which claimed ‘the colony [was] the most approved plan for the betterment of the condition of epileptics. Victims of the disease fare better placed in colonies on a large tract of land . . . for farming, gardening, out of door occupations’ (Illinois, 1913: 36). The booklet has a decidedly ‘progressive’ tone to it, arguing that the eight current colonies for epileptics (Massachusetts, Ohio, New Jersey, Kansas, Connecticut, Texas, Indiana, and Virginia) ‘have proven themselves so humane and effective [that] citizens of these states are conscious of a certain superiority for the progressiveness and humanity which led to . . . these splendid institutions’ (38). At the heart of the farm colony, of course, was farming, but a passing reference to ‘domestic work’ implied, yet again, a gendered division of labour: ‘We believe such a colony should be industrial rather than custodial [i.e., not a prison], educators in horticultural and agricultural school work, manual training, domestic science and work’ (41).

5.3.4. Farm Colonies for the Mentally Ill The mentally ill were the final group of ‘irrational’ citizens housed in farm colonies in the United States, and for many of the same reasons as the mentally disabled and those with epilepsy. Many farm colonies for the mentally ill began by attaching farmland and cottages to an existing asylum. Clarence O. Cheney, Superintendent of the Hudson River State Hospital for the Insane, wrote an article by the title: ‘Are Colonies Practicable in the

Farm Colonies for the Mentally Ill and Disabled


Treatment of the Insane?’ His answer is yes, and he defines the ‘colony’ as a place where patients are housed in cottages surrounded by an area of farmland and with a greater degree of freedom than traditional asylums. As Cheney comments: ‘the patients were in surroundings which were more nearly like those they had been used to and more normal than . . . institutional surroundings. There were no bars on the windows; all the men had parole of the grounds’ (Cheney, 1927: 428). Thus, the farm colony was a manifestation of the ‘moral treatment’ school of psychiatry introduced by Philippe Pinel in France, William Tuke in England, and Benjamin Rush in the United States (famously critiqued by Foucault) through which discipline is preferred to physical restraints and punishment. But while the farm colony for the mentally ill were products of moral treatment, the arguments made in their defence centred on agrarian labour. Thus, the Hudson River State Hospital’s Annual Report in 1890 refers directly to the expense of such colonies and how agrarian labour would offset it while absorbing growing numbers of mentally ill people: Occupation would be the keynote or motive of the hamlet life, and this in the open air and amid familiar rural scenes. The products of the soil would go far towards the maintenance of the establishment, and in time yield a surplus to be sold at a profit in the markets of New York City. Such agricultural colonies, established from time to time as necessity demanded, and scattered about among the beautiful hills and valleys lying just east of our present hospital, and all being under one central control and management, would furnish economical and adequate provision for housing and supporting the natural increase of the insane population which is now adding annually more and more to the burden of taxation. (Cheney, 1927: 431)

By the turn of the twentieth century, the farm colony for the mentally ill, like the disabled, became the default public policy recommendation for leading thinkers and for most institutions in the field. As early as 26 May 1899, Dr G Alder Blumer, at a meeting of the American Medico-Psychological Association (forerunner to the American Psychiatric Association), observes that the colony model for the mentally ill is ubiquitous in North America: ‘It is uncommon . . . to find anywhere in the United States or Canada at this time a hospital for the insane that does not possess its open ward . . . farms and gardens to which the patient sallies forth each day as a contented laborer to his toil.’ (Blumer, 1899:327).5 By 1912, at least seventeen states in the United States had one or more explicitly named farm colonies in operation for the mentally ill (Cheney, 1927: 427).

See also ‘Farm Work for Lunatics: Dr. G.A. Blumer Describes the Colony of the Utica State Hospital’, New York Times, 26 May 1899. 5


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5.4. CONCLUSION Ultimately, however, like so many colonies described in this book, farm colonies for the ‘feeble-minded’, epileptic, and mentally ill in America degenerated from the idyllic picture painted of them by their original champions to becoming densely populated, punitive, and often abusive institutions. As Steven Noll (1995) argues in his book on the history of the ‘feeble-minded’ in the American South, the pattern throughout the United States was similar: colonies grew and eventually became overcrowded and, consequently, shifted from being rehabilitative training facilities through which individuals would be improved and discharged back to society, to becoming prisons focused on security and control. By the middle of the twentieth century, farm colonies were renamed ‘centres’ or ‘hospitals’ or ‘homes’ but were closed by the deinstitutionalization movement of the 1970s and 80s, as many argued the mentally ill and disabled ought to live within the community rather segregated from it. We now turn to examine how this model of farm colonies was imported into Britain and Canada as the best method for solving the problem of ‘irrationality’ in each of these countries.

6 Farm Colonies for the Irrational in Britain and Canada As discussed in Chapter 5, the farm colony was central to the care of the ‘feebleminded’ in Europe and the United States in the last half of the nineteenth and first third of the twentieth century. Britain and Canada followed suit at the beginning of the twentieth century. Americans Walter Fernald of Massachusetts and Charles Bernstein of New York were critically important to both Britain and Canada as leading domestic colonialists, like Winifred Muirhead in Scotland and the Royal Commission on the Care and Control of the FeebleMinded, Winston Churchill, G.A. Auden, and Anthony Langdon-Downs in England and Frank Hodgins and Helen MacMurchy in Canada based their models on the colonies designed primarily by these two men. We turn to examine, therefore, farm colonies for the mentally ill and disabled in Britain and Canada.

6.1. FARM COLONIES IN BRITAIN In Britain, the decision to make primary education universal was the catalyst for a public focus on ‘feeble-mindedness’ and ‘mental deficiency’. As Matthew Thomson argues: in the long term, perhaps the most important trigger in the development of the problem of mental deficiency was the introduction of universal elementary education in 1870. Mass education revealed that there was a hitherto unrecognized section of the population . . . who needed special training if they were to be educated. (1998: 13–14)

Among the various solutions proposed, one of the most important was ‘the colony solution’, as doctors, psychiatrists, and superintendents of asylums made the case for farm colonies for the mentally disabled and ill for both therapeutic and economic reasons. Colony care in Britain was similar to the United States, characterized by cottages or villas rather than barracks, a village community in a


Domestic Colonies

rural setting, agrarian labour on empty land, with a larger acreage in the countryside allowing for the ever expanding numbers of ‘irrational’ citizens. The first farm colony established in Britain was for ‘epileptics’ at Chalfont in 1894. The National Society for Epilepsy, which describes itself as ‘the largest epilepsy charity in the UK’ had as ‘its first task to establish an agricultural colony where people with epilepsy could live and work’ (Sander et al., 1993: 599). The two primary actors who came together to create the colony were neurologists and the Charity Organization Society concerned with ‘epileptics’ falling into vagrancy and begging. Both groups agreed that agrarian labour and segregation in a farm colony provided the best solution. Doctors like James Crichton-Browne, a ‘keen eugenicist’, also supported colonies in order to prevent ‘epileptics’ from reproducing (Sander et al., 1993: 600).1

6.1.1. Royal Commission on the Care and Control of the Feeble-Minded (1905–8) and Winston Churchill The real push for the colony system came in 1908, when the British Royal Commission on the Care and Control of the Feeble-Minded recommended to then Home Secretary Winston Churchill the creation of farm colonies for the mentally disabled. After touring farm colonies in North America, the Commissioners concluded the American model was the best one for mental disability and illness in Britain, recommending the introduction of the system of large farm colonies on lines suggested to us by the colonies for the feeble mined that have been established in the USA and in Canada and which are described by us in Chapter XLI. In America, in many instances, large estates have been purchased which give scope for training the mentally defective in laboring work generally, in farm work and in horticulture. (Vol. VIII: 237)

The commission devoted a whole volume of their report to the farm colony system of America. The American model was favoured due to its economic benefits via the products of agrarian labour and to ‘improve’ the ‘feebleminded’, via agrarian labour for boys and domestic service for girls. In the American institutions we found the inmates generally engaged in the trades of making or mending boots, tailoring and dressmaking, rough painting and carpentering, baking, washing, and farming. Of these the two last named industries are those to which most importance is attached. The laundry gives occupation to large numbers of the women, whilst the advantage of agricultural occupations for the men is so generally recognized that public money has been readily granted to the institutions we visited for the purchase of land and the extension of farming operations on a considerable scale. (1908: 219) 1 British Medical Group, ‘The Care of the Epileptic and Feebleminded,’ British Medical Journal, 2 (2270): 23–4.

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Churchill, Home Secretary at the time that the Report of the Royal Commission was tabled, welcomed the recommendations and endorsed farm colonies, along with sterilization (Thomson, 1998: 33). Mark Jackson argues that the mentally disabled were defined both in the report itself and by Churchill as ‘a race apart’, in much the same way as colonies overseas had done with the externally colonized ‘other’: Racial metaphors . . . defined the form of institutional provision established for mental defectives. In a manner akin to efforts to tame the savage ‘other’ by imperialistic measures imposed on the colonies, the minds and bodies of the idiotic, the imbecilic and the feeble-minded were also to be subdued and domesticated in the safe, segregated environment of purpose built ‘colonies’ for defectives. As a result of this geographical isolation and marginalization, mental defective became literally, as well as metaphorically, a race apart. (Jackson, 1999: 167)

This sense of a ‘race apart’ was reinforced by the report’s conclusion and Churchill’s recommendation that segregation of the mentally deficient in colonies should be permanent. Thomson contrasts Churchill’s support for indefinite segregation for ‘mental defectives’ with his view on criminals: ‘In contrast to his support of segregation for mental defectives, Churchill vehemently opposed indeterminate sentences for habitual criminals on the ground that they were unjust.’ (1998: 33; Jackson, 2000). While many scholars who have analysed this report tend to see it as a product of eugenicist thinking in Britain (the founder of eugenics, Francis Galton, wrote an introduction to a public summary of the Report), Thomson concludes that, while ‘eugenic thinking [informed] the Commissioners’ views of the feeble minded . . . it was not central’ (1998: 32). Instead, he argues that the Report should be thought of as a stimulus for, rather than product of, the eugenics movement. My own argument would be that it was the transnational migration of domestic colonialism that was key. While eugenics grew in popularity, as Thomson suggests, until 1930, colonialism remained dominant in Britain, providing an important explanation (along with the Catholic Church and the Labour Party2) for why sterilization (the preferred option of eugenicists) was rejected in Britain but farm colonies continued to be strongly supported, as shall be discussed in detail in Chapter 7.

6.1.2. The 1913 Mental Deficiency Act and Domestic Colonialism The Mental Deficiency Act passed in 1913, based on the Royal Commission recommendations. It was viewed at the time as ‘a progressive piece of social legislation’, since it championed farm colonies, as Thomson notes, ‘the idea of 2

For more on these other factors, see Hansen and King, 2013.


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the colony [was] crucial in the construction of this progressive image’. In England under this act, farm colonies were established at Monyhull, Langdon, Bexley, Stoke Park, Ewell, Lingfield, Stamthwaite, and London; and in Scotland in Edinburgh under Winifred Muirhead, who had visited Fernald and also championed his system (Thomson, 1998: 113). As in America, the strongest proponents of farm colonies in Britain were generally medical and psychiatric experts and superintendents of the colonies themselves supported by key politicians. In 1914, T. E. Knowles Stansfield, medical doctor and colonel, as well as Resident Physician and Superintendent of the London County Mental Hospital, published an article in the Journal of Mental Science in which he argues that the ‘colony system’ is far preferable to the asylum or institutional model for mentally ill patients. In 1920, G.A. Auden, School Medical Officer and Lecturer in Public Health at Birmingham University (and father of poet W.H. Auden) concurs with respect to the mentally disabled: ‘the need for “Institutions” has been generally recognized, and the advisability that these should take the form of Colonies has been acknowledged by all who have to deal with mental defectives’ (1920: 45). He argues, like other defenders of farm colonies, that they make sense economically as well as therapeutically: Colonies must give clear evidence that they are a business proposition. They must show a financial return which bears some proportion to the outlay involved and they must prove by the results achieved that they provide a real solution of the general problem . . . approached from the compassionate, the sociological, the eugenic or the educational standpoint. (46)

Auden uses Fernald’s model as the basis upon which all colonies ought to be built, using his classifications as well as the requirement for hundreds of acres of land ‘which they were gradually bringing under cultivation, an undertaking which will utilize their physical energies for years to come’ (48). And like Tocqueville, who rejected penal colonies in favour of colonies agricoles, Auden concludes ‘above all . . . [they] must not give the slightest impression of being penal settlements’ (46). R.J.A. Berry, the Director of Medical Services and Chief Neurologist at the Stoke Park Colony near Bristol, also emphasized the therapeutic and economic benefits of domestic colonies: ‘For a colony for mental defectives to be . . . self-supporting there are three essentials: first, a first class efficient business administration; second, a sufficiency of agricultural land for the provision of food supplies; third, cheap labor . . . provided by all inmates above the level of the idiot-imbecile class’ (Berry, 1934: 119). In Scotland, Winifred Muirhead, Pathologist at the Royal Asylum in Scotland, who published an article in the British Journal of Psychiatry in 1913, defends and implements farm colonies in Scotland after visiting Fernald’s colony in Waverly (1913).

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In Britain there was an emphasis on the permanent nature of colony care following Fernald’s rather than Bernstein’s model. Dr Reginald LangdonDown (son of John Langdon-Down, who first identified Down Syndrome in 1866) argues at a conference of the National Association for the FeebleMinded in 1909 that large farm colonies ought to be established to teach the feeble-minded agrarian labour but also to permanently segregate them from society (Langdon-Down, 1909). Likewise, Alfred Eichholz (1902), Inspector of Schools in London, recommended that feeble-minded children finishing school should be sent to colonies to engage in labour. Like Langdon-Down, he thought that, while some may be able to return to society, the majority will remain in the colony forever. Langdon-Down and Eichholz reflect the greater tendency in Britain to view colonies as custodial institutions but ones that should ‘improve’ rather than simply house or penalize people (in America, particularly under Bernstein, there was more of an emphasis on ‘paroling’ individuals back into society and allowing them their freedom). This idea of permanent segregation was, in part, the product of eugenics but also echoes Locke’s argument in defence of the permanent segregation of ‘lunatics’ and ‘ideots’ from society, yet, instead of parents, the paternalistic authority is to be provided by the superintendent of the colony. The implications of this separation of the mentally disabled from a public realm populated by rights-bearing citizens have been profound in both modern political theory and practice, as I have discussed elsewhere (Arneil, 2009). Thomson summarizes this binary rooted in reason as it manifest itself in Britain: ‘Mental defectives were marked out as lying outside the boundaries of responsible citizenship; in need of care and control . . . but too irresponsible to exert their own civil rights or to have the right to liberty.’ (Thomson, 1998: 54). Instead of civil rights in the public realm, British medical experts in the nineteenth century argued that the mentally deficient could be ‘improved’ by working land in rural locations: ‘The countryside location provided space and cheap land for the dispersed design, and farmland on which patients could be set to work cultivating their own food; at the same time, the fresh food, exercise and fresh air seemed to offer therapeutic advantages for the residents.’ (Thomson, 1998: 115). Thus, the farm colony system largely modeled on the American model, particularly Fernald’s, used the same economic and ethical arguments to ensure the ‘care and control’ of the feeble-minded by the state. Over time, the attitudes to the mentally ill and disabled evolved so that by the third decade of the twentieth century, Britain continued to embrace the farm colony and rejected sterilization, while America, more influenced by eugenics, opted for forcible sterilization over colonization, as we shall discuss in Chapter 7 in more detail.


Domestic Colonies

6 . 2 . F A R M CO L O N I E S I N C ANAD A Canada began to explore farm colonies for the mentally ill and disabled at the end of the nineteenth century. In 1905, Canadian T.J.W. Burgess, President of the America-Medico Psychological Association (precursor to the American Psychiatric Association), proposed farm colonies during his presidential address on ‘The Insane in Canada’, since he argued they offered the best mode of care for mental illness and epilepsy with agrarian labour, creating both therapeutic and economic benefits. ‘In colonies a variety of trades can be carried on to advantage, and if a sufficiency of land be secured, floriculture, fruit-growing, and market-gardening, all of which are among the best forms of occupation . . . can be made sources of profit.’ (1905: 113). The farm colony model persisted in Canada well into the twentieth century. Indeed, as late as 1936, one of Canada’s most famous neurologists, Dr Wilder Penfield ‘urged . . . a farm colony be established’ by the provincial government in Quebec for ‘epileptics’, like the one at Woodstock, Ontario.3

6.2.1. Farm Colonies and Immigration: Domestic/Settler Colonization It is worth noting that a significant portion of Burgess’s address in 1905 also critiqued emigration from Britain to Canada because of an inordinate number of people, he claimed, with mental illness and/or disabilities (described the ‘dregs’ of British society by Burgess). He is clear that he would be only too happy to welcome Britain’s industrious and rational to Canada’s shores: The sturdy agriculturalists and artisans of the British Isles, healthy alike in body and mind, always furnish a welcome addition [to Canada] . . . but unhappily quite a large number of the immigrants brought to us are of a low standard of mentality . . . The result is that these incompetents, many of them consisting of the scum and dregs of an overcrowded European population are crowding our Provincial hospitals.

He concludes, ‘Canada is being made a “dumping ground” for the degenerates of Europe.’ (1905: 105). He also critiques recent agrarian schemes for orphans devised by the Lord Mayor of London in conjunction with Mrs Elinor Close that involved ‘the establishment in Canada of farms where the small children who were under the guardianship of the State would be placed from the age of two years upward. These mites would . . . be trained to help on these small farms of from 200 to 300 acres, managed by a Canadian farmer and his wife.’4

‘Farm for Epileptics’, The Stouffville Sun-Tribune, 23 April 1936. Lally Bernard, ‘London Letter The Pauper Children Emigration Scheme’, The [Toronto] Globe, 25 February 1905. Available at: inthenews.html 3 4

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Burgess’s concern with the ‘degenerates’ led him to argue that there must be stringent immigration controls in the UK to stem the tide of the ‘idle and irrational’ coming to Canada from England, even as he embraced, through his reference to the ‘sturdy agriculturalist’, the principle of settler colonialism for the industrious. As John Field notes, these concerns eventually led the Canadian government to create the kind of stringent measures Burgess and others called for: Dominions governments wanted white British and Irish bodies that were normal and fit. Applicants for assisted passages were subjected to medical examination before they could set sail. The Canadian government in 1926 established its own Canadian Medical Service in Britain to examine prospective settlers. By 1928, it had 28 full- time doctors, and employed British doctors part-time to cover the more remote areas. Medical examiners were instructed to report individuals who had spent time in a sanatorium, showed any ‘sign of disease of the GenitoUrinary Organs’, or suffered from mental illness. (Field, 2010: 6)

In the same speech, as mentioned earlier, Burgess argues for domestic colonies for Canadian-born citizens with mental illness and epilepsy.5 Thus, he is defending both domestic and settler colonization, rooted in the common goal of citizens who are industrious and rational. The consequences of these orphan emigration schemes were viewed by Burgess and the Canadian medical community, not as a problem of dispossession of indigenous peoples from their land (which is not even mentioned) but displacing Canadian-born settlers from asylums and hospitals in order to accommodate British born ‘degenerates’. Such settler colonization schemes rooted primarily in the domestic problems of unwanted mentally disabled/ill adults or orphaned children in England who were to be exported overseas, much like William Booth’s export of the idle poor to ‘overseas colony’ from his farm colony, represent a kind of transnational colonial network. Thus, while many nineteenth-century European domestic colonialists viewed the ‘export’ of their own ‘irrational’ and ‘idle’ to external settler colonies as part and parcel of their transnational colonial network, settlers living in external colonies resisted this notion and made the case that the Canadian state must impose stricter controls over immigration from Britain.

6.2.2. Farm Colonies in Ontario, BC, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba Farm colonies proposed for the mentally disabled and mentally ill in Canada, like those in Britain, were patterned on the American model of farm colonies, 5

There were other British philanthropists such as Annie MacPherson and Dr Thomas Barnardo who also sent thousands of children to Canada and Australia, including orphans and children/youth with mental disabilities and illness, though the latter often went to homes. See


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in particular, Fernald’s system. In this section, we examine farm colonies in Ontario, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. In all four cases, the ideology of domestic colonialism (including both its ethical and economic justifications) was key to the arguments made by the leading progressive medical, education, and political experts of the day. What is also clear, however, particularly in Ontario, is the degree to which eugenics was a secondary factor in justifying colonies, leading to a shift in the tone of colonialism and changing emphases on both the ends and means of colonization shifts. The shift is best demonstrated in the different language of the first Ontario commission on the ‘feeble-minded’ in 1907, influenced largely by colonialism, and the second one in 1919, chaired by Frank Hodgins, in which the influence of eugenics is readily apparent, as shall be shown. Ontario Farm Colonies: Liberal to Eugenicist Colonialism In 1879, John Langmuir, the Ontario Inspector of Insane Asylums, wrote in his Annual Report: ‘[To] cultivate in that class of patients a taste for work . . . is of infinitely greater importance, than any other portion of Asylum work and supervision’ (1879: 20). Langmuir made clear that agricultural labour in particular had economic and moral benefits. ‘It is clear therefore from the standpoint of public economy, and leaving out the question of the beneficial and healthful results accruing to the insane from land cultivation, that as large an area of land should be attached to asylums as can be profitably worked’ (1879: 21). As Geoffrey Reaume notes, what motivated this emphasis on agrarian labour in Canada was both ‘Anglo-American ideas of work as therapy and the need to pay for the maintenance of more mental institutions’—that is, the ethical and economic justifications of a liberal form of domestic colonialism (2006: 70). Reaume notes that labour by asylum members was defined along gendered lines, with women doing ‘needlework’ and the men ‘digging, leveling, draining and cultivating a large crop of vegetables’ (71). Thus, ‘unquestionably, it was male farm labour that was repeatedly stressed by asylum officials during the 1830s as being most valuable from both a therapeutic and a financial perspective’ (71). In 1907, the Legislative Assembly of Ontario created a commission to produce a report that would include both a census of the number of feebleminded in Ontario and recommendations as to what was to be done with them. This report begins as those in the United States did, by distinguishing different classifications of mental disability based on their ‘degree of reason’, namely idiots, imbeciles, and the feeble-minded. Their separation from society, the report argues, is inherent in the very terms used to describe them. Thus, on idiots, the report notes: ‘the word “idiot” is derived from the Greek and denotes one who has no share in ordinary public affairs [because] certain brain cells are lacking. No amount of training can raise them into reasoning

Farm Colonies for the Irrational in Britain and Canada


beings’ (Ontario Legislative Assembly, 1907: 2). Imbeciles, on the other hand, may be taught but only to a limited amount, and the ‘feeble-minded’ may be taught to engage in domestic labour and farm work. Thus, the report concludes, although there are 4,000 ‘idiots, imbeciles and feeble-minded persons’ in Ontario, only one institute (the Orillia Asylum) exists. It should be expanded, and farm colonies implemented here and elsewhere. ‘Institution care is the only way to deal with the Feeble-Minded. Farm Colonies with Industrial and Agricultural Training and Employment are the most successful’ (1907: 63). Once again, Fernald’s farm colony in Waverly Massachusetts is the preferred model, but the report also refers to Bernstein’s colony in New York as another model. When we consider the Institutions for the permanent care of the feeble-minded, the first, and we might also say, the greatest State Institution in America is the Massachusetts School of the Feeble Minded . . . of which Dr. Walter Fernald is the Superintendent. Dr. Fernald is known all over the world as one of the foremost authorities on the feeble-minded, and renown brought to the Institution by the great success of his methods in teaching and training them. It has about 700 inmates and there is a farm colony . . . a tract of land three miles long by one mile wide affords . . . their own improvement and training, but often with an economic result. (1907: 62)

Dr Helen MacMurchy, Inspector of the Feeble-Minded in Ontario, agreed with the report’s findings and championed farm colonies in the years to follow. When she visited the main provincial institution for the feeble-minded, the Orillia Asylum for Idiots in 1912, she publicly announced the creation of a provincial ‘farm colony for the feeble-minded’ (Orillia Packet newspaper 15 May 1912: 1). In a book published in 1920, MacMurchy defends the farm colony model she endorsed earlier in ethical terms: ‘Farm colony life for the mentally defective persons is intended to give them the maximum of freedom and development’ via agrarian labour (129). She also argues, like Locke, that the best form of government for the mentally disabled was parental authority in perpetuity. ‘Mental defectives [are] permanent children and [need] permanent parents’ (177) but adds (unlike Locke) the distinctively twentieth century sentiment, ‘the only Permanent Parent is the State’ (178). Thus state-run farm colonies are the only appropriate home for the mentally disabled. While farmland was purchased to create the farm colony in Orillia in 1911, due to WWI, it was not until 1922 that anything resembling the proposed colony plan was established [at] the Orillia Asylum. Known as the farm colony and located on what was then government leased Dunn homestead, the colony stood midway between the asylum and Orillia . . . the facility was 660 acres in extent, with 318 acres under cultivation. (Park, 1995: 67, 70)

The farm colony became a ‘very important aspect of the economy of Orillia . . . the farm boys lived segregated from the main population in Cottage “F”, also called


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Farm Colony House.’ The economic revenue from the farm colony was not insignificant, as by 1940, ‘there were 96 head of cattle, with a dairy milk production of 2,500 pounds, 131 swines and 13 sows and 1000 chicks’.6 It is worth noting that the Orillia Farm Colony and Asylum for Idiots will eventually become the Huronia Regional Center, mentioned in the introductory chapter—the subject of a $1 billion lawsuit by survivors of this institution. While the idea of institutionalization preceded and succeeded the farm colony, the principle of segregation and changing habits was, in part, the product of colonialism and, along with the principle of ‘improvement’, provided a fertile basis upon which staff could rationalize their abuse of patients. As discussed in the second chapter, liberal colonialism carries with it this particular kind of insidious form of power exactly because it believes it is necessary to get ‘inside’ the heads and bodies of those who are ‘irrational’ and transform them from the inside out to help them progress towards the goal, if possible, of rationality or at least productive. Thus, it is not just segregation that creates the conditions for abuse (although the lack of oversight by civil society certainly helps staff to act with impunity) but improvement ‘from within’ that allows those who wish to abuse others, the basis upon which to violate physical and emotional boundaries of people under their authority. Nothing shows this more clearly or profoundly than the rampant abuse at residential schools in Canada for indigenous children, established at the same time (with the same combination of hierarchical power, ‘improvement’ from within, and the impunity provided by segregation from society) but with the added genocidal dimension of changing not only individuals but eliminating indigeneity altogether. Ultimately, the systematic kind of abuse that occurred at both the Orillia Farm Colony for Idiots (later Huronia Regional Center for the mentally disabled) and residential schools was rooted it the same ideology of colonialism, championed by progressive thinkers as a kind of utopian alternative rooted in ‘improvement’, but in practice providing an ideological basis for physical, sexual, and emotional abuse by those in charge of the ‘progress’ from within of those under their care. The farm colony model spread beyond the recommendations of the Royal Commission of 1907 and Helen MacMurchy’s recommendations in 1911 in Orillia. On 1 December 1916, the Toronto World newspaper reported: ‘Mental defectiveness in all of its various phases, including . . . the urgent necessity of arresting its progress by the establishment of farm colonies was the subject of speeches delivered before the Academy of Medicine’ in Toronto. Dr F. Conboy’s recommendation that a sex-segregated ‘farm colony plan, one for the boys and one for the girls’ be established in Markham and Toronto was Thelma Wheatley, ‘Sexual Abuse at Huronia’, 6

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adopted by the Academy.7 Dr C.J. Clarke, president of the Toronto Branch of the Ontario Association of the Care of the Feeble-Minded, echoed the arguments made by Dr Burgess in the same year that ‘immigration’ was the central concern: ‘54% of mental defectives are imported’, in part because immigrant inspectors are not trained properly to stop them. In the same week, the Toronto Board of Education held hearings on the problem of the feeble-minded, and a large deputation appeared to recommend farm colonies for the mentally disabled, led by Dr Clarke, but including Dr MacMurchy and Dr Conboy, along with eighty representatives of the Toronto branch of the Provincial Association for the Care of the Feeble-Minded. This large deputation using Conboy’s report to the Academy recommended that farm colonies should be established in Markham and Bathhurst. The justification was rooted in both colonialism (to ‘educate the defectives’) and eugenics (‘segregate the sexes’). Finally, immigration and ethnicity/race were again important to ‘feeble-mindedness’ as the deputation argued that, while 3 per cent of students are feeble-minded, this number rises to 5 per cent when ‘foreign nationalities’ are measured, that is, non-British settlers. In response to this group, described as ‘one of the largest deputations that ever appeared before a body in the city council chamber’ the Board ‘endorsed a farm colony plan of looking after the feeble minded children of Toronto . . . near the city’s industrial farms’.8 But this plan was put on hold almost immediately due to the ongoing ‘war conditions’, according to Justice Frank Hodgins, a judge for the Ontario Court of Appeal from 1912–32 who became the main author of the second (1919) Royal Commission Report on the Care and Control of the Feeble-Minded in Ontario (Hodgins, 1919). Hodgins took up the argument for farm colonies in his report, stating, now that the war was over, that the plan should ‘be revived [but] in a somewhat different form’. The different form referred to by Hodgins was the result of the influence of eugenics on Hodgins more than on the authors of the 1907 Report or domestic colonialists like MacMurchy and the Toronto Board of Education. Indeed if one compares the title of the 1907 report, ‘Care of the Feeble-Minded in Canada’ to the 1919 Report ‘Care and Control of the Mentally Defective and Feeble-Minded in Canada’, the word ‘control’ means the need for reproductive control over women’s bodies; and the word ‘defective’ speaks to the idea of ‘degeneracy’ championed by eugenicists. As disability scholar Lennard Davis (1996, 1997) argues, ‘defect’ emerges directly out of the eugenics movement because by definition, defects were something to be cured or prevented. Thus, even from the title, it is clear the tone has changed from the first report. Moreover, the mentally disabled are described less as ‘backward’ or ‘vulnerable’ ‘Mental Defectives Increasing Rapidly’, Toronto World, 1 December 1916, p. 15. ‘Plan Farm Colony for Feeble Minded: Education Board Approves Scheme to Care for Children’, Toronto World, 8 December 1916, p. 4. 7 8


Domestic Colonies

and more as a burden, threat, or menace to society, with the tendency to engage in criminal activity or sinful behaviour. Finally, the majority of appendices (141–230) attached to the report come directly from American eugenicists including Walter Fernald. Eugenics shapes not only the title and appendices but the substance of the recommendations. Instead of ‘improvement’ and care via agrarian labour of the feeble-minded, Hodgins’ report emphasizes control in farm colonies over the criminal propensities of the mentally defective. Given the enormously negative implications for future generations, the main goal of colonies was therefore to ensure segregation from society and the opposite sex more than rehabilitation. Hodgins repeatedly recommends ‘permanent segregation’, for ‘women of child-bearing age’. Finally, the labour on the farm colonies is more punitive, with an emphasis on the duty of the ‘degenerates’ to pay back to society and the actual ‘colony system’ was to be more industrial farm than individual agrarian labour, ‘equipped with mechanical facilities for the various kinds of industrial work and manual labour as indicated in this Report’ (1919: 129). Thus, farm colonies were still agrarian, but rather than a collection of individuals tilling the rural soil in the countryside for their own benefit, it was described as ‘large schemes of production such as poultry farming, a canning factory and scientific fruit farming’ designed primarily to raise revenues to offset costs (130). The earlier colonial idea of ‘improvement’ through agrarian labour is thus downplayed, with control, segregation, and economic benefits emphasized, reflecting the greater importance of eugenics to Hodgins’ thinking compared to colonialism (although both are present). It is interesting to note that, just as Ontario was moving away from the earlier commitment to liberal colonialism and towards a more punitive and segregationist form of colonization in 1919, Hodgins’ main inspiration, Walter Fernald, was actually going in the opposite direction; away from eugenics and towards colonialism (rejecting permanent segregation for improvement and re-entry into society, as discussed earlier). BC Farm Colonies: Settler/Domestic Colonialism While in all of the cases discussed thus far in North America, farm colonies were more often than not located on the traditional territory of indigenous peoples, only in British Columbia do we find farm colonies established on explicitly unceded territory, since it was not subject to any kind of treaty negotiation. As Edington observes on farm colonies in South East Asia, they represent in various ways on the ground, the intersection of both external/ settler and domestic colonialism. In the case of BC, as Roman et al. notes, these interconnections have rarely been addressed in the literature. The ‘processes of medical colonization involve multiple and interrelated forms of colonial and medical rules—both the institutional confinement of the so-called “medically

Farm Colonies for the Irrational in Britain and Canada


unfit” and their confinement on stolen land—and that they have rare been analyzed [as such] is quite stunning.’ (2009: 19). Thus, the first General Hospital in BC was established in 1859 on the ‘Songhees’ reservation . . . amidst massive conflict with the Songhees, Kalum and Sooke First Nations. After lengthy negotiations . . . small parcels of lands were segregated from the . . . growing white metropolitan community and “given” to . . . the Songhees, Kallum, and Sooke First Nations’ (Roman et al., 2009: 24). Governor James Douglas, who represented the British Crown in these negotiations over land, even after reserving land, then proceeded ‘to locate the General Hospital on [this reserved land on] the unceded territories of the Songhees and Isquimalt people’. He justified putting it there despite prior commitments by the Crown, because the hospital would treat both indigenous and non-indigenous peoples. (24) Thirteen years later, the hospital became the Victoria Lunatic Asylum and accommodated all of the mentally ill and disabled individuals in BC. It is worth noting the degree to which the language in the BC Lunacy Jurisdiction Act of 1872 that established this Asylum is Lockean. The Asylum must accommodate ‘natural born fools, lunatics and persons deprived of understanding and reason . . . unable to govern themselves or their estates’ (27). Ultimately, therefore, the choice of reserved indigenous land for a lunatic asylum is not coincidental—ableism and racism come together on this piece of land: ‘those regarded as undesirable were to be contained on lands also regarded as a parcel of containment removed from the white metropolis of Victoria’ (27). By 1878, the Victoria Lunatic Asylum was closed and patients were transferred to the larger Public Hospital for the Insane in New Westminster. The Medical Officer in his annual report of 1883 argues for the need for a farm colony next to this new asylum: ‘There are about four acres of ground immediately in front of the Asylum . . . which ought to be fenced in and brought under cultivation. This would . . . have a most beneficial effect on a large portion of the patients . . . to have them a portion of the time employed in cultivating vegetables’.9 In 1905, an explicitly named farm colony was indeed established adjacent to the hospital and grew over the next two decades so that ‘by the second decade of the twentieth century [it was] the largest colony in Canada . . . designed to accommodate 560 patients . . . on a tract of 1000 acres suitable for diversified farming purposes.’ (Park, 1995: 253). The hospital in one form or another remained a key feature of the mental health system in BC until it closed in 1984 (it still houses the BC Forensic Psychiatric Hospital). But most of this land, reflecting its domestic colonial history, is now known as the Colony Farm Regional Park. 9 Annual Report on the Provincial Hospital for the Insane, Department of Health Services and Hospital Insurance, Mental Health Services Branch, 12 January 1883, cited in Roman et al. (2009), p. 33.


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The intersection between settler colonization and domestic colonization which began at this farm colony’s inception continues to the present day, as the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital next to Colony Farm Regional Park is also located on the traditional territory of the Kwikwetlem people; who have ‘for more than a century opposed having a mental hospital on . . . its territorial land’ (Dhillon and Bailey, 2012: S1). Like the Victoria lunatic asylum, this ‘farm colony’ established on indigenous territory was a space of dual containment of both the disabled and indigenous peoples deliberately located at some distance from the white metropolis of Vancouver. In an article published in The Globe and Mail in December 2012, Sunny Dhillon and Ian Bailey note that, while the Colony Farm engaged patients in agrarian labour for therapeutic reasons and provided food for the Riverview Hospital for the Insane until 1983, from its inception, it was a problem for the Kwikwetlem people. For more than 80 years, the Kwikwetlem First Nation people have lived within walking distance of the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital at Colony Farm . . . Chief Kwikwetlem William—the man for whom the suburban community of Coquitlam is named knew firsthand the perils of living near a hospital for the mentally ill [as he] . . . was attacked by a pitchfork-wielding patient at Colony Farm during the 1930s. (Dhillon and Bailey, 2012: S1)

Today, the proximity of the Kwikwetlem people to the original farm colony, now the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital, remains a contested issue that impacts the daily lives of its indigenous neighbours. ‘Dale Lessoway, the Kwikwetlem’s land and resource manager says the band has met with hospital officials multiple times pleading for quick notification when a patient walks away . . . [his] frustration with Colony Farm is readily apparent [because although] the first nation has a protocol’ it is often ignored by the hospital. Thus, not only was the unceded territorial land of the Kwikwetlem people used to house this farm colony, its existence in one form or another for nearly one hundred years has created a ‘pressing problem in their own backyard’, both in the original dispossession of territory but also in the current tendency to ignore negotiated protocols around escapees by the hospital. Prairie Farm Colonies: Immigration, Eugenics, and Colonialism In 1920, the Canadian National Committee for Mental Hygiene conducted a survey of ‘mental abnormality’ in the province of Saskatchewan, publishing their findings in the Journal of Mental Hygiene, in 1922. Under ‘abnormality’ they included virtually every possible group—the insane, mental ‘defectives’, juvenile delinquents, criminals, unwed mothers, neglected children, and immigrants. At the conclusion of the eighty-page report, the two key recommendations, consistent with TJW Burgess’s presidential address to the Americo-Psychological

Farm Colonies for the Irrational in Britain and Canada


Association in 1905, are to reform immigration policy and introduce farm colonies. Thus, the first main recommendation is ‘prospective immigrants should be carefully selected from the standpoint of mental fitness. A considerable proportion of the burden of mental abnormality that is now imposed on Saskatchewan is due to immigration.’ (Saskatchewan, 1922: 379). As John Field (2010) argues of Canadian immigration practices at the time, the report had a distinctively Anglo-Saxon bias to it, viewing a relationship between the various non-British ethno-religious groups coming to Saskatchewan, like Doukhobors and Mennonites, as key to the rise of ‘abnormality’. The second main recommendation is the establishment of farm colonies for mental defectives explicitly citing Fernald’s colony in Waverly Massachusetts and Bernstein’s colony in Rome, New York, as examples of places where ‘colonization of defectives has been carried on with great success’ (382). Quoting Bernstein at great length, the report defends colonies using both ethical and economic arguments: ‘From now on, we should devote our energies toward enlargement along the lines of colonization, to rehabilitate as far as possible the patients that come to us and to return their services to the state.’ Colonization should be done on ‘various parcels of state-owned land and on abandoned or undeveloped farms’ (384). It is also worth noting that Tommy Douglas, Premier of Saskatchewan, discussed in Chapter 5 as one of the architects of Metis colonies in the middle of the twentieth century, also supported colonization of ‘sub-normal’ individuals, not as premier but in his younger years. His master’s thesis, completed at McMaster’s University, Hamilton in 1933, entitled The Problems of the Subnormal Family, recommends that individuals of ‘low intelligence’ be segregated from society while the ‘fully deficient’ ought to be sterilized, because this would benefit the collective well-being of society. Douglas repudiated these eugenicist views later in life, so as premier and Minister of Health in the 1930s, he rejected colonization of mentally disabled people and sterilization (a policy embraced in Alberta and British Columbia during the same period). In Manitoba, like Saskatchewan, the Canadian National Committee for National Hygiene engaged in ‘a study of social conditions . . . with special reference to the insane and feeble-minded’ at the request of the Public Welfare Commission of Manitoba in 1918.10 The Committee recommended that the mentally ill and disabled ought to be housed in separate institutions or wings, that ‘female defectives’ ought to be trained to be ‘productive’ if possible and ‘a colony of adult male defectives should be established . . . experience shows that such a colony could be maintained at a surprisingly low cost. . . . The adult defectives in addition to being capable of participation in industrial pursuits 10 ‘Manitoba Survey: Care of the Mentally Unfit’, Canadian National Committee for Mental Hygiene, Col. Colin K. Russell, Chair, 1919, Canadian Journal of Mental Hygiene, 1 (1919): 77–82, 77.


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would also be fitted for agricultural and farming work in the colony.’ (Manitoba Survey, 1919: 82). Henry Atkinson, superintendent of the main institution for the mentally disabled in Manitoba, the Manitoba School for the Mentally Deficient, in Portage La Prairie, took up these recommendations a decade later, and introduced agrarian labour for boys in his first year there in 1930. In the first annual report of the School, Atkinson laid out his vision rooted in the ‘occupational training of patients . . . with a pastoral picture of boys working industriously on the farm’ (Hicks, 2008: 116). His idea was that, through such farming, not only would ‘empty’ land adjoining the home be improved and be made productive, but the individuals would be improved through learning to become industrious. In her examination of the history of psychiatric nursing in Manitoba, Beverley Hicks titles her study from ‘barnyards’ to ‘beds’ exactly because the standard care in the first half of the twentieth century was the ‘farm asylum’ (2008). Farm asylums or colonies in Manitoba, like the rest of Canada, were renamed, thus, the Portage institution became the Manitoba School for Retardates and then the Manitoba Developmental Center. In 1973 the ‘new government’s vision for mental health and retardation was published . . . the Clarkson Report [which] became the blueprint for all aspects of mental health care’ and it recommended closing farms (Hicks, 2008: 167). As a result of the Clarkson Report, ‘mental hospital farms were suspended, the cattle and hogs were disposed of, farm staff redeployed and the farms phased out’.11 While the MDC is one of only two residential institutions still open in Canada for the mentally disabled as of October 2013, there are now only 200 residents.12 Thus, one finds in Manitoba, perhaps later than other provinces, the embracing of the farm colony ideal and a resistance to deinstitutionalization that had brought an end to colonies/institutions for the mentally disabled in Canada.

6.3. CONCLUSION The problem of ‘irrationality’, as discussed in these past two chapters, is as much a political as medical problem in the nineteenth and twentieth century, seen from the perspective of a liberal colonial political theory and polity both because it needs to be solved by public institutions and because the goal is to 11 Government of Manitoba, Report on the Phase Out of the Institutional Farms at the Hospital for Mental Diseases at Brandon and Selkirk, April 1970, cited in Hicks (2008: 268). 12 ‘According to People First, a national advocacy organization of people with intellectual disabilities, in 2006 there were over 3,800 peoples living in 31 large institutions in seven provinces in Canada. Today there are about 430 living in one province. Manitoba is the lone holdout, caught on the wrong side of history.’ Will Braun, ‘Development Centre’s Time is Past’, Winnipeg Free Press, 1 October 2013.

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create, as far as possible, industrious and rational citizens. Unlike Locke, who had argued in the seventeenth century that the ‘irrational’ ought to be governed in perpetuity by their parents, in the nineteenth century, the mentally ill and disabled were to be segregated from society, as Locke had argued, but in public institutions rather than private families in order to ‘improve’ them. By the end of the nineteenth century, the preferred institution for people with epilepsy, mental illness, and disability in Europe and European settler colonies was the farm colony, where they would be engaged in agrarian labour for both economic and therapeutic reasons. These ‘irrational’ domestic populations of mentally ill and disabled people were thus linked with both the ‘idle poor’ described in Chapters 3 and 4 and the ‘idle’ and custom-bound indigenous people(s) who are all found wanting in relation to the ‘rational’ settler/citizen through the ideology of colonialism. My analysis contributes, therefore, two important insights to the large academic literature on the historical treatment of the mentally ill and disabled around the turn of the twentieth century. First unlike most of the literature on farm colonies where the mentally ill and disabled are analysed independently of each other (with colonies for the mentally ill analysed through a Foucauldian lens of moral treatment and disciplinary power and colonies for the mentally disabled analysed through eugenics) my analysis analyses them not as separate histories of illness and disability, but as manifestations of a common colonial concern with ‘irrationality’. I delve into this comparative scholarly question in detail in Chapter 7, analysing disciplinary power and eugenics in comparison to domestic colonialism. I conclude that the best explanation for farm colonies as the dominant form of care at the turn of the twentieth century for both disability and illness was neither eugenics nor disciplinary power (although both play important roles in explaining the broader phenomenon of institutionalization) but domestic colonialism. The second important insight my analysis provides is analysing colonies for the mentally ill and disabled in relation to labour colonies for the idle poor. By focusing on their existence as colonies, rather than simply another kind of institutional care and/or control, I am able to show those characteristics unique to domestic colonies over other kinds of institutions, namely segregation combined with improvement always rooted in agrarian labour. And, as with labour colonies, it is the leading progressive figures of their day (particularly from the medical community but also the political realm) who champion colonies for the ‘irrational’, including Langdon-Down, Eichholz, McCutcheon and Churchill in Britain to Wilbur, Fernald, Bernstein, and Roosevelt in America, to Douglas, MacMurchy, Penfield, Conboy, and Burgess in Canada, and government commissions in both Canada and Britain. They all justify farm colonies for the mentally defective and ill for ethical reasons (transform the irrational into the rational) and economic reasons (offset the costs of a growing institutionalized population).


Domestic Colonies

Farm colonies lasted well into the twentieth century, but were, perhaps ironically, weakened by the growing influence of eugenics in the 1920s, 30s and 40s as the policy of sterilization, particularly in the United States and Alberta as well as certain countries in Europe replaced colonies as a way of guaranteeing reproduction would be prevented. But there was also a thirdworld decolonization movement that led ‘farm colonies’ for ‘idiots’ being renamed ‘mental hygiene’ or ‘mental health’ centres for the mentally ‘retarded’ or ‘deficient’, just as labour colonies were renamed work camps (Field, 2009). The ideology of colonialism viewed, for so long in Europe, as a positive ideology through which to govern the mentally ill and disabled in their own interests, was increasingly viewed, as a result of the decolonization movement, as one that was inescapably coercive, dominating and profoundly negative. Finally, the movement by disabled peoples themselves and former psychiatric patients in the 1960s and 70s in favour of desegregating people with mental illness and disabilities led to the deinstitutionalization and community living/ care movements, which led to the final closure of most institutions that had at one time been called farm colonies. In recent years, it should be noted, perhaps because of the failure of governments to financially support community care, one finds a resurgence in the notion that agrarian labour has therapeutic benefits for the mentally ill and disabled in what is now termed ‘horticultural therapy’, ‘green care’, or ‘care farming’ (Hassink and van Dijk, 2006). Some of its advocates trace their origins, unproblematically, to farm colony advocates of the eighteenth and nineteenth century. Indeed, one finds a worrying tendency among contemporary advocates for green therapy to cast farm colonies as exemplary forms of ‘moral treatment’ that provide models for the twenty-first century. Sempik, for example, argues that today’s ‘care farming’ ‘in many respects is a remodeling of the old asylum farm . . . focused towards productivity although the balance between productivity and care varies’. He goes on to say, ‘these nature-based approaches [which include horticultural therapy and care farming] address predominantly the same client groups as the hospital and asylum farms and market gardens, namely those with mental health problems and learning difficulties. These two are the largest of the vulnerable groups that engage in such activities.’.13 So while endorsing the historical model of ‘farm colonies’ as the inspiration for their own model of horticultural therapy, Sempik et al. (2005) steer away from the word ‘colony’, despite its ubiquity in the history they are describing. I would argue, however, that the history of colonies and colonialism ought to be transparent if we are to truly understand this history and learn from it. 13 Joe Sempik et al., ‘Being Outside: Exploring Perceptions of Nature and Health in Therapeutic Gardens’. British Sociological Association (2003), ExploringNatureandHealth.doc, pp. 1–23: 4–5.

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Colonialism is central to understanding both the economic and therapeutic dimensions of such colonies, but also the insidious power relations inherent in the idea of improvement from within which seems implicit in these new models as well. The important and much larger debate over deinstitutionalization, particularly in the context of a lack of resources and support in the community for people who have been discharged from such institutions, is beyond the scope of this book; my only point is to suggest that, before we champion the asylum farm or horticultural therapy as the direction for the future, this history of domestic colonization and colonialism ought to be fully considered so that society learns lessons from the past before it embarks down a similar path again.

7 Foucault and Eugenics versus Domestic Colonialism This chapter steps back from the historical examination of domestic colonies and their ideological justifications discussed in the previous four chapters to engage in a comparative theoretical analysis of the major explanations in contemporary scholarship for the creation of certain kinds of institutions in the nineteenth -twentieth century that segregate and govern sub-populations in particular ways in relation to my own arguments rooted in the ideology of domestic colonialism. Thus this chapter will compare domestic colonialism to the two leading explanations in the scholarly literature: a) the theories of moral treatment and disciplinary power championed by Michel Foucault (and many other scholars in his wake) as key to explaining the existence of farm colonies for the mentally ill and labour colonies for the idle poor and b) eugenics as the central framework of social historians to explain the creation of farm colonies for the mentally disabled. While both schools of thought provide important insights into the power exercised by nineteenth century institutions within liberal societies in particular over those deemed to be ‘backward’ or ‘abnormal’ in society, I will argue, through a detailed analysis of Foucault’s understanding of both moral treatment/disciplinary power and colonization and eugenics that neither provides an explanation for colonies as colonies over other forms of institutional care and control (asylums, prisons or sterilization) in the way that the ideology of domestic colonialism does.

7.1. FOUCAULDIAN THEORY VERSUS DOMESTIC COLONIALISM Michel Foucault’s research is focused on how institutions within modern society constitute and treat the same groups of socially problematic populations in the nineteenth century as my own analysis—the ‘residue’ as Foucault describes them—people marginalized and stigmatized within an increasingly

Foucault and Eugenics versus Domestic Colonialism


urbanized and industrialized European society including the mentally ill, the idle, petty criminals, and the mentally disabled. Foucault’s theories have had a profound impact on both postcolonial studies and scholars engaged in an critical analysis of marginalized populations (particularly mentally ill people and prison populations) as they provide insights into how disciplinary power is exercised in modern society under the guise of what appears to be humane forms of treatment compared to earlier institutions. My analysis overlaps with Foucault’s theory in a number of ways. First, we have a common focus on the marginalized of society in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Second, we examine how experts claiming to be progressive in solving the social problems associated with these populations compared to earlier forms of ‘treatment’ seek to segregate and ‘improve’ them, which carries its own unique form of power. Thus, third, Foucault’s notion that ‘progressive’ reforms involved an invasive form of power is similar to my own interpretation of domestic colonialism as an insidious power that seeks to change people from within (rather than imperialism, which attempts to dominate from outside). But while some similarities exist, there are also important differences; which help to explain why Foucault’s theory of disciplinary power is unable to explain the existence of domestic colonies in Europe in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The first difference at the level of nomenclature is Foucault’s use of ‘residue’, whereas I refer to the ‘backward’, meaning the ‘idle’ and/or ‘irrational’ of domestic colonialism. These terms differ in definition and the degree to which these populations are capable of assimilation into society. The word residue, from the Latin residium, means something ‘left behind’ or ‘remains behind’ whereas those who are ‘backward’ are not left behind at all but moved forward or improved in order to become the industrious and rational citizen, according to the ideology of domestic colonialism. Thus, for Foucault, the residue are by definition, ‘inassimilable’, incapable of being disciplined by mainstream systems (schools, police, and so on), which is why they require ‘normalizing’ institutions (asylums, special schools, colonies) in order to make them compliant. In domestic colonies, on the other hand, the ‘backward’ are imminently assimilable, indeed they must be assimilated. Thus, ultimately, while the goal of disciplinary power is to create compliant subjects, the goal of domestic colonialism is to create productive citizens. The modern prison in Discipline and Punish achieves this goal through surveillance and control using the techniques of examination, hierarchical observation, and normalizing judgement that become the model of governance for other modern institutions including schools and hospitals. In my analysis, the goal of domestic colonies is not to create compliant subjects via surveillance, observation, judgement, and control but to create productive citizens via agrarian labour. Indeed, this key activity that anchors virtually every kind of colony discussed in the previous four chapters is missing from Foucault’s


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analysis entirely, even when something like Mettray colony is used as the quintessential example of the modern prison. To demonstrate the gaps in Foucault’s analysis, I will analyse three key texts: Madness and Civilization, Discipline and Punish, and his 1973–74 lectures on Psychiatric Power at the Collège de France. In all three texts, I will also examine what he has to say about colonization. In the first two texts he has very little to say about colonization or colonialism; which is curious for three reasons. First, in the case of Madness and Civilization, France not only created colonies for the mentally ill but exported them to French colonies around the world, as Edington has shown, and was discussed in Chapter 3. Second, while Mettray colony anchors the final chapter of Discipline and Punish, as the quintessential moment that the carceral system was born, Foucault never calls it a colony. His only references to colonization in this text are penal or settler colonies, meaning colonization is, by definition for him, foreign and punitive. Third, despite the fact that he says so little about colonization in these texts, the theory of power developed in them has been foundational for postcolonial scholars, including Edward Said, Ann Laura Stoler, Robert Young, and Claire Edington. Young notes: ‘Foucault had a lot to say about power [but] he was curiously circumspect about the ways in which it has operated in the arenas of race and colonialism’ (1995: 1) and even with an ‘absence of explicit discussions of colonialism, Foucault’s work has been a central theoretical reference point for post colonial analysis’ (1). Foucault has much more to say about ‘internal’ and ‘external’ colonization in his Collège de France lectures.1 As will be discussed in detail shortly, over several lectures from 1973–74, Foucault defines five different kinds of colonization, four of them internal. Colonization is thus a single frame for Foucault in these lectures for explaining the power exercised over ‘idiots’, the mentally ill, youth and petty criminals within Europe, as well as peoples in the nonEuropean world. Ultimately, however, colonization in these lectures is still subsumed within disciplinary power and colonies are nothing more than disciplinary apparatus. Thus, while his understanding of internal colonization is incomplete, his analysis of external colonization completely misses the mark, since it ignores the material dimensions of dispossession. Although Foucault’s analysis of colonization in these lectures is limited, it is still important to analyse because this is one of the few places in contemporary scholarship where domestic forms of colonization are analysed in conjunction with external forms, as a joint theoretical frame.


I would like to thank Lucas Pinheiro for pointing me towards these lectures by Foucault and his comments about colonization.

Foucault and Eugenics versus Domestic Colonialism


7.1.1. Madness and Civilization: Moral Treatment and Farm Colonies Madness and Civilization, the abridged 1964 English version of A History of Madness originally published in French in 1961, provides a deeply insightful account of changes occurring in the treatment of mental illness in modern European society in the nineteenth century, including how and why confinement, punishment, and harsh treatment for the mentally ill gave way to moral treatment and discipline. But Madness and Civilization is silent on farm colonies, despite their ubiquity in France and French Indochina in the period of history with which Foucault is concerned, as documented in detail by Claire Edington. His analysis does not analyse a specifically colonial form of moral treatment, nor does he address the problem of mental disability and how it blurs into mental illness (as he does in his Psychiatric Power lectures) particularly in the case of domestic colonies, as two manifestations of irrationality that need to be improved through labour. Although silent on farm colonies as such, Foucault implicitly includes them as one variant of the modern asylum. This is problematic, however, because colonies were always proposed as alternatives to asylums, with a rural location as opposed to the asylum’s urban environment, made up by villas or cottages rather than barracks, open rather than closed, and, most importantly, engaging members in agrarian labour. Thus, while segregation and improvement is explicable through moral treatment and disciplinary power, agrarian labour within a domestic colony is not. Foucault does say at one point in the text that ‘work comes first in moral treatment’ but then does not elaborate other than to say it is a ‘constraining power . . . imposed only as . . . a limitation of liberty, a submission to order’ (Foucault, 1988: 248). But, as we have discussed, agrarian labour was not viewed as a ‘limitation of liberty’ or submission by domestic colonialists, particularly French ones, but rather the basis upon which moral freedom in a republican polity is constituted. For Foucault, such labour was rote by design in order to ensure submission, and hence he describes it as ‘work . . . deprived of any productive value’ (1988: 248). But domestic colonialists repeatedly argue that agrarian labour was both therapeutically and economically productive (via goods sold at market, increasing the value of ‘empty’ or ‘wild’ land, and transforming the colonized into productive citizens). Thus, Foucault’s analysis fails to recognize the importance of the economic benefits of colonization, as articulated by those who favoured it over asylums (that only drain the state of money). It is important to recognize this economic defence of colonies because it opens up both kinds of justifications for them. For domestic colonialists, agrarian labour on ‘empty’ land creates revenues—an idea first defended in the external colonialism of John Locke.


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Not surprisingly, Foucauldian analysts who use this theoretical framing of disciplinary power overlook colonies as a distinct form of treatment and also ignore the centrality of agrarian labour and its economic dimensions. Edington is an exception to this rule and explicitly points out that Foucauldian literature on farm colonies is very limited in this regard, even in relation to the therapeutic dimensions of agrarian labour: ‘The use of labour as a kind of medical intervention . . . to recalibrate the mind, remains little explored’ (2013: 186). Geoffrey Reaume likewise concludes analyses of asylums in Canada also ignore agrarian labour: ‘Few . . . have delved in detail into exactly what it was that asylum inmates did . . . most of the focus has been on the ideas behind moral therapy, as opposed to trying to grapple with patients’ labour as a worthwhile subject in itself ’ (2006: 91). Put simply, Foucault’s framework does not lend itself to an examination of agrarian labour, the ethical or economic benefits of labour, or viewing the colony as anything distinct from the asylum, since both are manifestations of moral treatment and disciplinary power. But the French farm colony model for the mentally ill rooted in moral freedom and agrarian labour cannot be subsumed within disciplinary power because it is closer to the labour colonies agricoles of France like Mettray than asylums, both of which are defended using the same ideology of liberal domestic colonialism that repudiated penal colonies and asylums. An analysis of domestic colonization is thus required (in conjunction with Foucault’s theory of moral treatment) to explain the historical reality of farm colonies as colonies for the mentally ill in France as well as in Asia, Continental Europe, Britain, and North America.

7.1.2. Discipline and Punish: Disciplinary Power and Labour Colonies Foucault opens the last chapter of Discipline and Punish published in 1975, with the sentence: ‘Were I to fix the date of completion of the carceral system . . . I would choose . . . 22 January 1840, the date of the official opening of Mettray.’ (Foucault, 1995: 293). Given the importance of Mettray colony as the paradigmatic example of the historical shift from punishment to discipline in Foucault’s analysis, it is striking that he never actually refers to it as a ‘colony’ in this final chapter.2 Foucault does not call Mettray a colony for two reasons. First, he defines colonization in this text (as opposed to his 1973–74 lectures) as external (settler or penal colonies) and Mettray as a domestic institution. Second, Mettray was his quintessential example of the carceral system within France and not, as I have argued, a manifestation of the


The only two references to Mettray as a colony are in quotations from other people.

Foucault and Eugenics versus Domestic Colonialism


transnational colonial system. I will begin with an analysis of Foucault’s understanding of colonization before turning to disciplinary power in order to understand why Mettray is seen as part of an internal carceral rather than transnational colonial system. Foucault defines colonization in Discipline and Punish in three ways: 1) a form of punitive power, 2) an infiltration of the law by powerful interests in society to constitute delinquency, 3) actual external colonies of France (penal colonies of Guinea/New Caledonia and settler colony of Algeria). The first definition of colonization as punishment is found in references to: ‘penal servitude in the convict ships and penal settlements’ under the auspices of the ‘Ministry of the Colonies’, (10) ‘a power that is exercised on those punished . . . the colonized’ (29), and the ‘colonization of the penalty by the prison’ (117). This first definition of colonization is a form of punitive power—the key manifestation is French penal colonies. The second definition of colonization is infiltration as found in reference to, ‘a new class of power . . . [that] colonized the legal institution . . . and defined the power to punish as a general function of society’, (231), ‘judges . . . assist as far as they can in the . . . colonization and use of certain of these illegalities by the . . . dominant class’ (282), ‘the split between delinquency and other illegalities . . . its colonization by the dominant illegality . . . have given rise to struggles’ (285), and ‘anarchists [tried] to disentangle delinquency from the bourgeois legality and illegality that had colonized it’. Within the study of delinquency, colonization is also a metaphor for the ways in which judges and dominant classes infiltrate the law to construct illegality and penality. Colonization is used, in other words, for its rhetorical power. This definition overlaps with the first in that colonization is fundamentally a punitive power, but it is constituted via delinquency through the law itself. It is important to note in both cases that Foucault is using colonization not to describe a concrete historical process but as a metaphor to convey a kind of insidious power. His third definition of colonization is external colonies and includes both the French settler colony of Algeria and penal colonies of South East Asia. This empirical as opposed to rhetorical use of the term distinguishes it from the first two definitions of colonization. But Foucault is also careful to distinguish between settler and penal colonization in relation to his central focus on the carceral system: the ‘colony [of Algeria] was formally excluded by the law of 1854 from becoming one of the overseas penal colonies’ and thus, for Foucault, Algeria was not involved in the ‘deportation’ of delinquents as the penal colonies of ‘Guiana or later . . . New Caledonia’ were. (279) But the problem with this analysis is that the colony of Algeria was absolutely engaged in the deportation of delinquents, not as a penal colony but as an external colonie agricole, that is, as a node in a transnational colonial network. As discussed in Chapter 3, such a transnational system rooted in agrarian labour rather than punishment was defended by Tourdonnet and in two government


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reports. Ann Stoler argues that Foucault was indeed wrong on this point: ‘Although Algeria was formally excluded as an overseas penal colony in 1854, it was not . . . excluded as a site of . . . colonies agricoles’ (Stoler, 2011b: 30). Foucault would only be able to recognize Algeria as part of a transnational colonial network if the agrarian as opposed to penal dimensions of it as well as Mettray were acknowledged. Thus, missing from Foucault’s analysis of Mettray is the possibility that colonization could be characterized as nonpunitive, agrarian, and domestic in form rather than as exclusively carceral, punitive, and external. But while Mettray is excluded from Foucault’s definition of colonization, it is at the centre of his analysis of modern discipline. Mettray is ‘the disciplinary form at its most extreme, the model in which are concentrated all the coercive technologies of behaviour’ (293). Thus, the penal colony of New Caledonia is tied to Mettray in Foucault’s analysis through ‘carceral’ power: ‘The carceral [is] a long gradation from the convict ship or imprisonment with hard labour’ to Mettray, within which ‘nothing really distinguishes them [from each other] . . . in its function, the power to punish is not essentially different from that of curing or educating’ (302). Mettray and New Caledonia are thus two points on one continuum of carceral power for Foucault in which there is no difference between education, punishment, and hard labour. Domestic colonialists like Tocqueville and deMetz, however, denounced penal colonies as punitive in the same breath that they proposed domestic rural colonies as humane. For them, the domestic colony was not the continuation of the penal colony but its opposite in both purpose and ends. Colonies agricoles and vacances, as defended by charitable religious organizations and socialists over the next century, sought to ‘improve’ and ‘help’ young delinquents rather than punish them, transforming them into free citizens of the republic through the redemptive power of the countryside rather than compliant subject. Put simply, the penal and domestic colony were viewed as opposite in ethical terms. The difference lay, once again, in the principle of agrarian labour in the domestic countryside as improvement over the principle of hard labour as punishment in the overseas penal colony. Foucault’s analysis fails to engage with Mettray’s focus on agrarian labour, as articulated in its motto, ‘improvement of man by the earth and earth by man, under God’. The second half of this—improvement of earth by man—is only explicable through a colonial analysis that it is the cultivating of a terra nullius that is key to the economic benefits of Mettray and it being defended as a revenue generator, versus either prisons or penal colonies which were drains on the state. As such, the claimed economic benefits of Mettray used so often by its defenders to justify it, and included in its very motto, are only explicable via the ideology of colonialism. This leads to another problem in Foucault’s analysis, because once Mettray is recognized as a colonie agricole, its opening day can no longer be the seminal moment that Foucault wants to claim for it: ‘what took place at Mettray . . . was

Foucault and Eugenics versus Domestic Colonialism


obviously of a quite different order . . . the emergence of . . . a new type of supervision—both knowledge and power—over individuals who resisted disciplinary normalization’ (296). In my analysis of Mettray as a colonie agricole, it is nothing new but something explicitly modelled by Tocqueville on colonies first created in early nineteenth-century Holland by Johannes van den Bosch. Mettray, understood this way, becomes one more node in the transnational network of agricultural colonies that spanned Holland, France, Algeria, as well as French and Dutch Indochina, and South America. As Stoler concludes: ‘[Mettray] was neither an epistemic breach nor an assault on political common sense [but] a predictable extension of decades of recalibrations of what constitutes the most effective balance and gradations of punitive and curative arrangements across the colonies and imperial globe’ (2011a: 4). But while I agree with Stoler that Mettray is nothing new, my analysis differs from hers to the extent that I draw a distinction between imperialism and colonialism and the punitive and curative. Domestic colonialists saw their colonies as something to be defended in opposition to an imperial or punitive system rooted in domination, control, or punishment. Thus, while Mettray may be part of a carceral system described by Foucault, it was also part of an expanding colonial system that encompassed dozens of colonies for delinquents and street children, farm colonies for mentally ill and disabled, connected both ideologically and materially to each other and settler colonies via agrarian labour, ultimately, in a transnational colonial network.

7.1.3. Collège de France Lectures: Colonization and Psychiatric Power The third text introduces a different understanding of colonization in Foucault’s thinking. Between 1970 and 1984, as part of his appointment at the Collège de France, Foucault gave a series of public lectures, in which he grappled with many subjects in order to develop a theory of genealogy out of his earlier theory of archeology and explain how neoliberal theory might challenge elements of the disciplinary and carceral apparatuses investigated in his written works. The lectures were recorded and only published after his death. The 1973/74 lectures, collected under the English title Psychiatric Power (2006), are of particular interest since he explicitly addresses what he calls colonization of the mentally ill, disabled, and delinquents of France in connection with the colonization of non-European peoples, thus conceptually linking both kinds of colonization in the same theoretical frame. His analysis of five kinds of colonization are found in lectures four, five, six, nine, and ten and, at first glance, seem to provide the corrective to written accounts of colonization as external, found in Discipline and Punish and History of Madness, because in these lectures, Foucault explicitly acknowledges


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colonization of peoples within Europe. I will show, however, that even though he understood colonization to be both domestic and foreign, his analysis remains problematic because it continues to subsume colonialism within disciplinary power as internal colonies become disciplinary apparatus, much like asylums or the panopticon engaged in the regulation, surveillance, and coercion of individual minds and bodies. These isolated, local, marginal, disciplinary systems which took shape in the Middle Ages, begin to cover all society through a sort of process that we could call external and internal colonization in which you find again all the elements of the disciplinary systems . . . fixing in space, optimum extraction of time, application and exploitation of the body’s forces through the regulation of actions, postures and attention, constitution of constant supervision and an immediate punitive power and, finally, organization of a regulatory power which is anonymous and non individual in its operations but which always ends up with an identification of subjected individualities. (2006: 71)

Indeed, Foucault is really using ‘colonization’ for the rhetorical power the word brings to his analysis, as he seeks to express a deeply invasive form of power. Once again, colonization is a metaphor and thus ignores agrarian labour. To show how these problems plague Foucault’s analysis (subsuming colonies within disciplinary power, ignoring agrarian labour, and overlooking the economic dimensions of colonization) I turn to analyse his five kinds of colonization using the chronology he deploys in these lectures of when and where each emerges: 1) unruly European youths in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; 2) non-European peoples from the seventeenth century onwards; 3) European vagrants and petty criminals in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; 4) increasing economic exploitation of the internally colonized; and 5) the mentally ill and ‘idiots’ in European psychiatric institutions of the nineteenth century. Colonization of Unruly Youth In lecture 4 given on 28 November 1973, ‘Elements for a history of disciplinary power’, Foucault introduces ‘colonization’, and argues it existed both within and outside of Europe. Colonization had an internalized dimension, since it sought to segregate and infiltrate the bodies and heads of the colonized. The earliest form of ‘colonization’ according to Foucault was not against nonEuropean peoples but the ‘unruly and mobile [European] youth’ in the sixteenth century as the Brethren of the Common Life engaged in the ‘pedagogical colonization of youth [in] an attempt to transform the individual . . . to the point of salvation’ (2006: 67). Colonization is thus characterized by ‘a closed space, in an environment closed in on itself with minimal relations with the outside world’ (67). Foucault clearly sees segregation as key to this process and European youth thus represent ‘the first moments of the colonization of an entire society by means of disciplinary apparatus’ (2006: 68).

Foucault and Eugenics versus Domestic Colonialism


While Foucault is correct to identify colonization as internal to Europe and segregation as critically important to it, it is very odd indeed to think that modern colonization was, in the first instance, something done to Europeans rather than non-European peoples and/or lands. In my own analysis, European colonization began in ‘foreign’ lands from ancient times until the eighteenth century but was then transformed in the nineteenth century to solve domestic social problems. So, while I argue throughout this book that the domestic face of colonization needs to be recognized, to suggest that was the first kind of colonization—namely, directed at unruly European youth—twists the historical record through a narrative of disciplinary power rather than engaging in the history of colonization itself. The focus should not be on Europe’s ‘residue’ as the first victims of colonization but non-Europeans. Foreign Colonization of Non-Europeans Foucault does acknowledge the second group to be subjected to colonialism was externally ‘colonized people’ (69). It is in his theorizing on foreign colonization that we come up against the real limits of Foucault’s analysis. Using Jesuits in South America as his case study, he defines colonization as a ‘disciplinary apparatus’, which was, ‘interestingly, a counterpoint to slavery’ (69). Colonization in South America thus pales in comparison to the power and punitive nature of internal colonization since it was . . . very lenient in comparison with the European penal system at the same time— that is to say . . . no death penalty, public execution or torture—but which was an absolutely permanent system of punishment that followed the individual throughout his life and . . . picked out something indicating a bad tendency or inclination and that consequently entailed a punishment which . . . could be lighter because it was constant. (69)

There are several problems with this definition and analysis of colonization in South America. First and foremost, while settler colonization certainly had disciplinary aspects through which certain customs were challenged and changed (from Locke’s ‘ways, modes and notions’ to the residential schools of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries), its first purpose (unlike domestic colonies) was the dispossession of land from indigenous peoples, including in South America, and justified by both the theory of conquest in Catholic natural law and cultivation of ‘empty’ and waste land through agrarian labour in the modern colonial ideology articulated by Locke. Dispossession of land is the central material dimension of settler colonization that distinguishes it fundamentally from European domestic colonies. Secondly, external and settler colonization were not visited upon individuals only, as Foucault implies, indigenous peoples as collectivities. Thirdly, to claim external colonization ought to be


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seen as a ‘counterpoint to slavery’ seems very strange indeed since the material colonization of the Americas in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries involved the enslavement of Africans by European states and proprietors. To be fair, Foucault is trying to make the case that colonization, understood as a kind of disciplinary power, emerged out of Jesuits rejecting slavery (the same can be said of van den Bosch in Dutch Guyana), but to define external colonization categorically in this way is to ignore its material dimensions altogether. Moreover, the argument that colonization of non-European peoples was ‘more lenient’ even if limited to disciplinary power as opposed to material dimensions is simply wrong. As I have argued throughout this book, colonial assimilation of indigenous peoples from Locke onwards was and is far more profound than any kind of domestic colonization, since it is genocidal in its application (again, with respect to indigenous peoples as a whole and not just as individuals). For all of these reasons, external colonization of nonWestern peoples cannot be reduced to one form of disciplinary power but must be analysed in its own empirically rooted historical and material terms. Colonization of the Idle Poor/Petty Criminals In lecture 4, Foucault goes on to say ‘The third type of colonization . . . after . . . youth and [externally] colonized peoples was the internal colonization and confinement of vagrants, beggars, nomads, delinquents, prostitutes etcetera in the classical age’ which ‘quite clearly derives from religious institutions’ (70). Foucault adds, ‘I will not return to this, because it has been studied a thousand times’, by which he presumably means his own analysis of disciplinary power in Discipline and Punish. But colonization has not been studied a thousand times, since it cannot be subsumed within disciplinary power. Foucault links the internal and external dimensions of colonization in lecture 4 when he concludes, ‘these disciplinary systems [rooted in the Jesuits], which took shape in the Middle Ages, begin to cover all society through a sort of process that we could call external and internal colonization, in which you find again all the elements of the disciplinary system’ (71). In this concluding remark, Foucault not only misidentifies the historical period within which domestic colonies were created (the sixteenth rather than nineteenth century) and the ideological forces producing them (Jesuits only as opposed to liberals and socialists) but the key role of agrarian labour. In lecture five on 5 December 1973, Foucault turns to colonization of the mentally ill and argues that ‘moral treatment’ replaced confinement of the insane with the ‘madman’ being ‘treated like a child’ via a ‘family model’ (by which Foucault means paternalism) rather than punishment. Foucault uses the distinction between confinement/chains and moral treatment/‘humane feelings’ to distinguish two kinds of colonization:

Foucault and Eugenics versus Domestic Colonialism


There are two methods and maybe two ages in colonization: one is the age of the pure and simple conquest by arms, and the other is the period of establishment and colonization in depth. And this in depth colonization is carried out by the organization of the family model; it is by introducing the family into the traditions and errors of savage peoples that one begins the work of colonization. (108)

His first ‘age’ of colonization—conquest by arms, in my analysis—would be better described as the age of empire or imperialism (domination through force) and the second ‘age’ that of colonization, although the introduction of the family here is somewhat confusing. Words like ‘savage peoples’ reflect a form of colonialism in themselves, as Foucault simply treats indigenous peoples as those whose traditions require education to change. Whether Foucault uses this term because it was used in the original 1854 text he quoted earlier or because he views it as unproblematic is unclear. Either way, repeating such words in his analysis raises a question as to whether his worldview is itself Eurocentric and colonialist. Notwithstanding the problematic nature of language, Foucault’s definition of colonization in this lecture is important because he is one of very few theorists who actually put together different kinds of people—external and internal to Europe—into a single analytical frame of the colonized. Foucault concludes ‘the delinquents as the residues of society, colonized peoples as the residues of history and the mad as the residues of humanity . . . [are] in the same category’ of the colonized. (109) Foucault’s analysis encompasses different groups defined by class, disability, and illness, as well as race, overseas and in Europe itself. But even here, there are two significant issues. The first is that Foucault again describes these groups as the ‘residues’ of society—people inassimilable to the mainstream systems of disciplinary power—the ‘feeble-minded’ are inaccessible to the school system and therefore ‘residues’ of it and the mentally ill are the ‘residues of all residues . . . inassimilable to all of a society’s educational, military and police disciplines’ (109). But domestic colonialists do not exclude, rather, their argument is premised on a universalism in which everybody can be assimilated and improved. Thus, as suggested earlier in the introduction, the colonized are ‘backward’ for the domestic colonialist—either defective in industriousness or reason—rather than incapable of being assimilated and ‘improved’. The second issue is Foucault’s reliance on nineteenthcentury Darwinian social evolutionary theory as the basis upon which to group various kinds of residues together. ‘Darwinism . . . was already known, at least in its general form, but you see the strange use of it here and, especially—even more than the interesting bracketing together of the mad, the primitive, and the delinquent—the appearance of the family as the common remedy for being savage, delinquent, or mad’ (109). But it was not nineteenth-century Charles Darwin who first put together the idiot, lunatic, savage, and child into


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one category; but John Locke, in his Essay on Human Understanding in the seventeenth century; based on the shared characteristic of lacking reason. Colonization as Economic Exploitation/Slavery At the end of lecture 5, Foucault finally discusses the economic dimensions of psychiatric institutions, suggesting the disciplinary systems of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries had one ‘primary, massive, overall function’ to ‘adjust individuals to the apparatuses of production’, thus introducing political economy into colonization and disciplinary power for the first time (110). Foucault argues that one of psychiatry’s key functions is to ‘take out of circulation individuals who cannot be employed in the apparatus of production’, and if possible ‘turn them into a new source of profit’ (112). For Foucault, the key to these processes is the family, who not only decided if a family member was ‘abnormal’, but also paid the clinic to make him/her productive again in the apparatus of production (115). In lecture 6 on 12 December 1973, Foucault continues his argument that colonization is a form of economic exploitation, using the farm colony at Clermont as his case study. This is the single place in these lectures where he acknowledges that farm colony residents are engaged in agrarian labour, but he claims that any ethical arguments advanced by colonialists or superintendents (labour was in their interest or therapeutic) were nothing but pretexts for exploitation and even slavery. ‘On the pretext that . . . work is useful for their cure . . . [members of the colony are] subjected to a very strict regime of agrarian work’ (126); when, in reality, ‘the farm . . . is a model practically bordering on slavery and colonization’ (127). Foucault thus defines colonization in the same way as he did in Discipline and Punish, that is, as domination and exploitation, but now is arguing that colonization can exist within Europe as well as outside of it: ‘You have three types of power: the traditional disciplinary power of the asylum [and] a second disciplinary type of power . . . which is . . . the power of colonization: putting people to work . . . for exploitative and class based purposes’ and a third power of paternalism (126). Colonization in this lecture thus becomes nothing more than a class-based form of exploitation, in contrast to both disciplinary power and paternalism. Foucault rather oddly seems to be distinguishing what he is calling colonization of a certain class of mentally ill people from disciplinary power, whereas earlier he was subsuming colonizing within disciplinary power. I think this is because he is seeking to address the arguments made by domestic colonialists on behalf of the economic benefits of domestic colonies, in this case, specifically with regard to the farm colony at Clermont. Foucault’s point is not entirely wrong, there were indeed exploitative aspects to this kind of labour. But to reduce domestic colonization to nothing more than slavery and class-based exploitation ignores the reality that many colonialists like

Foucault and Eugenics versus Domestic Colonialism


Charles Bernstein did not use labour as a pretext for an exploitative economic agenda or domination, but because he believed that to cultivate soil in open fields was more therapeutic and humane than constraint within an asylum, hard labour in a prison, or being sterilized by the state. Thus, many who defended domestic colonies (however misguided they might be) were not using various arguments as pretexts for exploitation or domination but rather to explicitly replace institutions rooted in exactly these principles; which is why socialist and progressive liberal domestic colonialists embraced colonies for the idle poor and the mentally ill and disabled. In order to understand how the majority of progressive thinkers in multiple countries could support domestic colonies is only possible if one takes seriously both the ethical and economic arguments made for them rather than either dismissing them out of hand or viewing them as a pretext for something else. Again, it is not to say that superintendents of colonies did not use agrarian labour for exploitative purposes, but rather one cannot reduce colonies or the arguments made for them to only this. Colonization of ‘Idiots’ In lecture 9, given on 16 January 1974, Foucault addresses ‘idiocy’ and how it fits into his analysis of colonization. Here he talks about the colonization of idiots as equivalent to the colonization of the mentally ill in lunatic asylums, collapsing them together to be ‘constitutive of the general form of psychiatric power’ (73). In other words, Foucault’s concern when he talks about the colonization of ‘idiots’ is not about farm colonies at all but colonization as a metaphor for the infiltrating nature of psychiatry’s capacity to incorporate mental disability into psychiatric spaces for mental illness. ‘Throughout the second half of the nineteenth century you find the colonization of idiot children within the psychiatric space’ (212). Colonization of idiots, in other words, is only used rhetorically to refer to the violation of what should be a ‘clear theoretical division between insanity and idiocy.’ Psychiatric power does this through a ‘whole series of institutions and administrative measures which lump together what was in the process of being distinguished’ (212). Colonization of idiots defined as the absorption and domination of ‘idiocy’ by psychiatrists and psychiatric institutions including the modern asylum again echoes Foucault’s definition of colonization in Discipline and Punish, where it is not used to describe actual labour colonies like Mettray or farm colonies for the mentally disabled like Clermont, but only as a negative metaphor for the ideas of domination, violation, and infiltration of one group by another against their will. He does slip into a more empirical understanding of colonization in the footnote to the quotation cited above, where he notes that the General Council of the Seine in 1873 created its first ‘colony for young idiots’ when they appropriated ‘the farm of the Vauclause


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asylum’. So even though he cites an actual farm colony, he fails to discuss the role of agrarian labour within his analysis of colonization of idiots despite the clear and specific reference to a ‘farm’ being taken over for this purpose. Lucas Pinheiro argues that Foucault’s target in this lecture on the colonization of idiots is Edouard Seguin. In Séguin’s moral treatment of idiocy, Foucault concludes, lies ‘the organization of a disciplinary space like that of the asylum’ with its ‘linear distribution of bodies, individual places, gymnastic exercises, [and] the full use of time.’ (Pinheiro, 2014: 22). Pinheiro concludes that Seguin ought to be read, even though he does not explicitly defend the colony model, as a liberal domestic colonialist; and Foucault should be read as critiquing the disciplinary power inherent in Seguin’s ‘colonial’ method. I would disagree with Pinheiro that Seguin should be thought of as a domestic colonialist. While I would agree that he falls into the disciplinary form of power being critiqued by Foucault, what is missing from his own form of treatment, as important as he was to French and American thinking on ‘idiocy’, is the very thing that defines domestic colonialism, namely, agrarian labour. As I discussed in Chapter 5, American domestic colonialists viewed their colony model as an alternative to Seguin’s school for idiots because the former focused on agrarian labour in the countryside while the latter focused on physiological education of children through motor or sensory training of the nervous system in a classroom. In lecture 10, given on 23 January 1974, Foucault eventually summarizes the whole argument that has underpinned these preceding lectures, describing colonization as a disciplinary process that works on two different levels: the superficial level of ‘surfaces’ and ‘territories’ and the ‘in-depth’ level of minds and bodies. ‘There is a double movement of colonization: colonization in depth, which fed on the actions, bodies and thoughts of individuals, and then colonization at the level of territories and surfaces’ (246). In some sense, Foucault is returning to his arguments in lecture 4, where he laid out the colonization in Europe of ‘unruly youth’ as a deeper process which ‘feeds on’ the bodies and thoughts of youth before turning to the surface-level colonization of foreign territories described as ‘very lenient’ in comparison to European internal colonization and disciplinary power. As I argued earlier, however, settler colonization and dispossession of territory is a much more profound form of colonization than any other, and it continues so today. Foucault’s analysis of colonization in these lectures is similar to my own in that we understand colonization to be both an external process targeted at foreign people and lands and a domestic or internal process that seeks to transform fellow citizens marginalized within an industrialized capitalist society either to compliant subjects or industrious and rational citizens. As I have argued above, however, there are also several important differences. My analysis of colonization takes seriously the empirical centrality of agrarian labour and improvement to both the process of colonization and the ideology

Foucault and Eugenics versus Domestic Colonialism


of colonialism (Foucault defines colonization through its disciplinary/surveillance/dominating nature and largely without reference to agrarian labour, with his only reference to agrarian labour quickly dismissed as colonizers using it only for exploitative purposes). I argue that colonialists advanced arguments in defence of the economic benefits of colonies not as pretexts but because they genuinely believed that colonies were a humane way of improving the colonized and to become productive members of society (however misguided these ideas may have been and despite the fact that many of the colonies eventually became less than what their originators had hoped they would be and exploitative and abusive). I also reject Foucault’s argument that external colonization is less ‘in-depth’ or more ‘lenient’ than internal colonization. The problem is that, by defining external colonization as only disciplinary power, Foucault overlooks other key dimensions. In my analysis, internal and external colonization are linked, but the latter remains a more profound form of power, since it involves both genocidal assimilation and dispossession of territory. Thus, I conclude that, as important as Foucault’s analysis is in his two great texts History of Madness and Discipline and Punish in providing new ways of thinking about power in relation to the treatment of the mentally ill and prisoners in nineteenth-century Europe, it falls short in explaining the rise of domestic colonies (as opposed to asylums or prisons). This is because he fails to explore the specific nature of farm/labour colonies and is thus silent on the centrality of agrarian labour. At the same time, Foucault defines colonization in these two texts exclusively as external and punitive, neither of which applies to the domestic colony model. As such, his theories of moral treatment and disciplinary power cannot explain why colonies emerged in such large numbers (recall fully half of all juvenile delinquents in France were sent to colonies agricoles by the last half of the nineteenth century) or why, in a comparative sense, labour and farm colonies became popular for such a multiplicity of problems ranging from mental disability to idleness in several European states and beyond. And while some might argue that such colonies were not the focus of Foucault’s studies in the way that asylums or prisons were, the problem is that Mettray colony, the very first colonie agricole in France, was Foucault’s quintessential example of carceral power in Discipline and Punish and as his lectures at the Collège de France (which I will turn to shortly) show, he explicitly recognizes ‘idiots’ and ‘lunatics’ were sent to farm colonies and subject to internal colonization. So these colonies are implicitly central to his analysis but simply not explained by it. In the third text, the 1973–74 lectures at the Collège de France, entitled On Psychiatric Power, Foucault explicitly analyses internal and external colonization across a number of groups including European youth, petty criminals, mentally ill, and disabled, as well as non-European peoples, in a way few other scholars have done, but subsumes them once what he calls disciplinary


Domestic Colonies

apparatus within the theoretical frame of disciplinary power. Thus, his analysis once again fails to address what is unique about domestic colonies (as compared to the panopticon, prisons, or the modern asylum) but also ignores the material dimensions of external colonization. The key difference between these lectures and the other two texts is Foucault’s definition of colonization. While in the previous texts he understands colonization to be the processes involved in establishing settler and penal colonies (external and punitive), in these lectures he is using colonization not in its empirical or historical sense as he did earlier, but as a metaphor to describe a very negative and invasive form of power over certain kinds of bodies and minds. In other words, like the scholars and activists who used the term ‘internal colonization’ (as described in Chapter 1), Foucault wants to harness the negative rhetorical power and undesirable connotations of the word ‘colonization’ for his own political purposes, separated from the actual material and empirical reality of either settler and/or domestic colonies. The only place in these lectures where he speaks of an actual farm colony and agrarian labour is when he mentions the farm colony at Clermont, but labour in these colonies has nothing to do with improvement for him but merely economic exploitation masked by therapeutic pretext, as discussed. To conclude, Foucault’s theory of disciplinary power provides important theoretical tools to analyse nineteenth- and twentieth-century treatment of various marginalized groups, as has been shown by a growing body of scholars including Rosemary Garland-Thomson (2002), Lennard Davis (1996), and in collections like Foucault, Governmentality and Critical Disability Theory (Tremain, 2005). In her introduction to this groundbreaking work and the special issue of Foucault Studies (Tremain, 2015) published on the tenth anniversary of the original book, Tremain argues that Foucault’s move away from juridical conception of power to a theory of ‘bio-power’ that seeks to normalize subjects through ‘continuous regulatory and corrective mechanisms’ provides an important new way of analysing the governance of disabled bodies in the late modern state (2005:4): ‘The importance of critical work on bio-power . . . to analyses of disability cannot be overstated. For during the past two centuries . . . a vast apparatus erected to secure the well-being of the general population has caused the contemporary disability subject to emerge into discourse and social existence’ (5). Foucault’s theory of power provides Tremain with a new way of understanding ‘normality’ and how it becomes the means through which subjects identify themselves and are made governable. In this broader theoretical sense, Foucault does provide, as disability scholars have argued, powerful insights into the constitution of subjects and governance from within. But what Foucault is unable to provide is a coherent explanation within this broader analysis of why colonies existed as colonies and had the characteristics they did, in particular, agrarian labour as key to daily life. My analysis of domestic colonialism and the specifically agrarian

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thread of colonial thought that dates back to Ancient Greece through Locke’s colonial ideology manifested within it, provides a better explanation for why colonies as colonies were created in explicit contrast to prisons or asylums by those who defended them, why agrarian labour was central, why both idle and irrational individuals were targeted within them, as well as how the colony was justified in terms of both its economic and ethical benefits. Understood in this way, the fact that ‘progressive’ thinkers and actors championed domestic colonies now makes sense since they were viewed as the opposite of imperial, punitive, or carceral power on both economic and ethical grounds rather than subsumed within such powers as Foucault suggests.

7.2 E UGENICS V ERSUS DOMESTIC COLON IALISM The most common explanation advanced for farm colonies for the mentally disabled is that they were primarily or exclusively a product of eugenics (Simmons, 1978; Woodhouse, 1982; Potts, 1983; Barker, 1983, Radford, 1991). Radford summarizes this historical scholarship in Britain and America as follows: The rise of farm colonies is seen as epitomizing the expression of eugenic ideologies in the social and physical landscape . . . for most of the twentieth century the clearest, most direct line from inside the mental handicap asylum [and colony] to the realm of social policy has been via the eugenics movement . . . The translation of eugenic segregationist ideology into implemented policy is most visible in the colony movement. (1991: 449, 454, emphasis added)

Mark Jackson concurs that: ‘most of the historical literature on mental deficiency in England . . . has done so largely through the prism of constrictive historical preoccupations with eugenics’ (8). Jackson (2000) and Thomson (1998) counter this literature to argue that there were other factors involved; but in general, eugenicist explanations continue to dominate. One key reason for this is because historians of mental disability study farm colonies in isolation from other colonies such as settler colonies, labour colonies for the idle poor, or even farm colonies for the mentally ill, because the lens used is the history of disability rather than colonization. Thus, any connections between their own analyses of farm colonies for the mentally disabled and labour historians research on labour colonies or settler colonialist scholars’ analysis of dispossession and assimilation are lost. My analysis brings them all into a single cross-comparative frame that allows us to examine the shared reasons that were created during the same time period. Once farm colonies are seen in this way, it becomes clear that eugenics falls far short of providing an adequate explanation.


Domestic Colonies

In the next four sections I will argue there are four reasons why eugenics is not an adequate explanation for the emergence of domestic colonies (but is for the policy of sterilization): first, colonies preceded eugenics chronologically; second, eugenics do not explain why ‘improvement’ and agrarian labour would be so important to colonies (whereas the third principle of segregation is explicable by eugenics); third, the leading domestic colonialist in America, Charles Bernstein, was an avid anti-eugenicist, as discussed. Finally, and most importantly, eugenicists preferred sterilization to colonization, as manifested in the famous Buck v Bell case in the Supreme Court of the United States. I will show how eugenicists including the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court argued in favour of sterilization and against colonization (Bell was the superintendent of the colony within which Carrie Buck lived). Sterilization alone guaranteed Carrie Buck would not reproduce while also providing her freedom from colonization. In general terms, when eugenics was stronger than colonialism (in much of the United States and Alberta in Canada) sterilization was implemented; where colonialism in combination with Catholicism and unions was stronger (in Britain and the rest of Canada), sterilization was rejected in favour of colonies.

7.2.1. Eugenics and Chronology of Farm Colonies The first problem with eugenics as an explanation for farm colonies is that the latter preceded the former by a couple of decades. While the first farm colonies for the mentally disabled were created in Europe in the 1850s and in the United States in the 1870s, British statistician Francis Galton only coined the term ‘eugenics’ in 1883 followed by the creation of the Eugenics Society of Britain in 1907, the first Chair in Eugenics at UCL in 1911, and the first International Eugenics Conference in 1912. As Thomson argues in his history of mental disability in Britain, the colony model was a stimulus for eugenics rather than a product (1998: 32). In the United States, the Eugenics Record Office was established in Coal Spring Harbor in 1911. As such, while the popularity of eugenics peaked between 1910 and 1950, colonies were first established in Europe and North America in the nineteenth century. It is true that some eugenicists like Walter Fernald in America, Winston Churchill in Britain, and Frank Hodgins in Canada saw colonies (and segregation in particular) as a way to prevent the feeble-minded from reproducing. Even Galton himself argued that segregation was one of two methods for controlling reproduction, along with preventing reproduction surgically. And in Canada, a liberal colonial emphasis on care of the ‘feeble-minded’ at the turn of the twentieth century gave way to an increasingly eugenicist emphasis in the 1920s on the control of the ‘mentally defective’, manifested in the changing language of the two commissions on the subject in Ontario, as

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discussed. In the United States, on the other hand, Fernald’s eugenicism gave way to Bernstein’s colonialist approach over the same time frame. So while some eugenicists supported colonies to the extent that permanent segregation was emphasized, this was never the central impetus for the farm colony’s establishment but a secondary consideration only after they had already been established and even then could change over time.

7.2.2. Eugenics and Agrarian Labour/Improvement Second, eugenics can provide no explanation for why farming should be so central to colonies. Eugenicist also opposed the idea of improvement when it involved parole back into society. Eugenicists were either opposed to or not interested in ‘improvement’ since the mentally ‘defective’ were viewed as burdens or menaces to society and thus must be contained. Thus, segregation had a different purpose for eugenicists, who supported it only to repress reproduction, whereas colonialists supported it in order to allow the ‘feebleminded’ to break their bad habits and/or protect them from exploitation. Thus, Charles Bernstein campaigned for segregation, agrarian labour, improvement, and ‘parole’ back into society, in strong and explicit opposition to eugenics and sterilization. For Bernstein and many who followed in his path, including his patron Franklin Roosevelt, colonization was the better, more humane solution to the problems of irrationality and idleness, respectively.

7.2.3. Eugenics and Compulsory Sterilization The final piece of evidence that eugenics was not the main ideological thrust behind farm colonies is the fact that, as soon as it was available, eugenicists opposed domestic colonies in favour of sterilization, since only the latter guaranteed there would be no reproduction and also allowed the disabled to have their freedom from life in the colony. Nothing demonstrates this as clearly as the fact that those individuals and/or jurisdictions (the United States, Alberta, and British Columbia, along with Scandinavia, Germany, and Japan) more influenced by eugenics than colonialism opted for sterilization, while those individuals and/or jurisdictions more influenced by colonialism (Britain and the rest of Canada) continued to defend colonization and reject sterilization. This debate over whether mentally disabled people ought to be colonized or sterilized at the beginning of the twentieth century resulted in different outcomes: in the United States, sterilization was embraced by the Supreme Court over colonization, in Britain, sterilization was rejected and colonization was supported, and in Canada, two provinces (BC and Alberta) endorsed sterilization, but the rest of the country rejected it and continued to support


Domestic Colonies

colonization. The variation in policy outcomes was shaped by a number of important factors, including the prevalence of Catholicism and unions who argued against sterilization, as Hansen and King argue (2013). But I argue that a key difference not yet discussed in the literature is the degree to which eugenics and a classical liberal concern with an expanding state and individual freedom came into play (in the cases of both America and Alberta) versus a reform liberal/socialist set of beliefs combined with domestic colonialism, which led to rejection of sterilization in favour of colonization (in Canada and Britain). Let us compare these three jurisdictions (US, Canada, and Britain) in more detail in relation to this debate between these two options. In America, while the American Eugenics Society, in a book called Tomorrow’s Children, argued that an estimated 2.5 million people in the US who were ‘enfeebled’, epileptics, and mentally disabled ‘deserved to be sterilized’,3 there were also domestic colonialists in America who defended colonies and denounced sterilization. The 1903 Report of the Committee on Colonies for Segregation of Defectives that championed the farm colony on behalf of the National Conference on Charities and Corrections acknowledges ‘there have been other methods suggested to attain the same end’ as farm colonies, by which they mean sterilization, but conclude: Whether some day . . . science may so far conquer sentiment that the physically and mentally unfit shall be removed, or shall be sterilized it is not a matter that needs concern us today . . . either proposition is a dreadful one. Some of us believe neither process to be just, neither to be in conscience with our civilization [and] the belief in the infinite value of the individual . . . We may call on the surgeon for any act upon an individual which is to benefit him. We may not do with him as we do with cattle, for the benefit of ourselves or the state. (Johnson, 1903: 4)

Thus, some Americans opposed sterilization since it did not respect the value of the individual or ‘improve’ the mentally defective as colonies did (a view shaped by both Catholicism and colonialism), but overall, America embraced sterilization over colonization by the end of the 1920s. Buck v Bell: Eugenics over Colonialism in America The decisive moment for tipping the balance in the United States from domestic colonialism to eugenics was the day in 1927 when the Supreme Court of the United States brought down its decision in Buck v Bell. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote the ruling in favour of the sterilization of Carrie Buck, a seventeen-year-old girl, the first person to be sterilized under the state of Virginia’s new eugenics laws. 3

Ellsworth Huntington, Tomorrow’s Children: The Goal of Eugenics (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1935).

Foucault and Eugenics versus Domestic Colonialism


While this case is generally interpreted, correctly, as an enormous victory for eugenicists in America, what is rarely discussed is that the alternative option to sterilization in this case was not living freely in society, but continuing to live in a farm colony with her reproductive freedom intact. Thus, Buck v Bell was a debate between sterilization and colonization. Indeed the ‘Bell’ referred to in the title of the case is Dr John Hendren Bell, the superintendent of the State Colony for Epileptics and Feeble-Minded in Lynchburg, Virginia where Carrie Buck and her mother lived. Bell and the state of Virginia argued Buck ought to live outside the colony, but in order to do so she must be prevented from having children. Allowing her to leave would also release the state of Virginia from the cost of maintaining her in a colony. In a strange and paradoxical way, then, the argument advanced for sterilization over colonization in the United States (and in Alberta, Canada) combined eugenics (extinguishing the capacity to reproduce) with classical liberalism (freedom from constraints). The second classical liberal argument advanced in favour of sterilization was that it would save the state the cost of permanently housing what were viewed as an expanding number of ‘feeble-minded’ in colonies. The Supreme Court ruled that Buck should be sterilized, concluding: ‘The Commonwealth is supporting in various institutions many defective persons who if now discharged would become . . . a menace but if incapable of procreating might be discharged with safety and become self-supporting with benefit to themselves and to society’.4 Thus, Chief Justice Holmes deploys both a eugenics argument (her sterilization would be of benefit to society as a whole by preventing a future generation of ‘feeble-minded’ children) and classical liberal arguments to create a ‘self-supporting’ member of society and reduce financial burdens on the ‘Commonwealth’. Thus, both ‘her welfare and that of society will be promoted by her sterilization’. Her welfare is freedom from the colony; society’s welfare is preventing more ‘feeble-minded’ children being born and reducing state expenditures. Ultimately, the United States and Alberta (the province which was responsible for 90 per cent of the sterilizations in Canada) supported sterilization over colonization as a result of both eugenics and classical liberalism, in direct opposition to colonialism and statesponsored colonies. In contrast, Britain and the rest of Canada steadfastly refused to implement sterilization and continued to favour colonies because the colonialist argument was stronger than eugenics in both jurisdictions, supported by a reform liberal or socialist set of beliefs which held that the state should bear the costs and seek to ‘improve’ the disabled through labour rather than sterilize them. Thus, in addition to other factors identified by Hansen and King (2013) as to why 4 Bell v Buck. Carrie Buck v James Hendren Bell, Superintendent of State Colony for Epileptics and Feeble Minded. US Citation: 274 US 200; 47 S. Ct. 584; 71 L. Ed. 1000 (1927).


Domestic Colonies

sterilization was implemented in some places but not others (Catholicism, unions, and individual superintendents intent on implementing eugenics), the key factor is whether a jurisdiction was dominated by classical liberalism/ eugenics or colonialism/reform liberalism/socialism. I have shown how the latter dominated in America and Alberta; I now turn to look at the contrasting case, namely Britain, where we find colonialism won out over eugenics and hence colonies over sterilization. Sterilization Rejected: Colonialism over Eugenics in the UK The British Royal Commission on the Feeble Minded of 1905–8 recommended both colonization and sterilization, but ultimately, Britain never implemented sterilization because colonialism was seen as a more ‘civilized’ answer to the problem of feeble-mindedness than sterilization. Domestic colonialists argued that colonization would do more than prevent reproduction because it would help the mentally disabled to improve through agrarian labour. Thus, although the more classically liberal Winston Churchill ‘flirted with the idea of sterilization, considering it more humane than confining the feeble-minded in what amounted to prisons’ in the end, his government only implemented the farm colony (Thomson, 1998: 33, fn 131). To underline this basic difference between Britain and the United States, it is useful to compare British views of this debate with American views. Dr A.M. McCutcheon, the Medical Superintendent of Monyhull Colony in Birmingham for epileptics and mentally disabled, argues in an article published in the Journal of Mental Science in 1925 that policies for the mentally disabled must have three objectives: ‘1) [to teach] proper conduct, 2) to train them to do some kind of manual work and 3) to prevent procreation’, concluding that all of these objectives ‘can best be achieved by segregation in institutions, preferably of the colony type, whereas sterilization, which is advocated by some, solves in my opinion, only one of the objectives, namely that of preventing the procreation of children, it certainly does not tackle the conduct aspect, nor the work aspect.’ (McCutcheon, 1925: 695). McCutcheon’s argument is a classic British statement not only in defence of domestic colonialism and the state having a legitimate role shaping individual conduct; but also steadfast opposition to sterilization—his concern was with improving the mentally disabled and not just preventing reproduction. Winifred Muirhead, Pathologist at the Royal Asylum in Scotland and a long-time advocate for colony care after visiting the American farm colonies, published her views in the British Journal of Psychiatry in 1913, and like McCutcheon, argues that sterilization was not the solution, since only colonization ‘improved’ the individual and held out the promise of making them contributing members of society. She is also clear that sterilization at this point

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in time (1913) is still more of an idea than a policy, although it was gaining in popularity in America. Sterilization of the defective, although not yet a question of practical politics, is yet legal in several States, and is strongly advocated in many quarters. . . . It must not be forgotten that sterilization will not cure mental defect, and . . . the State will be forced to look after these sterilized people; otherwise they will, as they are doing now, swell the ranks of the unemployable, and fill our prisons, and possibly also they will prove an active source of increased immorality. (1913: 65)

Thus, for British domestic colonialists of the 1920s and 30s, farm colonies, not sterilization, best served the interests of the ‘irrational’ by improving them via education and agrarian labour while creating revenues for their upkeep. Indeed, in addition to the Mental Deficiency Act of 1913, the Wood Committee of 1929 and the Brock Committee of 1932 recommended against sterilization. The quotes above of superintendents in charge of the mentally disabled in Britain and Ontario (McCutcheon and Muirhead in Britain and MacMurchy in Ontario), who continued to be colonialists, contrasts with American counterparts like Superintendent Bell, who was swayed by eugenics. The emphasis on eugenics over colonialism helps to lead to sterilization in America, and the opposite in Britain (along with Catholicism and unionism) led to its rejection. As such, farm colonies were not only not a product of eugenics, as the literature on farm colonies has so often argued, but they were actively rejected by individuals and countries influenced by eugenics once sterilization became a viable alternative. To summarize, my analysis directly challenges the importance of eugenics as the key explanatory factor for farm colonies for the mentally disabled for three reasons. First, it does not make sense chronologically—because farm colonies preceded eugenics by a couple of decades. Second, segregation was important to eugenicists for the purposes of preventing reproduction, but for colonialists it was also the basis upon which to break bad habits and begin the process of improving and becoming productive. Third, while eugenicists supported colonization for a time, as soon as forced sterilization was available, many eugenicists favoured it over colonization, as evidenced by those places where colonialism was stronger than eugenics and vice versa.

7. 3 CON CLU SI ON Neither Foucauldian disciplinary power nor eugenics explain domestic colonies for the mentally ill, juvenile delinquents, and mentally disabled at the turn of the twentieth century in the way that domestic colonialism does. Farm colonies for the mentally ill and disabled are better understood as


Domestic Colonies

manifestations of a common ideology of colonialism which, while first directed towards foreign peoples deemed to be ‘irrational’ or custom-bound, was ultimately turned inward in the middle to late nineteenth century to solve the problem of ‘irrationality’ within Europe itself. So rather than distinct histories of psychiatry and moral treatment focused on the mentally ill and eugenics focused on mental disability, which each gave rise to farm colonies independently of each other, I argue that a critical colonial lens allows us to see these farm colonies for the mentally ill and disabled as colonies, seeking to cure or at least manage the problem of ‘irrationality’ through colonization in much the same way that labour colonies were used to solve or manage the problem of idleness among the idle poor and juvenile delinquents—in all cases through segregation, agrarian labour, and ‘improvement’. The colonial lens also helps us to see the breadth of the application of the ideology of colonialism as it turned inwards in the nineteenth century; for, even as it continued to justify foreign settler colonization overseas, including the continued dispossession of indigenous lands and the rise of the residential school designed to ‘improve’ the indigenous child through segregation and ‘education’, it also justified colonies for the disabled, ill, and poor as well as racialized minorities in Europe and North America. This transnational interweaving of domestic forms of European domestic colonies and colonialism with external forms of settler colonization and colonialism was manifested in both material and ideological links between the two kinds of colonization. Materially, labour colonies like Mettray were connected to colonies agicole in French external colonies like Algeria, while the Salvation Army farm colonies were materially connected to imperial setter colonies because in both cases European civil society organizations in concert with the state exported ‘idle poor’ Europeans who had been ‘improved’ in labour colonies in order to become settler farmers in French or British ‘overseas’ colonies. Likewise, the mentally ill and disabled were also ‘exported’ by European states to foreign colonies to become ‘settlers’ in these ‘new’ lands. While the numbers of mentally ill and disabled people were far fewer than the improved ‘idle poor’ (the latter are a much better fit with the Lockean notion of improving both people and ‘empty’ land), we know that the emigration of mentally ill and disabled Europeans to North America was significant enough that it led politicians and medical authorities in Canada, including the president of the largest psychiatric organization in North America, to use his presidential address to publicly rail against the sending of Britain’s ‘dregs’ to Canada. At a more conceptual level, the farm colony as an idea was also exported from Europe to its external colonies overseas. Thus, again as discussed earlier, Holland exported its farm colony model for the mentally ill to Java; France did the same in Indochina; Spain did the same in South America; and the German Bielefeld colony was a template for the justification of farm colonies in North America. Britain reversed this pattern at the beginning of the twentieth

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century and imported the farm colony model from America. Thus, as we saw, it was America’s farm colonies that provided the model for the British Royal Commission on the Care and Control of the Feeble-Minded and the Mental Deficiency Act of 1913. Thus, it is not simply a matter of Europe exporting its domestic colonies overseas (although this indeed happened) but, over time, the creation of a transnational colonial network within which ideas and idle and irrational people would transit in various directions across national borders. Thus, as important as both of the scholarly explanations are for understanding the rise of institutionalization in Europe and beyond in the nineteenth and early twentieth century, to fully understand domestic colonies as colonies in Europe and beyond, neither a Foucauldian account of disciplinary power/internal colonization nor eugenics provides us with an adequate explanation of ‘the colony solution’ in its own terms.

8 Utopian Colonies Doukhobors and Utopian Socialist Colonies

The third and final category of domestic colonies to be analysed in this book is the utopian colony. As with previous chapters, I focus on entities explicitly called ‘colonies’ as opposed to those described as ‘communities’ or communes, even though these various human groupings may overlap with each other both historically and conceptually. I focus on the explicitly named ‘colony’ because, once again, I am concerned with the myriad meanings of the words ‘colony’, ‘colonization’, and ‘colonialism’ historically. Thus, I will investigate in this chapter the empirical reality of specific kinds of utopian colonies, analysing both the similarities and conceptual links they have to labour, farm, and external settler colonies as well as their differences. As we shall see, the same principles of improvement, agrarian labour, and segregation animate these colonies but in unique ways that speak to what is so different about utopian colonies compared to any other kind of colony. Historically, there were many kinds of utopian colonies, so in order to analyse them in greater depth, I have chosen specific case studies of three different kind of utopian colonies—the first rooted in religious belief, the second rooted in political ideology and the third rooted in racial identity. The three case studies are the Doukhobor colonies of Canada in the twentieth century (utopian religious colonies), Robert Owen’s New Harmony colony in Indiana and his 1840 Home Colonization plan in Britain in the nineteenth century (utopian socialist colonies), and African-American freedom colonies at the turn of the twentieth century (racialized utopian colonies). By focusing on these cases, I am able to develop a detailed analysis of how each represented a site at which in most but not all cases, three different kinds of colonialism intersected: domestic colonialism (segregation, agrarian labour, and improvement), settler colonialism (dispossession and removal), and radical colonialism (the colony as a vehicle through which the freedom of an oppressed group is realized and the basic norms of the larger society are challenged). As such, the utopian colonies may be the most interesting domestic colony of them all,

Utopian Colonies: Doukhobors and Socialist Colonies


to the extent that they represent both a profound challenge to the existing economic, racial, and political power relations of a liberal capitalist state and, simultaneously, part of the larger settler colonization process in the Americas.

8.1. INTRODUCTION TO UTOPIAN COLONIES Utopian colonies were justified by the same ‘progressive’ ideology of domestic colonialism as labour and farm colonies, embracing the same key principles of segregation, agrarian labour, and improvement of people and land. But the proponents of utopian colonies were radical progressives as opposed to liberal progressives, since the colony they envisioned was designed to challenge the most foundational premises of the society that surrounded them. Thus, included in the domestic utopian colonialists to be analysed in the next two chapters are anarchists Leo Tolstoy and Peter Kropotkin in support of Doukhobor colonies in Canada, radical socialist Robert Owen, who established utopian colonies in Britain and America, and African-American educator and intellectual Booker T. Washington, who strongly supported colonies by and for freed slaves in the United States in the name of freedom and equality for African Americans. While utopian colonies share some characteristics in common with labour and farm colonies, some might argue they differ from them in one very significant way—while labour colonies and farm colonies were largely involuntary, utopian colonies were voluntary. This difference is real and it speaks to the relative power of each group in comparison to others (the lack of power of the mentally disabled, for example, compared to the English utopian socialist Robert Owen or Leo Tolstoy) and the radical nature of such colonies. But, in reality, there is no simple binary of voluntary/involuntary that can be applied to one kind of domestic colony over another because all of them involved varying degrees of choice and force. So, rather than a binary between voluntary utopian and involuntary labour and famer colonies, it is probably best to conceptualize them as lying along a scale that stretches from voluntary to involuntary—and most domestic colonies lie somewhere in between the two ends. On the one hand, farm colonies for the mentally ill and disabled lie closer to the involuntary end of the scale, labour colonies stretch from involuntary (some British and Dutch colonies) to voluntary (German colonies), and utopian colonies lie towards the voluntary end but also have elements of force in their creation and maintenance. To be more specific, labour colonies in England and Holland were involuntary, but the Arbeiter Kolonien system in Germany was largely voluntary (and hence championed by progressives in Germany but also socialists in Canada (James Mavor) and Britain (Webbs and Beveridge)). Likewise, Abraham Lincoln steadfastly insisted his colonization schemes for freed slaves were


Domestic Colonies

voluntary. The point is that even within ‘voluntary’ labour colonies, a degree of coercion and force always remains. German labour colonies were ‘voluntary’, but if the alternative for those who joined them was homelessness and hunger, the degree to which membership was freely chosen is a little less clear. Similarly, in the case of colonies for freed slaves, if one considers the alternatives available to this population in the middle of the nineteenth century, namely racial persecution, poverty, violence, and uncertainty, the voluntary nature of colonization is, again, less clear. The same mixed picture, I would argue, is true of utopian colonies because, while joining colonies in Europe or the Americas, for example, was more voluntary, especially utopian socialist colonies, when compared to other kinds of domestic colonies, the decision to join was often made in the context of profound persecution, particularly for religious minorities like Jews, Mennonites, and Doukhobors, who often left their homes to create colonies elsewhere, either in another part of Europe or in North America, because of the level of persecution they were experiencing. Likewise, African-American utopian colonies were voluntary, but they too were created in a deeply oppressive environment, so are closer to the voluntary end of the scale than Lincoln’s colonies would be but with the choice to live in a colony still moderated by the context of white supremacism. The colony closest to the voluntary end of the scale would be Owen’s utopian socialist colonies in Britain. Thus, a more accurate way of thinking about domestic colonies is as a gradient between choice and coercion—with German labour colonies and utopian socialist colonies lying at the voluntary end of the scale and farm colonies for the mentally disabled/ill lying at the involuntary end of the scale; and in between, the bulk of both labour and utopian colonies because, in most cases, depending on the nature of the problem to be addressed, the membership of the colony and the historical context within which those who joined the colony came to be there, there are both voluntary and involuntary aspects to their creation and maintenance. So while their ‘voluntary’ nature may not make them completely unique or differentiated from the other domestic colonies, what does distinguish them from both domestic and external colonization was the radical utopian dimension to their ideological justification. While labour and farm colonies tended to support and bolster the existing power structures of capitalism, white supremacism, ableism, and class politics, utopian colonies were the products of a radical form of colonialism that sought to use the colony and its separateness from the larger society as a vehicle through which to challenge capitalism, individualism, materialism, militarism, and/or white supremacy. The radical dimension of colonialism explains why an anarchist like Peter Kropotkin or a leading African-American intellectual like Booker T. Washington would not only endorse them but work actively to bring them into existence and maintain them.

Utopian Colonies: Doukhobors and Socialist Colonies


Finally, in the case of utopian colonies in the Americas (which constitute most of our case studies), underpinning all of them is settler colonialism, used to justify them being established on indigenous territory and requiring, therefore, the dispossession of indigenous peoples to exist at all—as shall be discussed in detail in each of three case studies. As Jodi Byrd has argued, colonization within the Americas must always include the prior question of dispossession and removal, or indigenous peoples will be erased from the analysis of colonialism when, in reality, they were in every instance in the Americas, colonization’s first victims.

8.2. CANADA ’S DOUKHOBOR COLONIES: TOLSTOY, KROPOTKIN, AND VERIGIN The Canadian prairies are a patchwork of domestic colonies and settler colonization interwoven together in hybrid forms to constitute what is now described as the heartland of Canada: the provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. The ‘settlement’ of the Canadian Prairies begins with external settler colonization undertaken by the British and French states via traders and settlers in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries through which they claimed to ‘create’ their own sovereign territory but largely populated by indigenous peoples along with British/French settlers. At the end of the nineteenth century, however, European emigration to the Prairies in particular expanded to include large numbers of Jewish, Mennonite, Hutterite, and Doukhobor settlers from Europe, who negotiated their arrival in Canada not as individual settlers but as collective entities within segregated agricultural colonies and reserves in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. Jewish farm colonies were established by the Jewish Colonization Association across all three provinces, Hutterite colonies were established mainly in Alberta and Manitoba, Mennonite reserves were created almost entirely in Manitoba, and Doukhobor colonies were established in Saskatchewan (Janzen, 2009). While any of these groups could be a case study for utopian religious colonies, I chose the Doukhobors for three reasons: they established several colonies; they provide a challenging form of radical colonialism through the two leading Russian intellectuals of the time, Leo Tolstoy and Peter Kropotkin; and Doukhobors, in turn, were subjected to a kind of colonialism by the BC government (improvement via segregation and education), as shall be discussed. The history of the Doukhobor people in Russia is a long and complicated one, but by the second half of the nineteenth century, Nicholas II of Russia, having tried to conscript Doukhobors into the military on repeated occasions and failing to do so, forced them into internal exile. As staunch pacifists, the Doukhobors decided they would be better off leaving Russia and settling


Domestic Colonies

elsewhere—the Canadian prairies quickly became the strongest possibility for resettlement. Tolstoy, the Doukhobors’ main defender and benefactor, together with Kropotkin, enlisted James Mavor, Professor of Political Economy at the University of Toronto, who was also, as discussed in Chapter 3, a leading proponent of labour colonies in Scotland and Canada as the liaison between the Doukhobors in Russia and the Canadian state. The origin of these colonies can be dated back to 1897, when Kropotkin, as a guest of Mavor, was a delegate to the British Association for the Advancement of Science in Toronto. After the conference, Kropotkin travelled by train from Toronto to the Pacific coast, recording his impressions of the people and country, which he then turned into an article in the last three weeks of his visit as he stayed with Mavor in Toronto. The article entitled, ‘Some of the Resources of Canada’ was published in a popular London magazine, The Nineteenth Century. One central feature of his observations was the agrarian potential of the Prairies. ‘Kropotkin was greatly impressed by the agricultural abundance throughout the Canadian Northwest, and especially by the experimental farms in the area’ (Avrich, 1980: 6). Like Max Sering, the German economist who visited Mennonite settlements near Winnipeg before him and saw in them models for the internal colonization of Prussia, Kropotkin, after visiting Mennonite Reserves, wrote of them as a model for anarchists in Russia. ‘The Mennonites . . . refuse to take part in any functions of the State and especially in military service. Tolstoi’s name is, consequently, a subject of deep reverence among them. They also never have anything to do with justice or law . . . they receive no subsidy from the State, and themselves keep their schools.’ (Kropotkin, 1898c: 503). The two drawbacks of the Mennonite settlers, for Kropotkin, was their tendency to not be fully collectivist in their economic life and their deference to religious elders. ‘With all that, they are not Communists; they recognized private ownership, and those of them who take to trade make fortunes.’ (Kropotkin, 1898c: 504). Kropotkin, however, recognized and endorsed the importance of segregation to colonies or reserves in maintaining Mennonites’ way of life: ‘It is extremely interesting to see these communities holding their own, surrounded as they are by a very different civilization . . . It is a remarkable fact that amidst that capitalist civilization some twenty thousand men should continue to live, and to thrive, under a system of partial communism and passive resistance to the State’ (505). Kropotkin’s article in The Nineteenth Century was read by a member of the Tolstoy Committee in London and he was ‘so moved by the sympathetic account of the Mennonites, suggested to Kropotkin that the Canadian prairie might provide a haven for the Doukhobors as well. Kropotkin agreed.’ (Avrich, 1980: 6). Thus, on 31 August 1898 Kropotkin, after talking to Tolstoy, wrote to Mavor asking him if the Canadian government would provide land for Doukhobor colonies in Canada on the following three conditions: ‘1. No obligation of

Utopian Colonies: Doukhobors and Socialist Colonies


military service 2. Full independence in their inner organization 3. Land in a block; they cannot live in isolated farms.’ He added: ‘Now, can you obtain that from Canadian government?’ (Kropotkin, 1898a). Kropotkin saw in the Doukhobors a higher moral and political life through a kind of cooperative society that refused capitalism, militarism, inequality, and individualism. For Kropotkin, the Doukhobors were the closest thing in practice to what he had envisioned in his book Fields, Factories and Workshops (which he was proofing at the same time he wrote his letter to Mavor: 1898b). In it, he emphasizes agriculture and rural life as key to human well-being—a perspective that contrasts with Russian Marxists, who argued that history was moving away from an agrarian-based economy to an industrial one as necessary to ‘progress’ in history from primitive society to industrial society. Kropotkin wrote in a letter in 1893 to a fellow anarchist in Australia describing the centrality of agrarian labour to his colonial vision, noting every member of the ‘colony . . . works hard . . . [engaged in] reasoned, intensive gardening to grow all sorts of vegetables . . . guided by the experience of real gardeners’. Unlike other domestic colonialists who suggest colonies must be located in the rural countryside, Kropotkin believes, ‘such a colony [must be] close to a big city’ so the colony’s adults might be able to work in factories to earn money if necessary (1893: 14). Even in his second edition of Fields, Factories and Workshops (1912), Kropotkin writes in glowing terms about the ‘growing tendency’ of ‘all the great industrial nations’ towards a ‘more intensive agricultural productivity’ using ‘inner colonization’ (Preface, 1912). Thus, once again, agriculture is key to the ideology of a radical domestic colonialism (in this case married not to liberalism or socialism but cooperative anarchism), as manifested in the Doukhobors’ collective agrarian way of life (Yerbury, 1984; Carmichael, 2013). Mavor, after receiving Kropotkin’s letter in 1898, contacted Clifford Sifton (Minister of the Interior from 1896 to 1905) to negotiate the terms of the Doukhobors’ settlement in Saskatchewan within colonies rooted in Tolstoy’s and Kropotkin’s three conditions. While the first two conditions were met without trouble, at least initially, owning land collectively was much more difficult to reconcile with the existing 1872 Dominion Lands Act that required land be held by individuals consistent with a liberal form of settler colonialism. It is worth noting how the Canadian state’s attitudes to the Doukhobors and the legislation which created difficulties was shaped by settler colonialism, since the Dominion Lands Act grew out of the negotiation of Treaties 1 and 2 with indigenous nations in the previous year in order to open up their lands for ‘immigration and settlement’. In 1872, the Canadian state passed this law, very much based on the US Homestead Act, establishing the settler colonial conditions upon which land in western Canada (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta in particular) could be ‘settled’. The legislation was deeply Lockean in origin, since it was rooted in


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individual parcels of agrarian land or ‘homesteads’ available to emigrants from Europe for settlement. And what attracted the Canadian government and Sifton to the Doukhobors was their reputation as ‘hardy agriculturalists’. Thus, the clash of the Canadian state with Doukhobor’s beliefs in collective ownership echoed the original clash with indigenous peoples’ belief in sharing their land collectively. Ultimately, Sifton devised a plan in which Doukhobors agreed to file for individual quarter section lots but would not live on those lots, as stipulated in the Act. The exact details of how this would work, along with the fact that the Dominion Lands Act also stipulated applicants had to swear allegiance to the Crown were never fully resolved; a decision which will come back to haunt both sides (Yerbury, 1984). The Canadian state signed agreements with the Doukhobors, assuming that they would ultimately give up their collective ways of being and assimilate into Canadian society as individual property owners and citizens. In other words, they acted in bad faith because government officials did not intend to respect the terms of their own agreements with the Doukhobor settlers.

8.2.1. Colonies in Saskatchewan In the 1890s, a number of groups contributed money towards the settlement of the Doukhobors, most significantly Leo Tolstoy, who donated $17,000 to the cause, using the royalties of his novel Resurrection to this end (Mayes, 1999: 41). The Canadian state set aside 400 thousand acres and on 4 January 1899, Sergey Tolstoy, the eldest son of Leo Tolstoy, escorted 2300 Doukhobors to Halifax harbor, where they were quarantined for twenty-three days after one of the individuals on the ship was diagnosed with smallpox before making their way across Canada to arrive in Saskatchewan at the land set aside for them by the Canadian state. Sergey remained for the first winter before returning home to Russia the following year. Many followed, and ultimately over 7000 Doukhobors immigrated to Saskatchewan at the turn of the twentieth century (Tarasoff, 2006: 2). Agrarian labour was central to these colonies both for the Doukhobors and the Canadian state. ‘Sifton was eager to have the Doukhobors populate the West because of their accomplishments as agriculturalists’ (Carmichael, 2013: 5). Two colonies were created near Yorkton Saskatchewan in 1899 (the North Colony and South Colony) and a third one near Prince Albert, with different groups immigrating to different colonies. Members of the North Colony were the most orthodox and the Prince Albert Colony was the least orthodox (even allowing for a mixture of land ownership as well as nonDoukhobor and Doukhobor farmers from the outset). As with other colonies, labour was defined along gender lines. Adelman notes: ‘While the men worked

Utopian Colonies: Doukhobors and Socialist Colonies


out [cultivating the land], the women “worked in.” They built the houses and schools.’ (2013: 5). While Kropotkin and Tolstoy articulate a radical form of domestic utopian colonialism for the Doukhobors in Russia, as they move to Canada, this intersects with settler colonialism. The settler colonial dimensions of the Doukhobor colonies were clear in Saskatchewan as well as with their move to British Columbia. First, the land upon which the original three colonies were founded in Saskatchewan was the subject of two treaty negotiations (Treaty 4 in 1874, which includes twenty first nations and Treaty 6 in 1876 which includes fifty first nations). The British Crown and Canadian state claimed they had extinguished native land title through theses treaties and now had full sovereignty over the land and the people that lived on it, but the indigenous peoples argued they had negotiated a shared use land agreement based on peaceful coexistence but without, ‘relinquish[ing] their right to nationhood, their inherent Right to determine their own destinies, nor did they allow any foreign government to govern them’.1 From the perspective of the settler state, both treaties reflect the ideology of settler colonialism, not only by dispossessing the indigenous peoples of their lands and claiming to exercise sovereignty over them but via references to land being ‘settled’ and being put to ‘better use’ by European settlers. There is also the inclusion of monies for agricultural supports to encourage the ‘idle’ ‘Indian’ to cultivate the soil, much like the treaties negotiated by Jefferson and Harrison in Indiana. Thus the fifth of eight principle conditions of Treaty 4 confirms that the state will provide: ‘Presents of agricultural implements, cattle, grain . . . proportioned to the number of families in the Band actually engaged in farming’2 and Treaty 6 reads: It is further agreed between Her Majesty and the said Indians, that the following articles shall be supplied to any Band of the said Indians who are now cultivating the soil, or who shall hereafter commence to cultivate the land . . . four hoes for every family actually cultivating . . . two spades . . . one plough . . . harrow . . . two axes . . . [for every three families] . . . also, for each Band, enough of wheat, barley, potatoes and oats to plant the land . . . All the aforesaid articles to be given once and for all for the encouragement of the practice of agriculture among the Indians. (emphasis added)3

Thus, we see Lockean colonialism in both Treaty 4 and 6: dispossession of indigenous territory for European settlement because they will ‘improve’ it 1 ‘Fundamental Treaty Principles’. Treaty Six Organization. Accessed November 2014. 2 Treaty Texts—Treaty No. 4: Queen’s Printer, Ottawa 1966. eng/1100100028689/1100100028690 3 Treaty Texts—Treaty No. 6: Queen’s Printer, Ottawa 1966 eng/1100100028710/1100100028783


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and a central emphasis on the ‘improvement’ of indigenous peoples themselves via agrarian labour by supplying ‘encouragement’ and tools. These two treaties negotiated in the 1870s and the claim to dispossession and sovereignty within them became the basis upon which Doukhobor domestic colonies could be established in the 1900s. Within a few years of settling in Saskatchewan, a key internal disagreement emerged within the Doukhobor colonies as to whether to continue to cultivate and own their land collectively or adopt individual title (with pressure being applied by the Canadian state to move towards the latter). This debate led to Leo Tolstoy’s famous letter to the Doukhobors of Canada in 1900 via its leader Peter Verigin (who emigrated to Saskatchewan in 1902) in which he reminded them of the centrality of collective property and cultivation to their religion and way of life: ‘The will of God is expressed completely in the commandment to love. To accumulate private property and to retain it separately from others means to act contrary to the will of God and His commandment’ (Tolstoy, 1900). At the heart of the Doukhobor colony was not only agrarian labour but also collective ownership and cultivation, in keeping with their central religious belief, according to both Tolstoy and Verigin. The internal Doukhobor debate came to a head in 1905 at the same time that Clifford Sifton resigned from government and was replaced by a more conservative Minister of the Interior, Frank Oliver, who took advantage of the ambiguities in the original agreement and divisions within the Doukhobor community to insist that Doukhobors swear allegiance to the Crown, cultivate land in individual parcels, and enroll students in public schools (thus breaking all three of the conditions that the Canadian state originally agreed to with Kropotkin on behalf of the Doukhobors through Mavor). It was clear that the Department of the Interior under Oliver’s leadership embraced an aggressively assimilationist model, as noted in an internal document: ‘Doukhobors will need a constant watching until schools and contact with other settlers will transform them and make them think in the same way as an ordinary man does.’ (Yerbury, 1984: 47). When the more radical North Colony of Doukhobors refused to cultivate collectively or swear allegiance, Oliver began to dispossess them of the land the Canadian state had reserved for them. Despite repeated protests from Mavor to the government, the policy continued. Eventually, a large contingent of members from the North Colony under the leadership of Verigin moved from Saskatchewan to British Columbia to create a new colony where they believed children would not be required to enroll in schools and the community could live in peace and segregation according to their religious beliefs. As Verigin said at the time of this new colony: ‘No schools. No government interference. An ideal place to build a brotherhood.’ (Tarasoff, 1982: 102). But the hope that they had finally found a place where they might be free to live according to their religious beliefs was short-lived. As Carmichael notes of this move to BC:

Utopian Colonies: Doukhobors and Socialist Colonies


‘This idealism was quickly dashed by the reality of a province with centrally controlled compulsory provincial education and a political culture formed through the rapid building of a colonial white supremacist society’ (2013: 6).

8.2.2. Colonies in British Columbia: Settler and Utopian Colonialism Verigin purchased property in British Columbia at the confluence of the Kootenay and Columbia Rivers in 1912 from the estate of John Carmichael Haynes, who had obtained the land through a Crown grant in 1884. Both of these sales of property were done without any treaty in place, as there had been in Saskatchewan and unbeknownst to the Ktunaxa nation and the Sinixt (also Sin Aikst or ‘Lake’) people who both lived and hunted on this land. Thus, Verigin established his colony on territory that was at the very heart of the traditional territory of indigenous peoples and on land actively disputed at the time he bought it. As Sutherland and Wilkinson point out, Five thousand Doukhobor settlers arrived on the lands to begin the intensive cultivation of fruits and vegetables . . . [but] these lands Verigin named ‘Brilliant’ . . . were also lands that had been continuously used by indigenous peoples for fishing, farming, pasturing horses, burial grounds and as a home base to engage in wideranging hunting and gathering activities. (2012: 35)4

The leader of the Sinixt people, Alexander Christian, stated at the BC Royal Commission on Indian Affairs in 1912 that ‘my ancestors have belonged to [the confluence of the Kootenay and Columbia rivers] as far back as I can trace.’5 Before Verigin purchased the land from Haynes, the federal government via their local Indian agent, R.T. Galbraith, tried to remove the members of the Sinixt people from this land in 1902 to a ‘reserve’ further north (near current-day Nakusp), but the Sinixt elder at the time, Baptiste Christian (Alexander’s father), refused to go. He eventually moved his family to Washington, but his son 4 This land remains disputed to this day between indigenous peoples, as the Ktunaxa Nation argue it is part of their territory with the Sinixt people only travellers through it. The dispute between the Sinixt and Ktunaxa Nation continues, complicated by the fact that the Canadian government declared the Sinixt Nation extinct in 1956. The Sinixt have legally contested this claim of extinction as well as the overlapping claims to territory by the Ktunaxa nation, but the Ktunaxa nation have been recognized by the Canadian and BC governments as the nation with whom they are negotiating a present-day treaty over this territory. This dispute is beyond the scope of this chapter to address, but is important to acknowledge, since at this point in history the Doukhobor’s purpose is to extinguish the Sinixt people’s claim—thus, my focus is on how the Douhkobors engaged in an aggressive form of dispossession and forced the last remaining members of the Sinixt people from their land. I want to thank Joyce Green for bringing the disputed nature of this territory to my attention. 5 Alexander Christie, ‘Statement to the Royal Commission on Indian Affairs in the Province of British Columbia’, 25 June 1914, LAC, RG 10, vol. 4047.


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Alexander stayed on the land and fought for the right of his people to continue to live there. Galbraith attempted to get four acres of land for Alexander Christian, but before he could complete any deal, he learned that the BC government had allowed the Haynes family to sell all of their land to Verigin in 1912 (Sutherland and Wilkinson, 2012; Carmichael, 2013). Dispossession and Forced Removal Thus, what little was left of the Sinixt people in this region had no claim to this land in the eyes of the Canadian settler state or the BC provincial government— it now belonged to the Doukhobors. As Lawney Reyes, Alexander Christian’s grandson states in his book about the Sinixt people, White Grizzly Bear’s Legacy: Learning to Be Indian: ‘The Christian family could not understand how the land they had occupied for generations could be bought from under them without their knowledge or consent’ (Reyes, 2002: 32). The agent for the Doukhobors told Alexander Christian that they had three weeks to move themselves off the land, at which point the Department of Indian Affairs again intervened to seek a compromise. Verigin refused to sell any land, but said the Christian family could stay where they were (2–3 acres) and would be undisturbed. But, despite these promises, the Doukhobors cleared land, fenced the Christian family’s land in, and ploughed up Sinixt sacred burial grounds while they were away harvesting berries in the late summer of 1913. In August 1913, the Christian family went to Red Mountain for the huckleberry harvest . . . During their absence, the Doukhobors erected a barbed wire fence to mark the boundaries and then plowed their land right up to the fence. The fence enclosed the Christian family’s cabins, leaving them no way to approach or exit their land except by water [and] they were outraged when they discovered that the graves of their relatives and ancestors had been plowed over. (Reyes, 2002: 34–5)

But when the family still refused to leave, in 1919, the Doukhobors moved in to occupy the land. As a result, Alexander Christian and his one remaining daughter abandoned their home, but not before he placed Teresa Christian (his wife) who had died of pneumonia, ‘in the burial ground, which had been plowed over by the Doukhobors, next to her children, Louis, George and Julia . . . and other members of the family’ (36). There is an important footnote to this story of removal by the Doukhobors involving the direct descendants of Peter Verigin and Alexander Christian. In October 2009, Lawney Reyes (grandson of Alexander Christian) accepted an invitation from the Doukhobor people to come to the land that his family had once been forced off in order to dedicate a memorial stone to his grandmother, Teresa Christian, and exchange gifts with leaders from the Doukhobor community. At the ceremony, after gifts were exchanged, John Verigin, grandson of Peter Verigin, asked Reyes if he would allow him to apologize on behalf of

Utopian Colonies: Doukhobors and Socialist Colonies


the Doukhobor people and his grandfather for what they had done to the Sinixt people. Reyes agreed and Verigin knelt on the ground and touched his forehead and arms to the earth. Reyes accepted the apology and later said to Muriel Walton, ‘I am not an emotional man but the words and actions of John Verigin moved me’ (Walton and Wilkinson 2009: 8). Verigin after the ceremony noted that this was just the first step—it was necessary to now work out how ‘relations may be made right’ in an ongoing way (Sutherland and Wilkinson, 2012: 39). While this moment was clearly powerful for both sides, the issue of territory not only with respect to the settler state but also between the Sinixt and Ktunaxa continues. ‘For both settlers and indigenous peoples in British Columbia, this is a story of beginnings, not conclusions’ (39). Reconciliation may be facilitated by an apology, particularly if it is sincere and deeply felt, but how this translates into decolonization in a most substantive way is much more complex and problematic. State Assimilation of the Doukhobors As the Doukhobors dispossessed the last remaining members of the Sinixt people and settled at the confluence of the Columbia and Kootenay Rivers, they simultaneously waged their own battle with the state—both provincial and federal governments over registration of births, deaths, and whether their children would be enrolled in public schools. Verigin argued that the federal government had promised to allow the Doukhobors to live outside the sovereignty of the state, cultivate the land collectively, and respect their collective right to govern themselves, including educating their own children, but the provincial government was determined to enroll their children in public schools. In 1929 and again in 1932, six hundred Freedomite Doukhobors were imprisoned for public nudity (their form of protest) and 365 children were held by the state but then released.6 This debate over public education came to a head with a specific solution in 1948 when the BC Royal Commission on Doukhobor Affairs concluded: ‘The only real and permanent solution of the Doukhobor problem lies in education and assimilation’ (BC, 1948: 7). Consistent with Locke’s notion that custom-bound people must be educated to give up their ‘ways, modes and notions’ and be educated in order to assimilate into society and cultivate land in severalty, the BC government used education as a coercive tool through which to break families and communities and force children through education to become ‘rational’ citizens. Thus, in 1953, the BC government implemented ‘Operation Snatch’ in which four hundred adults were imprisoned and 104 children were seized and initially housed in the former Tuberculosis Sanitorium in New Denver under the Superintendent of Child Welfare, but then transferred to the



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authority of the Department of Education. As Margaret Hill notes, ‘It grew apparent [to the BC government] that the youngsters could be more easily controlled if they were placed under the authority of the Department of Education’ (Hill, 1986: 50). Over the course of six years, 170 children were sent to this residential institution to be segregated from the customs of their own community and be ‘educated’ to become ‘citizens’ within the Canadian state. Their parents were only able to see them one day a week through a fence. Carmichael astutely argues that Operation Snatch can fruitfully be analysed through a postcolonial lens, resulting in new insights. I would only add that the comparisons can also be made to domestic colonization, specifically, farm colonies for the mentally ill and disabled, groups for whom the same internal impulse by the state to segregate and ‘improve’ the irrational is used in relation to ‘custom-bound’ Doukhobor children. In both cases, the goal was improvement and their transformation into ‘rational’ citizens, via segregation and education by the state. One could also draw some parallels to the residential ‘school’ system for indigenous children, given that children are targeted in both cases, they are separated from their families, communities, and culture for an extended period of time in schools, and there is an attempt to eradicate their cultural ways and beliefs by a paternalistic state. Thus, to the extent that both Operation Snatch and residential schools share similar ideas of cultural supremacy, assimilation, ‘improvement’ rooted in the broken promises of the state and undergirded by a Lockean notion of ‘improvement’ to transform backward ‘collectivist’ societies into something ‘civilized’, one can see similarities (in one case rooted in domestic colonialism, in the other case external/settler colonialism). But one needs to be careful about drawing these comparisons because, while similarities exist as described above, there were also profound differences. Firstly, Doukhobors themselves were settlers, establishing their first colonies on land that was part of both Treaty 4 and Treaty 6 in Saskatchewan, and directly dispossessing the Sinixt people of their territory, as discussed. As such, the Doukhobors were both perpetrators of settler colonialism in the form of dispossession and the victim of domestic colonialism in the form of custodial schools. As Carmichael puts it, the colonial ‘ideology of supremacy cannot be separated from the material process of land dispossession’. Secondly, while both residential schools for ‘Indians’ and custodial schools for Doukhobors can be viewed through a colonial lens, since they both involve white/Anglo Saxon attacks on the culture, language, and religious beliefs of a targeted ethnic or racialized group (via their children), indigenous peoples held a particular place in liberal theory from Locke onwards, not simply as different but as men in the state of nature who must be ‘brought’ into civil society if the larger narrative articulated by Locke in which civil society transcends the state of nature is to be realized. Thus, as I have argued elsewhere (Arneil, 1996) in much greater detail, when Locke says ‘in the beginning, all was

Utopian Colonies: Doukhobors and Socialist Colonies


America’, he invokes Genesis—a place where Europe might find and transcend the origins of its own past. As such, American ‘Indians’ were designated to play the role of Europe’s genesis and ‘savage’ or ‘natural’ man in theory, as well as the mirrored opposite of civil society. There was no other option than to be transcended by civil society and thus eradicated as indigenous peoples with their own ‘ways, modes and notions’. Thus, the ‘Indian’ and his/her ‘ways, modes and notions’ must be extinguished at the level of first principles in a way that the Doukhobors did not. It is this larger narrative of extinguishment and genocide, both of land title, as discussed above, but also of forced assimilation of ‘Indians’ themselves, that makes residential schools different in kind from Operation Snatch. Indeed, the settler colonial impetus and strength of it explains the enormous geographical extent of residential schools (spread across the country), the greater numbers of children involved (thousands), and the length of time these schools lasted (over a century) in comparison to the longevity of the Doukhobor custodial schools (thirty years from 1929–59), numbers (hundreds), and geography (one small part of British Columbia). In summary, at the heart of the Doukhobor story in Saskatchewan, but most particularly in British Columbia, was an intersection of colonialisms that both complemented and contradicted each other. In the first instance, the Doukhobors colonized the land of the Sinixt, which was a form of external and settler colonialism, but establishing themselves as a colony was rooted in a form of domestic colonialism in which segregation, improvement of people, and land via agrarian labour was key, but these were then also combined with a radical colonialism which challenged the basic principles of settler society (the sovereignty of the state, materialism, militarism, private property, and individualism). It is because of this radical form of colonialism that Doukhobor children were subject to assimilation justified by the BC government through a different kind of domestic colonialism where the state forcibly seized children, segregated them from their parents and communities, and placed them in custodial schools to ‘educate’ them to give up their ‘ways, modes and notions’ and become integrated ‘rational’ citizens rather than segregated custombound Doukhobors.

8. 3. UTOPIAN S OCIALI ST COLONI ES IN AMERICA AND BRITAIN: ROBERT OWEN The second kind of utopian colonialism was rooted in political, specifically secular socialist ideology rather than religious belief or anarchism. English utopian socialist Robert Owen’s ideas were published in their most developed form in his 1841 ‘Home Colonization Plan’ for Britain, but many of


Domestic Colonies

the ideas contained in this chapter were also articulated in his New View of Society (1813) and Report to the House of Commons Committee on the Poor Law (1817), both of which were responses to the widespread unemployment at the end of the Napoleonic Wars in Britain. In the former, Owen laid out his general philosophy, in which he recommends a ‘simple practical plan’ to make the poor independent and self-supporting, rooted in the principles of reason over Christianity. In the latter report, Owen wondered how could ‘advantageous occupation . . . be found for the poor and unemployed working classes to whose labour mechanism must be rendered subservient, instead of being applied?’ (1817). Owen’s solution was planned ‘communities’ to engage the unemployed in cooperative farming and manufacturing. His proposals were initially met with interest and approval. The London Times printed the full text of his report on the proposed community on 9 April 9 1817 and recommended in an editorial that his plan been implemented. He tried to create a series of Villages of Cooperation in England at the beginning of the nineteenth century, but ultimately, was unable to do so for a variety of reasons and so turned his attention to America.

8.3.1. New Harmony in Indiana In January 1825, Owen, discouraged by his failure in England, travelled to the United States and purchased Harmonie, a religious community originally settled by German Lutherans in Indiana. Owen renamed it New Harmony, inviting any and all to join this new community. Like the Doukhobors, Owen’s colony was founded on the traditional territory of indigenous peoples; in this case the Delaware and the Shawnee. Indeed, the American ‘state’ of Indiana was named as such exactly because it was a land populated by so many American ‘Indians’. William Henry Harrison, the governor of the territory of Indiana from 1800 to 1812 and later the short-lived ninth President of the United States has been described as Thomas Jefferson’s ‘hammer’ (2011) by historian Robert M. Owens (no relation) in his book-length analysis of how Harrison implemented policies of assimilation and dispossession of indigenous Americans for Jefferson. In particular, he was instrumental in negotiating a series of treaties through which, Harrison argued, indigenous peoples had ‘surrendered’ their land. As I have argued elsewhere (1996: 168–210), Jefferson’s Indian policy was explicitly rooted in Locke’s political thought, specifically the idea that the key to ‘civilizing’ ‘Indians’ was encouraging them to give up their culture and engage in agrarian labour in order to improve (assimilation), as well as the principle that ‘Indian’ territory by and large lay ‘waste’ because it was uncultivated and therefore open to settlement (dispossession). Put simply, Locke’s

Utopian Colonies: Doukhobors and Socialist Colonies


theory explicitly provides Jefferson with his central ideological justification for his policies assimilation and dispossession, and Harrison was the ‘hammer’ who implemented Jefferson’s Indian policies in Indiana. In February 1803, the president wrote Governor Harrison: ‘Our system is to live in perpetual peace with the Indians . . . we wish to draw them to agriculture, spinning and weaving . . . When they withdraw themselves to the culture of a small piece of land, they will perceive how useless to them are their extensive forests and will be willing to pare them off from time to time in exchange for necessaries for their farms and families.’ (Owens, 2011: 76)

As Owens argues, however, Harrison not only ‘purchased’ Indian land for settlement as cheaply and quickly as possible but used chiefs against each other, ignoring traditional territorial claims and boundaries to simply buy land from one chief which actually belonged to another indigenous people, and then setting them up against each other to engage in violence or war. Let us look at the specific cases of this as they apply to the territory that will eventually become ‘New Harmony’. Treaty of the Delawares (1804) Among the series of treaties signed by Harrison with various indigenous peoples, in the third one, the Treaty with the Delawares (1804), they relinquished their claims to territory between the Wabash and Ohio rivers (including the land in which New Harmony colony would be established) in exchange for $3000 over ten years ‘plus $1500 worth of instruction and material for teaching them “agricultural and domestic arts”.’ (Owens, 2011: 84). One sees in this treaty the dual thrusts of ‘improvement’ through agrarianism and dispossession. The idea that the Delawares needed instruction in cultivation was ridiculous, however, as Owens points out, ‘Delaware women had been excellent farmers for centuries’, a reality ‘not mentioned’ in the treaty. Within a year, the Delaware chiefs (Buckongahelas and Hockingpomskon) ‘argued vehemently that they had not intended to sell any land and lacked the authority to do so anyway’ (Owens, 2011: 100). The land, they argued, belonged to the Miami Confederacy, including the Shawnee. Thus, neither the Miami Confederacy nor the Shawnee people were part of this treaty, even though it was understood to be theirs by other indigenous peoples in the same area. The fact that New Harmony was settled upon Shawnee territory which had never been ceded by them was well known from the time of Harrison, and like the Doukhobor’s colony and so many other colonial settlements, often included sacred burial grounds (Indian mounds) and were known as such by those who occupied the territory. John Phillip Newell, in his book A New Harmony (2012) thus observes: ‘In 1941, Jane Owen climbed Indian Mound in southern Indiana. She had recently


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married Kenneth Owen [the great-great grandson of Robert Owen) of New Harmony . . . Indian Mound, on the edge of historic New Harmony, had been a sacred site of gathering for the Native American tribe of Shawnee’ (150, emphasis added). Thus, all those generations later, the descendants of the original settlers continued to occupy the dispossessed territory of the Shawnee people, including sacred land, and was recognized as such by the settlers, for their own purposes. New Harmony was only possible through the dispossession of indigenous people. The simple reason why Harrison did not want to negotiate with the Shawnee was their steadfast opposition to European settlement altogether, under the leadership of the famous brothers Tecumseh and Tenskawtawa (also known as the Shawnee prophet). The Shawnee opposed the selling of any land because they believed that, in principle, land could not be sold any more than air or water, but also because they came to believe that the indigenous peoples of America were under siege, and needed a confederacy in opposition to the white men to protect their land from further incursions. Nonetheless, by 1805, Harrison relented and conceded that the Delawares did not own the land ceded to him (104). Treaty of Fort Wayne (1809) By 1809, Harrison had negotiated the Treaty of Fort Wayne, involving millions of acres of land secured yet again through duplicity, bribery, and a divide-and-conquer approach to the indigenous peoples of Indiana—it is this treaty that ultimately led to a war between Tecumseh and the United States. Tecumseh asked Harrison to nullify the treaty and appealed to indigenous peoples not to sign any more treaties. In his confrontation with Harrison in 1810, he is quoted as saying, ‘No tribe has the right to sell [land], even to each other, much less to strangers. . . . Sell a country!? Why not sell the air, the great sea, as well as the earth? Didn’t the Great Spirit make them all for the use of his children?’ (Polin, 2009: 82). Tecumseh eventually formed an alliance with the British against the Americans that lead to the war of 1812. Thus, the establishment of New Harmony in Indiana, like the founding of the Doukhobor colony at the confluence of the Kootenay and Columbia Rivers in British Columbia, required the appropriation of unceded indigenous territory, including, in both cases, sacred burial lands. As such, the utopian colony of New Harmony, far from being harmonious, was settled on land taken by the American state that led to an all-out war with an American Indian confederacy led by the Shawnee (whose land had been appropriated). As such, this colony was a manifestation of settler colonization, as the state dispossessed indigenous people of their land for both economic reasons (settler expansion) and political reasons (nation building).

Utopian Colonies: Doukhobors and Socialist Colonies

197 Robert Owen and New Harmony But while these colonies were settler colonies and justified as such by the states that facilitated them, they were also manifestations of domestic colonialism rooted in segregation, agrarian labour, and improvement, as well as a radical form of utopian socialist colonialism, which, like the Doukhobors, sought to fundamentally challenge the precepts of Lockean colonialism, including individual property, capitalism, and materialism by virtue of Owen’s secular commitment to collectivist ownership and cultivation. Indeed, Owen often spoke against religion in his public lectures and in favour of his vision of a collectivist secular socialist future. In March 1825, Owen delivered a lecture to the US House of Representatives on his plans for New Harmony and travelled around America to gather individuals who would join him in this new experiment. His son and wife moved from England to become members of the colony—a family which, as noted above, remained in the location for generations to come. But the colony attracted a mixture of people, including what one scholar describes as ‘crackpots, free loaders and adventurers whose presence in the town made success unlikely’ (Wilson, 1967: 116). Within two years, by 1827, New Harmony had failed, due in part to the diversity in the membership of the community, in part to the different goals of those living there, and in part to Owen’s particular form of paternalism that clashed with many of the free spirits who had joined his community. Thus, the colonialism that justified New Harmony in America was complex and contradictory, weaving together domestic and radical socialist forms of colonialism, underpinned by settler colonialism.

8.3.2. Robert Owen’s Home Colonization Plan in Britain In 1828, Robert Owen returned to Britain, believing it would be better to implement his socialism through a home colonization scheme in England for the idle poor. It is worth examining this later plan because, while it is partially based upon the utopian colony of New Harmony in America (much like van den Bosch’s Dutch colonies echoed his external colonies in the Dutch East Indies), Owen’s domestic colonies in England did not involve settler colonialism. Instead Owen develops a domestic colonialism directed for the British within Britain. Owen published his major essay on domestic colonies entitled ‘A Development of the Principles and Plans on which to Establish Self supporting Home Colonies. . . . ’ in 1841 under the auspices of the British Home Colonization Society (1841). As discussed in Chapter 3, Owen’s essay was one of many articulations of a turn inward to colony in Britain in the middle of the nineteenth century, as


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both liberal and socialist thinkers argued that the poor and petty criminals of England should not be sent to settler colonies or penal colonies overseas but colonized at home. In other words colonization in the year 1840 both in France (where Mettray colony was opened) and England (where multiple authors defended home colonies) was as much a social policy to be implemented within the border of France or England, respectively, as it was understood to be a tool of imperial policy. Indeed, while English settler colonization had long had a domestic dimension, as defended by Wilmot-Horton (absorbing the unwanted of England overseas), domestic colonization is different because what is being debated in this period is whether the colonies themselves should be located in Europe or overseas. Owen’s home colonization plan was different from his liberal counterparts in England (John Burn, Rowland Hill, William Atkinson, Frederick Bate, William Galpin) and Europe (van den Bosch and Tocqueville) as discussed in Chapter 3, because Owen did not root them in religion or ‘benevolence’ but rather secularism and socialism. His home colonies, like New Harmony, were ultimately to be collectively cultivated and owned by the members of the colony. For Owen, in essence, socialism was achieved through the home colony. The first section, entitled the ‘General Arrangements of the Proposed Home Colonies’, reads: ‘It is proposed that each establishment of these Colonies shall, in the first instance, be the property of a joint-stock company; who . . . shall let the whole, upon lease, to a company of tenants; the latter having power gradually to fine down the rents, and ultimately to become the owners’ (Owen, 1841: 37, emphasis added). This principle stands in contrast to the economic and ethical arguments made by liberal colonialists in which a paternalistic authority would own the colony and ensure both revenues were generated for that authority and the colonized would be improved by their labour. For Owen, the members of the colony would sell products of their labour not to generate revenue for the authority overseeing them, but to pay down rents and buy the colony for themselves. As such, the ethical arguments made by van den Bosch, Tocqueville, and later Booth that domestic colonies were the property of the state or philanthropic group designed to improve the moral character and industriousness of the idle poor was quite different from a utopian socialist argument in which the colony was for the improvement of the colonized but towards the ultimate goal of it being joint property. The liberal versions of domestic colonialism viewed the members of the colony as dependent on the tutelage and benevolence of the state/civil society organization in order to transform them into individual farmers/private property owners in their own right, consistent with the Lockean form of colonialism that underpinned them.

Utopian Colonies: Doukhobors and Socialist Colonies


8. 4 CON CLU SI ON In the case of both Doukhobor colonies in Canada and Owen’s utopian socialist colonies in America and Britain, it is clear how the domestic colonial principles of agrarian labour, improvement, and segregation were key to the thinkers justifying these colonies (Tolstoy, Mavor, and Kropotkin on the one hand and Owen on the other) as well as their implementation in practice. It is also clear that settler colonialism underpinned domestic colonies in North America as specific indigenous peoples were displaced in order to create these colonies in the first place. At the same time, Owen also used domestic colonialism to justify home colonies within Britain itself in 1841, a year after Mettray colony was opened in France and two decades after Van den Bosch established the first labour colony in Holland. The difference between the French and Dutch models in comparison to Owen’s is significant, since Owen’s colony was proposed to be voluntary joint property of its members (and thus a socialist colony in opposition to capitalism), whereas Tocqueville and van den Bosch saw their colonies as supporting the existing economic and political systems, whether as a paternalist institution for juvenile delinquents in support of the French republic or a Protestant benevolent system of colonies to support the ‘free market’ in labour, respectively. Therefore, what ultimately distinguishes these two kinds of utopian domestic colonies from labour and farm colonies is the radical nature of colonialism underpinning them—through which the colony is primarily a vehicle to challenge the capitalist norms of society, including private property, individualism, accumulation of material inequality, and, in the case of the Doukhobors, sovereign states. As such, these colonies when planted in the Americas represent sites of intersecting transnational colonialisms: domestic, settler, and radical. In Chapter 9 we turn to examine a third case of utopian colonies, namely African-American freedom colonies which were created to challenge another hegemonic norm in society: white supremacism in America in the aftermath of the Civil War.

9 African-American Utopian Colonies In Chapter 4, I examined colonies proposed and/or implemented by white Americans for African Americans, specifically freed slaves, beginning with Benjamin Rush’s domestic colonies in Pennsylvania in the late eighteenth century but over time, evolving into colonies both within and outside of America. In this chapter, I will explore a different kind of colony which developed at the end the Reconstruction era, namely, utopian colonies proposed or implemented by African Americans for themselves within America. While the idea of segregation from white society remained, it was African Americans themselves who sought to segregate within a white supremacist society in order live in equality and freedom, own and work land and prove they were capable of self-government. I focus, as always, on explicitly named colonies which African Americans called them at the time. I note this nomenclature both because it is important to my own analysis of colonialism and colonization but also because, in recent scholarship, the historical term ‘black’ or ‘negro’ colony has been replaced, more often than not by the term black ‘town’ or community. Thus, the Mound Bayou colony of Mississippi is now referred to as the ‘black town’ of Mound Bayou, even though its original proponents, including Booker T. Washington and founder Isaiah Montgomery, repeatedly refer to it as a colony. The word ‘town’ is not inaccurate because there was a town that included shops and school at the center of Mound Bayou, but the word ‘colony’ is important because, as we shall see, the principles of segregation, agrarian labour, and improvement foundational to utopian colonies and the labour and farm colonies of previous chapters are also central to the justification of AfricanAmerica utopian colonies as well. Utopian black colonies arose in the wake of the end of the Reconstruction era in the American South in the late 1870s where, despite emancipation, the situation for freed slaves was precarious, violent, and nearly impossible to navigate as a freed slave. As W.E. Dubois argues, despite many obstacles, African Americans found ways to engage in forms of resistance and agency to create spaces of freedom and equality for themselves (1985). Domestic utopian colonies, known as freedom colonies in many locales, were a key vehicle to

African-American Utopian Colonies


exercise such agency and fulfill the dream to own property instead of participating in a ‘sharecropping’ economy (a form of land ownership where former slaves became tenants on large acreages, working for basic subsistence at the behest of white proprietors). Sitton and Conrad argue that African Americans owned far more property than is generally recognized during this period, largely in the form of ‘freedom colonies’ (2005). They conclude that many freed slaves in the South came to believe that true emancipation was only possible if they lived segregated from white society within their own communities, through which they could own their own property and govern themselves, consistent with a Lockean notion of political society. As early as 1864, African-American leaders, meeting Secretary of War Stanton in Savannah to discuss resettlement, expressed a desire to be separate from white society, since this would be the only way they could be truly free in the South. ‘Sixty-seven year old freedman Garrison Frazier [told] Stanton “we would prefer” to “live by ourselves” rather than “scattered among the whites”’ (Magdol, 1977: 70). This viewpoint was widely held, as Elizabeth Bethel notes, ‘the sentiments Frazier expresses were not unusual’ (Bethel, 1981: 7). As with the Doukhobor colonies and New Harmony colony, described in Chapter 8, what marks utopian colonies is the fact that segregation is chosen voluntarily in order to create an oasis within a larger immoral society; colonies were thus vehicles of resistance to larger oppressive economic and political power relations—in this case to a white supremacist society. ‘“Freedom colonies” [were] anomalies in a post war South where white power elites rapidly resumed social, economic and political control and the agricultural system of sharecropping came to dominate.’ (Sitton and Conrad, 2005: 1).

9.1. BOOKER T. WASHINGTON AND UTOPIAN COLONIES One of the strongest domestic colonialists and proponents for AfricanAmerican utopian colonies at the turn of the twentieth century was one of the leading African-American thinkers of his time, educator and principal of Tuskegee Institute, Booker T. Washington. W.E.B. DuBois describes Washington in 1903 as ‘the one recognized spokesman of his ten million fellows and one of the most notable figures in a nation of seventy millions’. (1903:5) Washington followed in the footsteps of Frederick Douglass who, as discussed earlier, supported domestic colonies for African Americans located within the United States (even as he fought vehemently against overseas colonies). But, whereas the only option available to Douglass in the 1860’s were domestic colonies created by white Americans, Washington was able to champion colonies created by and for African Americans themselves.


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Washington penned three articles in defence of the utopian colony model. In 1907, Washington wrote an essay in defence of the Mound Bayou colony in Mississippi as the way forward for African Americans in the South (1907); in 1908, he wrote an article in the African American journal The Outlook (1908) in support of the colony in Boley, Oklahoma; and in 1912, he published an article in the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science entitled ‘The Rural Negro Community’ (1912) in which he refers to his earlier articles on specific colonies and speaks in a general way about the educational and agrarian measures needed to support colonies (via the Tuskagee Institute) including ‘improvement of the schools and stimulating the efforts of the farmers to improve their methods of farming’. (1912: 86) All three emphasize the domestic colonial principles of segregation, improvement and agrarian labour as key to the success of such colonies. Washington’s articles and his vigorous defence of the colony model can be read in two ways, much like Washington himself. On the one hand, Washington, the leading African American intellectual of his day, fighting for the education of African Americans and their full inclusion into the labour force of America can be viewed as a radical political thinker and the colonies therefore a vehicle for radical forms of political resistance to racialized power relations. On the other hand, Washington can be viewed as a conservative thinker, particularly from the perspective of a new generation of African American thinkers at the beginning of the twentieth century (in particular, W.E.B. DuBois who, while initially supporting Washington’s vision for reform, became increasingly disenchanted with it) as failing to pay appropriate attention to full civil and political equality of African Americans. There is certainly historical evidence of Washington as a thinker who shies away from claiming full equality. His famous 1895 Atlanta Compromise address in which he argued that African Americans should not focus on civil rights or the right to vote but on obtaining a technical education, working hard, and purchasing property was viewed by DuBois and other AfricanAmerican leaders as a limited and ‘accommodationist’ approach to white society. In Chapter 3 of his book The Souls of Black Folk entitled ‘Of Mr. Booker T. Washington and Others’, DuBois concludes that Washington ‘represents in Negro thought the old attitude of adjustment and submission…Mr. Washington’s programme practically accepts the alleged inferiority of the Negro races.’ (1903: 15). DuBois goes on to say that in the Atlanta Exposition, Washington ‘abandoned all political and social rights’ for African Americans. If we accept this version of Washington, what follows is that colonies were part of the continuing submission of African Americans, with Washington engaged in a quite different agenda than DuBois. But before we turn to examine whether colonies represent a radical or conservative approach to African-American freedom, it is worth noting that recent scholarship raises the question of whether this political dichotomy

African-American Utopian Colonies


between Washington and DuBois has been overblown. To begin with, DuBois was originally supportive of the Atlanta address, sending a telegram of congratulations to Washington and then applying to work at Tuskagee Institute. Washington supported the full social and civil rights of African Americans and privately financed legal challenges to this end. As Kevern Verney argues, Washington’s ‘argument with DuBois was over tactics not objectives. The two men were in agreement that it was important for blacks to enjoy full civil and political rights. Where they differed was on how this could best be achieved.’ (2013: 86). Similarly, recent work by Desmond Jagmohan suggests Booker T. Washington sought primarily to create ‘civic capacity’ under conditions of domination (2015). This reconsideration of Washington’s politics is important because, while Washington’s support for freedom colonies could be viewed as part of a conservative agenda of accommodation and self-help, I hope to show that he viewed them as a tactic in the sense that Verney uses that term to reach full equality and create, in Jagmohan’s terms, civic capacity. So just like the utopian colonies described in Chapter 8, Washington’s defence of domestic colonies ought to be seen, at least in part, as a radical politics that used segregation as tool to create a space for freedom and equality of African Americans, a place to prove they are capable of self-government and thus to resist society’s white supremacist norms. But as much as these colonies were vehicles for freedom for and by African Americans, they were also, simultaneously, manifestations of settler colonialism, since they required the dispossession of indigenous lands in order to exist at all, as shall be discussed in detail in each case, and the leading African-American defenders of such colonies often used Lockean language of title through labour on ‘empty’ land to create title in property. What distinguishes the settler colonization of African-American colonies from utopian colonies such as those of Doukhobors or Owenites was the fact that African-American slaves were brought to America by force as chattel or property themselves. This creates a different relation of power within Byrd’s cacophony of colonization, but it also creates a different set of goals for African Americans. Unlike the Doukhobors and Owenites, who emphasized collective property in opposition to private property, freed slaves’ sought private parcels of lands to own and labour upon in opposition to their own history of being property themselves and unable to own land. The goal of securing one’s own parcel of land is not surprising given the lived realities of slavery and sharecropping, but it is problematic from the perspective of indigenous peoples because of the settler colonialism inherent in the arguments made in defence of private property within these colonies. Thus, in this chapter I examine utopian colonies in Kansas, Texas, Mississippi, and Oklahoma, beginning with the migration from the South to colonies in Kansas proposed by William Allen and Benjamin Singleton, the ‘freedom colonies’ of Texas, and finally, the larger colonies of Mound Bayou, Mississippi


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established by Isaiah Montgomery and Benjamin Green, and that of Boley, Oklahoma established by Thomas Haynes and James Barrett. Ultimately, I hope to demonstrate that all of these utopian colonies lie at the intersection of three kinds of colonialism: domestic colonialism (segregation, agrarian labour, and improvement), settler colonialism (dispossession and removal), and radical colonialism (the colony becomes a vehicle through which to resist and challenge larger power structures in society).

9.2. COLONIES IN KANSAS: ADAMS AND S INGLETON The 1880 Minority Report of a US Senate committee appointed to investigate the reasons for mass internal black migration in the 1870s describes the original mass migration to Kansas in the following terms: ‘In the spring of 1879, thousands of colored people, unable any longer to endure the intolerable hardships, injustice and suffering inflicted upon them…had, in utter despair, fled’ to Kansas both as individual settlers but also to join newly formed colonies. (US Senate, 1880: x, cited in Davis, 2008). Two key African-American figures engaged in creating colonies in Kansas were Henry Adams of Louisiana and Benjamin Singleton of Tennessee. Adams, in the 1860s, that is in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War, had brought together five hundred African Americans to ‘see whether it [would be] possible [that] we could stay under a people who had held us in bondage or not’. The group concluded it could not and formed the ‘Colonization Council’, appealing to President Hayes and the US Congress to ‘set apart a territory in the United States’ where they could go and cultivate the land and live with their families separate from white society. Adams claimed he had 98,000 Southern freed slaves interested in migrating to such a colony (US Senate, 1880: 101–3; Davis, 2008). In testimony before this Senate Committee, Adams claims that the Colonization Council was created in direct response to white supremacy, its main purpose was the ‘improvement’ of freed slaves via domestic colonization: In August sometime in 1874, after the White League sprung up, they organized and said this is a white man's government, and the colored men should not hold any offices; they were no good but to work in the fields and take what they would give them and vote the Democratic ticket. That's what they would make public speeches and say to us, and we would hear them. We then organized an organization called the colonization council…to better our condition. (Adams, 1880)

For Adams, improving African Americans’ lives meant the need to resettle on their own land in Kansas, separate from white society, and to cultivate soil to build sustainable, independent communities.

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9.2.1. Dispossession of the Kanza and Osage Peoples Benjamin Singleton had also proposed domestic colonies in Kansas in the late nineteenth century and was thus also called before the same Senate committee to explain his reasoning. He organized ‘at least four…colonies between 1873 and 1878’ in Kansas prior to the great exodus of 1879 (Williams, 1985: 220). Thus, the earliest forms of migration (pre-1879) were to specific colonies, whereas the later ‘great migration’ of 1879 involved a mass movement of people from one part of the United States to another in search of individual plots of land. ‘From 1875–1877, blacks migrated west in a continuous and organized way. Much of the migration that occurred before 1879 was that of organized groups in colonies. The major characteristics of such colonies organized by blacks before 1879 were that all were thoroughly planned and led by able men’ (Williams, 1985: 222). Even as this internal migration to domestic colonies represented a way to create a collective life of autonomy away from a white supremacist society in the South, it depended upon, just like the Doukhobor colony in BC and New Harmony colony in Indiana, the prior dispossession and removal of indigenous peoples, in this case the Kaw or Kanza people and the Osage people from the two parcels of land upon which Singleton founded his first two colonies. Singleton’s first colony in Baxter Springs was thus built on the traditional territory of the Osage people, who in 1825, had ‘ceded’ millions of acres of their traditional hunting lands in Missouri, Arkansas, and Oklahoma to the American government and had moved to a reservation in Kansas. In 1870, an act of Congress required that the remainder of land in Kansas be sold and the Osage people were removed again and relocated to Oklahoma. It was on this territory that Singleton founded his first colony. Baxter Springs was famous for being one end of the ‘Black Dog Trail’, created by the Black Dog tribal band of the Osage people around the turn of the nineteenth century and used by them as a site of healing on their way to their hunting grounds at the other end in Oklahoma. According to Louis Burns of the Oklahoma Historical Society, the Black Dog Trail was an enormous undertaking—the Osage people built a road to accommodate ‘eight horsemen riding abreast’ which was the ‘first [major] improved road in both Oklahoma and Kansas’.1 The second colony, founded at Dunlap Kansas and named after the federal Indian agent Joseph Dunlap, was also located on indigenous land, in this case part of the traditional territory of the Kaw or Kanza people. The history of dispossession and removal of the Kaw people follows a similar pattern to that of the Osage. In 1825, the Kaw agreed through a treaty to reduce their territory from millions of acres to a portion of land that would eventually became Louis F. Burns, ‘Osage’, Oklahoma Encyclopedia of History and Culture. http://digital. Accessed June 2014. 1


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northern Kansas in exchange for $3500 annuity for twenty years along with a quantity of cattle, hogs, domestic fowl, and a government agricultural instructor. This treaty was rooted from the perspective of the state, like both Treaty 4 and 6 in Saskatchewan in relation to the first Doukhobor colonies and the Harrison treaties in Indiana in relation to New Harmony, discussed in Chapter 8, in settler colonial principles of dispossessing indigenous peoples of ‘empty land’, that is, extinguishing the right to their own land, so settlers could improve it. And like the other treaties and consistent with the colonial focus on agrarian labour, it also provided funding and tools to ‘teach’ indigenous peoples how to ‘better’ cultivate the soil and become more ‘civilized’ in the process. In 1846, a second treaty was negotiated with a further 2 million acres ceded by the Kaw for 10 cents an acre (the money divided into a thirty-year annuity of $8000 per year and $2000 once again for educational and agricultural improvement). A final treaty of 1859 allowed the Kaw people to keep just 80,000 acres of land but then, in 1872, even this land was taken for settlement and the Kaw were removed from Kansas altogether, which is ironic given they provided the state they were forced to leave with its very name. Thus, only with the diminution of territory and removal of the Osage and Kaw peoples from their traditional territories was it possible for Singleton’s two colonies to exist at all in the location chosen.

9.2.2. Singleton’s Black Utopian Colonies in Kansas Singleton’s campaign that Kansas represented a ‘promised land’ (using similar language to that of Frederick Douglass when he described the Florida colony as a ‘Canaan’ for freed slaves) led to the ‘great migration’ of 50,000 ‘exodusters’ north in 1879. And although ‘colonization proved to be a highly successful method of settling blacks in the West, there were outspoken critics of the system’ within the African-American community (Williams, 1985: 220). Indeed, in the months leading to the exodus, debate among African Americans over internal migration and domestic colonies was fierce. For some, the principle of segregation from the wider society in order to create such colonies was deeply problematic, for others the idea that African Americans should leave the South to populate such colonies was troubling. Thus, in 1878 the ‘editors of the American Citizen and the Colored Citizen magazines [both African American publications]…challenged the notion that it was better for blacks to separate themselves into colonies rather than settle near or among other people – believing perhaps that separation would not provide solutions to critical problems’.2 Those who supported colonization 2

American Citizen, Baltimore, 26 July 1879; Colored Citizen, 26 July 1878, cited in Williams (1985: 220).

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and segregation were equally adamant that colonization in Kansas was the only solution to their problem of how to be ‘free’ in America. I boldly assert that the only practical plan for ever settling the [race] question is for the black man…to select one of the territories of this government…and settle it…and form a state of their own. In this way and in this way only can the Negroes make of themselves a happy and prosperous people.3

Frederick Douglass did not oppose colonization as such, but he opposed African Americans leaving the South. Much like his opposition to external colonization earlier in the nineteenth century, he believed African Americans should live wherever they wanted in America. In 1879, he wrote in the Colored Citizen, that he opposed the ‘wholesale exodus of Southern negroes to the North’ because it would not ‘improve their fortunes by leaving the south’ (Williams, 1985: 222). But with the exodus now underway, the editors of the Colored Citizen in 1879 altered their position to say they would support it but only if properly organized, including integrating settlers into Kansas as a whole rather than creating separate colonies. Thus, the authors called for a Kansas state immigration bureau to facilitate the resettlement process. In the end, however, despite leading voices challenging its wisdom, there was ‘overwhelming support… in the black newspaper fraternity’ for Singleton’s colonization plan (Williams, 1985: 222). Adams’ and Singleton’s colonies in Kansas were the first of many. As N.D. Cochran notes in March of 1916, in his working-class newspaper, The Chicago Day Book, thousands of acres have been purchased by prominent negro leaders and an option secured upon an equal area adjoining for the purpose of establishing a negro colony of farmers…the negroes are essentially and naturally farmers. In tilling the soil they add to the nation’s wealth, help pay the cost of the government and bear their part of the burden of taxation every good citizen should bear. They should be happy. (‘Happy on Farms’, 1916: 1)

In addition to Kansas, as Pease and Pease (1997) document in their book Black Utopia, African-American colonies were created in several states in ‘the north’, including Nebraska, Illinois, New Jersey, and Allensworth California.4 The Morning Oregonian published an article in 1899 that recognized the humanitarian thrust behind the colony in California but remained deeply sceptical of its viability. ‘The scheme of planting a Negro colony in California may be dominated by the sincere purposes of humanity and philanthropy, but it can hardly be said to be the inception of wisdom or of prudence.’


Colored Visitor, Logansport Indiana, 1 August 1879. For more information see: The Negroes of Nebraska (Lincoln: Woodruff Printing Company, 1940); ‘History of Allensworth, CA’, Available at: 4


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(‘The scheme of planting a Negro colony’: 1899: 4). Colonel Allensworth, after whom the Californian colony was named, argued on the day it was formally opened that such a colony would allow African Americans to prove to white Americans that they were worthy of citizenship in the Lockean meaning of ‘rational’ and industrious and able to cultivate the land around them. A large number of our fellow countrymen have been taught for generations that the Negro is incapable of the highest development of citizenship…This they believe and will continue to think until we show them they are mistaken…We must do as they did—settle upon the bare dessert and cause it to bloom like a rose.5

Thus, Allensworth believed that, through colonies, a radical shift would occur in the minds of white Americans, as they would be forced to recognize that African Americans were capable of cultivation, citizenship, and self-government.

9.3. UTOPIAN COLONIES IN THE S OUTH While the northern and western ‘exodus’ from the South and the formation of black towns and colonies elsewhere has been examined in the academic literature, ‘freedom colonies’ in the South have not. Thad Sitton and James Conrad, in their book Freedom Colonies: Independent Black Texans in the Time of Jim Crow, conclude that, while ‘the desperate migration of freedman to Kansas and Oklahoma [has been studied], historians largely missed the similar and more general response of the freedmen’s settlements, where exslaves remained in the South to establish all black landowner communities as far away from white authority as possible’. (2005: 3). The tendency to overlook informal colonies in the Deep South and focus on migrations to the north and west is problematic, particularly if the numbers of African Americans who settled in colonies in the South were greater than the north as Sitton and Conrad claim. ‘[While] numbers are difficult to estimate…this ubiquitous unremarked internal “exodus” to local “freedom colonies” must have dwarfed the famous move north’ (2005: 3, emphasis added). This ‘internal’ emigration to work land and form segregated communities in the South is a form of utopian domestic colonization, but the emphasis on segregation is even greater given the level of racism faced by freed slaves in former Confederate states. These colonies may have been overlooked in the literature in part because they were so informal, very rural in location, and had limited written histories. They were ‘dispersed, poorly focused places where a passing stranger might not see a community at all, only scattered farmsteads with perhaps a remote Peter H. King ‘The rise and fall of a black utopian’ Los Angeles Times, October 27, 2008. 5

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church or school’ (Sitton and Conrad, 2005: 3). Contemporary scholars (Bethel, Sitton, and Conrad) thus rely on interviews with people who remember the colonies and/or still live in the vicinity, along with personal letters and informal documents, because as Bethel points out, the written record is sparse for freedom colonies compared to the records on the ‘planned development of open lands by Negro entrepreneurs’ through exodus from the South’ (1981: 8).

9.3.1. ‘Freedom Colonies’: Challenging Three Narratives of ‘Race’ in America But freedom colonies in the South have also been overlooked because they run counter to three important overarching narratives of race in America. Africans in the South in this period had no agency and were landless, desegregation was always the goal, and African Americans wanted to live in urban rather than rural environments. Let us consider each of these narratives in turn. It is a generally accepted notion that African Americans in the South by the end of the nineteenth century were landless, poor, passive victims barely able to subsist under the Jim Crow Laws. Yet, as Sitton and Conrad show, land ownership in Texas, for example, rose precipitously among African Americans from 1.8 per cent in 1870 to 26 per cent by 1890 and 31 per cent by 1900; a pattern that suggests not only agency rather than passivity in the wake of the failed promises of the Civil War but settlement on private parcels of land (2). This pattern of land ownership in Texas was largely within collective ‘settlements’ (as white Americans called them) or ‘freedom colonies’ as African Americans called them in the South—‘informal communities of black farmers and stockmen scattered across the east half of Texas…unplotted and unincorporated…unified only by church and school and residents’ collective belief that a community existed.’ (Sitton and Conrad, 2005: 2). Without denying that the conditions in the American South were indeed oppressive during the period of reconstruction, as sharecropping, the Ku Klux Klan, and segregation were on the rise, Bethel, Magdol, Sitton, and Conrad have shown that viewing the South in this way obscures the empirical reality of African-American agency, resistance, and property ownership through their own segregated agrarian communities. A second race narrative, rooted in the civil rights movement of the 1960s, that freedom colonies in the South contradict was the assumed idea that African Americans had always pursued equality and freedom through inclusion and desegregation. In this period of history, like the Doukhobors and Owenites, African Americans in the South sought segregation in order to separate themselves from what they viewed as a white supremacist society and create schools within which their children could be taught they were not


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inferior to others. In other words, it was segregation rather than inclusion that motivated them. ‘Another reason for the scholarly neglect of freedmen’s settlements [is the] “politically incorrect”…aspects of their story…Freedmen’s settlements were communities of avoidance and self segregation where black people adapted to Jim Crow restrictions not by fighting back or moving north but by withdrawing from whites.’ (Sitton and Conrad, 2005: 4). Indeed, what ‘distinguished Negro communities from those in the West [was their] relative isolation’ from white society (Bethel, 1981: 9). Even in the 1960s, when the civil rights movement fought for desegregation and inclusion of African Americans within the larger white-dominated society, members of these colonies still fought against integration because they ‘placed the greatest priority on maintaining their own independent community schools’ (4). The third and final race narrative countered by these colonies is the idea that African Americans were, once they got the chance, urban rather than rural based; the ‘conventional story of African Americans fleeing the hated countryside for the city [which] does not fit the freedman’s settlements’ (Sitton and Conrad, 2005: 4). As with other kinds of utopian colonies, the principle of African Americans committed to the cultivation of soil in rural settings is key and yet this does not fit with the ‘urbanization’ narrative. Indeed, it was the very rural nature of such colonies, combined with a commitment to segregation from white society, that created the conditions for ‘freedom’. As Bethel notes, it is these two that distinguish these informal Southern freedom colonies from those of the north. These conditions distinguished Negro communities from those in the west [and created] living arrangements, which were relatively peaceful in their isolation. There, in a world circumscribed by race and limited by poverty, Negroes had the opportunity ‘to walk the streets without encountering the thousand subtle reminders of membership in a subordinate class.’ (Bethel, 1981: 9)

Thus, while some of the colonies in Kansas were integrated into or at the edges of white society, those in the south were isolated by design. Only by living life in isolation was it possible for African Americans to feel truly free and equal, hence the term given to these settlements by African Americans themselves: ‘freedom colonies’. As Bethel concludes of the colony of Promiseland in South Carolina, it was because ‘community structures developed in an environment relatively free from white interference’ that ‘internal liberty’ was possible. While the colonies described by Bethel, Magdol, Sitton, and Conrad were small, scattered, and informal ‘freedom colonies’, more formal colonies were also developed in the South, including in Alabama, Mississippi, and Oklahoma. Harper’s Weekly in 1896 describes a ‘unique negro colony’ created on the former plantation of Marion Banks, a slave owner who on his death left his land to his slaves, over three hundred people, and each family with a farm of two hundred acres. The author of this article concludes, ‘while there are

African-American Utopian Colonies


dozens of Negro settlements in the South…this is the only one which has been thoroughly successful without the advice, assistance or guidance of white men, and where the principle of co-operation, believed to be so difficult in the Negro, has been carried out thoroughly’ (A Unique Negro Colony, 1896: 7). The remainder of this chapter examines two of the most significant colonies in the South—Mound Bayou in Mississippi and Boley colony in Oklahoma.

9.3.2. Mississippi and Mound Bayou Colony Isaiah Montgomery and his cousin Benjamin Green established Mound Bayou colony in Mississippi in 1887 after an earlier colony at David Bend failed. Mound Bayou, as its name suggests, was located on a Native American burial mound that was located at the centre of the settlement. Hence, this AfricanAmerican utopian colony was created not only on traditional territory of the indigenous peoples but, just like New Harmony and the Doukhobor colony in BC, on sacred burial ground. By 1895, the mid-South’s largest newspaper, The Commercial Appeal of Memphis Tennessee, published an article on Mound Bayou subtitled ‘Sketch of a remarkable negro colony…six thousand acres owned by the inhabitants, among whom there is not a white man—noble principles are inculcated into the inhabitants’ (Mound Bayou Settlement 1895: 19). After introducing the colony itself, the author of the article quotes Montgomery at length on its nature. What is clear from this description is that the same colonialist ideas are at work in justifying this colony as others, beginning with the principle of ‘terra nullius’ ‘the location of Mound Bayou was wild and lonely in the extreme.’ The key was agrarian cultivation in this ‘empty’ land. ‘The present population’, Montgomery notes, ‘is about 1500 souls and still there is room for immense expansion. Many thousand acres of the best lands along the banks of little Mound Bayou…are awaiting occupation by the sturdy tillers of the soil’. Tilling their own land rather than labouring as a slave on somebody else’s will improve the settlers life and transform them into autonomous citizens: ‘the principles ought to be inculcated by the establishment of this settlement in contradistinction from… plantation life are self-dependence, responsibility, stability’ (19). The article concludes with an articulation of the radical colonial aspects of Mound Bayou, as Montgomery himself articulates why it is so important for African Americans to have a segregated colony from white society: ‘for the simple reason that we desire to preserve as broad as possible the avenues here for the development of business interest among our own people, in order that they may…earn the respect and confidence of all classes of their fellow citizens’ (19). In other words, by creating a black segregated colony, all aspects of life can be experienced by African Americans and they can prove through their work that they are worthy of citizenship.


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Booker T. Washington was a champion of Mound Bayou colony. Indeed, he was so enamoured that he wrote an article in 1907 in The World’s Work entitled ‘A Town Owned by Negroes: Mound Bayou, Miss., An Example of Thrift and Self-Government’. The title itself suggests a link between agrarian labour, private property, and citizenship but also speaks to Washington’s more conservative self-help argument. He describes the colony in the following terms: ‘Mound Bayou [is] a Negro colony, occupying 30,000 acres, all of which is owned by Negroes, most of them small farmers who till 40 and 80 acre tracts’ (1907: 9125). At the heart of Washington’s vision is the development of ‘empty’ land to create revenues for the colony as a whole. ‘It was Montgomery’s idea to establish on these wild lands a Negro colony…twenty years ago, this whole region was wild and inaccessible.’ But over time, ‘the wilderness had become the frontier…the forest steadily receded in all directions and large areas were opened for…cultivation’ (1907: 9126). Washington also speaks in this article of the industrious nature of the colony’s inhabitants: ‘It was not the ordinary Negro farmer who was attracted to Mound Bayou colony…It was rather an earnest and ambitious class prepared to face the hardships of this sort of pioneer work’ (1907: 9126). And he thus connects agrarian labour to republican citizenship, claiming Mound Bayou was a place ‘where a Negro…has an opportunity to learn some of the fundamental duties and responsibilities of social and civic life’ (1907: 9130). Washington’s interest was no passing fancy; ten years later, in 1915, he wrote to Montgomery to say there was ‘no community in the world’ that he was ‘so deeply interested in’ as Mound Bayou.6 Thus, for Washington, as with domestic colonists like deMetz in France and Booth in England, Mound Bayou colony was a model to be copied by others, in particular African Americans living in the South. Thus he states: ‘The success of the present community has suggested the formation of others similar to this one’ with one caveat. Quoting Isaiah Montgomery, Washington concludes What we need…is an agricultural school, something that will teach the young men to be better farmers than their fathers have been. But more than that we need here a system of education that will teach our young men and women the underlying meaning of the work that is being done here. (1907: 9131)

Again, the emphasis is on improvement and education through which the colony can become independent and sustainable. As with other African-American colonies, white journalists came to visit Mound Bayou. In an article entitled ‘Ex-Slaves Dream of a Model Negro Colony Comes True’ written in 1910 for the New York Times Sunday Magazine, Thomas Arnold notes ‘no white man can own a square foot of property’ 6

Letter from Washington to Montgomery, 23 January 1915, cited in Meier (1954: 396–7).

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in Mound Bayou, implying this to be a scandalous and deeply radical idea that African Americans and only African Americans could purchase property (1910: 5). Arnold goes on to say, however, that segregation and the superiority of the white race are respected in this ‘negro colony’. It might be supposed that the white visitor to a community composed entirely of blacks would be expected to put himself on a plane with them, and if he sought their hospitality he must break bread with them on terms of perfect equality. But such is far from the case. (5)

He notes that he was in a room at the hotel ‘reserved exclusively for white visitors’ and his meal was served in this same room, allowing him to eat away from the dining room of ‘colored boarders’ (5). Arnold is correctly reading into this arrangement a continued state of white superiority via segregation (as opposed to the model of a colony built on equality via desegregation, as will be the case in Boley, Oklahoma, discussed shortly). Montgomery was very aware that he needed to be cautious in his colony in Mississippi lest that he should challenge white privilege too much: There are those who ask, ‘Are you not afraid that some day the whites will be moved to wipe out Mound Bayou by violence?’…I say ‘No we are not afraid’. The Negroes who have shaped and controlled the destiny of Mound Bayou understand conditions too well to allow any radical or indiscreet policy to prevail here.7

Again, this sentiment echoes Booker T. Washington’s views as to how to expand freedom while also negotiating the reality of life in the South as a white supremacist society. Arnold, the white New York journalist, sees the irony of his position as a white journalist who is allowed, consistent with the Jim Crow laws in the wider society, to eat and sleep while separated from members of the black utopian colony which is hosting him, when he observes, What a difference between our position and the position of two negroes who might have strayed into a town populated entirely by whites, and in which negroes were not permitted to live. Here we were at Mount Bayou—two white men—among 7,000 Negroes, and our treatment had been irreproachable. (5)

Of course, by irreproachable he means racially white Americans given segregated eating and living quarters.

9.3.3. Oklahoma and Boley Colony The original ‘Indian Territory’ established by the Indian Intercourse Act of 1834 to absorb Indians removed from their traditional territories was reduced 7

Isaiah Montgomery, as quoted by Washington (1907: 9133).


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in size at the beginning of the Civil War to what is now the state of Oklahoma. The ‘five civilized tribes’, along with other ‘relocated’ indigenous peoples, lived in this territory. At the end of the Civil War, through Reconstruction Treaties, the five tribes were forced to concede an additional 2 million acres to the government and free their slaves, who became known as Freedmen. The ceded land was eventually opened up for settlement by the US state. The Los Angeles Times in April 1889 speaks of the ‘boomers’ continuing to ‘roll over the road from the south’, including ‘quite a number of colored men all coming here to join the negro colony, which has long been formed in the Chickasaw Nation.’ (‘The Home-Seekers’, 1889). In 1890, as the western half of ‘Indian Territory’ was separated off and renamed ‘Oklahoma Territory’ by the US government and opened up for settlement to non-indigenous settlers, the question of who had the right to settle on this land came to a head. In an article published on 20 September 1891, entitled ‘Rush for Indian Lands’ and subtitled ‘Trouble is feared between Negroes and Cowboys’, the Milwaukee Sentinel makes clear the settler colonial underpinnings of both white and African-American colonies in what remained of ‘Indian Territory’. The excitement grows hourly greater among the people who will make the race for homes in the Indian lands which will be opened to settlement next Tuesday. There are several causes for excitement chief among them being the large number of Negroes who have gathered by hundreds in Langston, the Oklahoma Negro Colony and who intend to move en masse. (Rush for Indian Lands, 1891: 1)

The author goes on to say that the US Secretary of the Interior had issued instructions on 19 September 1891 to clarify what he meant by ‘white’ settlement: You are instructed, that the words ‘white settlement’…do not mean, and are not to be construed to mean, to prohibit settlements in that country by others than by white men: but to mean that any persons duly qualified under the laws of the United States without regard to color, may make such settlement.

In these same instructions that open up ‘Indian Territory’ to more AfricanAmerican colonies, the Secretary of the Interior also reveals the settler colonial ideology underpinning them: ‘These Indians sold all of their interest, right, title and claim to the United States’ (1). A key figure in the African-American colonization movement in Oklahoma and Indian territories was African-American attorney and land agent Edward McCabe, who claimed in an article published in the American Citizen on 23 October 1891 that he ultimately hoped to create a black republican state: I expect to have a Negro population of over one hundred thousand within two years…At present we are republicans, but the time will soon come when we will be able to dictate the policy of this territory or state and when that time comes we will have a Negro state governed by Negroes. (1891)

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McCabe was a controversial figure in Republican circles and among African Americans, and his idea of a ‘negro’ state never got off the ground. Martin Dann notes of this period of migration: ‘The withdrawal of federal troops from the South witnessed an increased interest in the possibilities of [African American] domestic colonization…the Oklahoma colonization movement coincided with a nascent black populist movement among the agricultural labor force under the Colored Farmers’ Alliance’ (Dann, 1974: 370). On 23 March 1889, the Leavenworth, Kansas Advocate, an African-American newspaper, published a story entitled ‘the Oklahoma Lands’, in which the editors encouraged African Americans to think about settlement not on ‘Indian Territory’ but the territory of Oklahoma. The editors argue this land had ‘legally’ come into the hands of the United States government from the Seminole and Creek Tribes and was clearly open for settlement by other people (cited in Dann, 1974: 371). Ultimately, Stuckey argues that the African-American population in Oklahoma territory ‘leapt from a little more than 3000 in 1890…to almost 19,000 in 1900’ (Stuckey, 2009: 13). One of the most significant settlements, Boley colony,8 was established in Creek Nation, Indian Territory in 1903, as the result of African-American Thomas Haynes in 1901 joining his leased land with neighbouring land allotted to James Barnett (a Creek Freedman) upon which the Fort Smith and Western Railroad was about to be established. Haynes and Barnett then joined with Blake Moore, a land speculator and J.B. Boley, the railroad manager (both white men) to found Boley. After creating the colony, Haynes in particular worked hard to find African-Americans settlers (Stuckey, 2009: 16–19). Booker T. Washington championed Boley just like Mound Bayou after visiting in 1905, in an article in the African American magazine The Outlook in 1907, revealing the settler colonial dimensions to his support for this new colony on Indian territory: ‘Indians…own practically all the lands…[but] are to a very large extent regarded by the white settlers, who are rapidly filling up the country, as almost a negligible quantity.’ (1907: 30). In other words, he is advising the African Americans, despite the fact he acknowledges they own the land, to follow white settlers’ lead and disregard the claims by indigenous peoples. Secondly, for Washington, segregation was key to freedom for African Americans in Boley: ‘behind all other attractions of the new colony is the belief that here negroes would find greater opportunities and more freedom of action than they would have been able to find in the older communities in North and South’ (1908: 31). Boley as a segregated space for freedom from whites is also articulated in a poem published by E.J. Pinkett in the 1908 Boley Progress.9

Although contemporary commentators call Boley a ‘black town’, Washington and his contemporaries at the beginning of the tweniteth century referred to it as a colony, underlining again the importance of both segregation and agrarian labour. 9 ‘Over in Boley’, a poem by E.J. Pinkett, published in the Boley Progress, 11 May 1905, cited by Stuckey (2009: 10). 8


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Finally, agrarian labour was key to Washington as ‘farmers from Texas, Arkansas and Mississippi demonstrate the right of the negro, not as an individual, but as a race, to have a worthy and permanent place in the civilization that the American people are creating’ (2008: 31). The Oklahoma territory and the remaining Indian territory were eventually joined together in 1907 to become the state of Oklahoma. As a result, African Americans living in this new state became subject to Jim Crow laws and were disenfranchised. Boley then became the main place in Oklahoma for African-American resistance and activism. ‘Boley, Oklahoma…was an important location in the struggle for African-American civil rights from the Progressive Era through the 1930s’ (Stuckey, 2009: iii) as Boley residents ‘claimed the right and ability to be actors…rather than objects acted upon’. Boley was thus the center of…nascent civil rights activity, much of it centered on voting rights. Not only did the people of Boley use every means at their disposal to protect their autonomy and maintain a political voice, but blacks throughout the state used Boley as a place to organize and as a symbol around which to rally. (2009: 4)

The radical nature of Boley colony was recognized by white Americans and challenged as such. In 1925, Edgar Iles wrote about Boley as a place ‘wholly owned and controlled by colored people’ but characterized by ‘an overdeveloped pride of race’. He uses as an example the fact that white salesmen were not provided separate accommodation. The writer recalls an incident when a white salesman who had finished his business for the day with Negro merchants asked a Negro youth if there was a hotel for white people in the town. The lad replied with a great deal of sarcasm, ‘We don’t practice segregation here. If you want to stay here over night, you’ll have to stay where everybody else stays.’ (Iles, 1925)

It is interesting to note, therefore, that while segregation was still practised at the utopian colony in Mound Bayou, Mississippi, to ensure white Americans do not find it too radical of a place, desegregation was alive and well in Boley, Oklahoma, with white visitors required to use the same accommodation as African-American visitors.

9.4. CONCLUSION: UTOPIAN COLONIES AS SITES OF INTERSECTING COLONIALISMS All these African-American colonies were thus in Byrd’s terms an historical form of racialized ‘internal colonialism’ ‘created on top of indigenous’ peoples’ territory. But, unlike Doukhobors or Owenites, black utopian colonies were not constituted by European settlers who came to America of their own

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volition but by former slaves and their offspring brought to America forcibly as victims of imperialism themselves. These colonies are thus racially different than the other two in relation to settler colonization, as they represented freedom, agency, and resistance for African Americans who had been forcibly settled in America, but now with emancipation, wanted to live in freedom in the only country they had ever known. The colonies at Baxter Springs and Dunlap or at Mound Bayou or Boley are thus best thought of as part of what Byrd calls the ‘cacophony’ of colonial relations. In geographical localities of the Americas, where histories of settlers and arrivants map themselves into and on top of indigenous peoples, understanding colonialism as a cacophony of contradictorily hegemonic and horizontal struggles offers an alternative way of formulating and addressing dynamics that continue to affect peoples as they move and are made to move within empire. (2011, 53)

The cacophony, however, was never entirely chaotic, even if it was contradictory and hegemonic. It was characterized and organized by a confluence of intersecting colonialisms and colonial practices, including European external colonization which had removed Africans to America as slaves in the first place, settler colonization by the American state which had dispossessed indigenous peoples of their lands, domestic colonialism of the freed slaves who sought to own and improve the land through agrarian labour, and a radical form of utopian colonialism through which colonies could segregate from and challenge the white supremacist society. More broadly, all of the utopian colonies described in this chapter and Chapter 8, whether rooted in religious beliefs, socialist ideologies, or racial emancipation, were both similar to and different from labour and farm colonies. As discussed, utopian colonies were more voluntary then farm colonies for the mentally ill and disabled and labour colonies, but their voluntary character was of a mixed quality, depending on the context. What they did share in common with the other domestic colonies is their justification in the ideology of domestic colonialism, meaning in almost every case, one finds a central commitment to segregation, agrarian labour, and improvement of ‘empty’ or ‘waste land’, along with the people working upon it. At the same time, what is unique to these colonies is the degree to which they were also manifestations of a radical form of colonialism—the colony as a vehicle for human emancipation—which is why leading anarchists and socialists in Europe as well as African-American leaders in the United States were committed to them, even as they all opposed imperialism. But finally and fundamentally, even as these utopian colonies mixed domestic and radical colonialism, they also were manifestations of settler colonialism. To conclude, therefore, let us consider each of these three kinds of colonialism (settler, domestic, radical) in more depth, pulling various threads of analysis from these chapters to draw some conclusions.


Domestic Colonies

9.4.1. Utopian Colonies and Settler Colonialism As discussed, the settler colonial processes of dispossession and removal are often obscured when non-indigenous groups are seen as ‘colonized’ people, or in this case, even as active agents in their own colonies. In these two chapters I have tried to take up Byrd’s challenge in this regard in relation to all three case studies of utopian colonies in the Americas, when she asks: ‘How might we place the arrivals of people by choice and by force into historical relationship with indigenous peoples and theorize those arrivals in ways that are legible but still attuned to the conditions of settler colonialism?’ (Byrd, 2011, xxvi). Underlying all of the North American utopian colonies analysed in the last two chapters, as discussed in detail, is the widespread removal of indigenous peoples and dispossession of their lands in order for them to exist at all. The Doukhobor colony in BC required the dispossession of the last of the Sinixt people from their territory, Robert Owen’s New Harmony Colony was founded on the traditional territory of the Shawnee and Delaware peoples (and was dependent on their prior dispossession and removal) in the state of ‘Indiana’ (land of the Indians), Benjamin Singleton’s free colonies for African Americans in Kansas were founded on the traditional territory of the Kanza people, and Isaiah Montgomery and Booker T. Washington’s Mound Bayou colony on burial lands and Boley colony on the last of the ‘Indian territory’. Indeed in all three cases (New Harmony, Brilliant BC, and Mound Bayou) it was the sacred land of indigenous peoples, that is, the burial land or mounds of their ancestors, that was used to create these colonies. Thus, the ‘cacophony of contradictorily hegemonic and horizontal struggles’ (that includes both the domestic colonization of these groups along with the foundational process of indigenous dispossession) is found in various ‘geographical localities of the Americas, where histories of settlers and arrivants map themselves into and on top of indigenous peoples’ (Byrd, 2011: 53).

9.4.2. Utopian Colonies and Domestic Colonialism But, as much as these utopian colonies were settler colonies created by European Americans and African Americans on indigenous territory in the Americas, they were also domestic colonies, for four main reasons. Firstly, utopian colonies existed in Europe (religious colonies of Mennonites, Hutterites, Doukhobors, and Jews and Robert Owen’s home colonization scheme in Britain) as well as America, so these colonies do not intersect with settler colonization and can be understood in their own right as colonies. Secondly, as discussed throughout this chapter, utopian colonies in America embraced the principles of domestic colonialism as well as settler colonialism. Thus, within Byrd’s cacophony, there is one constant melody line provided by the three

African-American Utopian Colonies


principles of segregation, agrarian labour, and improvement. Thirdly, utopian colonies involved states (who provided land) and civil society organizations working together to create colonies for fellow citizens (albeit newly created citizens in the case of both freed slaves and Doukhobor immigrants). As such, these colonies were ‘domestic’ in the sense that they targeted citizens rather than foreigners. Fourthly, in the specific case of colonies for freed slaves, America was the only home that most African Americans had ever known; their ancestors brought to the United States as the result of external colonization and against their will, which creates a specific and racialized meaning to the support of domestic colonies by African Americans. Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, Benjamin Singleton, along with most, but not all, African Americans, rejected external colonies overseas because they saw them as motivated by racism but embraced domestic colonies within the United States as holding out some kind of hope for former slaves to transition into freedom and citizenship. Thus, it was domestic colonies that made sense to African Americans, but to the extent that such new settlements or colonies as described both above and in Chapter 4 required the dispossession of indigenous peoples, a basic conflict existed between the interests of indigenous Americans and freed slaves. While overseas colonies for freed slaves were easier to reconcile with settler decolonization, for African Americans, such colonies were, in Douglass’s words, a form of ‘extermination’.

9.4.3. Utopian Colonies and Radical Colonialism Utopian colonies were also informed by a kind of radical colonialism, whereby segregation served a very different purpose in utopian colonies then other domestic colonies (labour/farm colonies). Whereas in the latter, segregation was imposed by the state or civil society organization from above in order to break bad habits, allow for improvement, protect society from the threats posed by such populations, and prevent procreation; in utopian colonies, segregation was sought by the members themselves to protect their way of life from the larger society, and not only to preserve minority religious and/or political values from being assimilated into society. To the extent that ethno-religious colonies across the Prairies of Canada (Doukhobors, Mennonites, Hutterites, and Jews) sought to protect and preserve their difference within Canadian citizenship, they might even be understood to be the earliest prototypes of what later became the twentieth-century policy of multiculturalism, through which the state must recognize group rights in order to preserve and protect deep cultural differences of ethnoreligious minorities from being assimilated into a dominant culture. It was the state’s explicit commitment to protect the religious beliefs and collective ways


Domestic Colonies

of life before they arrived that the Doukhobors repeatedly called on the Canadian state to fulfill. It was the failure of the Canadian state to live up to the promises made to the Doukhobor people, including assurances that they could educate their children in their own ways, hold land collectively, and have no obligation to the state of Canada, particularly military service, that led to backlash in the Doukhobor community. All of these utopian colonies, however, go well beyond an embryonic multicultural claim to protect difference to represent, as has been discussed, a radical challenge to the basic norms of the society that surrounded them. Thus, I have argued that utopian colonies were manifestations of both colonialism because the colony was the vehicle through which individualism, private property, capitalism (socialist and Doukhobor), racial inequality, and/or white supremacism (African-American colonies) was challenged; and of radicalism because the norms challenged were foundational to the society that surrounded them. This is exactly why thinkers like Kropotkin, Tolstoy, Washington, and Owen, who were all deeply critical of the societies within which they lived, were also domestic colonialists and why these colonies, especially the most radical of them, found themselves in direct conflict with the state and wider society, leading (in the case of the BC ‘Freedomite’ Doukhobors) to the removal of children by the state to ‘re-educate’ them to be Canadian citizens. All utopian colonies thus show the contradictions and complexity of multiple colonialisms, as the process of colonization involves both dispossession and removal, even as the members of the colony challenged capitalism, assimilation, militarism, individualism, and racism.

10 The Turn Inward Rethinking the Colonial

Domestic colonies require us to rethink the meaning and scope of ‘the colonial’ by focusing on an important but overlooked thread of colonial theory and practice in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Put simply, colonization in this period was a domestic policy aimed at transforming certain kinds of fellow citizens within Europe while also a foreign policy aimed at serving imperial ends overseas. Thus, European states turned inward to colony—a solution to a variety of social problems created by industrialization/urbanization—at the same time they famously turned outward to empire (Pitts, 2005). Justifying settler colonization in the Americas and domestic colonization in Europe, I have argued, was a common ideology of colonialism, rooted in Lockean principles, through which dispossession and assimilation of indigenous peoples, as well as the transformation of the mentally ill, disabled, idle poor, and minorities was defended, based on the principles of segregation, cultivation of ‘empty’ land, and improvement of both people (rather than conquest or punishment) and soil (in order to create rather than drain wealth from the state). The ideology of domestic colonialism was combined with a variety of ideologies and beliefs—including republicanism, socialism, liberalism, anarchism, and/or Christianity—to create specific colonies for particular populations. While I have sought in this book to focus on domestic colonization exactly because it has been overlooked, this analysis should not be read in any way as undermining or diminishing the enormity of external/settler and imperial forms of colonization over non-European/indigenous peoples; rather, I hope it serves to expand and complicate our understanding of ‘colony’ by examining both the process of colonization and the ideology of colonialism which justified it in all of their historical manifestations. Within this general summary, seven specific conclusions are highlighted as the key insights into the ‘colonial’ from the preceding analysis: 1. European colonies were domestic as well as foreign and rooted in disability, religious/political belief, and class (as well as race and indigeneity).


Domestic Colonies

2. Domestic colonies only make sense if agrarian labour is the central thread in the meaning of both domestic colonization and colonialism. 3. Colonialism and imperialism are distinct, as is clear with domestic colonies, even though most postcolonial scholars consider them to be indistinguishable. 4. Colonization and disability, and the ideologies of colonialism and ableism, intersect historically. While disability studies and postcolonial scholarship tend to run in parallel with each other, domestic colonization brings them together empirically and conceptually through the farm colony. 5. Despite the fervour and idealism with which proponents launched domestic colonies, most failed relatively quickly and often spectacularly, suggesting the model itself in almost all of its various forms was deeply flawed. 6. Utopian colonies served radical political ends on behalf of their own members. While settler and external colonialism (as well as domestic labour and farm colonies) in many cases furthered the ends of capitalism and racialized, ableist power over marginalized groups, utopian colonies served emancipatory ends for minority populations and were seen at the time as the best vehicle for radically challenging capitalism, white supremacy, militarism, and/or state sovereignty. 7. Domestic colonies, despite the binary underpinning much of the preceding analysis, were, in reality, not the opposite of external settler colonies but common nodes within transnational colonial networks, constituted materially and conceptually via the transit of bodies and ideas, respectively, across borders. Domestic colonies were also sites constituted by the intersection of different colonialism(s), including not only domestic colonialism in each case but a range of political ideologies (liberalism to nationalism to socialism to anarchism) as well as, in many instances, settler and/or radical colonialism. Drawing on the historical and theoretical evidence provided in the preceding chapters, let us examine each of these key conclusions in detail.

10.1. COLONIZATION IS DOMESTIC AS WELL AS FOREIGN First and foremost, this book has brought to light the degree to which nineteenth- to twentieth-century European colonization was directed at fellow citizens as well as foreigners, rooted in illness, disability, religious belief, and class as well as ‘race’ and ‘indigeneity’. To put it another way, colonization was a domestic social policy as well as an imperial foreign one. Colonialism turned

The Turn Inward: Rethinking the Colonial


inward in the nineteenth and early twentieth century to create the segregated rural colony, as largely European and Euro-American thinkers but also some African-American politicians and philanthropists in the United States argued that the colony provided the best and most cost-efficient solution within an increasingly capitalist, industrialized, and urbanized society. While the domestic dimensions of foreign colonization have long been recognized (metropoles using foreign settler and penal colonies to rid themselves of the unwanted poor and petty criminal, as discussed in Chapter 2), the idea that colonies themselves could exist within the borders of the colonizing state and often proposed in opposition to external colonies, has been largely overlooked until now. By using a comparative analysis of several countries (Holland, Germany, Britain, France, Canada, America), different populations (mentally ill and disabled, idle poor, petty criminals, racialized minorities, minority utopian religious, political and racial communities), and various advocates who defended such colonies, the preceding chapters demonstrate the breadth, depth, and variation of the meaning of colonialism and ‘colonization’ in Western political theory and practice. Beginning with colonization, domestic colonies challenge the idea, for example, that nineteenth-century British colonization was only an external process synonymous with British imperialism. In reality, the British debate over colonization, as described in detail in Chapter 3, involved three schools of thought, only one of which, Edward Wakefield’s systematic colonization of planned settlements overseas using public and private capital to expand Britain’s imperial prowess, fits the standard imperial definition. A second important school of colonial thought, championed by Wilmot-Horton, viewed colonization as a tool of social policy, with ‘emigration’ serving the domestic need to rid Britain of petty criminals and the idle poor in its cities. While the heated debate between Wilmot-Horton and Wakefield over the purpose of colonization has been analysed in the historical literature, a third school of thought has been overlooked, namely the defence of home colonization. So-called home colonies were proposed to serve the same purpose as WilmotHorton’s ‘pauper emigration’ policy but with colonies located in Britain rather than overseas. Domestic colonies proposed by Robert Owen, along with several other liberal and socialist thinkers in the 1840s, represented a first wave of domestic colonialism, and those proposed by Charles Booth, William Booth, the Webbs, and Churchill represented a second wave of domestic colonialism at the turn of the twentieth century. In both waves, banishment, indentured servitude, workhouses or prisons were viewed as expensive and punitive compared to the more humane and economically efficient home colony of Britain. The same kind of debate over external versus domestic colonies occurred in France in the mid-nineteenth century, with at least three kinds of colonies proposed: settler imperial colonies like Algeria designed to increase imperial power and national glory; penal colonies designed to banish and punish French


Domestic Colonies

criminals overseas; and domestic colonies agricoles designed to help juvenile delinquents within France to improve and become industrious. Alexis de Tocqueville endorsed and helped to finance agrarian colonies including Mettray (the first colonie agricole in France), while defending Algeria in imperial terms and rejecting French penal colonies. More than a century later, Michel Foucault uses Mettray as his quintessential example of disciplinary power in Discipline and Punishment but ignores the fact that it was a colonie agricole, thus defining colonization in this text as exclusively external penal or settler colonization. On the other hand, his Collège de France lectures include ‘internal’ colonies but subsumed within his analysis of disciplinary power, ignoring the agrarian elements of the colony. Thus, while Foucault’s theory of power is profoundly important for disability and postcolonial scholarship to analyse the insidious nature of power in various institutions, his understanding of colonization is inadequate to explain either colonies agricoles in France or dispossession in settler colonies overseas—both are anchored ideologically in agrarian labour and thus what is needed is an analysis of colonialism itself, not just disciplinary power. In nineteenth-century America, the ideology of domestic colonialism was directed primarily at racialized or disabled population (freed slaves or the mentally ill/disabled), but whether colonies in the case of freed slaves ought to be located in America or overseas was defined along racial lines. White Americans generally supported colonies overseas (Africa, Central America, and South America), but some proposed yet never implemented colonies inside America (Rush in Pennsylvania, Jefferson in Ohio, Lincoln in Texas, Thayer in Florida, Greeley in Nebraska/South Jersey and Ulysses Grant in an annexed Dominican Republic). All were justified by domestic colonialism woven together with both republicanism and racism. Overseas colonies were preferred when the latter two goals were emphasized, since they better separated the races and preserved the unity of a white republic. The vast majority of African Americans, on the other hand, rejected external colonies (Frederick Douglass called it extermination) but did support domestic colonies. Douglass supported Thayer’s colony in Florida and Ulysses Grant’s colony in the Dominican Republic; Martin Delany, Sella Martin, and James Holly supported Horace Greeley’s colonies in the northern US because they saw them as vehicles for freed slaves to own their own land, stay in America, and transition to freedom. Utopian colonialists Isaiah Montgomery, Benjamin Singleton, and Booker T. Washington argued for another kind of domestic colony—utopian colonies created by and for African Americans—as discussed in Chapter 9. The support for colonies defined along racial lines provides evidence for why it is important to distinguish domestic from external kinds of colonization, since it is clear, for African Americans at least, that colonies at home were profoundly different from colonies overseas.

The Turn Inward: Rethinking the Colonial


The central point in all of these nineteenth-century debates over colonization in Britain, France, and America is simply to recognize that domestic as well as external colonization was proposed, debated, and implemented. And domestic colonialism, rooted in segregation, agrarian labour, and improvement, was important to progressive thinkers (socialist, liberal, African-American civil rights activists) who rejected domination, punishment, and banishment in favour of colonies at home that would change the world while contributing rather draining wealth from society. Thus, the second important way that domestic colonies are important to contemporary scholarship (in addition to the history of colonization discussed above) is in relation to the meaning of the ideology of colonialism in the history of ‘Western’ political and social thought. A growing literature on the role played by imperialism/settler colonialism in liberal theory does not address the fact that domestic colonialism is defended by socialists including Robert Owen, the Webbs, and Tommy Douglas; anarchists including Peter Kropotkin and Leo Tolstoy; and African-American civil rights leaders including Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington. These names are rarely if ever included in analyses of colonialism in nineteenth- and twentieth-century political and social thought, and their writings and arguments defy this exclusion once domestic colonies are included in the analysis. Correcting this oversight complicates the role of colonialism in Western political theory. Finally, including domestic colonialism into our understanding of ‘the colonial’ in the modern era does little to change the centrality of white privilege in colonial discourse because, in virtually all of the cases discussed above, when colonization is used for domestic purposes and directed at the disabled or poor as well as racialized others, its defenders remain largely white Europeans or Euro-Americans. The only exceptions were African Americans who, as discussed, created their own colonies within settler state policies for particular purposes (a sphere of freedom and a place within which they might own property) but even here, the reason for such domestic colonies was a desire to segregate from a racist society and thus, this too, is the product of white privilege and supremacy.

10.2. AGRARIAN LABOUR IS THE CENTRAL THREAD TO DOMESTIC COLONIES The second important conclusion to be drawn from the preceding analysis is the centrality of agrarian labour to domestic colonialism and colonization as seen in virtually every colony described in this book. I began by showing how it was first a very strong thread within external colonization from its etymological roots in Ancient Latin to the early modern colonial thought of John


Domestic Colonies

Locke. While the word colonization, as many scholars argue, evolved to mean a multitude of things in contemporary scholarship, including domination, this historical thread of colonial thought and practice is now lost and thus absent from any definition proposed by postcolonial or internal colonial scholars even when they examine historical cases. My point is that the nineteenth- and early twentieth-century process of domestic colonization and the ideology of domestic colonialism only makes sense if this thread of agrarian labour is recovered, because both the daily life inside these colonies was organized around farming, and the ideological benefit of cultivating ‘empty’ land was central to the economic and ethical justifications of almost all domestic colonialists. In Chapters 1 and 2, therefore, I traced the agrarian nature of the colonial from the Latin word colonia (agrarian settlements) linked to colonnus (farmer) and colere (to cultivate) through the early modern agrarian labour theory of property of John Locke that provided justification for dispossessing ‘idle’ indigenous peoples of their ‘wasted’ land and assimilating ‘custom-bound’ Indians via segregating and ‘educating’ them to give up their ways, modes, and notions and become more like the ‘improved’, meaning ‘industrious and rational’ settler. Thus, agrarian labour in Locke’s theory of property provided an ethical justification (indigenous peoples’ lives would be improved if they became industrious) and economic justification (agrarian labour increased the value of land) for English colonization in America. These two justifications (ethical and economic) rooted in agrarian labour provide the foundations for domestic colonialism, including the defence of farm colonies for the mentally disabled and ill in Europe, Asia, and South/ North America, labour colonies such as Booth’s farm colony in Essex, the Mettray colonies agricole in France, the CCF Metis colonies in Saskatchewan, the American Colonization Society’s agrarian colony in Liberia, and the utopian colonies of the Doukhobors, Owenites, and African Americans. In all cases, agrarian labour was key to the ethical purposes (improve the people) and economic purposes (improve/bring value to the land/sustain the colony). Domestic colonies in North America, as discussed, were also justified by a settler form of Lockean colonialism which put agrarian labour at its centre, since it held that, because indigenous peoples left their land ‘waste’, land was open for settlers to cultivate and hence own. Agrarian labour continued to be central to colonization, therefore, despite the fact that European and North American society was rapidly moving toward industrialization and urbanization on a massive scale; indeed, in many ways, it was because of these trends that domestic colonialists thought a return to the soil was so critical to reversing the bad habits and corruption of the city streets for the idle and irrational of Europe. The emphasis on agrarian labour was compatible with radically different ideologies, stretching from a Lockean/liberal emphasis on private property, to a republican emphasis on the redemptive moral and political qualities of country life, to a Doukhobor

The Turn Inward: Rethinking the Colonial


emphasis on the spiritual qualities of collective rural life, to a utopian socialist, Kropotkin/anarchist critique of urbanization, capitalism, and industrialization. This is why domestic colonialism, as articulated by republicans in the United States and France, as well as classical liberals in Holland, Britain, and Canada, could justify ‘improvement’ of the idle and irrational while reinforcing private property and the free market, while radical thinkers in Europe and the Americas used the same ideology of domestic colonialism to challenge industrial capitalism and private property via collective cultivation and ownership of rural agrarian land. The central point is that agrarian labour was key to all of these various ethical justifications for domestic colonies. Agrarian labour was also key to the economic justifications advanced for domestic colonies—cultivating the soil made the land valuable, while agricultural products created revenues to offset the costs of maintaining populations in a way that prisons, overseas colonies, and asylums did not do. Similarly, utopian colonies could sustain themselves only if they cultivated the land and created produce to feed (along with revenues sufficient to maintain) their members. While postcolonial scholars have suggested, as discussed in Chapter 1, that it is folly to stipulate the kind of singular definition of colonization that I am doing here with respect to agrarian labour, because of the many ways it is used in contemporary scholarship, in the case of domestic colonies, it is not only possible but necessary to define domestic colonization and colonialism by the central thread of agrarian labour. Moreover, this agrarian definition of colonization, unlike those of many internal colonial and postcolonial scholars, is not a metaphor for something else, but anchored in the empirical realities of the colonies themselves.

10.3. COLONIZATION AND COLON IALISM VERSUS IM PERIALI SM As such, domestic colonies, as opposed to external colonization, require us to make analytical and historical distinctions between a) colonization, the process, in the case of domestic colonies, of segregating idle, irrational citizens as well as religious, political, and racialized minorities on ‘empty land’ to engage them in agrarian labour; b) colonialism, the ideology used to justify such colonies; and c) imperialism, the ideology rooted in domination over foreign peoples and lands that helps to justify external colonies. With external settler colonies, it is not surprising that imperialism and colonialism are often conflated, since they were so intertwined historically. But in the case of domestic colonies, they must be distinguished. While most historians of political theory concur with Jennifer Pitts’ conclusion that distinguishing between the imperial and colonial in the history of


Domestic Colonies

political theory is impossible (2010: 213), a small but growing number of scholars, as discussed in Chapter 3, including Duncan Bell (2016), Robert Nichols (2013), and David Armitage (2012) argue, in the case of English political thought at least, that such a distinction is not only possible but necessary. For Bell, Victorian thinkers, while ambivalent about empire, universally supported settler colonies; for Nichols, the most important nineteenth-century English defender of colonization Edward Wakefield made an explicit distinction between settler colonies (which he supported) and imperial dependencies (about which he was sceptical); and for Armitage, John Locke was a colonialist not an imperialist. My study of domestic colonies adds another way of drawing the distinction between the colonial and imperial. The conflation of imperialism and colonialism is the result not only of historians of political thought suggesting this was true historically, but because postcolonial and internal colonial scholars have increasingly defined colonialism and colonization in terms of domination, which, given that the meaning of imperialism is the same, blurred the two terms conceptually as well as historically. Thus, as discussed in Chapter 1, a) the anti-colonial literature of the 1960s and 70s by scholars Horvath, Balandier, and Osterhammel defined colonialism as domination over non-Western others and thus indistinguishable from imperialism; b) postcolonial scholars like Edward Said, rooted in Foucauldian theory, defined colonialism and imperialism as the material and discursive power exercised by the ‘West’ over the non-Western world; and c) internal colonial scholars defined colonization as domination by states over racial/ethnic minorities within their own national borders. To put it another way, internal and postcolonial scholars tend to use ‘colonization’ as a metaphor for domination in order to appropriate the rhetorical power that comes with calling any entity colonial at the same moment that the globe is engaged in decolonization. This is exactly why political activists in North America, including a white settler, René Lévesque, could describe the situation of Quebecers as that of an ‘internally colonized’ people, when what he really meant was the Francophone Quebecois were living in a relationship of domination by their own state. The key to colonization as defined in the last fifty years but both postcolonial and internal colonial scholars and activists, therefore, is an identification with domination (material and/or discursive)—this more than anything else causes the colonial to become conflated conceptually with the imperial. My purpose is not to completely unwind this conflation of imperialism and colonialism in contemporary scholarship, but rather to point out the two problems it creates, which scholars in this field need to be aware of in conflating them. First, it obscures and obfuscates, as Jodi Byrd has argued, the ongoing historical practices of settler colonization through which indigenous peoples are both dispossessed and assimilated, justified by both imperialist theories of domination and colonialism rooted in Lockean notions of agrarian

The Turn Inward: Rethinking the Colonial


labour and ‘empty’ land. As colonization becomes a metaphor for domination, decolonization becomes a metaphor for all kinds of struggles over social justice. As Tuck and Yang argue, decolonization means so many different things, there is little link to the underlying historical reality of settler colonization: One trend we have noticed, with growing apprehension, is the ease with which the language of decolonization has been superficially adopted into . . . social sciences, supplanting prior ways of talking about social justice, critical methodologies, or approaches which decenter settler perspectives. Decolonization, which we assert is a distinct project from other civil and human rights-based social justice projects, is far too often subsumed into the directives of these projects, with no regard for how decolonization wants something different than those forms of justice. (2012: 2)

Secondly, my own analysis provides a second reason for rejecting colonization as nothing more than a metaphor for domination, since this ignores and/or obscures the reality of domestic colonies explicitly proposed in opposition to domination (prisons, workhouses, and penal colonies). This distinction is important because colonialism carries with it a particular kind of insidious internalized form of power, which is lost if we reduce colonization to domination from the outside. Let us consider both issues (settler colonization and ignoring the distinctive historical reality of domestic colonies) in more detail because they provide strong evidence for why an analytical distinction is so important in certain cases.

10.3.1. Settler Colonization: Colonial Domination/Imperialism Ironically, the most important example of colonialism and imperialism intersecting historically and analytically is the colonization of indigenous peoples and lands. As Dene scholar Glen Coulthard argues, the ongoing relationship of dispossession and domination has long been justified by imperialism/domination married with settler colonialism: A settler-colonial relationship is one characterized by a particular form of domination; that is, it is a relationship where power—in this case, interrelated discursive and non-discursive facets of economic, gendered, racial and state power—has been structured into a relatively secure or sedimented set of hierarchical social relations that continue to facilitate the dispossession of Indigenous peoples of their lands and self-determining authority. (2014: 7)

I would add to this definition that settler colonization was characterized not only by domination but Lockean colonialism rooted not in domination (he explicitly rejects conquest as the basis for property) but in labour, with the key idea of ‘terra nullius’ or ‘empty’ land being ‘improved’ via agrarian labour and the principle that the ‘custom-bound’ Indian must give up his ways, modes,


Domestic Colonies

and notions if he is to be improved. Colonization, therefore, is not a metaphor for domination (as so many internal/postcolonial scholars use it) but a term used to describe the actual ongoing historical processes of both domination and dispossession of indigenous peoples, justified from the outset by Lockean notions of terra nullius and assimilation. It is exactly because imperial domination and colonialism combine together in settler colonization of indigenous peoples that Byrd (2011) and Tuck and Yang (2012) so strongly argue ‘internal’ and postcolonial scholars should reconsider using the word ‘colonization’ to describe other kinds of domination by the state over non-indigenous ethnic and racial groups within contemporary settler colonial societies. Such scholars appropriate, in using this particular term, the extraordinarily negative connotations attached to ‘colonization’, which only came about because of the resistance to and actions of indigenous peoples and decolonization movements in the third world. This hard-fought-for understanding of imperial colonization as a deeply negative way for states to engage with indigenous peoples becomes problematic when deployed by other scholars’ own their own rhetorical purposes particularly if this then erases the distinctions between settler colonization and other kinds of domination. Similarly, scholars and activists who use the term decolonization to describe struggles for social justice on behalf of any number of groups should also rethink this usage, because it tends to obscure, as Byrd argues, settler colonization and equates indigenous peoples’ colonization with every other variation of racialized domination.

10.3.2. Domestic Colonization: Colonial rather than Imperial The ideology of imperialism understood as domination over others rooted in the Latin root word imperare—to dominate—plays little if any role in the justification or implementation of domestic colonies. Domestic colonialists explicitly rejected domination over people by states (in asylums, prisons, penal colonies, and workhouses) in favour of ‘improvement’ through agrarian labour. Again, to recognize the uniquely colonial nature of domestic colonies does not mean colonialism is ‘better’ then imperialism because it appealed to an ethical justification over brute force or domination. On the contrary, the real reason to recognize the unique role played by colonialism as distinct from imperialism in domestic colonies or residential ‘schools’, is because this ideology carries with it a particularly insidious form of infiltrating and internalized power to change others from within. This kind of power along with the principle of segregation (which removes societal oversight in the colonies or ‘schools’) in reality often leads to abusive power of minds and bodies in the name of ‘internalized’ improvement. Understanding these distinctions between settler colonialism, domestic colonialism, and imperialism is important, therefore, if we are to fully

The Turn Inward: Rethinking the Colonial


understand the distinctive but overlapping roles played by both colonialism and imperialism in the history of western thought and practice because, as it turns out, colonialism in the nineteenth century, as the history of domestic colonies demonstrates, played a unique role with a multitude of faces since it combined with virtually every political ideology from anarchism to socialism to liberalism to republicanism, whereas the ideology of imperialism was often rejected by domestic colonial thinkers. This distance between colonialism and imperialism is best demonstrated by thinkers like Peter Kropotkin, Leo Tolstoy, and Booker T. Washington in Chapters 8 and 9; while all three men were supporters of domestic colonies as vehicles through which to change the existing power relations in the societies around them, they strongly opposed imperialism. Tolstoy, for example, speaks against imperial warfare in 1904, If we (Europeans] continue to live as we are now living, guided in . . . the life of separate States, by the sole desire of welfare for ourselves and for our State, and will, as we do now, think to ensure this welfare by . . . increasing the means of violence of one against the other and of State against State, we shall . . . become more and more degenerated and morally deprived. (1904: 5)

Anarchist Kropotkin also vehemently opposed imperialism, along with capitalism and even states themselves, arguing that production should be collectively owned and politics decided through free agreements between people. Finally, Booker T. Washington was opposed to American imperialism, speaking out strongly against the annexation of Hawaii and the acquisition of the Philippines after the Spanish American War. The gap between imperialism and colonialism for these three thinkers is as great as the power to dominate over others is from an emancipatory ideology through which one might use colonies to overturn the existing political, social, and economic relations of power. At the same time, all three thinkers were proponents of settler colonization since they created their domestic colonies on lands that required the removal and/or dispossession of indigenous peoples in the Americas. The relationship between imperialism, settler colonialism, and domestic colonialism thus takes many forms in different thinkers’ arguments. Alexis de Tocqueville, for example, supported domestic colonialism, rooted in the ideas of improvement through agrarian labour, and rejected domination as manifested in penal colonies for French citizens, but he also supported imperialism over Algerians, where he defended martial law. In other words, ‘liberal’ thinkers like Tocqueville could be a domestic colonialist and a foreign imperialist simultaneously (distinguishing him from the thinkers described above, who were anti-imperialist). Max Weber was sceptical of German imperialism but believed in German nationalism and was fully committed to domestic colonization, including the dispossession of Polish peasants in Prussia for both colonialist and nationalist reasons, making him a domestic colonialist. Edward


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Wakefield argued for systematic colonization and settler colonies but was opposed to home colonization, thus making him a settler colonialist and imperialist but not a domestic colonialist. Thomas Jefferson followed Locke’s settler colonialism in his own ‘Indian removal’ policies and the transforming of indigenous peoples into farmers, as discussed in Chapter 4, while he also supported domestic and external colonization of African Americans, making him a settler colonialist and domestic colonialist, much like Abraham Lincoln and Tommy Douglas, who supported both domestic and settler colonialism but were not imperialists. Finally, Charles Bernstein and Archibald McCutcheon’s domestic colonialism for the mentally disabled had little if anything to do with imperialism but led them both to argue against eugenics and sterilization. Thus, I would argue that historians of political theory who wish to understand the role played by colonialism and imperialism in Western political thought and practice should not only distinguish colonialism from imperialism, but domestic colonialism from external/settler colonialism because there are so many possible combinations depending on the ideological commitments of various key thinkers. And yet, from the examples above, one could be imperialist and domestic colonialist (Tocqueville), anti-imperialist and settler/ domestic/radical colonialist (Kropotkin, Tolstoy, Washington), settler colonialist but opposed to domestic colonialism (Wakefield), settler colonialist who embraced domestic colonialism (Booth, Jefferson, Douglas and Lincoln), or domestic colonialist with little expressed interest or concern in imperialism but opposed to eugenics (Bernstein, McCutcheon). These variations are important both for historical accuracy but also to fully recognize the different and contradictory ways that colonialism works in relation to political theory.

10.4. THE I NTERSECTING HISTORIES OF DISABILITY AND COLONIZATION The fourth conclusion provided by the preceding analysis is to demonstrate how the ideologies of colonialism and ableism and the histories of disability and colonization were woven together in the nineteenth-century treatments of mental illness, epilepsy, and mental disability to create particular kinds of therapy and education manifested in the farm colony. Thus, as I argued in Chapter 7, colonialism provides a better explanation for the rise of the farm colony model at the end of the nineteenth century for the mentally ill and disabled than either disciplinary power, as discussed by Foucault in relation to mental illness, and/or eugenics, as described by various social historians of disability, since in the other two schools of thought, agrarian labour and dispossession is entirely overlooked and the rise of eugenics post-dates the first farm colonies.

The Turn Inward: Rethinking the Colonial


Most importantly, however, Chapters 5 and 6 demonstrated how the history of disability and colonialism came together in the farm colony model in America, Britain, and Canada. As articulated by both Henry Goddard and Walter Fernald in the United States (and then copied by many others, including the Ontario Royal Commission and UK Royal Commission), colonization was interwoven with the institutionalized separation of the disabled into different categories based upon their level of rationality (imbecile, moron, idiot, feeble-minded) as domestic colonialists sought to define each individual’s capacity to be improved either in reason, through education, or in industriousness, through agrarian/domestic labour. The imbecile, the idiot, and the moron were not only ableist categories to define people in a hierarchical fashion, via a lack of reason (or IQ test) compared to the ‘normal’ or rational citizen, but also a colonialist category used to determine which villa a mentally disabled person would be housed in a colony like the Waverly colony in Massachusetts of Vineland colony in New Jersey, as well as the degree to which they would be engaged in agrarian or domestic labour and capable of being paroled back into society. These terms (moron, imbecile, and idiot) advanced by colonialists for the purposes of housing and identifying who may be capable of improvement were the result of the colony model; but today they are still used as powerful negative slurs against others (‘it was a moronic thing to do’, ‘he is such an idiot’, ‘what an imbecile’). The original term ‘feeble-minded’ is now rarely used. While other pejorative ‘names’ for oppressed groups (based on race, gender, sexual orientation) have largely been banned from common language as hurtful to those groups, it is extraordinary the degree to which these labels, produced by domestic colonialists, are still used in everyday speech to insult others with no sense of the implications for the mentally disabled of such epithets. Classification in housing in accordance with one’s level of reason and label ensured that those most likely to improve and become industrious would be engaged in agrarian labour (men) or domestic labour (women) and create revenues for the colony itself and/or be paroled back into society. Fernald’s model, which brings together colonialism with ableism, justifies not only segregation but permission for superintendents and other authorities inside the colony to ‘improve’ the mentally disabled from the inside out, to help them recognize the limitations of their own reason and bad habits or propensity to commit crimes and moral sins. As discussed in Chapter 6, Fernald’s model was used by many other domestic colonialists in their justification of farm colonies for the mentally disabled in their own country, including Frank Hodgins in Ontario, Winifred Muirhead in Scotland, and the Royal Commission on the Feeble-Minded in England. But it was ultimately these principles of segregation (which prevented any kind of external oversight) and an internalized form of improvement (which potentially justified all kinds of invasive and abusive behaviour in a twisted use


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of the idea of ‘progress’) that created fertile ground for the horrific abuses that eventually occurred within the walls of these institutions. For example, the original Orillia farm colony (that became the Huronia Center for Mental Health) was, as discussed, the subject of a $1 billion lawsuit because of the abuses suffered by former residents. This abuse was facilitated and justified by the principles of segregation and improvement but in conjunction with ableism, which constituted the mentally disabled as not only defective and inferior but rightfully subject to maltreatment. Finally, ableism and colonialism were intertwined in a different way, namely, through the export of farm colonies for the mentally ill and disabled by European states to their external settler colonies. While there is a considerable literature on the intersection between imperialism and health policy, little has been written on domestic colonialism in relation to mental illness, as manifested in farm colonies overseas. Claire Edington, one of the few exceptions to this rule, argues in her detailed study of domestic farm colonies in French Indochina and Dutch Java, that Europeans and non-Europeans were housed together in farm colonies, segregated from the rest of society because they were defined primarily by their shared mental disability or illness rather than racial background or colonial status (although race and class does enter the equation in terms of who has to labour and who does not). The key to farm colonies in Asia as elsewhere was agrarian labour, justified again in terms of therapeutic benefit for the patient and revenues. Domestic colonialism and ableism thus came together to justify settler and domestic colonization of the mentally ill and disabled as backward in relation to norms of industry and reason.

10.5. THE RAPID DECLINE OF DOMESTIC COLONIES: RESISTANCE AND DECOLONIZATION One aspect of domestic colonies that manifests itself repeatedly in the various historical accounts of the preceding chapters, despite the elevated rhetoric that they were often introduced with by their champions as the humane and efficient panacea for virtually every social problem of a rapidly industrializing and urbanizing society, is how quickly and spectacularly they failed—often within a decade or two of coming into existence and, in the case of some, even within a few years. For example, the Salvation Army Farm Colony that Booth thought, as he opened it in 1890, would be the model for solving poverty worldwide, was converted into a small labour camp in 1918. Indeed, as John Field (2009) argues, England’s labour colonies closed during the First World War as conscription made unemployment a moot point. After the War, the decolonization movement gained steam under the principle of self-determination,

The Turn Inward: Rethinking the Colonial


and the language of ‘colonies’ and colonization fell almost entirely out of favour as the remaining labour colonies created at the turn of the century by religious organizations lasted only a few more years in Britain. In America, Booth’s and Robert Owen’s colonies failed extremely quickly, within a few years of opening, as described in Chapters 3 and 8. Even the Mettray colony in France, one of the longest lasting labour colonies, having opened in 1840 and lasted a century (closing entirely in 1937), had deteriorated considerably after Demetz’s death in 1873 and became more of a prison than a colony. Likewise, the German Arbeiter-Kolonien system, championed by various socialists around the world as the model for the open social employment programme, also failed not long after its implementation. Again, according to Mavor, by the end of the nineteenth century, they were overcrowded prisons rather than colonies, as first envisioned. Racialized labour colonies in North America fared even less well. The various domestic colonies proposed for African Americans by white politicians within America did not get off the ground at all, while overseas colonies lasted a few years or months. Liberia, the largest American colony for freed slaves, created by the ACS and US government in 1820, was an independent republic by 1847, while various colonies for Metis and indigenous peoples in Canada lasted decades if not years, due to the resistance of those living within them. The decolonization movement worldwide and the championing of the principle of self-determination after the First World War was further reinforced after the Second World War, which began the shift from ‘colonies’ being championed by socialists, liberals, and progressives of various kinds as the best way of responding to domestic social problems, to beginning to define colonization as a deeply negative use of power against marginalized populations, which will come to underpin late twentieth century thinkers and activists’ use of the term. Indeed, the decolonization movement of the post-First World War world and certainly of the post-Second World War Bandung conference world, is a key reason why the ‘colony’, while championed as the best and most humane way to deal with marginalized domestic populations by leading progressive thinkers at the turn of the century (including all of the leading thinkers in this volume), by the 1960s, was used to describe the worst kind of relationship a state could have with people living within its borders, as colonization was both a continuation of the external settler colonization processes begun in the seventeenth century but also a synonymous term or metaphor for all kinds of domination by internal colonial, postcolonial, and neo-colonial scholars. Thus, like the labour colonies in Britain, farm colonies for the mentally ill and disabled were renamed in the 1930s through the 50s, becoming ‘homes’, centres, or hospitals instead of colonies, yet they continued to segregate, engage members of the institution in agrarian labour, and seek to improve


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them through labour for years after they ceased to be called colonies. Thus, in the case of farm colonies for the mentally ill and disabled, along with the decolonization movement, the most important factor in the final closing of such institutions for the mentally ill in Europe and North America was the disability rights and deinstitutionalization movements in the 1960s and 70s that emphasized mainstreaming over segregation. As discussed, for example, in Manitoba, the last farms were closed as a result of the 1973 Clarkson Report, which recommended community-based care rather than segregation and farm labour. But even before they were closed by states, the colonies themselves often failed or degenerated within years of opening, in stark contrast to the model originally proposed by domestic colonialists of a village-like, villa-based community with space and freedom for those living within it and a humanitarian form of care. As documented in Chapters 5 and 6, many of the colonies became overcrowded, punitive, and abusive institutions. Finally, many of the utopian colonies, such as Owen’s proposed socialist colonies in America, lasted only a few years also. African-American utopian colonies in California, Oklahoma, and Kansas were likewise short-lived, in part because of the pressure of the racist society that surrounded them but also because of the changing nature of African-American politics that became increasingly focused on urbanization and integration rather than rural segregation and agrarian labour. Of all the forms of domestic colonies discussed in this book, religious communities are one of the few examples (along with artist or writer colonies) that continue to this day to use the term colony to describe their collective life even as they continue to live in accordance with the principles of segregation from society, engagement in agrarian labour, and improvement of both the land and the people.

10.6. DOMESTIC COLO NIES SOUGHT TO SERV E RADICAL POLITICA L ENDS Robert Owen, Peter Kropotkin, Leo Tolstoy, and Peter Verigin all viewed the colony as the vehicle through which to protect and preserve a radically different way of life and thus challenge the individualist, materialist, and violent capitalist society they lived in, along with the larger world order. Booker T. Washington and Benjamin Singleton likewise viewed the AfricanAmerican colony as an important tool to not only protect themselves from white supremacism but to prove to white Americans that African Americans were equal and thus challenge society’s assumptions about ‘racial hierarchy’. Thus, the utopian colony more than any other kind of colony makes clear the

The Turn Inward: Rethinking the Colonial


profound gap between imperialism and colonialism. Tolstoy and Kropotkin challenged various kinds of domination in their day and actively opposed imperialism as an extension of the very power relations (militaristic, capitalist, materialist) that they sought to undermine.1 This creates a form of colonization that is the polar opposite to the way in which postcolonial and internal colonial scholars understand it—rather than being a Lockean form of colonialism at the service of metropoles, capitalism, white supremacism, and/or imperialism, radical domestic colonialists see colonies as the vehicle through which to challenge these very same powerful theories and practices. But every one of these thinkers also relied on dispossession and thus engaged in settler colonialism, since their colonies were created on the territories of indigenous peoples. Ultimately, therefore, domestic utopian colonies in the Americas are best thought of as sites of intersecting colonialisms (external, settler, radical, and domestic).

10.7. TRANSNATIO NAL COLONIAL NETWORKS AND INTERSECTING COLONIALISMS I have spent most of this book emphasizing the analytical binary of domestic versus external colonization, in order to bring attention to the former kind of colony given its near absence in the history of colonization as written by the majority of historians, as well as the history of political thought as analysed by political theorists who study the role of colonialism in ‘Western’ political theory. But, now, in this final section, I will deconstruct this binary to argue that external and domestic colonization ought to be considered not as two independent opposites but as an intersected, intertwined, and connected set of ideas and material conditions. Thus, while it has been necessary to analytically distinguish domestic from external colonization, I now seek to draw these same colonial threads together to demonstrate how often they are connected with each other both in theory and practice as both ideas and bodies in transit across borders via transnational colonial networks.

1 Tolstoy wrote of the ‘egotistic avarice and cruelty of European nations’ and praised the Chinese people for their resilience against this imperial power (Bodde, 2015: 51). He also described India under British rule in the following terms ‘A commercial company enslaved a nation’ and became a friend and supporter of Mohandas Ghandi (Ghandi, 1997: 144). Likewise, Kropotkin wrote that the Europeans’ claim to ‘civilize the lower races . . . raised to the height of a theory the shameful deeds which Europeans are doing every day’ in the name of imperialism (Kropotkin, 1885: 943).


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10.7.1. The Ideology of Colonialism: The Key Conceptual Connection From the beginning I have argued that a common ideological thread that justified certain kinds of European settler colonization in foreign lands in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was then adapted by European and Euro-American thinkers in the nineteenth century to solve problems ‘at home’. Building upon my own analysis of Locke’s agrarian labour defence of English settler colonialism in America (1996), I argued in Chapter 2 that British settler colonies justified their existence through an appeal to Locke’s terra nullius or empty/waste land that could be claimed as the property of English settlers because they laboured on it, meaning enclosing and cultivating it. With Locke, agrarian labour became key to a particular kind of settler colonial ideology (alongside other kinds of ideologies, including imperial claims to conquest, racial superiority, religious conversion, and national claims of glory). Locke’s liberal theory, however, was uniquely ‘colonial’ because it provided both an ethical justification (God wanted the rational and industrious to inherit the earth) and economic justification (the value of the land increased and revenues were generated for England) for the central argument of agrarian labour on ‘empty’ land. Locke’s liberal colonialism also justified assimilation because he viewed indigenous peoples not as biologically different, inferior, and/or conquered (as imperialists might claim) but the same as the colonizer, only more ‘backward’ on a universal scale of human progress, meaning ‘idle’, lacking industry, and/or ‘irrational’ and custom-bound. By segregating them from their communities, Locke argued, the colonized could best progress—by breaking the custom-bound or idle ‘natives’ free from their homes, and thus their deeply entrenched ‘ways, modes and notions’ that prevented their improvement, before engaging them in education or training to transform them from an idle and custom-bound ‘Indian’ into the ‘more improved’ Englishman, that is, an industrious and rational citizen. Indeed, this was the key to Locke’s whole political theory because at the core of his vision is the transcendence of the state of nature by civil society. Locke’s theories of terra nullius and assimilation have had a long and profound legacy. It was foundational to leading American thinkers on how to deal with the indigenous population from a settler perspective, in particular Thomas Jefferson, as expressed in his Indian removal policy based on ‘wast’ land (Arneil, 1996). This was manifested in a letter from Jefferson to Governor William Harrison in Indiana, as discussed at length in Chapter 8, in which he described the goal of his ‘Indian policy’ to be the removal of indigenous peoples from their territory because, Jefferson argued, they were not cultivating the land; once removed, Jefferson adds, they need to be encouraged in their new smaller territories, through various incentives, to be transformed into industrious farmers. Thus, the colonial justifications for dispossession and

The Turn Inward: Rethinking the Colonial


assimilation, as articulated in an embryonic but foundational form in Locke’s political thought, are taken up by Jefferson in his Indian policy; but these arguments are developed over the next two centuries, coming to full fruition in the further dispossession of lands, as described throughout this book by settler states in North America, and the creation of residential/boarding schools for indigenous children and via legislation like the Dawes Act in America and Gradual Civilization of Indians Act and Indian Act in Canada at the end of the nineteenth century. Thus, colonialism as an ideology originally directed outward (and here I disagree with Foucault when he argues in his 1973–74 lectures on colonization that modern colonialism was first directed inward by Jesuit priests in Europe toward French youth) provided justifications for both the dispossession and assimilation of indigenous peoples from the late seventeenth century until today. This overlaps with but is distinct from the imperialist argument made by Tocqueville in Algeria, that to conquer peoples and rule over them using punitive and violent measures including martial law to keep them subordinate is enough. Colonialists like Locke and Jefferson, but also the domestic colonialists described in this book, saw themselves as progressive rationalist universalists who viewed every person as equally capable of progress and improvement under the right conditions—often needing help from the more ‘improved’ if they were backward, meaning either custom-bound, idle, or lacking in reason. This rationalist and universalist perspective meant it was not enough, from the perspective of colonialists, to command the colonized to do something; rather, the ‘idle’, ‘irrational’, and/or custom-bound, whether at home or overseas, had to be convinced through their own reason of the defective nature of their minds (irrational/custom bound) and bodies (idle) and agree to change their way of being, of thinking, and of living in the world. For indigenous peoples, unlike Europeans, this process was done not only on them as individuals but to their whole culture and way of being, since it was their ‘ways, modes and notions’ that had to be transcended. Such a profoundly internalized process of change had to be achieved via segregation, labour, and education. The point of my book is to show that this same ideology, through which the ‘idle’ and ‘irrational’ were to be transformed internally into the ‘industrious and rational’ adapted by European and Euro-American domestic colonialists using the same arguments of economic efficiency and ethical superiority, was also articulated in opposition to domestic institutions rooted in domination, like prisons, asylums, indentured servitude, and so on. The key difference here is that while external forms of colonialism were often expansive and rapacious, domestic colonialism was inward looking, tightly focused, and contained with a small bounded community and piece of land. And this internalized nature of colonialism is of critical importance because it created a particularly insidious form of power in relation to the other. Put simply, the pressure of the domestic


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colony, the residential school, Operation Snatch for Doukhobor children, was always directed at segregating and then getting inside the heads and bodies of the colonized to convince them they were defective but could change. The internalized dimension of colonialism creates very fertile grounds in labour and farm colonies for the physical, emotional, and sexual abuse of marginalized and vulnerable individuals outside society’s gaze or knowledge. Indeed, one of the most important reasons in my view to recognize the colonialist as opposed to the imperialist approach is because of the distinctively insidious and internalized character of colonial power embedded in the presuppositions of its own ideology. Thus, as discussed, it was the internalized dimension of colonialism which underpins both the genocidal policies of the residential schools for indigenous peoples as well as the sexual and physical abuses of the Orillia farm colony/mental health centre, both carried out in the name of improving from within the mind and body of the colonized. And when you combine segregation with the principle of internalized ‘improvement’, superintendents of farm colonies for the mentally disabled were given the power and right in the name of progress to violate the physical and mental boundaries of those segregated within these colonial institutions. Indeed, it is exactly because domestic colonialists viewed ‘reason’ and ‘industry’ as key to modern citizenship that they required the idle, irrational, and custom-bound to recognize their own ‘backwardness’ and give up their home and habits as obstacles to progress. Superintendents, therefore, were in essence granted a colonial licence to do virtually anything in the name of improvement, while segregation (removal from any oversight from society) provided them with the impunity necessary to do so without repercussions. Thus, colonialism as an ideology inextricably links the domestic colony to external forms of colonization through the internalized character of the power it exercises over the colonized and the abuses that often followed.

10.7.2. Transnational Colonial Networks: Traversing of Borders The second important way that external/settler and domestic colonization connect to each other is through what I have described at various points in the preceding chapters a transnational colonial network. This term deliberately echoes but moves away from Ann Stoler’s carceral imperial network, which in turn is rooted in Michel Foucault’s carceral network. The global network I have described emphasizes the specifically ‘colonial’ and transnational character of this network, as opposed to the ‘imperial’ and carceral nature of Foucault and Stoler’s network. Domestic and external colonies were thus nodes in a network linked by the principles of agrarian labour, segregation, and improvement rather than the carceral principles of hard labour, containment, and punishment. The imperial carceral and transnational colonial

The Turn Inward: Rethinking the Colonial


networks of course overlapped and intertwined historically, as manifested for example when a juvenile delinquent in Mettray would be sent to a penal colony overseas or British indentured servants, after serving their contract, become agrarian settlers in America. My point is simply that an important analytical distinction exists between a transnational colonial network rooted in the principles of agrarian labour and improvement and a carceral, imperial network rooted in the principles of domination and penalty alone, even if empirically they intertwine. Thus, as discussed in Chapter 6, colonialism provides a better explanation historically for the rise of the farm and labour colony than Foucault’s disciplinary or carceral power because it provides an explanation of not only why ‘improvement’ and ‘segregation’ would be so important to these colonies (as Foucault’s theory can do) but most importantly, the centrality of agrarian labour (which disciplinary power does not do). Also, colonialism explains why so many of these places were called colonies in the first place as opposed to prisons or asylums. Thus, agrarian labour distinguishes colonization from incarceration, which is why I would argue that the links between, for example, colonies agricoles and settler colonialists in Algeria were primarily colonial and transnational in their foundational purpose rather than imperial and carceral (although of course there were aspects of both imperialism and incarceration/ discipline present as well). A transnational colonial network is thus one in which both bodies (the material dimension of the network) and ideas (the conceptual dimension of the network) traversed between European metropoles and to external colonies. Using the preceding analysis I will demonstrate both a) that a conceptual transnational colonial network as the model of the colony as an ‘idea’ was shared between individuals and crossed borders between states and exported from European states to their own settler colonies and vice versa; and b) a material transnational colonial network, by which I mean the export of actual colonized people across borders, often from domestic to the external settler colony. Conceptual Networks: Exporting the Colonial Model In reading the archival material on so many of these domestic colonies, one is struck by the number of times that domestic colonialists proposing a colony refer to a colony in a different country as a model for their own, using both the ethical and economic benefits that have accrued in that country and suggesting they would apply in the same way in their own country. Beginning in Chapter 3, van den Bosch’s original model of benevolent Protestant labour colonies in Java in South East Asia was adopted by him and others as a model for Holland and Surinam. Van den Bosch and the Dutch state also moved ‘idle’ people between these three kinds of ‘colonies’, thus creating one of the


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first conceptual and material transnational colonial networks between three continents via domestic and settler colonialism. Beaumont and Tocqueville in France used Van den Bosch’s model in their 1833 report in which they recommended agricultural colonies to the French government, explicitly referring to the Dutch model as the basis for their own recommendations. Thus, the border between Holland and France is traversed conceptually, as the first colony at Mettray built within the decade is modelled on the Dutch farm colony but incorporating Catholicism, republicanism, paternalism, and a romantic commitment to countryside to create a labour farm colony for young delinquent men. Mettray, in turn, became the model for a multiplicity of domestic colonies throughout Europe and beyond, as discussed—including the Dutch Mettray colony, the Farm School in Redhill Surrey in England, and farm colonies in Denmark, Belgium, and New South Wales Australia. The founder of Mettray, deMetz even felt it necessary to build a Hotel Colonie next door to Mettray colony in order to accommodate the many visitors who wanted to adopt this apparently successful model of domestic colonization in their own countries. William Booth’s tripartite model of the city colony, farm colony, and colony overseas was likewise adopted, as discussed, in Scotland, North America, and various other countries, particularly in the British Commonwealth, in large part because Booth sent his ‘army’ of missionaries overseas to convince people around the world of the economic and ethical benefits of Booth’s model to ‘improve’ and ‘help’ the poor rather than punish or banish them. American newspapers were replete with articles featuring Salvation Army representatives recommending the adoption of the Booth scheme in every major town in America, with the key one in Chicago led by Booth’s son. Finally, in the same way that Booth exported his English model to settler colonies of the former British Empire, the Dutch and French governments exported the farm colony model for the mentally ill to Java and French Indochina, respectively. In all of these cases, it is the European metropoles who export their model to other countries or to their own external colonies. But one also finds the reverse happening, namely former colonies or settler colonies creating models that are then adopted in Europe. Thus, Max Sering used the colonies for the Metis and Mennonites in Canada as models for internal colonization of Prussia. In particular, his notion of ‘assimilating’ Polish peasants relied on the comparison to ‘half-breeds’ who were not quite ‘savage’ nor fully civilized. Sering’s model of resettlement and transformation of Polish peasants (make them more industrious) parallels the way he understood the Metis being assimilated in Canada (in explicit contradistinction to Sering’s understanding of the American model, which meant full-scale removal). Max Weber explicitly argued for the American removal model as the one to be recommended in Prussia for Polish peasants. In a similar way, Peter Kropotkin, from his travels through western Canada, like Max Sering, found

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the Mennonite colonies to be an ideal model for Russian Doukhobor colonies in Canada itself. Kropotkin’s description of the Mennonite colonies, taken up by the Tolstoy Society in London and then Leo Tolstoy himself, eventually led to thousands of Doukhobors creating segregated, agrarian colonies in Saskatchewan and British Columbia. The American farm colony for the mentally ill and disabled also became a model for European states, as manifested in Britain in the recommendations of the Royal Commission on the Feeble-Minded in 1908 and the subsequent 1913 Mental Deficiency Act. The Craig Colony of New York was also a model for Britain in the late nineteenth century and both Walter Fernald’s farm colony at Waverly and Charles Bernstein’s multiple colonies, but particularly the one in Rome, New York, were used in various countries as the model for their own farm colonies. In all of these various ways, a transnational conceptual network of colonialism was created that criss-crossed the world back and forth as colonies were adopted in one country based on the model in another. Material Networks: Emigration and the Colonial Body The transnational colonial network that connected domestic colonies to each other and to settler colonies, however, was not only ideological or conceptual but also material in nature. That is, it was not only ideas that traversed borders but people themselves, in particular, individuals who lived in domestic colonies within their own state because they were ‘idle’, ‘irrational’, and/or ‘custombound’, as well as religious and political minorities ‘exported’ to external/settler colonies overseas in order to rid themselves of these unwanted populations. The material dimension to transnational colonial networks is that which links domestic colonies to external settler colonies as nodes of network engaged in the transit of bodies (along with the idea of colonies), that is, moving certain people from Europe to external colonies but also between colonies, organized along domestic, settler, and utopian colonial lines and therefore involving bodies marked by race, disability, class, and minds marked by minority religious and political beliefs. There is an imperial dimension to this transport of bodies (Stoler’s reference to a imperial network applies) as, for example, the domestically colonized of Britain were sent to colonies within the British Empire, but the transnational connections I describe in previous chapters were not only imperial but also colonial in character. Thus, people sent from a domestic labour colony in Europe did not just emigrate; they were first trained, educated, and ‘improved’ to be a farmer before being sent to rural locations in external colonies in order to cultivate the land and transform themselves into productive citizens and settlers. In some cases like Booth’s tripartite scheme, there was even a designated ‘overseas colony’ within the settler state, run by the civil society organization to which these individuals were to be sent, creating a very specific


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connection in Booth’s mind (and explicitly manifested in the frontispiece of the first edition of Darkest England) between the farm colony in Essex and the proposed overseas colony in North America or Australia, which in both cases involved working ‘empty’ land in order to make it more valuable. Thus, while the transport of such people is no doubt an imperial endeavor, since it served to increase the economic and political power of the British metropole, it is also colonial in the sense that I am defining it (bodies and colonies connected by the principles of agrarian labour and improvement). In the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, as discussed in Chapter 2, European metropoles of course had earlier used external colonies to rid themselves of excess populations, particularly anybody deemed to be idle, irrational, and/or criminal. This transit of the ‘bounded settler’ has been studied in some depth in the historical literature in relation to the use of indentured servitude and penal colonization to absorb the same ‘backward’ populations of idle poor, criminals, mentally ill, and disabled that will become the focus of the domestic colonialists. The difference with this kind of systematic external colonization of Wakefield and the colonial network that I am describing is that, while both involve the exporting of idle and irrational people to penal colonies or as indentured servants to settler colonies, the earlier form was what Stoler rightly calls the imperial carceral network since it served the punitive interests of the metropole, but the export of individuals from colonies agricoles in France to those in Algeria or from Britain’s domestic colonies to overseas colonies or homesteads organized not around domination and penalty but labour and improvement is what I am describing as a transnational colonial network. Of course, there is not a clear bright line that distinguishes the two kinds of emigration from each other—indeed, they did overlap and intertwine—but there is both a conceptual and material difference between the two. Thus, I hope that my analysis brings to light the specifically domestic and colonial dimensions of the transnational export of bodies in the late nineteenth century as distinct from the imperial, punitive, and external aspects of the carceral imperial network. Instead of criminals being sent to penal colonies or indentured servitude, I demonstrate how the idle poor and mentally ill/ disabled of Europe housed within domestic colonies inside their own state, and engaged in agrarian labour are ‘improved’ and made industrious and then some of them are transported to colonies overseas. It is this kind of transportation of people, and everything that is needed to effect such transport between a domestic colony and a settler colony as linked nodes, that constitutes what I am calling a material transnational colonial network. Examples including the young men from the colonies agricoles in France sent to Algeria after they trained in agricultural labour, as recommended in several government reports and by various domestic colonialists, and Booth’s scheme constituted by three kinds of colonies: city colonies, domestic farm

The Turn Inward: Rethinking the Colonial


colonies, and overseas colonies, which, as discussed, was nearly implemented by the British government after they commissioned Rider Haggard to visit Canada and the United States and report back on the possibility of adopting this transnational colonial network under the auspices of the Salvation Army, as a way of solving poverty in Britain. While Haggard secured a large parcel of land in Canada from the Governor General for Booth’s overseas colony, the British government decided not to implement the scheme, doubting that a civil society organization could make it work financially. Nonetheless the Salvation Army still sent, according to their records, a quarter of a million people to British colonies as settlers to work the land. Religious utopian colonies were also exported from Europe to North America, as discussed. Mennonite, Doukhobor, and Jewish colonies that existed as colonies in Europe would often move as a whole from Europe, due to persecution, and settle as segregated agrarian colonies in the Prairies of Canada or the Plains of the United States. This was done under the auspices of both the settler state but also through organizations like the Jewish Colonization Association, the Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization, and the Tolstoy Society and via their champions in Europe, as discussed. In all of these cases, the conceptual and material traversing of borders by bodies, individually and collectively, create a very complicated set of networks linked by domestic and external colonial nodes. And my key point is that the ideological key to all of them was more closely related to segregation, agrarian labour, and improvement than surveillance, domination, and control. Thus, along with the carceral imperial networks that Stoler, Foucault and Anderson, and Maxwell-Stewart describe, we need to recognize these transnational colonial networks; the former cannot subsume the latter any more than imperialism can subsume colonialism.

10.7.3. Intersecting Colonialism(s) All domestic colonies were the sites of intersecting colonialism(s). The first kind of intersection, discussed throughout the preceding chapters, was between domestic colonialism, rooted in segregation, agrarian labour, and improvement of both the land and people, and a variety of other ideologies and schools of thought in order to generate particular kinds of colonies for specific kinds of fellow citizens. For example, labour and farm colonies were the products of domestic colonialism intersecting with (depending on the thinker and country) liberalism, socialism, republicanism, paternalism, nationalism, romanticism, anarchism, racism, eugenics, anti-eugenics, Christianity, minority religious beliefs, African-American civil rights, and/or philanthropy. Thus, Peter Kropotkin, an anarchist, Robert Owen, a secular socialist, Winston Churchill, a Conservative prime minister, Frederick Douglass, an African-American civil


Domestic Colonies

rights activist, and Abraham Lincoln, a Republican president were all champions and defenders of domestic colonies but differed in terms of the populations targeted and ends served by domestic colonies. In addition to intersecting with a wide variety of ideologies, some forms of domestic colonialism also intersected with settler and/or radical colonialism. The intersection with settler colonialism was evident in the colonies of North America, be they farm, labour, or utopian colonies, since, to exist in the first place, they almost always required the prior dispossession or removal of indigenous peoples. Colonies for Metis and indigenous people within the settler colonial state of Canada are the most obvious example, as they continued the process of assimilation and genocide for indigenous adults begun in residential schools. Metis colonies in Alberta and Saskatchewan thus sat at the intersection of domestic and settler colonialism, built upon the principles of segregation, agrarian labour, and ‘improvement’, and served the ends of dispossession of land and ‘transformation’/assimilation of people. The intersection of domestic and settler colonialism also underpinned farm colonies for the ‘irrational’ in North America. As discussed, Craig Colony for people with epilepsy in New York was built upon the ‘Indian village of Sonyea’; likewise, the first farm colony for the mentally ill in British Columbia was built upon disputed Songhees territory on Vancouver Island, and the second, adjacent to the Public Hospital for the Insane in Coquitlam, near Vancouver, on Kwikwetlem territory. Utopian colonies in Europe sat at the intersection of radical and domestic colonialism, while utopian colonies in the Americas sat at the intersection of domestic, radical, and settler colonialism. Radical colonialism was an ideology deployed by marginalized groups who saw the colony as the best means to challenge power relations within the wider society. Owen’s home colonies in Britain sought to challenge capitalism while transforming people and land. His colony of New Harmony in America brings together three kinds of colonialism: settler colonialism (removal/dispossession), domestic colonialism (agrarian labour, improvement, segregation), and utopian colonialism (challenges private property, capitalism, and competition through its commitment to common ownership, cooperation, and socialism). Doukhobor colonies in Canada also challenged private property, materialism, militarism, and the sovereignty of the state, while African-American freedom colonies challenged white supremacism and racism. All three can be seen as nodes of intersecting settler, domestic, and radical colonialism. As such, North American utopian colonies raise interesting and contradictory questions about the nature of the intersecting ideology of colonialism because, even as they were sites of settler colonization and part of the process that dispossessed indigenous peoples of their land, they were also simultaneously challenging the very same ideological principles of Lockean colonialism (individualism, capitalism white supremacism, and militarism) that gave rise

The Turn Inward: Rethinking the Colonial


to settler colonization in the first place. It is these deep contradictions inherent in utopian colonies of America that distinguishes them (more than their voluntary nature) from labour and farm colonies because the latter were primarily designed to support rather than challenge capitalist, ableist, and racialized power relations in society. Ultimately, indigenous scholar Jodi Byrd’s notion of ‘cacophony’ and Rita Dhamoon’s idea of ‘noisiness’ provide powerful frames to theorize the contradictory vertical and horizontal power relations created by these intersections of colonialisms at the sites of domestic colonies in the Americas. Byrd, as discussed earlier, defines cacophony in the following terms: In geographical localities of the Americas, where histories of settlers and arrivants map themselves into and on top of indigenous peoples, understanding colonialism as a cacophony of contradictorily hegemonic and horizontal struggles offers an alternative way of formulating and addressing dynamics that continue to affect peoples as they move and are made to move within empire. (2011: 53)

Dhamoon, building on Byrd’s idea of cacophony to say noisiness, ‘draws attention to the dynamic movement, the unsettled and settling character of different and differential degrees and forms of domination and penalty’. Byrd and Dhamoon both point to the fact that colonialism on the ground was neither the quiet and orderly affair that Edward Wakefield imagined it could be in his theory of ‘systematic colonization’ nor does a clear binary between ‘colonizer’ and ‘colonized’ entirely work since there are multiple and differential forms of intersecting power. Colonization was thus noisy and disorderly, with power relations working together and against each other in a complicated pattern of power and resistance that cuts across lines of race, gender, ability, religious belief, and indigeneity. My analysis adds two important insights to Byrd and Dhamoon’s analysis of the colonial as something ‘dynamic’ and contradictory, both historically and conceptually, through the incorporation of domestic colonies into our analysis. First, the cacophony or noise has within it vectors or melody lines, respectively, that is, specific and differentiated forms of colonialisms as well as ideologies that need to be unpacked in each instance if we are to understand how these various ideologies intersect with each other to create particular kinds of colonies. Secondly, the dominant vectors or melody lines in domestic colonialism are agrarian labour, segregation, and improvement, which create a different form of colonialism than the one used by most postcolonial scholars and internal colonial scholars (domination), including Dhamoon and Byrd. In the case of domestic colonies, the colonial cannot be defined as ‘penalty and domination’ exclusively, as Dhamoon’s ‘noisiness’ suggests. As important as these aspects of colonization and colonialism are to external, penal, and settler forms of colonialism, domestic colonialism set itself up, in the case of labour and farm colonies, as an explicit alternative to the punitive and


Domestic Colonies

dominant ways of dealing with the poor, the disabled, and the religious and racial minority, be that the prison, the asylum, or slavery. And utopian colonialists explicitly fought against what they saw as dominant forces in the wider society, through the colony, as discussed above. These colonial vectors within the noise or cacophony creates different melody lines or chords/dischords that gave rise to specific kinds of domestic colonies in the first place and help to explain why these particular colonies could be championed by some of the most progressive thinkers as opposing domination and imperialism.

10.8. COLONIZATION, CO LO NIALISM, AND T H E CO L O N I Z E D : TH E T U RN I NWARD Thus, the final picture we are left with of modern colonization as manifested in the domestic colony goes well beyond any generally accepted definition of the colonial with which we started this book, namely European metropoles extending their power outward to dominate foreign non-European peoples and lands in a marriage of external colonization and imperialism. As important, real, and powerful as this understanding of the imperial/external/settler colonial is, it is fundamentally incomplete, historically and conceptually. The reality of thousands of domestic colonies proposed and defended by some of the leading thinkers in Europe and North America, as they turned inward to colony require us to change, expand, and redefine the location and substantive meaning of the colonized. To have a full picture of ‘the colonial’ in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the turn inward to domestic colonies needs to be incorporated into historians’ and political theorists’ analyses of colonization and colonialism, respectively.

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Index abuse 14, 144, 233–4, 240 Academy of Medicine, Canada 144–5 Adams, Henry 204, 207 Addams, Jane 132 African Americans civil rights movement 8, 17 colonization and colonialism vs imperialism 232 domestic colonies rapid decline 235 support for 223, 224, 225 internal colonization/colonialism literature 6, 8–9, 10 radicalism 21 segregation 15 slaves see freed slaves; slavery utopian colonies 180, 200–20 agrarian labour 226 intersecting colonialism(s) 246 radicalism 236 rapid decline 236 voluntary nature 182 agrarian labour 1, 4–5, 225–7 Ancient Greece 23 colonization and colonialism vs imperialism 230 eugenics 172, 173 farm colonies for mental illness/ disability 111, 116–21, 151–2, 178, 226, 234 Canada 142, 146, 150 Foucauldian theory 157–8 Great Britain 136 USA 122, 124–7, 130–1, 136 Foucauldian theory 155–8, 160, 162, 164, 166, 168–71 ideology of colonialism 22, 25, 26n, 27, 29–30, 32, 238 internal colonialism/colonization 15 intersecting colonialism(s) 247 labour colonies 37–8, 71, 226 Canada 101, 103–4, 105, 108 Foucault 47 France 41, 43, 44, 49, 50 Germany 67 Great Britain 52, 55, 57, 59 USA 81, 84, 97 van den Bosch 39, 40

Locke 5, 13, 16, 18, 71, 225–6 ideology of colonialism 22, 25, 26n, 27, 29, 30 progressive thinkers 225 transnational colonial networks 241 utopian colonies 180, 181, 199, 217, 219 African-American 202, 206, 210, 212 Doukhobors 185, 186, 187 New Harmony 197 USA 195 Alabama 210 Alberta eugenics 172, 173, 174 farm colonies for mental illness/ disability 149, 152 labour colonies for indigenous peoples 104–6, 107 Metis colonies 246 settlement 183, 185 sterilization 173, 174, 175, 176 Alfred, Taiaiake 31, 101 Algeria colonies agricoles 178 colonization and colonialism vs imperialism 231 external colonialism 47 Foucault’s Discipline and Punish 159–60 ideology of colonialism 239 labour colonies 71 settler colonialism 223 Tocqueville 42–3, 47, 48, 49, 224 transnational colonial networks 45–6, 161, 241, 244 Allen, Robert 8–9 Allen, William 54, 54n, 203 Allensworth, Colonel 208 Allensworth colony, California 207–8 American Association for the Study of the Feeble Minded 125 American Bureau of Indian Affairs 74 n.2 American Citizen 206 American Colonization Society of Free Colored People (ACS) 83–7, 96, 109 agrarian labour 226 Douglass’s opposition 93 Liberia 80, 86–7, 96, 97, 235 Lincoln 88 racism 106



American Eugenics Society 174 American Medico-Psychological Association (later American Psychiatric Association) 35, 133, 140, 148–9 American Revolution 35 anarchism African-American utopian colonies 217 agrarian labour 227 defence of domestic colonies 17, 21 domestic colonialism, support for 225 see also Kropotkin, Peter; Tolstoy, Leo Ancient Greece 18, 22–3, 171 Ancient Rome 18, 22, 23–4, 32, 225 Anders, Gary 7, 13 Anderson, Claire 34, 35, 245 Apochancan 28, 31, 114 apoikia 22–3 Arbeiter-Kolonien system 64, 66–8, 70, 181, 235 Arkansas 78–9, 130, 205, 216 Armitage, David 55, 56, 228 Arnold, Thomas 212–13 Arvaluk, James 7 assimilation of indigenous peoples 221, 228, 230 Canada 69–70, 79, 100–1, 105–6, 108, 219, 242, 246 Doukhobor colonies 186, 188, 191–3 eugenics 171 farm colonies for mental illness/ disability 115 Foucauldian theory 164, 165, 169 intersecting colonialism(s) 246 Locke 13, 164, 226, 238–9 Polish peasants, in Prussia 242 Sering 69, 70, 242 settler colonialism 13, 14 USA 10, 69, 70, 79 African-American utopian colonies 219 Douglas 109 Jefferson 194–5 Association for Improving the Condition of the People in Glasgow 64 Association of Medical Officers of American Institutions for Idiotic and Feeble Minded Persons 122 Atkinson, Henry 150 Atkinson, William 53–4, 72, 198 Atlanta Compromise address (1895) 202, 203 Auden, G. A. 135, 138 Auden, W. H. 138 Australia Booth 60, 61, 64 child immigrants from Britain 141n domestic dimensions of external colonization 35

farm colonies for soldiers 75, 77 labour colonies 46, 71 settler colonialism 55–6 systematic colonization 53 transnational colonial networks 242, 244 Bailey, Ian 148 Balandier, Georges 2, 228 Bandung conference (1955) 6, 8, 235 Banks, Marion 210 Bargemont, Villeneuve 42n Barnardo, Thomas 35, 141n Barnett, James 215 Barrett, James 204 Barron, F. Laurie 104, 106 n.18, 107, 108 Bate, Frederick 55, 198 Bates, Edward 91–2 Baxter Springs colony, Kansas 205, 217 Beaumont, Gustave de 18, 41–2, 44, 69, 80, 242 Bedford County colony 80 Bednasek, Drew 103, 109–10 Belgium 46, 54, 117, 119, 121, 242 Belize (earlier British Honduras) 92, 96, 97, 109 Bell, Duncan 29–30, 55, 56, 228 Bell, John Hendren 175, 177 Benevolent Society 71 Bernstein, Charles 19, 124–5, 129–31, 151, 173 colonization and colonialism vs imperialism 232 eugenics, opposition to 125, 129, 172 Foucauldian theory 167 influence 135 in Canada 143, 149 on Fernald 126, 127, 129 on Roosevelt 79 transnational colonial networks 243 Berry, R. J. A. 138 Bethel, Elizabeth 201, 209, 210 Beveridge, William German Arbeiter Kolonien system 181 labour colonies 38, 64, 65, 66 socialism 51, 107 Bhabha, Homi 2 Bielefeld colony 117, 131, 132, 178 Bien Hoa colony 120 Binet, Alfred 127 Bion, Wilhelm 49 Black Dog Trail 205 Black Panther Party 8 Black Power movement 8 Blair, Tony 63 Blauner, Robert 8, 15, 16 Blumer, G. Alder 133

Index Boley, J. B. 215 Boley colony, Oklahoma 202, 204, 213, 215–16, 217, 218 Booth, Charles 51, 64–5, 66, 223 Booth, William championing of domestic colonies 16 Christianity 58, 64, 107 city’s threat to civil society 84 colonization and colonialism vs imperialism 232 domestic colonies 223 rapid decline of 234, 235 farm colonies 36, 57–8 agrarian labour 226 labour colonies 18, 38, 57–64, 66, 72 Locke’s ideology of colonialism 30 and Mavor, comparison between 64 Mound Bayou as model colony 212 and Owen, comparison between 198 transnational colonial networks 45, 58, 59–64, 141, 243–5 Booth-Turner, Commander 62 Bradley, John 95 Brawley, Benjamin 82, 83 Brazil 120–1 Brilliant colony 189, 218 British Association for the Advancement of Science 184 British Columbia Doukhobor colonies 183, 187–93, 196, 205 transnational colonial networks 243, 246 eugenics 173 farm colonies for mental illness/ disability 142, 146–8, 149, 246 sterilization 173 British Home Colonization Society 197 British Honduras (later Belize) 92, 96, 97, 109 British Women’s Temperance Association 57 Brock Committee 177 Brown, J. 59 Bryce, Dr 75 Buck v Bell case 172, 174–5 Buck, Carrie 174–5 Buckongahelas 195 Buitenzorg colony 119 Burgess, T. J. W. 35, 140–1, 145, 148, 151 Burn, John 53, 198 Burns, Louis F. 205 Butler, Benjamin 92–3 Butt, Gerald 4n Byrd, Jodi colonization and colonialism vs imperialism 228 decolonization 230 dispossession and forcible removal of indigenous peoples 183

271 internal colonization/colonialism literature 10 intersecting colonialism(s) 247 utopian colonies 203, 216, 217, 218

California 62, 207–8, 236 Cambria County Abolition Society 80 Canada agrarian labour 226, 227 Booth 58, 60, 63, 64 colonization and colonialism vs imperialism 228 domestic colonies 223 rapid decline of 235, 236 domestic dimensions of external colonization 35 Doukhobors see Doukhobor colonies eugenics 172–4 farm colonies 16, 19 mental illness/disability 113, 119, 121, 133, 135–6, 140–51, 158, 233 ideology of colonialism 239 immigration 52, 140–2, 145, 149, 178 indigenous peoples see indigenous peoples: Canada; Metis colonies internal colonization/colonialism literature 9 intersecting colonialism(s) 246 labour colonies 18–19, 74 indigenous peoples 79, 100–9 Mettray as inspiration 46 Sering 69–70 soldiers 74–7, 78 ‘settlement’ of Prairies 183 settler colonialism 55–6 sterilization 173, 174, 175, 176 systematic colonization 53 trading companies 23 transnational colonial networks 242–3, 245, 246 utopian colonies 20 radical colonialism 219–20 see also Doukhobor colonies Canadian Conference of Public Welfare 75 Canadian Medical Service 141 Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization 245 Canadian National Committee for Mental Hygiene 148, 149 Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) 77 care farming 152 Carmichael, Adam 186, 188–9, 192 Carmichael, Stokely 8 Carter, Sarah 76, 102, 103 Casanova, Pablo 7, 13 Cash, Johnny 78, 130



Catholicism Canada 104 natural law 163 sterilization 137, 172, 174, 176, 177 transnational colonial networks 242 Cavanagh, E. 233 Chalfont colony 136 Charity Organization Society 59, 136 Cheney, Clarence O. 132–3 Chicago 61–2, 242 Child, Sir Josiah 24, 26, 32 children see young people Chiriqui 89–90, 97 Chittenden, Lucius 95 Christian, Alexander 189–90 Christian, Baptiste 189 Christian, Teresa 190 Christianity Booth 58, 64, 107 freed slaves 86 labour colonies 37, 67, 71 Great Britain 50, 56 Tocqueville and Beaumont 42 Locke 114–15n utopian colonies 194 see also Catholicism; Protestantism Churchill, Winston domestic colonies 223 eugenics 172 farm colonies for mental illness/ disability 19, 136–7, 151 Fernald’s and Bernstein’s influence 135 intersecting colonialism(s) 245 sterilization 176 Clarke, C. J. 145 Clarkson Report 150, 236 Clay, Henry 85, 86 Clermont colony 166, 167, 170 Close, Elinor 35, 140 Cochin, August 42 Cochran, N. D. 207 colonia 23–4 colonialism 221 definitions 1–3, 4, 17 Foucauldian theory 165, 169 ideology 225 emergence of 24–32, 36 transnational colonial networks 238–40 and imperialism, distinction between 11, 14, 20, 161 postcolonial scholarship 55–6 vs imperialism 227–32 internal colonization/colonialism literature 6–7 intersections 245–8 irrationality 113

labour colonies 71–2 Tocqueville 43, 48 colonies, definitions 3, 17 Ancient Greece 23n colonies agricoles 41–4, 66 agrarian labour 226 aims 160 comparative analysis 15 external colonies 178 Foucauldian theory 158, 169 ideology 72, 96 Tocqueville 41–3, 81, 138, 224 transnational colonial network 159–60, 241, 244 see also Mettray colony colonies de vacances 41, 49–50, 73 aims 160 and farm colonies for the insane, link between 119 ideology 72 colonization definitions 1–2, 3–4, 17 Foucault 159–60, 166, 170 Foucauldian theory 161–71 vs imperialism 227–32 internal colonization/colonialism literature 6 as synonymous with external colonization 6 Colony Farm Regional Park, British Columbia 147–8 Colorado 62 Colored Citizen 206, 207 Colored Farmers’ Alliance 215 Committee on Colonies for the Segregation of Defectives 174 Conboy, F. 144, 145, 151 Connecticut 122 Conrad, James 201, 208–9, 210 Cooperative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) 107, 108, 226 Corntassel, Jeff 31 Coulthard, Glen 31, 101, 229 Courteilles, Viscount 44 Craig colony, New York 132, 243, 246 Cranston, Maurice 25 Creek Tribe 215 Crichton-Browne, James 136 Crossley, C. 43 Dahl, Adam 47 Dann, Martin 215 Darwinism 165 Davenport, Charles 128 Davis, Lennard 145, 170 Dawes Act 239

Index decolonization 6, 152, 230, 234–6 de Gerando, Joseph-Marie 42n deinstitutionalization 152, 153 Delany, Martin 87, 97, 224 Delaware people 194, 218 Demetz, Frederick-Auguste 44, 46, 160, 212, 235, 242 de Morogue, Pierre Bigot 42n Denmark 46, 242 Department of Indian Affairs (DIA) 76, 101–2, 190 Department of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation 108 de Pommeuse, L. F. Huerne 42n Dhamoon, Rita 247 Dhillon, Sunny 148 disability and colonization, intersecting histories of 232–4 physical (US farm colonies for soldiers) 77–9 see also mental illness/disability disciplinary power 19, 46–7, 154–70, 177, 232 farm colonies 151 mental illness/disability 113 transnational colonial networks 241 dispossession and forced removal of indigenous peoples 169 Canada Doukhobor colonies 185–92, 205, 206, 218 farm colonies for mental illness/ disability 146–8 farm colonies for soldiers 76–7 orphaned British emigrants 141 colonization and colonialism vs imperialism 229–30 Foucauldian theory 163, 168 ideology of colonialism 30, 238–9 internal colonization/colonialism literature 7, 9, 10, 13, 14 Locke 30, 115 radicalism 237 settler colonialism 13, 14, 16 USA 69 African-American colonies 203, 205–6 labour colonies 98 New Harmony colony 195–6, 205, 206, 218 utopian colonies 183, 218 African-American 203, 205–6 Doukhobors 185–92, 205, 206, 218 New Harmony 195–6, 205, 206, 218 Weber 70 Dominican Republic 97, 98, 224 Dominion Lands Act (1872) 185–6


Douglas, James 147 Douglas, Tommy colonization and colonialism vs imperialism 232 domestic colonies, support for 16, 21 farm colonies 19, 149, 151 labour colonies 19 Metis colonies 106–9, 149 socialism 225 Douglass, Frederick African-American utopian colonies 207 domestic colonies, support for 16, 224, 225 external colonies, opposition to 219, 224 intersecting colonialism(s) 245–6 labour colonies for freed slaves 87, 93–4, 96–9, 101, 206 and Washington, comparison between 201 Doukhobor colonies 20, 180–1, 183–93, 199 and African-American utopian colonies, comparison between 203, 216 agrarian labour 226–7 domestic colonialism 218, 219 farm colonies for mental illness/disability 149 for soldiers 77 ideology of colonialism 30, 240 indigenous peoples 185–93, 205, 206, 218 intersecting colonialism(s) 246 and New Harmony colony, comparison between 194, 195, 196, 197 pacifism 75 persecution 182 radical colonialism 219, 220 Russian self-colonization 12 sacred ground 190, 195, 196, 211, 218 segregation 201, 209 transnational colonial networks 243, 245, 246 van den Bosch as inspiration 40 Downs, L. L. 49–50 Duan, Demin 48 DuBois, W. E. B. 8, 97, 200, 201, 202–3 Dunlap, Joseph 205 Dunlap colony 205, 217 Dutch Benevolent Society 39 Dutch East Indies 197 Dutch Guyana (later Surinam) freed slaves 96, 97 Lincoln 92, 109 labour colonies 39, 64 rejection of slavery 164 transnational colonial networks 241 van den Bosch 36, 92 Dutch Indochina 161

274 Dutch Java farm colonies for mental illness/ disability 19, 118–19, 120, 178, 234 labour colonies 38–9, 40, 64, 71 as inspiration to Tocqueville and Beaumont 41 transnational colonial networks 241, 242 van den Bosch 119 Duxhurst colony 57 Dyess Colony, Arkansas 78–9 Edington, Claire colonies agricoles 43 farm colonies 112, 117–20, 156, 157, 158 mental illness/disability 234 South East Asia 146 education Doukhobor colonies 188–9, 191–2 farm colonies Canada 75 USA 87 indigenous peoples 31–2 labour colonies Canada 107 France 49–50 Great Britain 57 Egerton, D. R. 84–5 Egerton, Hugh 23n Eichholz, Alfred 139, 151 Ekirch, Roger 34, 35 Emancipation Proclamation 88–93, 96–8 emigrants see immigrants emporion 22–3 England see Great Britain epileptics, farm colonies for 232 Canada 140, 141 Great Britain 136 USA 121, 131–2 Escott, Paul 93, 94 Essex colony 59, 60, 71, 226, 244 ethnicity farm colonies Canada 75, 76, 145, 149 USA 78, 128 internal colonialism 6–10 see also race Etkind, Roger 1, 12 eugenics 19, 152, 154, 171–8, 232 Bernstein’s opposition 125, 129, 172 Canada 172–4 farm colonies for mental illness/ disability 142–6, 149 indigenous peoples 103 Douglas 149 farm colonies for mental illness/ disability 111, 112, 113, 151

Index Canada 142–6, 149 Great Britain 136, 139 USA 124–8, 130 Great Britain 171, 173, 174, 175–7 farm colonies for mental illness/ disability 136, 139 USA 171–6 farm colonies for mental illness/ disability 124–8, 130 Eugenics Record Office 172 Eugenics Society of Britain 172 Ewing Commission (Half-Breed Commission) 104–6, 107 external colonialism/colonization 1–2, 18 decolonization 6 domestic dimensions 32–6, 50 Foucauldian theory 156, 158–65, 168–9, 170 freed slaves 82–3, 85–7, 96 Lincoln 88–93, 95, 98–9 importance 2, 221 mental illness/disability 234 migration patterns 244 Tocqueville 47 transnational colonial network 20–1 see also settler colonialism/colonization Fanon, Frantz 2, 8, 31 farm colonies 3–4, 16, 19 and colonization, intersecting histories of 232–4 eugenics vs domestic colonialism 171–3, 177–8 Foucauldian theory 157–8, 166 France see colonies agricoles Great Britain 16, 19, 36, 56–7, 64–5, 176–9 agrarian labour 226 Booth 58–9, 60 Locke’s ideology of colonialism 30 intersecting colonialism(s) 246, 247–8 Locke’s ideology of colonialism 30 for mental illness/disability see farm colonies for mental illness/disability and settler colonies 178 for soldiers Canada 74–7 Great Britain 75, 77 USA 77–9 USA 60–2, 63 and utopian colonies, comparison between 181, 217 farm colonies for mental illness/ disability 111–13, 115–16, 134–5, 226 Belgium 117 Brazil 120–1 Canada 16, 19, 113, 119, 121, 133, 135–6, 140–51, 158, 233

Index France 19, 112, 117–21, 156–8, 178 French Indochina 19, 118–19, 120, 157, 178, 234 Germany 19, 116, 117, 119 Great Britain 112–13, 119, 121, 123, 135–9, 151, 158, 172, 176–7, 233 Holland 19, 112, 117–20, 178 horticultural therapy 116–17 intersecting colonialism(s) 246 modern political theory 113–16 renaming 235–6 segregation 5, 111, 116, 119–21, 151, 178, 233–4 Canada 143–4, 146, 149 Foucauldian theory 157 Great Britain 136, 137, 139 USA 122, 124–5, 127, 131 USA 16, 19, 112, 116–17, 119, 121–36, 138–9, 141–3, 151–2, 172, 175, 179, 233 voluntary–involuntary scale 181, 182 Farr, James 28 Fernald, Walter 124–7, 131, 151 Bernstein’s influence on 126, 127, 129 disability and colonization, intersecting histories of 233 eugenics 125, 126, 127, 146, 172, 173 farm colonies 19 support for 130 and Goddard, comparison between 128 influence 135, 138, 139 in Canada 142, 143, 149 transnational colonial networks 243 Field, John 141, 149, 234 File Hills Farm Colony, Peepeekisis Reserve 100, 103 Filmer, Sir Robert 113 Finley, Robert 83, 84, 85 First World War 74–9, 234, 235 Fish, William 122, 123 Fitzgerald, L. M. 37 Fitzmaurice, Andrew 26n Florida African-American utopian colonies 224 labour colonies for freed slaves Douglass 87, 93–4, 206 Lincoln 88, 91, 93–4, 96, 97, 109 Fogelman, Aaron S. 33–4 forced removal see dispossession and forced removal of indigenous peoples Forensic Psychiatric Hospital, British Columbia 148 Fort Amity colony, Colorado 62 Fort Herrick colony, Ohio 62 Fort Romie colony, California 62 Foucault, Michel 19, 154–71, 177–9


colonization and colonialism vs imperialism 228 disability and colonization, intersecting histories of 232 Discipline and Punish 156, 158–61, 169, 224 colonization definitions 159–60, 166 idle poor/petty criminals, colonization of 164 mental illness/disability 167 Mettray colony 46–7 surveillance and control 155 farm colonies for mental illness/ disability 112–13, 116–18, 120, 151 History of Madness 161, 169 ideology of colonialism 239 labour colonies 109 Madness and Civilization 156, 157–8 Mettray colony 156, 158–61, 167, 169, 224 moral treatment school of psychiatry 133 Psychiatric Power lectures 156, 161–71, 224 transnational colonial networks 21, 240, 241, 245 France agrarian labour 226, 227 Clermont colony 166, 167, 170 colonization and colonialism vs imperialism 231 colonization as social policy 198 comparative analysis 15 domestic colonies 223–4, 225 external colonies/colonization 178 Canadian Prairies 183 domestic dimensions 34 see also Algeria; French Indochina farm colonies for mental illness/ disability 19, 112, 117–21, 156–8, 178 labour colonies 18, 37, 38, 41–50, 54, 57, 63, 66 Christian charitable organizations 71 and German labour colonies, comparison between 67, 69 ideology 72, 96 van den Bosch as inspiration 40 Mettray colony see Mettray colony moral treatment school of psychiatry 133 Mound Bayou as model colony 212 republicanism 157 labour colonies 41, 43, 44, 48, 49, 50, 81 transnational colonial networks 161, 242, 244 see also colonies agricoles; colonies de vacances Frazier, Garrison 201 Freeden, Michael 24, 32



freed slaves labour colonies 19, 79–99, 108–9, 181–2, 200 utopian colonies 180, 200–20 agrarian labour 226 intersecting colonialism(s) 246 radicalism 236 rapid decline 236 voluntary nature 182 French Indochina farm colonies for mental illness/ disability 19, 118–19, 120, 157, 178, 234 transnational colonial networks 161, 242 Friedlander, W. J. 132 Galbraith, R. T. 189, 190 Galenson, David 33 Galpin, William 55, 198 Galton, Francis 137, 172 Gandhi, Mohandas 237n Garland-Thomson, Rosemary 170 Garrison, William Lloyd 81 Gates, Henry Louis 90, 98, 99 gender Doukhobor colonies 186–7 farm colonies for mental illness/ disability 116, 233 Canada 142, 144–5, 149 USA 122, 126, 129 labour colonies in Canada 105 see also women genocide of indigenous peoples 164, 169, 240 Doukhobor colonies 193 labour colonies in Canada 101 Georgia 35 Germany Bielefeld colony 117, 131, 132, 178 colonization and colonialism vs imperialism 231 domestic colonies 223 rapid decline of 235 eugenics 173 farm colonies for mental illness/ disability 19, 116, 117, 119 labour colonies 18, 38, 56, 66–70 ideology 72, 96 liberalism 66–8, 70 Mavor 64 Mettray as inspiration 46 nationalism 68–70 voluntary nature 181, 182 Gheel colony 117 Ghosh, Robin 51, 53 Goddard, Henry Herbert 124–5, 127–8, 131, 233

Goodloe, Daniel 94 Gradual Civilization of Indians Act 239 Graham, William Morris 76, 77, 103 Gramsci, Antonio 9 Grant, Ulysses S. 97, 98, 224 Great Britain agrarian labour 226, 227 comparative analysis 15 Demetz’s principles 44 domestic colonies 223, 225 rapid decline of 234–5 Doukhobor colonies 187 emigrants to Canada 140–1, 178 eugenics 171, 173, 174, 175–7 farm colonies for mental illness/ disability 136, 139 external colonies/colonization Canadian Prairies 183 vs domestic colonies 53–6, 94 domestic dimensions of 33, 34–5, 50 farm colonies 16, 19, 36, 56–7, 64–5, 176–9 agrarian labour 226 Booth 58–9, 60 Locke’s ideology of colonialism 30 mental illness/disability 112–13, 119, 121, 123, 135–9, 151, 158, 172, 176–7, 233 soldiers 75, 77 ideology of colonialism 24, 26–8, 30, 238 and India 237n internal colonization/colonialism literature 9 intersecting colonialism(s) 246 labour colonies 18, 37–9, 50–66, 181 Christian charitable organizations 71 freed slaves 88, 91, 92, 95, 98 and French labour colonies, comparison between 42, 43 and German labour colonies, comparison between 67, 68, 69 ideology 72, 96 liberalism 50, 54, 56, 63–5 Mavor 184 Mettray as inspiration 46 socialism 50–1, 54–5, 56, 58, 64–6 transnational colonial networks 45 van den Bosch as inspiration 40 liberalism 48, 50, 54, 56, 63–5 moral treatment school of psychiatry 133 Mound Bayou as model colony 212 pauper emigration vs systematic colonization 51–3 sterilization 173, 174, 176–7 Tecumseh’s alliance with 196 transnational colonial networks 241, 242, 243–5, 246

Index utopian colonies 20, 180–1, 193–4, 197–9, 218 Home Colonization Plan 30, 36, 180, 193, 197–8, 218 voluntary nature 182 Greeley, Horace 87, 93, 97, 224 Green, Benjamin 204, 211 green care 152 Green Lake colony 100, 107 Gresko, Jacqueline 103 Grey, Earl 63 Guinea 46, 159 Gurdon, John 54 Guyana see Dutch Guyana Guyatt, Nicholas 81, 87, 93, 94, 97 Habermas, Jürgen 5, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16 Hadleigh, Essex colony 59, 60, 71, 226, 244 Haggard, Rider 58, 62–3, 245 Haiti 89 Half-Breed Commission (Ewing Commission) 104–6, 107 Hamilton, Charles 8 Hansen, R. 174, 175 Hardt, Michael 2 Harper, Stephen 6n Harrison, John 54, 54n, 55 Harrison, William Henry 187, 194, 195, 196, 206, 238 Hawaii 231 Hay, John 91 Hayes, Ruthford B. 204 Haynes, John Carmichael 189, 190 Haynes, Thomas 204, 215 Hechter, Michael 9, 11, 15, 16 Hicks, Beverley 150 Hicks, Jack 10n, 11 Higgins, Commissioner 61 Hill, Margaret 192 Hill, Rowland 53, 54, 54n, 198 Hobson, James 64–5, 66 Hobson, John A. 64, 68 Hockingpomskon 195 Hodgins, Frank 135, 145–6, 172, 233 Holland agrarian labour 227 domestic colonies 223 external colonies 197 see also Dutch Guyana; Dutch Java farm colonies for mental illness/ disability 19, 112, 117–20, 178 labour colonies 18, 36–40, 54, 63–4, 181 Christian charitable organizations 71 freed slaves 88, 91, 92, 95, 98 and French labour colonies, comparison between 41, 42, 43, 44


and German labour colonies, comparison between 67, 69 ideology 72, 96 influence 53, 59 Locke’s ideology of colonialism 30 Mavor 64 and Owen’s Home Colonization Plan 199 liberalism 48 transnational colonial networks 161, 241–2 Hollesley Bay colony 56, 59 Holly, James 87, 97, 224 Holmes, Oliver Wendell 174 Home Colonization Plan (Great Britain) 180, 193, 197–8, 218 Home Colonization Society 55 Homestead Act 185 Honduras (later Belize) 92, 96, 97, 109 horticultural therapy 116–17, 152 Horvath, Ronald 2, 228 Howe, Frederic 77–8 Hudson Bay Company (HBC) 23, 77 Hudson River State Hospital for the Insane 132–3 Huronia Regional Center (earlier Orillia Farm Colony and Asylum for Idiots) 143–4, 234, 240 Hutterites 75, 77, 183, 218, 219 Huxley, T. H. 58 idleness domestic dimensions of external colonization 35 Foucauldian theory 164–6 Locke’s ideology of colonialism 28–31 see also labour colonies Ile a Vache 89–90, 97 Iles, Edgar 216 Illinois 122, 132, 207 immigrants to Canada 52, 140–2, 145, 149, 178 pauper emigration 51–3, 54, 61, 66, 223 transnational colonial networks 243–5 US farm colonies for mental illness/ disability 128 imperialism and colonialism, distinction between 11, 14, 20, 161 postcolonial scholarship 55–6 vs colonization and colonialism 227–32 definitions 2–3 domestic dimensions of external colonization 33 as expansive process 15 Foucauldian theory 165 freed slaves 79



imperialism (cont.) harms 31 labour colonies 71–2 postcolonial scholarship 17 Tocqueville 43, 48 improvement 1, 4–5 colonization and colonialism vs imperialism 230 eugenics 172, 173 farm colonies for mental illness/ disability 111, 116, 120, 121, 151, 178 Canada 144, 146, 150 Foucauldian theory 157 Great Britain 139 USA 87, 122, 124, 126, 131, 136 ideology of colonialism 25, 27, 29, 30, 31, 32 intersecting colonialism(s) 247 labour colonies 37, 71 Canada 101, 103–4 France 41, 44, 49, 50 Germany 67 Great Britain 55, 59 USA 81, 84 van den Bosch 39, 40 Locke 16, 18, 55, 178 ideology of colonialism 25, 27, 29, 30, 31 progressive thinkers 225 utopian colonies 180, 181, 199, 217, 219 African-American 202 Doukhobors 187, 192 New Harmony 197 indentured labour 33–4 India 55–6, 60, 237n Indiana see New Harmony, Indiana Indian Act (1867, amended 1918) 76, 239 Indian Intercourse Act (1834) 213 ‘Indian Territory’ 213–14, 215, 216 indigenous peoples agrarian labour 226 Canada 31 Doukhobor colonies 185–93, 205 farm colonies for mental illness/ disability 146–8 farm colonies for soldiers 76 intersecting colonialism(s) 246 Inuits 7 labour colonies 19, 100–8 rapid decline of domestic colonies 235 residential schools 144, 192 Sering 69 settler colonization 183 utopian colonies 199 see also Metis colonies colonization and colonialism vs imperialism 229–30

Foucauldian theory 164, 165 ideology of colonialism 25–8, 30–2 internal colonization/colonialism literature 6, 7, 9, 10, 13–14, 15 irrationality 114–15 Locke 56, 76, 87, 100, 102, 103, 106, 164 Doukhobor colonies 191–3, 197 ideology of colonialism 238 Jefferson’s policy 194–5 irrationality 114–15 settler colonization 56 South America 40 traders 23 USA African-American colonies 203, 205–6 idleness 37 internal colonization/colonialism literature 7, 10 irrationality 114 labour colonies for freed slaves 85 Locke 25, 26, 27, 28, 30, 31–2 New Harmony colony 194–6, 205 Sering 69 utopian colonies 194–6, 199, 203, 205–6, 218 see also assimilation of indigenous peoples; dispossession and forced removal of indigenous peoples; genocide of indigenous peoples Indochina Dutch 161 French see French Indochina industriousness 113 Locke 28–31, 111, 113 see also labour colonies internal colonization/colonialism vs domestic colonies 14–17 literature 5–14 Inuit people 7 Ireland 34 irrationality 113–16 domestic dimensions of external colonization 35 Locke 28–31, 111, 113–15, 125, 139, 143, 151 see also farm colonies for mental illness/ disability Italy 9, 119, 121 Jackson, Mark 137, 171 Jagmohan, Desmond 203 Japan 173 Java see Dutch Java Jefferson, Thomas colonization and colonialism vs imperialism 232

Index ideology of colonialism 30, 238–9 labour colony for freed slaves 80–2, 85, 92, 95–7, 109, 224 New Harmony colony 187, 194–5, 238–9 Jesuits 163, 164 Jewish Colonization Association 183, 245 Jews 12, 182, 183, 218, 219, 245 Jim Crow laws 209, 210, 213, 216 Johnson, Alexander 174 Johnson, Andrew 96, 123–4 Johnston, Ronald 59–60 Jones, Colin 46 Kansas 130, 203, 204–8, 210, 218, 236 Kanza (Kaw) people 205–6, 218 Kay, James 46 Kearns-Goodwin, Doris 91–2, 96 Kerlin, Isaac N. 122 King, D. 174, 175 King, Martin Luther, Jr 8, 15, 16 King, Rufus 82 Kliewer, C. 37 Knight, George Henry 122 Kock, Bernard 89 Kohn, Margaret 42 Kropotkin, Peter agrarian labour 227 championing of domestic colonies 16, 21 colonization and colonialism vs imperialism 231, 232 criticism of imperialism 20 domestic colonialism, support for 220, 225 Doukhobors 12, 181–5, 187, 199 ideology of colonialism 30 intersecting colonialism(s) 245 Mennonites 184 radicalism 236, 237 transnational colonial networks 242–3 Ktunaxa Nation 189, 191 Kwikwetlem people 148, 246 labour colonies 3–4, 18–19, 37–8, 70–4, 108–10 Canada indigenous peoples 100–8 soldiers 74–7 Foucauldian theory 158–61 France 41–50, 119 Germany 66–70 Great Britain 50–66 Holland 38–40 intersecting colonialism(s) 246, 247–8 Locke’s ideology of colonialism 30 segregation 4–5, 71 Canada 101, 103–4, 105–6 France 41, 49, 50


Great Britain 55 USA 81, 82, 84, 97, 98, 99 USA freed slaves 79–99 soldiers 77–9 and utopian colonies, comparison between 181, 217 voluntary–involuntary scale 181–2 Lacombe, Albert 104 Lagardelle, Firmin 118 Laindon colony 59 Laird, David 100n, 102–3 Lance, E. J. 54n Lane, Franklin 78 Lane, James 93, 94, 95–6, 98 Langdon-Down, John 139 Langdon-Down, Reginald 139, 151 Langdon-Downs, Anthony 16, 19, 135 Langmuir, John 142 Laughlin, Harry 128 Laurin, Camille 9 Lebret colony 100, 107 Lendering, Jona 24 Lenin, Vladimir 11, 12 Lessoway, Dale 148 Levesque, Rene 9, 15, 228 liberalism defence of settler colonialism 17 Germany 66–8, 70 Great Britain 48, 50, 54, 56, 63–5 ideology of colonialism 29–32 irrationality 115 labour colonies 37, 48–9 van den Bosch 39, 40 Locke 29–32 sterilization 175 Liberia 96 agrarian labour 226 American Colonization Society 80, 86–7, 96, 97, 235 as domestic colony 80 independence 235 Lincoln, Abraham colonization and colonialism vs imperialism 232 domestic colonies, support for 16 Dutch Guyana 39 labour colonies for freed slaves 19, 80–1, 87–93, 95–9, 108–9, 181–2, 224 intersecting colonialism(s) 246 Lingfield colony 56 Lipset, Seymour 107 Locke, John African-American utopian colonies 201, 203, 208 agrarian labour 5, 13, 16, 18, 71, 225–6



Locke, John (cont.) ideology of colonialism 22, 25, 26n, 27, 29, 30 and Booth, comparison between 58, 59, 61 British Columbia Lunacy Jurisdiction Act 147 colonization, colonialism, and imperialism 55, 228, 229–30, 232 Doukhobor colonies 185, 187, 191–3, 197 Essay on Human Understanding 166 external colonialism 157 farm colonies for mental illness/ disability 111, 118, 126 ideology of colonialism 24–32, 36, 163, 171, 221, 238, 239 improvement 16, 18, 55, 178 ideology of colonialism 25, 27, 29, 30, 31 indigenous peoples 56, 76, 87, 100, 102, 103, 106, 164 Doukhobor colonies 191–3, 197 ideology of colonialism 238 irrationality 114–15 Jefferson’s policy 194–5 intersecting colonialism(s) 246 irrationality 28–31, 111, 113–15, 125, 139, 143, 151 labour colonies 38, 40, 42, 106 liberal colonialism 198 pauper emigration 52 property rights 98 and radicalism 237 rationality and industriousness 28–31, 111, 113 African-American utopian colonies 208 segregation 25, 29, 30 settler colonialism 13, 17 social contract 113–14 transnational colonial networks 246 Lockett, J. D. 79, 81, 89, 90 London Unemployed Fund 56 Louisiana Purchase 82 Lowerie, Walter 87 Lunacy Jurisdiction Act (1872, British Columbia) 147 Lundy, Benjamin 81 Lyons, Lord 92 Macaulay, J. 44 McCabe, Edward 214–15 McCutcheon, Archibald M. 151, 176, 177, 232 Macdonald, Sir John A. 104 McKinley, William 131 MacMurchy, Helen 135, 143, 144, 145, 151, 177 MacPherson, Annie 141n

Magdol, Edward 209, 210 Magness, Phillip 85–6, 89, 91, 92, 93, 96–7, 98 Malcolm X 8, 15, 16 Malthus, Thomas 53 Manitoba 69, 104, 142, 149–50, 183, 185, 236 Manitoba Developmental Center 150 Manitoba School for Retardation 150 Manitoba School for the Mentally Deficient 150 Martin, Sella 87, 97, 224 Marx, Karl 53 Marxists 185 Massachusetts see Waverly colony, Massachusetts Mavor, James domestic colonies, support for 16 Doukhobor colonies 184–5, 188, 199 German Arbeiter Kolonien system 66–7, 68, 181, 235 labour colonies 40, 64, 66–7, 68, 71 socialism 51 Maxwell-Stewart, H. 34, 35, 245 Mead, Elwood 77–8 Mehlinger, Louis 83 Meighen, Arthur 76 Memmi, Albert 1–2 Menantico colony 127 Mennonites European colonies 218 farm colonies for mental illness/disability 149 for soldiers 77 Manitoba 183 pacifism 75 persecution 182 radical colonialism 219 Russian self-colonization 12 Sering 69, 184 transnational colonial networks 242, 243, 245 Mental Deficiency Act (1913) 137–8, 177, 179, 243 mental illness/disability 111–13 and colonization, intersecting histories of 232–4 domestic dimensions of external colonization 35 eugenics vs domestic colonialism 171–7 farm colonies 16, 111–13, 115–16, 134–5 agrarian labour 226 Belgium 117 Brazil 120–1 and colonization, intersecting histories of 232–4 eugenics vs domestic colonialism 171–3, 177–8

Index France 117–20 Germany 116, 117 Great Britain 176–7 Holland 117–20 horticultural therapy 116–17 intersecting colonialism(s) 246 modern political theory 113–16 renaming 235–6 USA 116–17, 121–33 voluntary–involuntary scale 181, 182 Foucauldian theory 155–8, 164–71 modern political theory 114, 115 Mercer, Charles Fenton 83, 84, 85 Metis colonies agrarian labour 226 Douglas 106–9, 149 farm colonies for soldiers 77 intersecting colonialism(s) 246 labour colonies 19, 100–8, 109 rapid decline 235 Sering 69–70 settler and domestic colonization 16 transnational colonial networks 242, 246 Metis Population Betterment Act (1938, amended 1952) 106 metropolis 23 Mettray colony 44–9 agrarian labour 226 colonization as social policy 198 decline 235 and external colonies 178 Foucauldian theory 156, 158–61, 167, 169, 224 as inspiration 44–5, 46, 59, 71, 242 for Owen 55, 199 Tocqueville 42, 43, 47–9, 161, 199, 224 transnational colonial networks 241, 242 Mexico 7 Miami Confederacy 195 migration see immigrants Mill, James 53 Mill, John Stuart 17, 53 Miller, J. R. 101, 103 Miller, W. H. 44 Milloy, John 103 Ministry of Interior Commission (1852, France) 45 Mississippi 210 see also Mound Bayou colony, Mississippi Monroe, James 82 Montgomery, Isaiah 200, 204, 211, 212, 213, 218, 224 Moore, Blake 215 moral treatment 154, 157–8, 169, 178 Mound Bayou colony, Mississippi 200, 202, 203, 211–13, 216, 217, 218


Muirhead, Winifred 135, 138, 176–7, 233 Mun, Thomas 24, 26, 32 Nash, Gary 84 National Association for the FeebleMinded 139 National Catholic Welfare Council 130 National Christian Union for Social Service (NCUSS) 56 National Colonization Society 52 National Conference of Charities and Corrections 122, 123, 125, 174 nationalism 12, 68–70 National Society for Epilepsy 136 Native Americans see indigenous peoples: USA Nebraska 207, 224 Negri, Antonio 2 Nelson, Robert 69, 70 Netherlands 46 Neuberger, K. 117 New Caledonia 159, 160 Newell, John Phillip 195–6 New Harmony, Indiana 180, 194–7 and Doukhobor colonies, comparison between 187 ideology of colonialism 238 indigenous peoples 194–6, 205, 206, 218 intersecting colonialism(s) 246 and Owen’s Home Colonization Plan, comparison between 198 sacred ground 195–6, 211, 218 segregation 197, 201 New Jersey 61, 207, 233 New York Craig colony 132, 243, 246 Rome Colony 79, 124, 130, 149, 243 New York Times 94 New Zealand 53, 55, 60, 75 Nicholas II of Russia 183 Nichols, Robert 55–6, 228 Noll, Steven 134 North Colony, Saskatchewan 186, 188 Northwest Trading Company 23 Obama, Barack 91 Oglethorpe, James 35 Ohio 62, 81, 95–6, 131–2, 224 Oklahoma 205, 208, 210, 213–16, 236 Boley colony 202, 204, 213, 215–16, 217, 218 Oliver, Frank 188 Ontario 140, 142–6, 172, 177, 233 Royal Commissions on the Care and Control of the Feeble Minded 125, 142–3, 145–6, 172, 233



Orillia Farm Colony and Asylum for Idiots (later Huronia Regional Center) 143–4, 234, 240 Osage people 205, 206 Osterhammel, Jurgen 2, 228 Owen, Jane 195–6 Owen, Kenneth 196 Owen, Robert Booth’s Essex colony 59 colonialism and imperialism, distinction between 56 comparative analysis 15 domestic colonies 223 rapid decline 235, 236 support for 16, 21, 220 imperialism, criticism of 20 intersecting colonialism(s) 245, 246 labour colonies 18, 38, 54–5, 66, 72 and Mavor, comparison between 64 radicalism 236 socialism 39, 51, 54–5, 72, 181, 197, 198, 225 utopian colonies 20, 235, 236 African-American 203, 216 agrarian labour 226 Great Britain 30, 36, 180, 182, 193–4, 197–8, 199, 218, 246 New Harmony, Indiana 180, 193, 196, 197, 199 and van den Bosch, comparison between 39 Owenites 54n, 203, 209, 216, 226 pacifism, Canada Doukhobors 183, 185 farm colonies for soldiers 75 Page, Sebastian 85–6, 89, 91, 92, 93, 96–7, 98 Panama 89, 91, 92, 97, 98, 109 Park, Deborah C. 147 paternalism Canada, towards indigenous peoples 102, 106, 108 Foucauldian theory 164, 166 French labour colonies 41, 44, 49, 50, 199 internal colonialism/colonization 15 mental illness/disability 164 Owen 197 Paternal Society 44, 47, 71 Paton, Dr 56 Patterson, William John 107 pauper emigration 51–3, 54, 61, 66, 223 Pease, William H. and Jane H. 207 penal colonies domestic dimensions of external colonization 33, 34–5, 36 Foucauldian theory 156, 158–60, 170 French 41, 43

Penfield, Wilder 16, 19, 140, 151 Pennsylvania farm colonies for mental illness/ disability 122 labour colonies for freed slaves 80–2, 86, 95–6, 200, 224 Pennsylvania Abolition Society 80 petty criminals 164–6 see also labour colonies Philippines 231 physical disability (US farm colonies for soldiers) 77–9 Pinel, Philippe 133 Pinheiro, Lucas 115, 168 Pinkett, E. J. 215 Pinney, John 86 Pitts, Jennifer 2, 42, 48, 227 Pocklington, Thomas 105 Poelzer, G. 105 Polish peasants 68–70, 72, 231, 242 Pomeroy, Senator 95 poorhouses 37 Porter, Roy 46 Portugal 34 postcolonialism 1–2 agrarian labour 227 challenge 17 colonialism and imperialism, indistinguishability 55–6 colonization and colonialism vs imperialism 228 Foucault’s influence 155, 156 metropole 23 Prince Albert Colony, Saskatchewan 186 Promiseland colony, South Carolina 210 Prosser, Gabriel 82 Protestantism Booth 64 labour colonies 37, 96 Canada 107, 109 France 49 Great Britain 59, 72 Holland 72, 199 USA 81 van den Bosch 39, 40 transnational colonial networks 241 Provincial Association for the Care of the Feeble-Minded 145 Prussia colonization and colonialism vs imperialism 231 farm colonies 116, 121 labour colonies 66, 68–70, 72 nationalism 12 Sering 184 transnational colonial networks 242

Index psychiatric power 161–71 Public Hospital for the Insane, British Columbia 147 Quebec 9, 140, 228 race colonization definitions 2 farm colonies 120 Canada 75, 76, 78, 145 USA 128 internal colonialism 6–10 labour colonies Canada 79, 105 USA 79, 81, 83, 88, 90–1, 96–7, 99, 224 utopian colonies 180 see also African Americans: utopian colonies racism African-American utopian colonies 208 farm colonies for mental illness/disability Canada 147 USA 128 labour colonies 108 Canada 102 USA 81–2, 86, 90, 96–9, 109, 224 Radford, J. P. 171 radical colonialism 236–7 defence of domestic colonies 17, 21 ideology of colonialism 30 intersecting colonialism(s) 246 utopian colonies 180, 181, 219–20 African-American 204, 217 Doukhobors 193 Ramsland, John 46 rationality 28–31, 113–16 Reaume, Geoffrey 142, 158 Redhill Farm School, Surrey 242 Reed, Hayter 102 Reid, B. 78 Reil, Johan Christian 116 religion Christianity see Catholicism; Christianity; Protestantism utopian colonies 180 see also Doukhobor colonies removal of indigenous peoples see dispossession and forced removal of indigenous peoples republicanism agrarian labour 226 Foucauldian theory 157 labour colonies 37 France 41, 43, 44, 48, 49, 50, 81 USA 81, 86, 96, 109, 224 ‘residue’ 154–5, 163, 165


Reyes, Lawney 190–1 Reynold’s Newspaper 58 Ritchot, Father 104 Roman, L. G. 146–7 Romanticism 41, 43, 44, 45, 50 Rome colony, New York 79, 124, 130, 149, 243 Roosevelt, Eleanor 130 Roosevelt, Franklin Delano 78–9, 124, 130, 151, 173 Rose, Sarah Frances 122 Rousseau, Jean-Jacques 43, 49, 50 Royal College of Physicians 128 Royal Commission on the Care and Control of the Feeble Minded (Great Britain) 136–7 disability and colonization, intersecting histories of 233 Fernald’s and Bernstein’s influence 135, 139 sterilization 176 terminology 128 transnational colonial networks 243 US farm colonies 179 Royal Commission on the Care and Control of the Feeble Minded (Ontario) 125, 142–6, 172, 233 Royal Commission on the Poor Laws and Relief of Distress 65 Royal Prussian Colonization Commission 70 Rush, Benjamin farm colonies for mental illness/ disability 19, 116–17 labour colonies for freed slaves 80–3, 85–6, 92–3, 95–7, 109, 200, 224 Locke’s ideology of colonialism 30 moral treatment school of psychiatry 133 Rushton, Peter 114 Russia Doukhobor people 12, 183–4, 186, 187, 243 see also Doukhobor colonies Marxists 185 self-colonization 11–12, 15, 68 Rutter, Henley 131 Sacheverell, Henry 28–9 Said, Edward 1, 156, 228 Saint Andrew’s Hall colony 59 Saint-Paul-des-Metis colony 104 Salvation Army activist Protestant Christianity 107 farm colonies 178 labour colonies 54, 57, 60–4, 71 North American interest 74 Locke’s ideology of colonialism 30 rapid decline of domestic colonies 234 transnational colonial networks 242, 245



Sander, J. W. 136 Saskatchewan Doukhobor colonies 185–93, 206 transnational colonial networks 243, 246 van den Bosch as inspiration 40 farm colonies for mental illness/ disability 142, 148–9 labour colonies for indigenous peoples 103, 104, 106–8, 109 Metis colonies 226, 246 Sering 69 settlement 183, 185 Treaty 4 (1874) and Treaty 6 (1876) 187, 188, 192, 206 Scandinavia 173 Schrauwers, Albert 39, 40 Scotland see Great Britain Scottish Labour Colony Association 59 Second World War 235 segregation 1, 4–5 colonization and colonialism vs imperialism 230 eugenics 172, 173–4 farm colonies for mental illness/ disability 5, 111, 116, 119–21, 151, 178, 233–4 Canada 143–4, 146, 149 Foucauldian theory 157 Great Britain 136, 137, 139 USA 122, 124–5, 127, 131 ideology of colonialism 25, 29, 30, 31, 32 internal colonialism/colonization 15 intersecting colonialism(s) 247 labour colonies 4–5, 71 Canada 101, 103–4, 105–6 France 41, 49, 50 Great Britain 55 USA 81, 82, 84, 97, 98, 99 Locke 25, 29, 30 progressive thinkers 225 utopian colonies 5, 180–1, 199, 217, 219 African-American 200–3, 206–11, 213, 215–16 Mennonites 184 New Harmony 197, 201 Seguin, Edouard 121, 122, 123, 125, 168 self-colonization, Russia 11–12, 15, 68 Seminole Tribe 215 Sempik, J. 117, 152 Sering, Max 12, 18, 38, 68–70, 71, 184, 242 settler colonialism/colonization 1–2, 12–14 Booth 58 Burgess 141 Canada farm colonies for mental illness/ disability 178

indigenous peoples 100, 101, 103, 106 Prairies 183 colonial domination/imperialism 229–32 colonialism and imperialism, distinction between 55–6 colonization and colonialism vs imperialism 229 decolonization 6 vs domestic colonialism 15, 16 domestic dimensions 33, 34 farm colonies for mental illness/disability 178 Canada 146–8 Foucauldian theory 159, 163, 168 freed slaves 79 importance 74n, 221 ‘internal’ concept 7 intersecting colonialism(s) 246–7 Locke’s ideology of colonialism 32 Tocqueville 47–8 and utopian colonies 180, 183, 199, 218 African-American 203, 204, 217 Doukhobors 185, 187, 189–93 New Harmony 197 see also external colonialism/colonization Shaftesbury, Earl of 24 Sharpe, Jenny 9 Shawnee people 194, 195–6, 218 Sherwood, H. 84 Sierra Leone 82, 91 Sifton, Clifford 185, 186, 188 Singleton, Benjamin African-American utopian colonies 203, 204, 205–6, 218, 224 external colonies, rejection of 219 radicalism 236 Sinixt people 189–93, 218 Sitton, Thad 201, 208–9, 210 Sklar, Judith 29 slavery domestic dimensions of external colonization 33–4 Foucauldian theory 164, 166–7 labour colonies 39 see also freed slaves Smith, Adam 39 Smith, John 28 socialism agrarian labour 227 colonies de vacances 50 defence of domestic colonies 17, 21 Great Britain 50–1, 54–5, 56, 58, 64–6 Owen 39, 51, 54–5, 72, 181, 197, 198, 225 socialist colonies, utopian 180 voluntary nature 182 see also Home Colonization Plan (Great Britain); New Harmony, Indiana

Index Societe Paternale, La (Paternal Society) 44, 47, 71 soldiers, farm colonies for Canada 74–7 USA 77–9 Soldier Settlement Act (1919) 76 Soldier Settlement Board (SSB) 75, 76, 77 Soloviev, Sergei 11–12 Somerset, Lady Henry 57, 58 Songhees 246 South Africa 60, 75 South Colony, Saskatchewan 186 Soviet Union 11 Spain 34, 178 Spencer, Herbert 58 Stamthwaite colony 57, 138 Stanley, George 104 Stansfield, T. E. Knowles 138 Stanton, Edwin 201 sterilization 152, 172, 173–7 Bernstein’s views 126, 129–30 Canada 149 Fernald’s views 125–6, 127 Goddard’s views 128 Great Britain 137, 139 Stevens, V. 44 Stillwell, Brigadier 61 Stirling, Jeanette 117 Stitt, Colonel 60 Stoke Park Colony 138 Stoler, Ann Laura colonies agricoles 45 colonization definitions 4n farm colonies 112 Foucault’s influence 156 labour colonies 109 Mettray colony 161 transnational colonial networks 21, 71, 160, 240, 243, 244, 245 Strachey, William 24, 28, 32 Streifford, D. 86 Stuckey, Melissa 215, 216 Surinam see Dutch Guyana Sutherland, Duff 189 Swift, Susie 61 Switzerland 119, 121 systematic colonization 51–3, 55–6, 66, 223, 231–2, 244, 247 Tache, Bishop 104 Tecumseh 196 Tenskawtawa 196 terra nullius 26n, 58, 160, 211, 229–30, 238 Texas African-American utopian colonies 203, 209, 216


labour colonies for freed slaves 81, 224 Lincoln 88, 91, 93, 94–6, 97, 98, 109 Mercer’s proposed colony 84n Thailand, Bandung conference (1955) 6, 8, 235 Thayer, Eli 87, 93–4, 95, 97, 224 Thompson, Ambrose 89 Thomson, Matthew 123, 135, 137–8, 139, 171, 172 Tillet, Ben 58 Tocqueville, Alexis de and Booth, comparison between 58 city’s threat to civil society 84 colonies agricoles 41–3, 81, 138, 224 colonization and colonialism vs imperialism 231, 232 comparative analysis 15 domestic colonies, support for 16 farm colonies 36 ideology of colonialism 239 labour colonies 18, 38, 54, 57, 69, 106, 118 progressivism 72 and Mavor, comparison between 64 Mettray colony 42, 43, 47–9, 161, 199, 224 and Owen, comparison between 198 Paternal Society 44, 47 on penal colonies 160 transnational colonial networks 60, 71, 242 and van den Bosch comparison between 47 influence 53 Tolstoy, Leo colonization and colonialism vs imperialism 231, 232 criticism of imperialism 20 domestic colonialism, support for 16, 21, 220, 225 Doukhobors 12, 181, 183–8, 199 Mennonites 184 radicalism 236, 237 transnational colonial networks 243 Tolstoy, Sergey 186 Tolstoy Society 243, 245 Tomlins, Christopher 34 Toronto Board of Education 145 Toth, Stephen A. 43, 45 Totopotomy 28 Tourdonnet, Count A. de 45, 57, 159 training schools for mental illness/ disability 122–3 transnational colonial networks 20–1, 240–8 Booth 45, 58, 59–64, 141, 243–5 Foucauldian theory 159–60, 161 labour colonies 71–2 Mettray colony 45–6, 159 mental illness/disability 141



transnational colonial networks (cont.) Tocqueville 60, 71, 242 van den Bosch 38–40, 60, 71, 241–2 Transportation Act (1718) 34 Treaty of Fort Wayne (1809) 196 Treaty of the Delawares (1804) 195–6 Tremain, Shelley 170 Trent, James 121, 122, 123, 124, 130–1 Trustees for the Establishment of the Colony of Georgia 35 Tuck, Eve 229, 230 Tucker, Senator 85 Tuffnell, Edward 46 Tuke, William 133 Tully, James 7, 13, 114n Tuskegee Institute 201, 202, 203 United Kingdom see Great Britain United Nations Resolution 1514 (‘salt-water thesis’) 6 United States of America agrarian labour 226, 227 Booth 58, 60–2, 63 Buck v Bell case 172, 174–5 decolonization 6 Demetz’s principles 44 domestic colonies 223, 224–5 rapid decline of 235, 236 domestic dimensions of external colonization 33–5 eugenics 124–8, 130, 171–6 farm colonies Booth 60–2, 63 mental illness/disability 16, 19, 112, 116–17, 119, 121–36, 138–9, 141–3, 151–2, 172, 175, 179, 233 farm schools for mental illness/ disability 168 history of intellectual disability 115 ideology of colonialism 24–5, 27–8, 30, 238–9 indigenous peoples see indigenous peoples: USA internal colonization/colonialism literature 7, 8–9, 10 intersecting colonialism(s) 246 labour colonies 18–19, 37, 74 freed slaves 79–81, 107, 108–9, 181–2 Mettray as inspiration 46 Sering 69 soldiers 77–99 moral treatment school of psychiatry 133 sterilization 173, 174, 177 Tocqueville 47, 48, 69 transnational colonial networks 241, 243, 245, 246

utopian colonies 20, 180, 181, 199 African-American 200–17 Owen 193–7 see also African Americans; slavery utopian colonies 3–4, 19–20, 180–3, 199, 218–20 Canada 183–93 Great Britain 193–4, 197–8 intersecting colonialism(s) 246–7, 248 radicalism 236–7 segregation 5, 180–1, 199, 217, 219 African-American 200–3, 206–11, 213, 215–16 Mennonites 184 New Harmony 197 as sites of intersecting colonialisms 216–20 USA African-American 180, 182, 200–20, 226, 236, 246 Owen 193–7 van den Bosch, Johannes and Booth, comparison between 58 external colonies 197 Dutch Guyana 36, 92 Dutch Java 119 as inspiration 40, 44, 53, 59, 241, 242 to Owen 55 to Tocqueville and Beaumont 41 labour colonies 18, 36, 38–40, 44, 57, 64, 106 and Owen’s Home Colonization Plan 199 Locke’s ideology of colonialism 30 and Mavor, comparison between 64 and Mettray colony 161 and Owen, comparison between 198 rejection of slavery 164 and Tocqueville, comparison between 47 transnational colonial networks 38–40, 60, 71, 241–2 Venancio, Ana Teresa A. 121 Veracini, Lorenzo 12–13 Verein fur Sozialpolitic (Social Policy Administration) 68–9, 70 Verigin, John 190–1 Verigin, Peter 188, 189, 190–1, 236 Verney, Kevern 203 Veterans Bureau 78 Victoria Lunatic Asylum, British Columbia 147 Vietnam 119, 120 Villages of Cooperation 194 Vineland colony, New Jersey 233 Vineland Training School for Feeble Minded Girls and Boys 124, 127

Index Virginia 82, 84 von Bodelschwingh, Pastor 117 von Haxthausen, August Freiherr 11 Vorenberg, M. 90 Waggaman, M. T. 131 Wakefield, Edward colonialism and imperialism, distinction between 55–6 colonization and colonialism vs imperialism 228 home colonialists’ responses to 94 systematic colonization 51–3, 55–6, 66, 223, 231–2, 244, 247 Waldron, Jeremy 114n Walton, Muriel 191 Warner, A. G. 68 Washington, Booker T. African-American utopian colonies 181, 182, 201–3, 224 Boley colony 215–16 indigenous peoples 218 Mound Bayou colony 200, 202, 212, 213 colonization and colonialism vs imperialism 231, 232 domestic colonies, support for 16, 21, 220, 225 external colonies, rejection of 219 radicalism 236 Waverly colony, Massachusetts 124, 138, 143, 149, 233, 243 see also Fernald, Walter Webb, Sidney and Beatrice domestic colonies, support for 16, 223 labour colonies 18, 38, 64, 65, 66 German Arbeiter-Kolonien system 181 progressivism 72 socialism 51, 107, 225 Weber, Marianne 70 Weber, Max colonization and colonialism vs imperialism 231 domestic colonies, support for 16 labour colonies 18, 38, 69, 70, 72 nationalism 12 transnational colonial networks 242


Welch, Cheryl 48 Whiteley, James 23 Wilbur, Charles T. 124 Wilbur, Hervey B. 122, 124, 131, 151 Wilkinson, Myler 189 Wilkinson, Senator 95 Willhelm I 39 Williams, Nudie E. 205, 207 Williams, Roger 26–7 Wilmot-Horton, Sir Robert J. Booth’s Essex colony 59 colonialism and imperialism, distinction between 56 pauper emigration 51–3, 54, 61, 66, 223 settler colonialism 198 Wilson, John-Paul 23 Wilson, William B. 78 Wilson, William E. 197 Winthrop, John 24, 26–7, 32 Wolfensberger 131 women British labour colonies 57 sterilization 129 see also gender Wood Committee 177 workhouses 37 World War I 74–9, 234, 235 World War II 235 Wright, David 112 n.1 Yang, K. Wayne 229, 230 Yerbury, J. C. 188 Young, Robert 156 young people Canada mental illness/disability 143–5, 150 residential schools for indigenous children 144 Doukhobor colonies 191–3 orphaned British emigrants 140–1 farm colonies for mental illness/ disability 139, 143–5, 150 Foucauldian theory 162–3 French labour colonies 43–4, 49–50 Zon, Raphael 78