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Hard Time

Athabasca University Press


Prisons have always existed in a climate of crisis. The penitentiary emerged in the early decades of the nineteenth century as an enlightened alternative to brute punishment, one that would focus on rehabilitation and the inculcation of mainstream social values. Central to this goal was physical labour. The penitentiary was constructed according to a plan that would harness the energies of the prison population for economic profit. As such, the institution became central to the development of industrial capitalist society. In the 1830s, politicians in Upper Canada embraced the idea of the penitentiary, and the first federal prison, Kingston Penitentiary, opened in 1835. It was not long, however, before the government of Upper Canada was compelled to acknowledge that the penitentiary had not only failed to reduce crime but was plagued by insolvency, corruption, and violence. Thus began a lengthy program of prison reform.

Tracing the rise and evolution of Canadian penitentiaries in the nineteenth century, Hard Time examines the concepts of criminality and rehabilitation, the role of labour in penal regimes, and the problem of violence. Linking the lives of prisoners to the political economy and to movements for social change, McCoy depicts a history of oppression in which prisoners paid dearly for the reciprocal failures of the institution and of the reform vision. Revealing a deeply problematic institu- tion entrenched in the landscape of Western society, McCoy redraws the boundaries within which we understand the penitentiary's influence.

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“Hard Time is chock full of lively correspondence from wardens, politicians, and inmates that elucidate 19th-century conditions, though the author stops short of saying today’s prisons are much better. Instead, he argues that many shortcomings are unresolved, many cruelties remain unchanged, and more starkly, he questions whether prison oppression may be inevitable.”

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Ted McCoy teaches at the University of Calgary. His research focuses on punishment and incarceration.

 
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The Aroostook War of 1839

Goose Lane Editions | New Brunswick Military Heritage Series


A little-known episode in North America's history, the 1839 Aroostook War was an undeclared war with no actual fighting. It had its roots in the 1793 Treaty of Paris, which ended the American Revolutionary War but left the border of Maine (then part of Massachusetts) and British North America unsettled, and in the War of 1812, when parts of northern Maine were occupied by Britain. Fearing a negotiated border would negatively affect their claim for the disputed territory, Maine occupied the Aroostook River valley in early 1839, British regulars, New Brunswick militia, and Maine militia were then deployed in the dead of winter, as the kindling was laid for a third major Anglo-American conflagration. Eventually, cooler heads prevailed, although they did not deter a number of skirmishes between the Maine Land Agent posses and a loosely organized group of New Brunswick lumbermen. A complex story of friction, greed, land grabs, and rivalry, this border dispute which nearly resulted in war was eventually settled by the Ashburton-Webster Treaty of 1842.

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"Thoroughly researched (based on his PhD dissertation) and well-written, Campbell brings to light a little-known episode in Canadian-American border relations." — John Boileau, Atlantic Books Today

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"[T]his book is lively and easy to read but nonetheless is packed with exceptional detail that rewards close attention." — Joel Ralph, canadashistory.ca

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Major W.E. (Gary) Campbell has served for over forty years in the Canadian Army (Militia), the Canadian Army (Regular), and the Canadian Forces. He is a PhD candidate at the University of New Brunswick and has obtained a Bachelor of Arts (History) from the University of Western Ontario and a Master of Arts (War Studies) from the Royal Military College of Canada. His passion for military history, especially logistics, and his many tours of duty as a transportation officer in the Logistics Branch of the Canadian Armed Forces led to his interest in the Grand Communications Route. Gary Campbell is presently posted to the Combat Training Centre headquarters at CFB Gagetown, New Brunswick, after serving in a variety of line and staff positions in navy, army, air force and headquarters units across Canada as well as in the United States and the United Kingdom. He has twice received the Royal Logistics Corps Review Award. He is an active member of the Orders and Medals Research Society, the Military Collectors Club of Canada, and the York-Sunbury Historical Society, and he has served on the boards of the latter two groups.

 
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The Road to Canada

Goose Lane Editions and the Gregg Centre for the Study of War and Society | New Brunswick Military Heritage Series


Since the last Ice Age, the only safe route into Canada's interior during the winter started at the Bay of Fundy and followed the main rivers north to the St. Lawrence River through what is now New Brunswick. Aboriginal people used this route as a major highway in all seasons and the great imperial powers followed their lead. The Grand Communications Route, as it was then called, was the only conduit for people, information and goods passing back and forth between the interior settlements and the wider world and became the backbone of empire for both England and France in their centuries of warfare over this territory. It was Joseph Robineau de Villebon, a commandant in Acadie, who first made strategic use of the route in time of war because he understood its importance in the struggle for North America. A strategic link between the Atlantic colonies and Quebec, the French made extensive use of the route to communicate and move troops between the northern settlements and Fort Beauséjour, Louisbourg, and Port-Royal. The British put great effort into maintaining and fortifying the route, building major coastal forts at Saint John to guard its entrance and erecting garrisons and blockhouses all along the way to the St Lawrence, first as a defence against the French and then to ward off the Americans. The route also played a key role in the American Revolution as well as the Aroostook War of 1839 that saw bodies of troops lining each side of the border extending from St. Andrews (NB) and Calais (ME) to Madawaska. In 1842, the Grand Communications Route and the Webster-Ashburton Treaty determined the location of the Canada—US border. It is still in use today: the Trans-Canada Highway and Route 7 follow its path. As well as telling the story of the Grand Communications Route from the earliest human habitation of the area, The Road to Canada describes the historic sites, forts, blockhouses and other historic remains that can still be visited today, including Martello Tower (Saint John), the Fort Hughes blockhouse (Oromocto), the Fort Fairfield blockhouse (Fort Fairfield, ME), Le Fortin du Petit-Sault (Edmundston), the Fort Kent blockhouse (Fort Kent, ME) and Fort Ingall (Cabano, QC). The Road to Canada is the fifth volume in the New Brunswick Military Heritage Series.

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"A neat little narrative that weaves not only a story of the development of secure communications, but how that development was linked to settlement policies, military strategy, communications, technological evolution and international disputes. As far as this reviewer knows, this is the only book length study of this aspect of the route."

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Major W.E. (Gary) Campbell has served for over forty years in the Canadian Army (Militia), the Canadian Army (Regular), and the Canadian Forces. He is a PhD candidate at the University of New Brunswick and has obtained a Bachelor of Arts (History) from the University of Western Ontario and a Master of Arts (War Studies) from the Royal Military College of Canada. His passion for military history, especially logistics, and his many tours of duty as a transportation officer in the Logistics Branch of the Canadian Armed Forces led to his interest in the Grand Communications Route. Gary Campbell is presently posted to the Combat Training Centre headquarters at CFB Gagetown, New Brunswick, after serving in a variety of line and staff positions in navy, army, air force and headquarters units across Canada as well as in the United States and the United Kingdom. He has twice received the Royal Logistics Corps Review Award. He is an active member of the Orders and Medals Research Society, the Military Collectors Club of Canada, and the York-Sunbury Historical Society, and he has served on the boards of the latter two groups.

 
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Turning Back the Fenians

Goose Lane Editions | New Brunswick Military Heritage Series


In the early 1860s, Irish immigrants in the United States were eager to help the Fenian brotherhood overthrow the British in Ireland. The American Fenians' mission: to invade British North America and hold it hostage. New Brunswick, with its large Irish population and undefended frontier, was a perfect target. The book tells how, in the spring of 1866, a thousand Fenians massed along the St. Croix River and spread terror among New Brunswickers. When the lieutenant-governor called in British soldiers and a squadron of warships, the Fenians saw that New Brunswick was no longer an easy target, and they turned their efforts against central Canada. The Fenian "attacks" and the demand for home defence fanned the already red-hot political debate, and a year later, in July 1867, New Brunswick joined Confederation. Turning Back the Fenians is volume eight in the New Brunswick Military Heritage Series.

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"Robert L. Dallison's Turning Back the Fenians: New Brunswick's Last Colonial Campaign makes a significant contribution to this part of our history by shedding light on the motivations, maneuvers, and organization of New Brunswick's militias in their fight against Fenian invasion. . . . provides valuable insight into the events surrounding the Fenian crisis in New Brunswick and elucidates the experiences of the local militiamen charged with defending their homeland. Rather than simply using this work to give a general overview of the military tactics involved in the crisis, Dallison is able to breathe new life into this oft-neglected aspect of pre-Confederation history."

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"A recommended read."

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Born in Montreal in 1935, Robert Leonard Dallison attended both the Royal Roads Military College and the Royal Military College of Canada and, following graduation in 1958, was commissioned into the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry. He received a BA (History) from R.M.C. and a BA (History and International Studies) from the University of British Columbia. He served for thirty-five years with the Canadian Army, obtaining the rank of lieutenant-colonel, and ending his career as Chief of Staff of the Combat Arms School at CFB Gagetown. After retiring, he maintained his life-long interest in history and heritage, including serving as the President of Fredericton Heritage Trust and as the New Brunswick representative on the Board of Governors for Heritage Canada. From 1992 to 2002, he was Director of Kings Landing Historical Settlement. Retired again, he is currently living with his wife Sharon in Fredericton.

 
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