Settler Anxiety at the Outposts of Empire

Colonial Relations, Humanitarian Discourses, and the Imperial Press

Kenton Storey

  • Published: 2016. Paperback March 2018
  • Subject Listing: Native American and Indigenous Studies; Film and Media Studies
  • Bibliographic information: 312 pp., 4 illus., 6 maps, 6 x 9 in.
  • Territorial rights: US rights only
  • Distributed for: UBC Press
  • Contents

During the 1850s and 1860s, there was considerable anxiety among British settlers over the potential for Indigenous rebellion and violence. Yet, publicly admitting to this fear would have gone counter to Victorian notions of racial superiority. In this fascinating book, Kenton Storey challenges the idea that a series of colonial crises in the mid-nineteenth century led to a decline in the popularity of humanitarianism across the British Empire. Instead, he demonstrates how colonial newspapers in New Zealand and on Vancouver Island appropriated humanitarian language as a means of justifying the expansion of settlers' access to land, promoting racial segregation, and allaying fears of potential Indigenous resistance.
Kenton Storey is a historian of the British Empire and a legal researcher working in the field of First Nations history.

"Settler Anxiety at the Outposts of Empire offers a fresh and original perspective on the role of newspapers in colonial and imperial cultures. Kenton Storey's pioneering research reveals how the colonial press deployed humanitarianism to soothe anxiety about race relations in the 1850s and 1860s. - Jane Samson, author of Imperial Benevolence: Making British Authority in the Pacific Islands and Race and EmpireThis book, which reveals how humanitarian discourse was used over the long term to influence colonial politics, makes a vital contribution to our understanding of colonialism, race, and imperialism.."
-Gordon Winder, coeditor of Trading Environments: Frontiers, Commerical Knowledge, and Environmental Transformation, 1750-1990

1. A Short History of New Zealand and Vancouver Island
2. Violence and Eviction on Vancouver Island
3. New Zealand's Humanitarian Extremes
4. Aboriginal Title and the Victoria Press
5. The Auckland Press at War
6. Colonial Humanitarians?
7. The Imperial Press


"Settler Anxiety contributes to histories of the British empire, of the interconnections the colonies established within and beyond the empire, and of the role of humanitarianism in shaping colonial policies toward indigenous peoples. . . . Storey's history offers an important counterpoint to British imperial histories and to U.S. histories of this period."
-Veta Schlimgen, Pacific Northwest Quarterly