Insidious Sources and the Historical Interpretation of the Pre-1870 West
There has been a noticeable absence of the Anglican church, or its documents, in the mainstream of Canadian historical writing on the pre-1870 west. This does not mean that the Church of England has not been the subject of exhaustive research; it has been, by church historians or historians of missionary endeavours like T.C.B. Boon, Arthur Thompson, Vera Fast, Katherine Pettipas, and Frank Peake. Rather it means that those historians struggling with the broader social and economic history of the pre-1870 west, who set the general direction of western Canadian historiography, have ignored not only the Church of England and its contributions, but more important the archives of its various missionary societies and one diocese. A brief examination of the various mainstream authors who have set the interpretation of the pre-1870 west will illustrate these points.