The 1866 Fenian Raid on Canada West
D'Angelo, A. Tyler
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This thesis examines Canada West’s colonial perceptions and reactions towards the Fenian Brotherhood in the Confederation era. Its focus is on the impact of the Fenians on the contemporary public mind, beginning in the fall of 1864 and culminating with the Fenian Raid on the Niagara frontier in June 1866. Newspapers, sermons, first-hand accounts, and popular poems and books from the time suggest the Fenians had a significant impact on the public mind by nurturing and reflecting the province’s social and defensive concerns, and the Raid on Canada West was used by contemporaries after the fact to promote Confederation and support a young Canadian identity.