Good Intentions Gone Awry
Emma Crosby and the Methodist Mission on the Northwest CoasteBook - 2006
Unlike most missionary scholarship that focuses on male missionaries, Good Intentions Gone Awry chronicles the experiences of a missionary wife. It presents the letters of Emma Crosby, wife of the well-known Methodist missionary Thomas Crosby, who came to Fort Simpson, near present-day Prince Rupert, in 1874 to set up a mission among the Tsimshian people.
Emma Crosby's letters to family and friends in Ontario shed light on a critical era and bear witness to the contribution of missionary wives. They mirror the hardships and isolation she faced as well as her assumptions about the supremacy of Euro-Canadian society and of Christianity. The authors critically represent Emma's sincere convictions towards mission work and the running of the Crosby Girl's Home (later to become a residential school), while at the same time exposing them as a product of the times in which she lived. They also examine the roles of Native and mixed-race intermediaries who made possible the feats attributed to Thomas Crosby as a heroic missionary persevering on his own against tremendous odds.
Crosby's letters to her mother, 1874-81, provide the core source as Anishinaabe and member of the M'Chigeeng First Nation, Hare (language and literacy education, U. of British Columbia) and Barman, a veteran historian of British Columbia, examine the mission she and her husband Thomas ran on the northern coast of British Columbia. Information about her subsequent life as a missionary wife are drawn from her public letters to Methodist missionary groups. By the time they left in 1897, she was convinced that her good intentions had gone awry. Distributed in the US by University of Washington Press. Annotation ©2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)