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Proposed renaming of Dundas Street

zang

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Lennox970

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No, he just took advantage of the delay of abolition that he created to buy slaves for service in the British Army,

"The revelation was unearthed...from earlier but widely forgotten research into the UK’s slave redcoats."
Old historical wine, in new sanctimonious bottles. Half-baked history at its worst.

Freed any slaves yourself recently? Didn't think so...

Henry Dundas played role in Joseph Knight case: Lord Advocate represented escaped slave suing for freedom

Maybe Rob Ford Road has a ring to it?
 

Lennox970

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zang

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Old historical wine, in new sanctimonious bottles. Half-baked history at its worst.

Freed any slaves yourself recently? Didn't think so...

Henry Dundas played role in Joseph Knight case: Lord Advocate represented escaped slave suing for freedom
A high-profile job he was paid for (he was not acting as Lord Advocate in that case), that doesn't erase the fact that he later delayed abolition several times (despite the public majority being in favour of it), and bought slaves for the military.

On April 2, 1792, Dundas added the word ‘gradual’ into William Wilberforce’s abolition bill, and three weeks later he submitted resolutions naming 1800 as the date for the final abolition of the slave trade.[5] He eventually yielded to the majority, who preferred the earlier date of 1796. However, in 1796, Dundas spoke against immediate abolition and refused to put forward his own plans for gradual abolition. This was because he had economic connections to the powerful British West Indian slave-owning lobby.[6] Dundas also made recommendations on how to improve conditions for enslaved people, which were meant to preserve rather than abolish slavery.[7] As a powerful politician, Dundas held much influence and he used that to set back the fight against slavery.[8]


And then there's the history of the Second Maroon War; Where as War Secretary, Dundas stranded Jamaican black ("Marron") slave rebels in Nova Scotia in the middle of winter, after they were told they would be able to relocate in Jamaica. My brother-in-law is descendent from an escaped Maroon. This is where we get the term "maroon" to refer to stranded, by the way.

It also ignores the fact that Dundas Street wasn't named for any other reason than as a favour for being a friend of Lord Simcoe.
Maybe Rob Ford Road has a ring to it?
Stop the trolling.
 

Lennox970

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A high-profile job he was paid for (he was not acting as Lord Advocate in that case), that doesn't erase the fact that he later delayed abolition several times (despite the public majority being in favour of it), and bought slaves for the military.

On April 2, 1792, Dundas added the word ‘gradual’ into William Wilberforce’s abolition bill, and three weeks later he submitted resolutions naming 1800 as the date for the final abolition of the slave trade.[5] He eventually yielded to the majority, who preferred the earlier date of 1796. However, in 1796, Dundas spoke against immediate abolition and refused to put forward his own plans for gradual abolition. This was because he had economic connections to the powerful British West Indian slave-owning lobby.[6] Dundas also made recommendations on how to improve conditions for enslaved people, which were meant to preserve rather than abolish slavery.[7] As a powerful politician, Dundas held much influence and he used that to set back the fight against slavery.[8]


And then there's the history of the Second Maroon War; Where as War Secretary, Dundas stranded Jamaican black ("Marron") slave rebels in Nova Scotia in the middle of winter, after they were told they would be able to relocate in Jamaica. My brother-in-law is descendent from an escaped Maroon. This is where we get the term "maroon" to refer to stranded, by the way.

It also ignores the fact that Dundas Street wasn't named for any other reason than as a favour for being a friend of Lord Simcoe.

Stop the trolling.
I guess a nice enough undergrad essay.* Don't get me wrong, I like Jack and Jill history as much as the next person; simplistic moral story, good v evil narrative, much more satisfying than the messiness of real history. But I guess we get the history we deserve these days.

But it appears the whole Dundas assessment has hardly started in the UK, whereas it seems to be done in Canada. But we got what we wanted: a scapegoat for our racial sins (real or imagined). Latest work describing the controversial interpretive plaque just added to Edinburgh's Dundas Statue, summed in Prospect Magazine:

“I think that [Bobby] Melville and [Michael] Fry put a too rosy glow on Dundas. From 1792, he was clearly a liberal member of the Enlightenment: but from 1794-1795, he changed: he was very alarmed by the threat of France and the British war effort. He overreacted, as many others did; he underestimated the strength of the British navy. Fry doesn’t go into it in his biography. Maybe Palmer thought Fry was not to be trusted on this… My beef with the plaque is that it says that Dundas and Dundas only was responsible for ruining the lives of 500,000 Africans. The plaque should say something about Dundas’s defence of Knight. The judge, for the first time ever, gave a passionate castigation of the institution of slavery—egged on by Dundas!

“If there is going to be a proper reconciliation here, you must get the history right.”

It also ignores the fact that Dundas Street wasn't named for any other reason than as a favour for being a friend of Lord Simcoe.
And he was a prominent politician of the period? As good a reason as any.

Stop the trolling.

I am a big fan of Toronto and would love to see the late Mayor's name immortalised in tarmac. Rob Ford Road, or Rob Ford Street?

*When someone writing history describes someone (or something) as 'a controversial figure for centuries' it usually means they really weren't. Its a contemporary technique used to legitimise their opinion.
 
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zang

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I guess a nice enough undergrad essay.* Don't get me wrong, I like Jack and Jill history as much as the next person; simplistic moral story, good v evil narrative, much more satisfying than the messiness of real history. But I guess we get the history we deserve these days.
I don't know, you dismiss the peer-reviewed historical journal stuff too.
But it appears the whole Dundas assessment has hardly started in the UK, whereas it seems to be done in Canada. But we got what we wanted: a scapegoat for our racial sins (real or imagined). Latest work describing the controversial interpretive plaque just added to Edinburgh's Dundas Statue, summed in Prospect Magazine:

“I think that [Bobby] Melville and [Michael] Fry put a too rosy glow on Dundas. From 1792, he was clearly a liberal member of the Enlightenment: but from 1794-1795, he changed: he was very alarmed by the threat of France and the British war effort. He overreacted, as many others did; he underestimated the strength of the British navy. Fry doesn’t go into it in his biography. Maybe Palmer thought Fry was not to be trusted on this… My beef with the plaque is that it says that Dundas and Dundas only was responsible for ruining the lives of 500,000 Africans. The plaque should say something about Dundas’s defence of Knight. The judge, for the first time ever, gave a passionate castigation of the institution of slavery—egged on by Dundas!

“If there is going to be a proper reconciliation here, you must get the history right.”

You seem to have moved the goalposts from "He was a really good guy" to "he wasn't just crappy on his own, y'know." He was also leader of the military by the time it was buying slaves for the war effort. The buck stopped with him. And it got spent on supporting a trade he publicly claimed to abhor.

It's not like duplicitous politicians are new to this century. Retrospect paints Dundas as an opportunist, rather than a man of higher morals. See any number of Republicans down south who very loudly talk of the importance of democracy while simultaneously cutting it off at the knees if you want a demonstration of how that works.

Keeping a name on something because "he was okay for the time" is a BS reason to keep the status quo. Dundas had nothing to do with this country. His name on anything here holds far less legitimacy than in the UK or his native Scotland.

If a naming-in-honour in this city comes under review and fails to pass any modern smell test, it's fair game.

Even ignoring the slavery aspect, Dundas literally stole his wife's birthright and earned the privilege of a peerage based on his still-living wife's family estate. Reason enough for not having his name on anything.

(psst: you can keep any forthcoming slippery slope arguments to yourself)

And he was a prominent politician of the period? As good a reason as any.
Not good enough. So was William Wilberforce, and far more important in the story of abolition than Dundas. Let's not pretend the naming of Dundas Street represents anything to do with ending slavery.

I am a big fan of Toronto and would love to see the late Mayor's name immortalised in tarmac. Rob Ford Road, or Rob Ford Street?
You sure it's not just as a rail against "wokeness"? Not sure why an entire generation of conservatives have turned to trolling as their method for political change.

Rob Ford shouldn't get a lick of anything named after him. Other than being briefly popular (though not enough to secure a majority as Mayor), he did nothing of positive consequence for this city, drained needed funds from city programs he never bothered to understand, and was by all accounts just a really messed up and dysfunctional human being from a messed up, dysfunctional family.

*When someone writing history describes someone (or something) as 'a controversial figure for centuries' it usually means they really weren't. Its a contemporary technique used to legitimise their opinion.
Dundas was literally called "The Great Tyrant" and "The Uncrowned King of Scotland" while he was still alive, by his peers in parliament.
 

Lennox970

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This
I don't know, you dismiss the peer-reviewed historical journal stuff too.


You seem to have moved the goalposts from "He was a really good guy" to "he wasn't just crappy on his own, y'know." He was also leader of the military by the time it was buying slaves for the war effort. The buck stopped with him. And it got spent on supporting a trade he publicly claimed to abhor.

It's not like duplicitous politicians are new to this century. Retrospect paints Dundas as an opportunist, rather than a man of higher morals. See any number of Republicans down south who very loudly talk of the importance of democracy while simultaneously cutting it off at the knees if you want a demonstration of how that works.

Keeping a name on something because "he was okay for the time" is a BS reason to keep the status quo. Dundas had nothing to do with this country. His name on anything here holds far less legitimacy than in the UK or his native Scotland.

If a naming-in-honour in this city comes under review and fails to pass any modern smell test, it's fair game.

Even ignoring the slavery aspect, Dundas literally stole his wife's birthright and earned the privilege of a peerage based on his still-living wife's family estate. Reason enough for not having his name on anything.

(psst: you can keep any forthcoming slippery slope arguments to yourself)


Not good enough. So was William Wilberforce, and far more important in the story of abolition than Dundas. Let's not pretend the naming of Dundas Street represents anything to do with ending slavery.


You sure it's not just as a rail against "wokeness"? Not sure why an entire generation of conservatives have turned to trolling as their method for political change.

Rob Ford shouldn't get a lick of anything named after him. Other than being briefly popular (though not enough to secure a majority as Mayor), he did nothing of positive consequence for this city, drained needed funds from city programs he never bothered to understand, and was by all accounts just a really messed up and dysfunctional human being from a messed up, dysfunctional family.


Dundas was literally called "The Great Tyrant" and "The Uncrowned King of Scotland" while he was still alive, by his peers in parliament.
Dundas St issue has really brought out the worst in people.

If Ford Road/Street/Avenue isn't good, maybe just quietly drop.
 

W. K. Lis

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This

Dundas St issue has really brought out the worst in people.

If Ford Road/Street/Avenue isn't good, maybe just quietly drop.
There is already a "Ford Street". Not to worry, it was not named after our Ford Nation "Ford".

1650034147120.png
From link.
 

afransen

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I'm kind of alarmed that people are seemingly agreeing with my sardonic comment about banal ahistoric naming of places. I mean, Mississauga could be renamed Maple Ridge because maybe the Mississauga people have some warcrimes in their ancient past... just in case.
 

PinkLucy

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Naming things after people / peoples has been problematic in many instances so I would much prefer we don’t 🤷🏻‍♀️
 

W. K. Lis

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I'm kind of alarmed that people are seemingly agreeing with my sardonic comment about banal ahistoric naming of places. I mean, Mississauga could be renamed Maple Ridge because maybe the Mississauga people have some warcrimes in their ancient past... just in case.
When the indigenous people warred among themselves (yes, they fought each other) prisoners usually became slaves. See link for better information.



How about Wilberforce Street? From the same link.

Such abolitionists also found a political champion in William Wilberforce, the British parliamentarian whose decades-long efforts to abolish slavery were inspired by his own evangelical faith. Wilberforce’s first known act of opposition to the slave trade occurred in 1773, when he was 14 years old, in a letter to a York newspaper where he wrote “in condemnation of the odious traffic in human flesh.”
Seven years later, Wilberforce was elected as a member of parliament. Wilberforce’s early convictions showed publicly in his first major assault on slavery in 1789 with his May 12 speech in parliament on the matter. In it, Wilberforce condemns not the slave-holders first but instead takes responsibility himself and also for his nation: “I mean not to accuse any one, but to take the shame upon myself in common with the whole Parliament of Great Britain for having suffered this horrid trade to be carried on under our authority,” said Wilberforce. It was a long, eloquent, and even charitable speech meant to persuade slaveholders and their parliamentary supporters with reason and an appeal to conscience. Wilberforce then moved 12 resolutions including an early plea for abolition, though that and the others failed. The independent member of parliament followed up with anti-slavery bills in 1791, 1792, 1793, 1797, 1798, 1799, 1804, 1805, 1806, and 1807. Due to his efforts and others, in one month alone (in 1807), parliament received 800 separate petitions calling for an end to slavery, with 700,000 signatures. At the time, the population of Great Britain was just 10.9 million.

Wilberforce would expend his entire parliamentary career and ultimately his life to effect abolition. One of Wilberforce’s first abolition bills, in 1793, fell short by just eight votes, but successes included the Foreign Slave Trade Bill (in 1806) and the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act (in the House of Lords, in 1807). While the trade was outlawed in 1807, slavery in the empire was still allowed until 1833, when the government finally introduced the Slavery Abolition Act, which abolished slavery and freed slaves across the British Empire effective the following year. That was eight years after Wilberforce left parliament due to ill health. Gravely ill in 1833, when the Whig government introduced the compromises necessary to obtain passage of the Slavery Abolition Act, Wilberforce was informed of the government’s plans, and in what seems to have been a self-induced will to live until his cause reached fulfillment, Wilberforce would die just two days later on July 29, 1833, at the age of 73.
 

Lennox970

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Naming things after people / peoples has been problematic in many instances so I would much prefer we don’t 🤷🏻‍♀️
A good point to make, and certainly worth a debate @PinkLucy .

Yet in many respects that could be worse. We would not acknowledge and actively deny the human element of our collective endeavour as a nation. Any country with any history - especially one with a long historical memory - will have every variation of human endeavour in its past: the good, the bad and the mediocre. If we erase the human element from our naming then, IMHO, we erase a large element of our understanding of who we are.

The one thing with historical figures is that they are never only ever one thing. They are many things to many different people with different interpretations over different periods. And in a few years, or a few decades further on, their reputation/legacies will all change. How radically have some pushed in recent years for a reinterpretation of key historical figures: Dundas, Macdonald, Cornwallis, Ryerson. etc. This has coincided with a re-evaluation of marginalisation of some within Canadian society, and the perceived consequence of these figures actions or policies. A reckoning that is overdue, but should not be overdone. Yet the legacy, even today, of our historical figures is far from agreed upon. Nor do we subject all characters and all peoples in our country to the same historical analysis. And in this, if you know anything about history, it is that very rarely if ever is the future like the present. The future will inevitably take a different view of Dundas, Macdonald, Cornwallis, Ryerson. Should our historical hubris deny our ancestors the right to discuss and debate the very names we ourselves are prepared to deliver final judgement on? I don't think we should.

Many are not entirely convinced that those wishing to change/remove/pull down are acting in good faith. And I think there is more than a grain of truth in that assertion. In many respects the utility of the present historical discussion seems to exist to legitimise predetermined acts. But having been a history nerd since I was knee high, I think we are mature enough as a society to discuss and understand our history without the need to obtain what appears to be revenge. @W. K. Lis made a very good point in that if we are really interested in slavery as it pertains to Canada, we do not need to leave these shores to find it. Aboriginal history does not appear to be up for public discussion. So this isn't really about history. Let he without sin....

Anyhow, about that Ford Nation Avenue.... ;-)
 

kamira51

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A good point to make, and certainly worth a debate @PinkLucy .

Yet in many respects that could be worse. We would not acknowledge and actively deny the human element of our collective endeavour as a nation. Any country with any history - especially one with a long historical memory - will have every variation of human endeavour in its past: the good, the bad and the mediocre. If we erase the human element from our naming then, IMHO, we erase a large element of our understanding of who we are.

The one thing with historical figures is that they are never only ever one thing. They are many things to many different people with different interpretations over different periods. And in a few years, or a few decades further on, their reputation/legacies will all change. How radically have some pushed in recent years for a reinterpretation of key historical figures: Dundas, Macdonald, Cornwallis, Ryerson. etc. This has coincided with a re-evaluation of marginalisation of some within Canadian society, and the perceived consequence of these figures actions or policies. A reckoning that is overdue, but should not be overdone. Yet the legacy, even today, of our historical figures is far from agreed upon. Nor do we subject all characters and all peoples in our country to the same historical analysis. And in this, if you know anything about history, it is that very rarely if ever is the future like the present. The future will inevitably take a different view of Dundas, Macdonald, Cornwallis, Ryerson. Should our historical hubris deny our ancestors the right to discuss and debate the very names we ourselves are prepared to deliver final judgement on? I don't think we should.

Many are not entirely convinced that those wishing to change/remove/pull down are acting in good faith. And I think there is more than a grain of truth in that assertion. In many respects the utility of the present historical discussion seems to exist to legitimise predetermined acts. But having been a history nerd since I was knee high, I think we are mature enough as a society to discuss and understand our history without the need to obtain what appears to be revenge. @W. K. Lis made a very good point in that if we are really interested in slavery as it pertains to Canada, we do not need to leave these shores to find it. Aboriginal history does not appear to be up for public discussion. So this isn't really about history. Let he without sin....

Anyhow, about that Ford Nation Avenue.... ;-)
Very well said good sir!
 

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