Chatham, Ontario, Canada, Interracial Relationships, Mixed-Race, Race
This study investigates the practice and frequency of marriages amongst bi-racial couples in Chatham, Ontario between the years of 1901-1921. With the use of census, birth, marriage records, and oral interviews this study both highlights and analyzes the population density and settlement patterns of bi-racial couples settling in the Chatham area. This study emphasizes how external factors affected the population size and settlement patterns of these families. It also finds a gradual shift away from the use of terms indicating mixed-race heritage such as “mulatto” suggesting a hardening of racial lines. This gradual shift reflects power relations in regard to status as well as highlights evidence of racial fluidity and contradictions in racial labelling and identity during this time period. Research suggests that even in the absence of formal “miscegenation” laws, the study of interracial relationships can provide insight into the history of race relations in Canada.
Master of Arts
Major Research Paper