This chapter discusses the parallels that could be drawn between the American frontier and various frontiers in the British Empire, together with the apparent lessons that might be taken on board from America's treatment of her native peoples. To be sure, the romance of the American frontier played a significant role in adventure fiction—both homegrown and imported—and within travel writing, and the role of the frontiersman was co-opted into various versions of Anglo-Saxon manliness. But at the same time, concerns about American coarseness, brutality, exploitation, and greed, as manifested in different aspects of frontier life, raised issues about the social directions that country was taking and about the dangers of atavism on the borders of “civilization.” This anxiety held true for the edges of empire as well. Indeed, for the Victorians, the very term “Indian frontier” was highly ambiguous. The chapter then looks at how the visits to London of Catherine Sutton, a Credit Indian, and then of the poet and performer Pauline Johnson illuminate Britain's attitudes toward First Nations people from an Indian perspective.
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