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Who Killed William Robinson? Race, Justice, and Settling the Land: A Historical Whodunit

This innovative Website takes a historical event -- a murder case on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, in 1868 -- and uses it as a means to examine the cultural and social history of nineteenth-century colonialism. The site is structured as a historical "whodunit." Users are challenged to form learned conclusions based on the evidence surrounding the murder of William Robinson, a black settler who was allegedly killed by an Aboriginal man, Tshuanahusset, who was ultimately tried and convicted by an all-white jury. As users investigate the complex case, by way of hundreds of primary and secondary documents and nearly a hundred images, they are confronted with manifold issues such as immigration, racism, religious tolerance, gender equality, judicial inequity, and economic change. Although creators Ruth Sandwell and John Lutz of the University of Victoria developed the site for students in grades eight through twelve, users of all ages will benefit from this rich exploration of historical understanding.
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Date of Scout Publication
February 23rd, 1999
Date Of Record Creation
April 7th, 2003 at 1:22pm
Date Of Record Release
April 7th, 2003 at 1:22pm
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