Crime, Race and Community in Prince George, 1908-1925

Guest Speaker: Dr. Jonathan Swainger​​

During the early nineteenth century, the community of Prince George was anxious to differentiate between the “old” Cariboo and a “new” Cariboo. Dr. Jonathan Swainger’s presentation will examine the crime history of Prince George between 1908 and 1925 and reveal intersections of race, class, crime, and disorder. As residents aspired to create a well-ordered community at the confluence of the Nechako and Fraser Rivers, Reverend Melville Wright claimed that his congregation existed near “the very gates of hell” - a suggestion that links to the old frontier Cariboo, with its riotous approach to life, were troubling and persistent.

Dr. Jonathan Swainger is one of the founding members of the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) where he began teaching in 1992. He has lived and taught in Terrace, Fort St. John, and Prince George. He was Chair of the UNBC History Department from 2004-2008 and has published on crime, judicial history, and juvenile delinquency in post World War II Prince George.

This event is hosted by Friends of the BC Archives