An Evening of Canadian Legal History -Anna Jarvis and Filippo Sposini Present their Research

Nov 18, 2020 - 5:30 PM at ZOOM

Join us for an evening of new insights into Canadian legal history.

This event will explore the work of our 2019 McMurtry Fellowship recipients.

Anna Jarvis, Black labour, loyalism, and the law in late eighteenth-century British North America

In 1783 five siblings of the Jarvis family of Stamford, Connecticut, were forced to flee the City of New York as part of the Loyalist diaspora following the American revolutionary war, bringing notions of race and labour with them. This diaspora included black Loyalists and black slaves who were to become part of the black population of the British North American colonies. The Jarvis siblings would profit from black labour by various then legal means, including indenture and enslavement, reflecting the varying degrees of bound and free black labour under negotiation in British North America at the end of the eighteenth century.

Filippo Sposini, Just the Basic Facts: The Certification of Insanity in Ontario (1870s-1890s)

The certification of insanity was a medico-legal procedure regulating admission into psychiatric institutions. This presentation will focus on the certification procedure developed during the second half of the nineteenth-century in Ontario. Taking the Toronto Lunatic Asylum as a case study, it will explore the introduction of certificates of insanity, examination practices, and people involved in the process. It will show that certification in Ontario was a consensus-based procedure shielding medical practitioners from potential legal actions.

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