UCL Institute of the Americas


Quebec Through The Eyes of American Tourists: 1796-1871

26 November 2018, 6:00 pm–8:00 pm

UCL Institute of the Americas

Find out why the Province of Quebec was a destination that proved to be the most popular with Americans right up to the Civil War.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Dr Tomy Mcculloch – UCL Institute of the Americas
020 7679 2000


Room 103
UCL Institute of the Americas
51 Gordon Square
United Kingdom

When the first American guidebook appeared in 1822, it was titled THE FASHIONABLE TOUR, and its subject was a destination that proved to be the most popular with Americans right up to the Civil War, the Province of Quebec. The Canadiens, with their alien language, antique towns and novel society fascinated visitors from the States who sought an Old World experience in the New. The writers and journalists who depicted Quebec for a mass readership reaffirmed American prejudices and created lasting impressions of the Canadiens and their culture. These were overwhelmingly negative as American tourists were less interested in engaging with a foreign culture and more focused on honing their own identities and promoting the Republic. Examining the tourist experience from the 1790s through to Henry James’ 1871 essay on Quebec, this paper explores how the province contributed to the evolution of the American experiment

About the Speaker

Gareth Davis

Postgraduate research student at UCL Department of history

Gareth Davis is in his final year as a postgraduate research student at UCL where he also completed a BA in Ancient History, and an MA in Modern History. His area of research is North America in the 18th and 19th centuries, specifically exploring American attitudes towards, and ideas about, British North America 1760-1871 as expressed in private correspondence, political discourse, travel writing, newspapers and journals. He has been a journalist and broadcaster for over 20 years and has filmed in and reported many times on Canada, most recently for The Guardian on the new Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg. He has won numerous awards and is the only journalist to have been twice awarded Top Canadian Travel Story in the International Category by the Canadian Tourism Commission.