The Mutiny at the Margins series takes a fresh look at the revolt of 1857 from original and unusual perspectives, focusing in particular on neglected socially marginal groups and geographic areas which have hitherto tended to be unrepresented in studies of this cataclysmic event in British imperial and Indian historiography.
Chapter 5: American Views on Events in India
American Views on Events in India
THROUGHOUT the nineteenth century, relations between Great Britain and its former colony, the United States were often tense. In the late 1860s, for example, American Civil War veterans repeatedly invaded British Canada in a series of failed incursions called the Fenian Raids. In the decade before the uprising, US President James K. Polk threatened war with Britain over a territorial dispute. Nevertheless, American reactions to the events of 1857 mostly paralleled the sympathy of other western countries, with some variation from the vengeful response common in Britain, as the article by Maturin Ballou demonstrates. Ballou's Pictorial Drawing-Room Companion was a popular American magazine. Its editor allowed that the severity of the British response ...