In The Footsteps Of Abraham Ulrikab: The Events of 1880-1881

In The Footsteps Of Abraham Ulrikab: The Events of 1880-1881

by France Rivet


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The story of Abraham Ulrikab is one of the saddest and most moving stories in Nunatsiavut (Labrador), Inuit and Canadian history. Hoping to improve his family's living conditions, in August 1880, Abraham agreed to head to Europe to become the latest "exotic" attraction in the ethnographic shows organized by Carl Hagenbeck, a menagerie owner and pioneer of 'human zoos.' Accompanied by his wife, their two young daughters, and a few countrymen, the group of eight was exhibited in zoos in Hamburg, Berlin, Prague, Frankfurt, Darmstadt, Krefeld and Paris. Very soon, the Inuit realized their coming to Europe was a mistake and they longed to return home to Labrador. "It is too long until the year is over because we would very much like to return to our country, because we are unable to stay here forever, yes indeed, it is impossible!," wrote Abraham in the diary he kept during his journey. Sadly, none of the Inuit saw their homeland again, all were killed by smallpox less than four months after setting foot in Europe. Based on four years of research, the book "In the Footsteps of Abraham Ulrikab" finally reveals the truth about the fate of the Inuit's remains, and brings to light an opportunity to change the course of history: 134 years after the death of Abraham, Maria, Nuggasak, Paingu, Tigianniak, Tobias, Sara and Ulrike, their wish to come home to Labrador could eventually become a reality!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780993674068
Publisher: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, Limited
Publication date: 08/26/2014
Pages: 346
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

After a 23 year career as an IT consultant, in 2005, France Rivet's life took a profound turn with a visit to Somerset Island, Nunavut. This first encounter with the Arctic was a life-changing experience! So much so that in 2007, France put an end to her IT career and decided to combine her growing fascination for the Polar Regions and her passions for travelling, history, writing and photography to found Polar Horizons, an enterprise allowing her to dedicate her time and skills to make the Arctic, its nature, people and history better known.

As long as she can remember, France has always shown an interest in the communications field. Several of her texts and photographs have been published in Quebec newspapers and magazines. Also, France's passion for history and genealogy led her to volunteer for more than 15 years for the Société de généalogie de l'Outaouais.

Looking back, France realizes that her involvement in these various activities were actually preparing her for her most rewarding challenge yet: researching and documenting the events surrounding the death of eight Labrador Inuit who headed to Europe in 1880 to be exhibited in zoos. In summer 2009, when France was introduced to the story of Abraham Ulrikab, little did she know that, soon, she would take it upon herself to go to the bottom of Abraham's story. Abraham had left a diary which had been published, but his story remained incomplete. Where were the Inuit buried? What happened to their remains? Nobody knew. In 2010, France set out to look for answers. The more she dug into it, the more riveting the story became.

In 2014, four years and three research trips to Europe later, France finally reveals her findings through her first book, In the Footsteps of Abraham Ulrikab. At last, the truth about the fate of the Inuit's remains is revealed and, from this book, emerges a yet-to-be-written chapter that could change the course of Abraham's story.

France lives in Gatineau, Quebec.

Table of Contents

1-List of Figures, 2-Foreword, 3-Preface, 4-A Few Notes, 5-The Beginnings of Carl Hagenbeck's Ethnographic Shows, 6-The Search for a New Ship, 7-Jacobsen Attempts to Recruit in Greenland, 8-The Arrival in Hebron, Labrador, 9-Nachvak Fjord, 10-The Departure for Europe, 11-The Crossing of the Atlantic, 12-The Arrival in Hamburg, 13-The Stay in Hamburg, 14-The Stay in Berlin, 15-Abraham's First Letter to Brother Elsner, 16-Meeting With Moravian Brothers and Sisters in Berlin, 17-The Eskimos Studied by Rudolf Virchow, 18-The Stay in Prague, 19-The Stay in Frankfurt, 20-The Stay in Darmstadt and Nuggasak's Death, 21-The Stay in Bockum and the Deaths of Paingu and Maria, 22-The Arrival at the Jardin d'acclimatation in Paris, 23-Abraham's Last Letter to Brother Elsner, 24-The Eskimos' Death in Paris, 25-The Autopsies Results, 26-The Eskimos' Death in the Press, 27-The Commission of Inquiry on the Eskimos' Death, 28-The Debate on Compulsory Vaccination, 29-The Eskimos' Belongings Return to Labrador , 30-Paingu's Skullcap, 31-Three Eskimo Brain Casts, 31-The Exhumation of the Eskimos' Remains, 32-Were the Skeletons Exhibited in Paris?, 33-What Happened to the Remains of Nuggasak, Paingu and Sara?, 34-The Collection of Artifacts, 35-The Impacts of the Eskimos' Death, 36-Next Steps, 37-Appendix A - Abraham's Diary, 38-Appendix B - Chronological Summary of Events, 39-Appendix C - Study of the Brains by Théophile Chudzinski, 40-Appendix D - Broca's Gyrus, 41-Appendix E - Various Mentions of Abraham's Story, 42-Acknowledgments, 43-Bibliographic References, 44-Index of Names Cited

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