Skip to main content

At Face Value. The Life and Times of Eliza McCormack/John White

While tracing the history of John White, a trustworthy, nineteenth-century Tory backbencher with an unusual understand-ing of the political situation of women and indigenous minorities, Don Akenson found gaps and inconsistencies in the records. The conventional biography of White simply does not mesh with the facts. Akenson, however, has written a biography that does.

In a parish register in Ireland, Akenson discovered a record naming an Eliza McCormack White as John's sister. Employing imaginative reconstruction, he proposes that Eliza McCormack, a transvestite prostitute who was in central Canada at the time John White arrived on the Canadian scene, was actually John's sister. Further, he suggests that John White can be best understood by recognizing that he was in fact Eliza!

Department of History, Queen's University

49 Bader Lane, Watson Hall 212
Kingston ON K7L 3N6




Queen's University is situated on traditional Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe territory.