Skip to main content

“Money bound you—money shall loose you”: Micro-Credit, Social Capital, and the Meaning of Money in Upper Canada

  • Albert Schrauwers (a1)

In late 1832, a small religious sect, the Children of Peace, completed their second place of worship, a temple, in the village of Hope in the sparsely settled northern reaches of Toronto's rural hinterland. Called by a vision to “ornament the Christian Church with all the glory of Israel,” the Children of Peace rebuilt Solomon's temple as the seat of their New Jerusalem (Schrauwers 1993; 2009). As William Lyon Mackenzie, newspaper editor, mayor of Toronto, and member of the elected assembly for the riding enthused, this three-tiered building was “calculated to inspire the beholder with astonishment; its dimensions—its architecture—its situation—are all so extraordinary” (CA 18 Sept. 1828). The Children of Peace, having fled a cruel and uncaring English pharaoh, viewed themselves as the new Israelites lost in the wilderness of Upper Canada; here they would end sectarianism and rebuild God's kingdom on the principle of charity. It is important to stress both the symbolism and the intended function of this, their second church; the highly symbolic temple was intended solely for their monthly alms sacrifice for the poor “Israelite fashion.” The Charity Fund they collected there was utilized for “the relief of the poor of the contributors, and others” (Sharon Temple n.d.: 11), as well as the support of a shelter for the homeless (Schrauwers 2009: 47). Targeted recipients included victims of a cholera epidemic in Toronto and starving pioneer settlers in the outlying districts (CA 23 Aug. 1832; Constitution 4 May 1837).

Corresponding author
Hide All


Canadian Freeman

Cobourg Star

Colonial Advocate (CA)


Correspondent & Advocate (C&A)


Upper Canada Gazette

Other Sources

Appadurai Arjun. 1986. Introduction: Commodities and the Politics of Value. In Appadurai A., ed., The Social Life of Things: Commodities in Cultural Perspective. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 363.
Appendix. 1830. Appendix to Journal of the House of Assembly of Upper Canada [1830]…. Toronto: J. Carey, 1831.
Appendix. 1831–1832. Appendix to Journal of the House of Assembly of Upper Canada [1830]…. Toronto: R. Stanton, 1832.
Appendix. 1836. Appendix to Journal of the House of Assembly of Upper Canada [1836]…. Toronto: W. L. Mackenzie, no. 117.
Ardener Shirley. 1964. The Comparative Study of Rotating Credit Associations. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland 94, 2: 201–29.
Baehre Rainer. 1981. Pauper Emigration to Upper Canada in the 1830s. Historie Sociale/Social History 14, 28: 339–67.
Bamfield Joshua. 1998. Consumer-Owned Community Flour and Bread Societies in the Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries. Business History 40, 4: 1636.
Bancks William. 1836. A Letter on the Proposed New Colonial Funding System. Toronto: Palladium Office.
Baskerville Peter. 1987. The Bank of Upper Canada: A Collection of Documents. Toronto: Champlain Society and Ontario Heritage Foundation.
Bloch Maurice and Parry Jonathan. 1989. Introduction: Money and the Morality of Exchange. In Parry J. and Bloch M., eds., Money and the Morality of Exchange. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 132.
Bohannon Paul. 1959. The Impact of Money on an African Subsistence Economy. Journal of Economic History 19, 4: 491503.
Bourdieu Pierre. 1977. Outline of a Theory of Practice. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Brigg Morgan. 2001. Empowering NGOs: The Microcredit Movement through Foucault's Notion of Dispositif. Alternatives 26: 233–58.
Calhoun Craig. 1993. Habitus, Field and Capital: The Question of Historical Specificity. In Craig Calhoun Edward LiPuma, and Postone Moishe, eds., Bourdieu: Critical Perspectives. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 6188.
Carsten Janet. 1989. Cooking Money: Gender and the Symbolic Transformation of Means of Exchange in a Malay Fishing Community. In Parry Jonathan and Bloch Maurice, eds., Money and the Morality of Exchange. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Claeys Gregory. 1987. Machinery, Money and the Millennium: From Moral Economy to Socialism, 1815–60. Cambridge: Polity Press.
van Deth Jan W. 2008. Introduction: Social Capital and Democratic Politics. In Castiglione D., van Deth J., and Wolleb G., eds., The Handbook of Social Capital. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 199207.
Dorland Arthur. 1968. The Quakers in Canada: A History. Toronto: Ryerson Press.
Dowla Asif. 2006. In Credit We Trust: Building Social Capital by Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. The Journal of Socio-Economics 35, 1: 102–22.
Ferguson James. 1994. The Anti-Politics Machine: “Development,” Depoliticization, and Bureaucratic Power in Lesotho. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Fine Ben. 2001. Social Capital versus Social Theory: Political Economy and Social Science at the Turn of the Millennium. London: Routledge.
Foschi Laura. 2008. Microfinance and Social Capital. In Castiglione Dario, van Deth Jan, and Wolleb Guglielmo, eds., The Handbook of Social Capital. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 467–90.
Geertz Clifford. 1962. The Rotating Credit Association: A ‘Middle Rung’ in Development. Economic Development and Cultural Change 10, 3: 241–63.
Gilbert Emily. 2005. Common Cents: Situating Money in Time and Place. Economy and Society 34, 3: 357–88.
Gorsky Martin. 1998. Mutual Aid and Civil Society: Friendly Societies in Nineteenth-Century Bristol. Urban History 25, 3: 302–22.
Graeber David. 2001. Towards an Anthropological Theory of Value: The False Coin of Our Own Dreams. New York: Palgrave.
Gregory C. A. 1982. Gifts and Commodities. London: Academic Press.
Harriss John. 2002. Depoliticizing Development: The World Bank and Social Capital. London: Anthem Press.
Helleiner Eric. 1999. Historicizing Territorial Currencies: Monetary Space and the Nation-State in North America. Political Geography 18, 2: 309–39.
Henry George. 1832. The Emigrant's Guide; or, Canada as It Is; Comprising Details Relating to the Domestic Policy, Commerce and Agriculture, of the Upper and Lower Provinces, Comprising Matter of General Information and Interest, Especially Intended for the Use of Settlers and Emigrants. New York: Stodart.
Hopkins Eric. 1995. Working-Class Self-Help in Nineteenth-Century England: Responses to Industrialization. New York: St. Martin's Press.
Kaplan Edward S. 1999. The Bank of the United States and the American Economy. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press Contributions in Economics and History, No. 214.
Karim Lamia. 2008. Demystifying Micro-Credit: The Grameen Bank, NGOs, and Neoliberalism in Bangladesh. Cultural Dynamics 20, 5: 529.
Lin N. 2001. Social Capital: A Theory of Social Structure and Action. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Maurer Bill. 2005. Mutual Life, Limited: Islamic Banking, Alternate Currencies, Lateral Reason. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Maurer Bill. 2006. The Anthropology of Money. Annual Review of Anthropology 35: 1536.
McCalla Douglas. 1993. Planting the Province: The Economic History of Upper Canada 1784–1870. Toronto: University of Toronto Press and Ontario Historical Studies Series.
McIntyre W. John. 1994. Children of Peace. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press.
McNairn Jeffrey L. 2000. The Capacity to Judge: Public Opinion and Deliberative Democracy in Upper Canada 1791–1854. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Oliver Peter. 1998. “Terror to Evil-Doers”: Prisons and Punishment in Nineteenth-Century Ontario. Toronto: University of Toronto Press and Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History.
Ontario Archives. 1832. Committee Records of the Children of Peace, 29 Sept. Ms. 733, Series A, p. 7, 92ff.
Parry Jonathan. 1989. On the Moral Perils of Exchange. In Parry Jonathan and Bloch Maurice, eds., Money and the Morality of Exchange. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 6293.
Parssinen T. M. 1973. Association, Convention and Anti-Parliament in British Radical Politics, 1771–1848. English Historical Review 88, 348: 504–33.
Polanyi Karl. 1957. The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Times. Boston: Beacon Press.
Prothero I. J. 1979. Artisans and Politics in Early Nineteenth-Century London: John Gast and His Times. Folkestone, Kent: Wm. Dawwson and Son.
Putnam Robert, with Leonardi Robert and Nanetti Raffaella Y.. 1993. Making Democracy Work: Civic Traditions in Modern Italy. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Putnam Robert, ed. 2002. Democracies in Flux: The Evolution of Social Capital in Contemporary Society. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Rahman Aminur. 1999. Micro-Credit Initiatives for Equitable and Sustainable Development: Who Pays? World Development 27, 1: 6782.
Rankin Katherine. 2001. Governing Development: Neoliberalism, Microcredit, and Rational Economic Woman. Economy and Society 30, 1: 1837.
Rankin Katherine. 2004. The Cultural Politics of Markets: Economic Liberalization and Social Change in Nepal. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Rilling Donna. 2001. Making Houses, Crafting Capitalism: Builders in Philadelphia, 1790–1850. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Russell Peter A. 1990. Attitudes to Social Structure and Mobility in Upper Canada, 1815–1840: “Here We Are Laird Ourselves.”; Lewiston, N.Y.: E. Mellen Press.
Sahlins Marshall. 1972. Stone Age Economics. Chicago: Aldine-Atherton.
Schlesinger Arthur Jr. 1949. The Age of Jackson. Boston, Little, Brown & Co.
Schrauwers Albert. 1993. Awaiting the Millennium: The Children of Peace and the Village of Hope 1812–1889. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Schrauwers Albert. 1998. The Spirit of Capitalism and the Collapse of Community: The Children of Peace in the Mid-Nineteenth Century. Canadian Quaker History Journal 63: 5466.
Schrauwers Albert. 2008. Revolutions without a Revolutionary Moment: Joint Stock Democracy the Transition to Capitalism in Upper Canada. Canadian Historical Review 89, 2: 223–55.
Schrauwers Albert. 2009. “Union Is Strength”: W. L. Mackenzie, the Children of Peace, and the Emergence of Joint Stock Democracy in Upper Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Shakya Yogendra B. and Rankin Katharine N.. 2008. The Politics of Subversion in Development Practice: An Exploration of Microfinance in Nepal and Vietnam. Journal of Development Studies 44, 8: 1214–35.
Sharon Temple Museum Society Archives. n.d. Accession no. 986.3.1. Leather-bound volume with the letter “B” inscribed on the front cover. Contains an account ledger of alms collected, and assorted minutes.
Shirreff Patrick. 1835. A Tour through North America: Together with a Comprehensive View of the Canadas and United States, as Adapted for Agricultural Emigration. Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd.
Smart Alan. 1993. Gifts, Bribes and Guanxi: A Reconsideration of Bourdieu's Social Capital. Cultural Anthropology 8, 3: 388408.
Szreter Simon. 2002. The State of Social Capital: Bringing Back in Power, Politics, and History. Theory and Society 31, 5: 573621.
Tann Jennifer. 1980. Co-operative Corn Milling: Self-Help during the Grain Crises of the Napoleonic Wars. Agricultural History Review 28, 1: 4557.
Taussig Michael. 1977. The Genesis of Capitalism among a South American Peasantry. Comparative Studies in Society and History 19, 2: 130–55.
Wallace Elizabeth Kowalski. 2000. The Needs of Strangers: Friendly Societies and Insurance Societies in Late Eighteenth-Century England. Eighteenth-Century Life 24, 4: 5372.
Weinbren Daniel. 2006. The Good Samaritan, Friendly Societies and the Gift Economy. Social History 31, 3: 319–36.
Weinbren Daniel and James Bob. 2005. Getting a Grip: The Roles of Friendly Societies in Australia and Britain Reappraised. Labour History 88: 87104.
Wilson Major L. 1995. The ‘Country’ versus the ‘Court’: A Republican Consensus and Party Debate in the Bank War. Journal of the Early Republic 15, 4: 619–47.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Comparative Studies in Society and History
  • ISSN: 0010-4175
  • EISSN: 1475-2999
  • URL: /core/journals/comparative-studies-in-society-and-history
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 3
Total number of PDF views: 37 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 205 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 22nd November 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.