Story: Intellectuals

Arthur S. Thomson's The story of New Zealand

Arthur S. Thomson's The story of New Zealand

Arthur Thomson was a doctor with the British army in New Zealand from 1847 to 1859. His profession allowed him to think widely about the New Zealand experience and how it related to medical, sociological and historical theories. Thomson used statistical methods to study the health of soldiers and Māori in New Zealand, and drew on this evidence to discuss general theories about the relationship of climate to health. He also wrote the first general history of New Zealand, in which he saw Māori history in terms of the development of barbarism into civilisation, and criticised local political leaders for refusing to recognise Māori rights.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: Arthur S. Thomson, The story of New Zealand: past and present, savage and civilized. London: John Murray, 1859 (B-K-1044-FRONTISPIECE)

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Chris Hilliard, 'Intellectuals - Colonial absence of intellectuals', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/artwork/42335/arthur-s-thomsons-the-story-of-new-zealand (accessed 6 December 2019)

Story by Chris Hilliard, published 22 Oct 2014