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.
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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)
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