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Sandwell, Ruth. “‘Who Killed William Robinson?’ Exploring a Nineteenth Century Murder Online.” Social Education 68(3) (2004): 210-213.


In 1996, the author and fellow-historian John Lutz set about creating a teaching tool for history that would acquaint students with primary documents and take full advantage of the brand-new technology of the World Wide Web. He launched the website, entitled "Who Killed William Robinson? Race, Justice and Settling the Land," ( in 1997. The site focuses on a strange murder case that the author happened upon in the course of her doctoral research into settler life in colonial Canada. The website consists of hundreds of historical documents--diaries, letters, government correspondence, trial records, photographs, drawings, and maps--relating to a mysterious murder. The website has been used widely throughout the United States and Canada. This article describes the website and how it benefits students.