This essay examines cultures of racial categorization in New England and New Zealand through the life of one migrant, Elisha Apes, the younger half-brother of the radical Pequot Indian writer William Apess, who preferred to spell the family name with a second s. Elisha Apes settled in New Zealand in 1839 and married a Maori woman of the South Island. Their six children came to be labeled “half-castes” in the language of the nineteenth-century New Zealand state. If half-caste had been a term in New England, it would have been applied to Elisha Apes, for he was indeed of mixed descent. However, in New Zealand, where native referred to the Maori only, Apes's native origins elsewhere had no bearing. His status as a foreigner who came to settle in New Zealand cast him into the same category as New Zealand's European/white population.

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