Aftermath: The ‘Reign of Terror’

Historian Fred Shore, in describing the violence unleashed in Manitoba from 1870 to 1872 observed,

“Once Confederation occurred, the Métis in Manitoba found themselves in the presence of over 1,000 Canadian militiamen. The Red River Expeditionary Force of 1870 (RREF),  the Canadian Party’s answer  for  being outmaneuvered by the Métis, was nothing less than armed settlers invading what they perceived to be ‘their’ colony to wrest control over land and politics from the Métis. The actions of the RREF represented  a will to violence that had not been seen before in the Canadian West.”

[Source: Fred Shore, “The Métis – Losing the Land,” http://umanitoba.ca/student/asc/media/Pamphlet_09.pdf]

As the entries below demonstrate, acts of terror were not confined to the RREF, and were carried on by adherents to the ‘Canadian Party’ — with the overt support and sanction of the conspicuously partisan and personally vengeful John C. Schultz — well beyond 1872.

[See also Lawrence Barkwell, “The Reign of Terror Against the Metis of Red River,” http://www.metismuseum.ca/resource.php/07260.]

The Behaviour of Wolseley and his Troops:

On 3 January 1873, Louis Riel and Ambroise-Dydime Lépine set out a version of events in a complaint filed with Alexander Morris, Lieutenant-Governor of Manitoba (the Canadian government translation into English is transcribed below; in the document, Lépine is mistakenly identified as “A.L. Lepine”). They argued:

“In the place of treating us as friends as the law of nations entitled us to be, Wolseley entered the Province and of the Territory of the North-West, from the moment of its transfer, he gave up to pillage everything in the Fort belonging to us.

He hurried away to prison, and allowed to be ill-treated by his soldiers, peaceable and respectable citizens. The commander of this expedition (of peace and civilization) when leaving Canada, publicly branded as bandits the political friends of the President of the Provisional Government with whom the Canadian Government has [sic] been negotiating,– and that Government which had only existed for the maintenance of order and peace in spite of exceptional difficulties.

Wolseley thus revived in our midst the unfortunate animosities which for some months had begun to be allayed, and which out friendly understanding with Canada contributed much to diminish, and which the Canadian Government itself, by its faithful execution of its agreement with us, could not have failed still further to decrease.

The conduct of Wolseley was a real calamity. It produced its victims.”

[Source: Canada, Parliament, House of Commons,”Report of the Select Committee on the Causes of the Difficulties in the North-West Territory in 1869–70,” Journals of the House of Commons 8 (Appendix 6), [Ottawa: I.B. Taylor] 1874; also printed as Canada, Parliament, Chambre des Communes, “Rapport du Comitée spécial sur les causes des troubles du Territoire du Nord-Ouest en 1869–70, Journaux de la Chambre des Communes 8 (annexe 6), 1874), 204 (page number to the English-language edition).]

The Preliminary Setting: An Attack on Eleanor Eliza Cripps Kennedy in the Canadian Press:

While the Red River Expeditionary Force was enroute to Red River, the Canadian Press continued to whip up anti-Red River sentiment. On 16 July 1870, the New Nation published “A Slander Refuted,” in defence of Eleanor Eliza Cripps, the Canadian-born wife of Captain William Kennedy. The article was a reprint that had first appeared in the Hamilton Spectator of 25 June. Eleanor had been targeted by William McDougall and a Mr. Bowell, whose remarks were apparently printed in an “Eastern newspaper” for having “counseled and insisted on the murder of poor young Scott.” Eleanor subsequently traced the rumour’s origin to “a remark made by her parish priest, the Reverend Joseph Phelps Gardiner” — the Anglican incumbent of St Andrew’s.

Acts of Violence after the RREF Arrival

Assault and Incarceration of Hon. Pierre Poitras and Hon. François-Xavier Pagé:

In a description of the events of 1869-1870, printed in Le Métis (28 February 1874), Louis Riel attested that after the Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia was prorogued, “From July 15 to the following August 24,” Hon. Mr. Pierre Poitras was a member of a council which governed the settlement “in the interests of Canada, its province of Manitoba, and its Northwest territories.” Riel further avowed,

“This period having passed, Colonel Wolseley arrived at Fort Garry. Instead of presenting himself amicably, as the rights of the people obliged him, his arrival was that of an enemy. The Vice President of the Provisional Government, Mr. F.X Pagée and Mr. Pierre Poitras, two of the people’s representatives who, the previous June 24, had amicably voted in favor of our entry into the Confederation, were peacefully on their way home. Wolseley had them violently arrested and dragged to prison. One of them, P. Poitras, an old man, was so mistreated by Col. Wolseley’s soldiers as to receive serious wounds.”

[Louis Riel, “L’Amnistie,” Le Métis (28 February 1874), 3.]

Assault on Father ‘François-Xavier’ Kavanagh:

On 24 August 1870, Kavanagh, of Quebec and resident at St. Francois Xavier and White Horse Plain, was “shot at by a RREF member and thrown from his horse.”

[See “Narrow Escape,New Nation (3 September 1870); and Barkwell, “The Reign of Terror Against the Metis of Red River,” http://www.metismuseum.ca/resource.php/07260, who voices the accusation against the RREF.]

Attack on Wabishka Morin:

On 3 September 1870, “seven of the Canadians tore down the fence of old ‘Wabishka’ Morin at Baie St. Paul, and after threatening his life they plundered his tiny farm.”

[Norman James Williamson, http://everlastingexile.weebly.com/traditional-ojibway-use-of-tobacco.html; http://everlastingexile.weebly.com/forkonia—1810.html]

Assault on Thomas Spence:

Historian Allen Ronaghan, has credited John C. Schultz with inaugurating the ‘reign of terror’ somewhat after attacks had already begun —

“by invading the offices of the New Nation on September 6th with three companions and assaulting Thomas Spence, the editor. As a result of damage done to the press by Schultz or his accomplices before their departure the New Nation was unable to resume publication, and Schultz’s News-Letter had a press monopoly until the Manitoban appeared in mid-October. A study of News-Letter issues of September and October shows the newspaper was not slow to try to ingratiate itself with the Volunteers. And reports in eastern newspapers prove that leaders of the Métis were deeply concerned about the number of people who were out on the plains and fearful of returning to their homes in the Settlement.”

Lawrence Barkwell of the Louis Riel Institute maintains that Spence was attacked in his home by Schultz and “a number of men,” who held Spence “at gunpoint,” and horsewhipped him. At the newspaper office the thugs chased away his staff, disabled the press, and threw the supplies outside.

Ronaghan notes that afterwards, the owner and staff of the Manitoban, “fearful for its very existence,” were “very circumspect in what it reported, especially where the Volunteers were concerned, and many of the special supplements have not survived.”

[Sources: Allen Ronaghan, “James Farquharson – Agent and Agitator,” Manitoba History 17 (Spring 1989), http://www.mhs.mb.ca/docs/mb_history/17/farquharson_j.shtml; Barkwell, “The Reign of Terror Against the Metis of Red River,” http://www.metismuseum.ca/resource.php/07260.]

Murder of Elzear Goulet:

According to Louis Riel and Ambroise-Dydime Lépine,

“One of our co-patriots, a man in much esteem and consequence of his public service during our troubles, and who, on two or three occasions, in moments of great difficulty, had materially contributed to prevent the Indians from commencing their savage hostilities against the whites, Elzear Goulet, to whom our understanding with Canada gave confidence in spite of the unfortunate arrival of Wolseley, returns to Winnipeg.  There in noon-day in the heart of the town four men rushed on him. Goulet seeks protection in vain. The four men pursued and killed him. Of these, two were militia men, and were not in any way interfered with in consequence of what they did. The other two continued to show themselves in the town, and have lived there since in impunity under the eye of the authorities at Portage.”

[Source: Canada, Parliament, House of Commons,”Report of the Select Committee on the Causes of the Difficulties in the North-West Territory,” 204.]

The event was also described by RREF bugler, Joseph Tennant, in 1920:

“Two weeks after the arrival of the Ontario Battalion the tragic death of Elzear Goulet occurred. It is an irreparable disgrace to all concerned. The Canada Hotel on Lombard street, at that time a nameless saloon, was kept by Marchaund, an American ex-soldier. The place was frequented by Ontario Volunteers. Some of them were drinking in this saloon on the 13th September, when Goulet was pointed out by a person present, as the man who shot Scott. The men became furious, and eager for revenge they rushed Goulet, who fled for his life to the Red River and plunged in to swim for the St. Boniface side. Fearing that they would be balked of their prey, the frenzied mob in pursuit hurled missiles of all kinds at the hunted man and stoned him to death in the water. …

Another furore arose in Easter Canada over this shameful cowardly affair, and a bitter attack was made on the Ontario Rifles for the lynching of Goulet.”

[Source: Joseph F. Tennant Rough Times, 1870-1920: a souvenir of the 50th anniversary of the Red River Expedition and the formation of the Province of Manitoba (n.p, 1920), 66.]

Ronaghan explains that : 

“[Lieutenant Governor Adams G.] Archibald arranged for an investigation into the affair. Twenty subpoenas were issued. Two informations and eleven depositions were taken in writing and seven persons were examined verbally. Judge Johnson’s summary of the information concluded that a charge of murder could be made against [James] Farquharson, who had incited the others to pursue Goulet, as well as against individuals named Saunders, Madigan and Campbell, who had pursued Goulet. Copies of the report were sent to Ottawa and to the Colonial Office in London. There Lord Kimberley expressed the opinion “that there was evidence enough to send the case for trial,” and the information about it was sent to the Law Officers for an opinion. The Law Officers agreed that ‘measures should be taken’ for prosecution of those involved. However, no one was ever brought to justice.”

Alfred Campbell Garrioch, nephew of William Garrioch of the Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia, and author of The Far and Furry North (1925), was of the opinion that “owing to the excitement connected with the occurrence it was deemed wiser to let the matter rest, and it is resting still.”

Dr. John O’Donnell, a friend of John C. Schultz and member of Manitoba’s first Legislative Council, wrote in his book, Manitoba As I Saw It (1909), that the four men involved in Goulet’s death “were no credit to either party, and were a class having no standing in the community.”

For men of ‘no standing,’ the associates of Schultz — his father-in-law James Farquharson, Madigan, Saunders, and Campbell (all 0f whom were identified by witnesses as those who murdered Elzear Goulet) — were accorded exceptional leniency by those charged with upholding the law in the newly Canadian province. Madigan, Saunders and Campbell have escaped censure into the present by way of a historically conferred near anonymity. For his part, Farquarhson, who, previous to killing Goulet, had been prevented by Lieutenant Governor Adams G. Archibald from printing an offer of reward “of twenty pounds each for the capture of Riel, O’Donoghue and Lepine,” went on to launch additional attacks (see below). His spree of violence was only curtailed by his own death in 1874, aged 55.

Aggravated Sexual Assault against Lorette Goulet:

Allegedly, “[Elzear] Goulet’s daughter, Lorette, 17, was raped by Red River Expedition soldiers … Those participating in the rapes were identified to Colonel Jarvis, whose reply was that it was none of his business. The Manitoba police took statements … but no charges were laid.”

[Bruce Cherney, “Election riot of 1872 — polling station attacked and newspaper offices ransacked,” (part 1).]

Arson Attack on the home of James Ross:

On 13 August 1870 the New Nation reported that James Ross (former Chief Justice of the Provisional Government of Assiniboia) and his brother-in-law, William Coldwell (former Clerk of the Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia), were departing on the International for Canada via Georgetown on a “short visit.” On 27 September 1870 the Toronto Telegraph reported that James Ross’ house, still under construction, was burned to the ground in an act of arson.

[“The International,” New Nation (13 August 1870), 2. See also John C. Schultz, Manitoba News-Letter (8 October 1870), 2.]

Public Call to Mob Law:

On 4 October 1870 the Toronto Telegraph reported that vigilante squads of RREF Volunteers were being organized to raid the houses of former members of the Provisional Government of Assiniboia.

[Barkwell, “The Reign of Terror Against the Metis of Red River,” http://www.metismuseum.ca/resource.php/07260. See also “Mob LawManitoban and North-West Herald (12 November 1870).]

Assault on ‘Young’ Cyr:

According to the Nouveau Monde of 15 October 1870, a “young man named Cyr” [perhaps John Cyr Jr., formerly a Lieutenant of the Red River Cavalry] was brutally attacked 17 September 1870, by a man identified as “an individual who lives with Mr. [John C.] Schultz,” which might well have been a reference to James Farquharson (Schultz’s father-in-law).

[Allan Roneghan, “James Farquharson – Agent and Agitator,” http://www.mhs.mb.ca/docs/mb_history/17/farquharson_j.shtml. John Cyr Jr. was a relative of Charles Nolin and of Auguste Harrison, former member of the Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia.]

Assault on Romain Nault and Lynching of Landry:

On 5 November 1870, “12-15 soldiers” at Fort Garry attacked Romain Nault and a man named Landry who was in his company. Nault “was struck down and kicked.” The soldiers then seized Landry, tied a rope around his neck and dragged him “for several hundred feet.” He was rescued by the action of his son, who succeeded in bringing police to the scene.

[Barkwell, “The Reign of Terror Against the Metis of Red River,” http://www.metismuseum.ca/resource.php/07260.]

Murder of Reverend James Edwin Tanner:

Louis Riel and Ambroise-Dydime Lépine stated, “Tanner was also killed by men sharing Wolseley’s feelings. The murder was also left unpunished.”

[Source:   Canada, Parliament, House of Commons,”Report of the Select Committee on the Causes of the Difficulties in the North-West Territory,” 205.]

On 3 December 1870, in a second page column entitled “Mob Law — The Loyalists at Work Again. Another Death,” the Manitoban and Northwest Herald reported:

“On Wednesday evening [30 November 1870], a crowded meeting was held at Poplar Point. The chief speakers were Mr. James Tanner, Mr. James Ross, and Dr. Lynch. Considerable noise was created at intervals by certain parties, but the result was when Dr. Lynch had stigmatized the Government as corrupt and incapable, Mr. Tanner in a speech which would have done honor to the House of Commons in England, moved a vote of entire confidence in [Lieutenant] Governor [Adams G.] Archibald, and carried his motion three to one.

But the sad termination was to come. Mr. Tanner on his way home had not driven two hundred yards, when some ruffians rushed towards his horse, waving their overcoats and throwing missiles, evidently to terrify the horse which was proverbially skittish. They succeeded to a miracle, for the horse started, poor Mr. Tanner (60 years of age) was thrown from the wagon, his skull was driven in and he died on the spot. And this was his “Loyalty’s Reward.” Mr. Ross and other gentlemen who were riding immediately behind Mr. Tanner had to ride the gauntlet through a shower of clubs, stones and snowballs. How long is this “loyal” rowdyism to continue?”

[See also “Election Meeting at Poplar Point,” the Manitoban and Northwest Herald (10 Dec. 1870).]

RREF bugler, Joseph Tennant, recounted:

“Another violent death was caused by this mischievous spirit which emanates from a few of the volunteers. These men wilfully scared the horse attached to a buggy which a Mr. Tanner was driving causing a runaway. Tanner was thrown from the rig and killed.

[Source: Joseph F. Tennant Rough Times, 1870-1920: a souvenir of the 50th anniversary of the Red River Expedition and the formation of the Province of Manitoba (n.p, 1920), 67.]

James Edwin Tanner was born in 1805 to Theresa, a Saulteaux woman, and Shawshawwabanase/John Falcon Tanner. He likely received some formal schooling beginning 1828 at Sault Ste. Marie, at “the Mission school of Rev. Abel Bingham (Baptist).” In about 1830 to 1836 James headed west. At some point, he married Louise ‘Poopie’ Instkwekamgoka or Margurite Patrice. He apparently became Catholic before being baptized as a Methodist “at the Anse (Michigan) mission in 1847.” After 1848, hedevoted himself to the work of a missionary among his own people in his position as interpreter” at Sandy Lake. In 1849 he went to Cass Lake and worked with the Presbyterian mission at Lake Winnibigoshish. He was at Pembina in 1850, returned to Sandy Lake in 1851, then went again to Pembina to establish a mission at St. Joseph. James left that location for St. Paul, after the murder of his assistant and of another missionary’s wife. At St. Paul he was baptized as a Baptist. Some accounts note that afterwards he became a Unitarian Missionary. He was apparently residing at Red River by 1870.

[See Peter Lorenz Neufeld, “John ‘Falcon’ Tanner’s Death,” Manitoba Pageant 20, no. 3 (spring 1975); Bruce Cherny, “Archibald said beatings were so frequent Métis virtually existed in a ‘state of slavery’,” http://www.winnipegrealestatenews.com/Resources/Article/?sysid=747; Louis Lehmann, “James Tanner – Saint or Sinner? Or a Little of Both?” Rootsweb, http://freepages.family.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~genealogyaddict/tannerstory.htm; Lawrence Barkwell, “Reverend Edwin James Tanner (1805–1970): Killed During Manitoba’s First Election Campaign,” Scribd.com, http://www.scribd.com/doc/18109941/Reverend-Edwin-James-Tanner. http://56755.blogspot.com/2010/11/church-in-saloon.html.]

Aggravated Assault on David Tait and Companions:

On 16 December 1870, David Tait (probably the son of William Auld Tait, former member of the Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia), and two men in his company were “beaten and left for dead.” Reportedly, “A soldier’s kepi with a regimental number” was found at the scene of the crime.

[Barkwell, “The Reign of Terror Against the Metis of Red River,” http://www.metismuseum.ca/resource.php/07260.]

Arson perpetrated against Robert Tait:

On 18 December 1870, 550 loads of hay belonging to Robert Tait (a sheriff of the Provisional Government of Assiniboia and brother of William Auld Tait, former member of the Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia), were set on fire and destroyed.

[Barkwell, “The Reign of Terror Against the Metis of Red River,” http://www.metismuseum.ca/resource.php/07260.]

Calls of “Death to Catholics”, “Death to the Half Breeds,” and the Burning of Donald A. Smith in Effigy:

Le Nouveau Monde (23 January 1871), and the Toronto Globe (8 February 1871), both reported that supporters  of John C. Schultz responded to his defeat in the election of 30 December 1870 by rioting. His supporters were reputed to number “About 100” and to be members of the RREF Volunteers:

“The village of Winnipeg was yesterday in the hands of this rabble for four hours … this took place some time after the close of the poll … During this time Colonel Jarvis of the 1st Battalion, was informed, and a picket went to surround these unhappy soldiers and bring them to the fort. The guard however did not arrive soon enough to prevent these fellows of Dr. Schultz from running through the village crying “Death to the Pope! Death to Catholics! Death to the Half Breeds! Death to the priests!” and from burning Donald Smith in effigy.”

[Barkwell, “The Reign of Terror Against the Metis of Red River,” http://www.metismuseum.ca/resource.php/07260.]

Aggravated Assault on Toussaint Vaudry and Joseph McDougall:

According to the Saint Paul Daily Pioneer, sometime prior to 4 January 1871, RREF Volunteers Patrick Morrissey, Richard Wilson, David Hamilton, and Robert Jamieson attacked Toussaint Voudrie/Vaudry and Joseph McDougall. The Canadian soldiers, accompanied by corporal James Hayes and Corporal O’Neil, had entered Vaudry’s home “and propositioned the women inside.” Vaudry and McDougall expelled the men from the house. The soldiers returned with reinforcements and severely beat both men — Vaudry’s injuries were considered critical. Seven of the troops were charged, but only Morrissey and Wilson were indicted and fined “$40.00 and $7.50 in court costs.”

[Barkwell, “The Reign of Terror Against the Metis of Red River,” http://www.metismuseum.ca/resource.php/07260.]

Arson Attack on the home of Maurice Lowman:

On 11 January 1871, the home of Maurice Lowman (half-brother of Dr. Curtis James Bird of the Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia), was destroyed by arsonists

[Manitoban (14 January 1871), cited in Barkwell, “The Reign of Terror Against the Metis of Red River,” http://www.metismuseum.ca/resource.php/07260.]

Reputed Murder of François Guillemette/ Guilemette/ Guilmette:

At an undetermined date, François Guillemette — reputed to have fired the coup de grâce to Thomas Scott on 4 March 1870 — was rumoured to have been shot to death, his body left in a field near Pembina U.S.

Nothing, however, appears to be known of Guillemette’s identity. Although Alexander Begg‘s Red River Journal (page 328), indicated that Guillemette was a Canadian employed by John C. Schultz, no records are cited in any accounts that confirm his origins, family ties, place of residence, or date of death. He was nevertheless reputed to be one of the men photographed with Louis Riel in 1870.

Photograph, “Councillors of the Provisional Government of the Métis Nation,” Library and Archives Canada / PA-012854.

Note: Different Archives identify the men in the Photograph differently.

(back row, from left to right): Bonnet Tromage [or Charles Laroque, but apparently François Guilmette], Pierre de Lorme, Thomas Bunn, Xavier Page [Pagée], Baptiste Beauchemin [apparently André Beauchemin], Baptiste Tournond, Joseph [apparently Thomas] Spence.

(middle row, left-right): Pierre Poitras, John Bruce, Louis Riel, John O’Donoghue [actually his name was William O’Donoghue], François Dauphinais.

(Front row, L-R): Robert O’Lone [actually Hugh Francis ‘Bob’ Olone — there was no Robert O’Lone], Paul Proulx.

The authority, for identifying those individuals identified above in parentheses as “apparently” being someone else, is: Archives of Manitoba, Photograph Collection, Red River Disturbances, which is a small reprint of a larger group photo that indicates the larger original had the names of the members of the council printed on a surrounding border. Some of the names on the small reprint have been crossed out and corrected in ink. A note on the back explains:

“July 30. 1934. Submitted duplicate of this Red R. Rest. picture, without names, to
John-Marie Poitras aged 96
Pauline McDougall [aged] 84
Daniel Carriere [aged] 84
Martin Gerome  [aged] 84
also Frederic Genthon [aged] 77 and all these – who knew the men personally – certified the names are correct with the changes noted.”

The card is stamped: “Manitoba Historical Society, 255 Legislative Bldg., Winnipeg 1, Man.”

It is possible that François Guillemette was related to Pierre Guillemette/ Peter Guilmette, who opened a store at Winnipeg in 1874.

[See advertisementLe Métis (31 October 1874). http://manitobia.ca/content/en/newspapers/LMT/1874/10/31/4/Ar00410.xml/Olive?query=guillemette]

Murder of Hugh Francis ‘Bob’ Olone:

Hugh Olone actively participated with settlers of St. Norbert and St. Vital in the formation of the Comité National and the Provisional Government in 1869. He was elected a member of the Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia, as the honourable member for Winnipeg, in 1870.

Within a year of having participated in the creation of the Province of Manitoba, Hugh Olone was dead. In February of 1871 a notice of his impending demise appeared in the Manitoba News-letter, owned by John C. Schultz:

“Badly Hurt.—Hugh O’Lone (better known here as Bob,) a ‘General’ in the rebel force of last winter, got into an altercation with some American half-breeds at Pembina, about a fort-night ago, and got so severely hurt on the head that the U.S. Post-Surgeon at Pembina, declined to perform the Surgical operation necessary to ensure recovery without assistance. There being no medical man nearer than Fort Garry, assistance was sought here, and Dr. Turver went on Monday evening and gave the patient the benefit of his professional skill.”

On 7 March 1871 the Saint Paul Daily Pioneer reported that Hugh F. ‘Bob’ Olone had been killed by a blow to the head from a revolver in early January. His family in New York also posted an obituary. He died at the age of 35.

In the opinion of historians such as A.-H. de Trémaudan and Ruth Swan, Olone’s death was one of several assassinations meted out not by Métis individuals, but by Canadian troops after their arrival in August of 1870 — as retribution for the execution of Thomas Scott. The view is lent support by the reminiscences of Joseph Tennant, a bugler with the  RREF Volunteers. He recorded that, about the middle of September, “No. 1 Company of the Ontario Rifles, under Captain Cooke, was sent to the International Boundary Line, and wintered in Forth North Pembina, the Hudson Bay Post on the frontier, for the purpose of watching half-breed fugitives, and the Americans who had leagued themselves with Riel to suit their own purposes.” He recounted,

“Passes were … granted at intervals to exchange visits with the American troops in their new fort, which was built a mile south o the town and named For Pembina. Our fellows were well treated by the American soldiers and citizens, except by those who had fled from Fort Garry and were wintering in Pembina. Among these were Colonel Stutsman, Jimmy [McCarthy] from Cork (a cranky little Irish-American) and Bob O’Lone [sic]. Stutsman and Jimmy resented the visits of the Volunteers to Pembina. Bob O’Lone a more genial character, and the United States Sheriff, John Lennon, a brother of the late Dennis Lennon, the well-known hotel proprietor in Winnipeg, were always ready to prevent interference with the Canadian soldiers.”

It was at such a dance, described by Tennant as “a half-breed dance,” that Olone’s skull was smashed. As it was the purpose of the Ontario Volunteers to spy on Métis and American affiliates of the Provisional Government, there is no reason to doubt their presence at the event. Given their penchant for retributive ‘justice’ there is little reason to lay blame for the attack elsewhere.

[See “Badly Hurt,” Manitoba News-Letter (1 February 1871), 1. Ruth Swan and Edward A. Jerome, “‘Unequal Justice:’ The Metis in O’Donoghue’s Raid of 1871,” Manitoba History 39 (spring/summer 2000), http://www.mhs.mb.ca/docs/mb_history/39/unequaljustice.shtml. See also A.H. de Tremaudan, ‘Notes and Comments: Louis Riel’s Account of the Capture of Fort Garry, 1870,’ The Canadian Historical Review, 5 no. 1 (March 1924), 146 and n.1, who comments that Hugh F. Olone was with the majority of the French representatives and with A.H. Scott of Winnipeg, who were in favour of stopping the troops if they were not carrying an amnesty proclamation, but that Riel refused to sanction their proposed action. “Troop Socials,” St. Vincent Memories, http://56755.blogspot.com/2011/03/troop-socials.html; Joseph F. Tennant Rough Times, 1870-1920: a souvenir of the 50th anniversary of the Red River Expedition and the formation of the Province of Manitoba (n.p, 1920).]

Arson attack on the offices of the Manitoban:

On 23 February 1871, The RREF Volunteers attempted to burn down the offices of the Manitoban.

[St. Paul Daily Pioneer (14 March 1871), cited in Barkwell, “The Reign of Terror Against the Metis of Red River,” http://www.metismuseum.ca/resource.php/07260.]

Aggravated Assault against André Nault:

On 14 March 1871, the St. Paul Daily Pioneer included a letter from a correspondent in Winnipeg stating: “Our people cannot visit Winnipeg without being insulted, if not personally abused, by the soldier mob. They defy all law and authority, civil and military.” The same paper reported that fifteen RREF Volunteers attacked André Neault at a hotel at Pembina. Nault attempted to escape “by running across the border.” The soldiers, however, caught him. He was bayoneted and left for dead. None of the Volunteers were ever charged.

[For a full account see Derrick Nault, “Andre Nault (1830-1924) Obituaries,” http://ucalgary.academia.edu/DerrickNault/Posts/314795/Andre_Nault_1830-1924_Obituaries; Derrick Nault, “More Details on the Attempted Murder of André Nault,” who has posted an additional newspaper account published in San Francisco (8 April 1871) “here for anyone interested”; and Barkwell, “The Reign of Terror Against the Metis of Red River,” http://www.metismuseum.ca/resource.php/07260.]

Invasion of Andrew McDermott’s home:

On 15 March 1871 the St. Paul Press reported “that soldiers of the Ontario Battalion invaded
Andrew McDermott’s home at 11 P.M. They severely beat one of the servants.” When female members of the household attempted to leave and summon police, they were threatened with having the house set on fire.

[Barkwell, “The Reign of Terror Against the Metis of Red River,” http://www.metismuseum.ca/resource.php/07260.]

Assault against Frederick Bird:

On 19 April 1871, Frederick Adolphus Bird, MLA for Portage la Prairie (and half-brother of Dr. Curtis James Bird, former member of the Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia), was “kicked and thrown into the mud because supporters of Schultz did not like the way he voted in the legislative assembly.”

[Barkwell, “The Reign of Terror Against the Metis of Red River,” http://www.metismuseum.ca/resource.php/07260.]

Assault against Thomas Bunn:

On 4 May 1871, a group of RREF Volunteers attacked former member of the Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia, Thomas Bunn, in the Davis House Hotel.

[Barkwell, “The Reign of Terror Against the Metis of Red River,” http://www.metismuseum.ca/resource.php/07260.]

Aggravated Sexual Assault against Marie La Rivière:

On 4 May 1871, Private Evans was arrested for the rape of Marie La Rivière. Evans was confined to barracks, but escaped on 6 May. On rearrest, he was again confined to barracks, but received no other punishment.

[Barkwell, “The Reign of Terror Against the Metis of Red River,” http://www.metismuseum.ca/resource.php/07260.]

Additional Aggravated Sexual Assaults:

On 23 May 1871, RREF Voluteers beat a First Nations man and raped his wife and daughters. A complaint was laid with Colonel Jarvis, identifying the perpetrators. Jarvis held “it was none of his business.” The police took statements from the woman and her daughters but no charges were laid, out a fear that the RREF Volunteers would riot.

[St. Paul Daily Pioneer (9 June 1871), cited in Barkwell, “The Reign of Terror Against the Metis of Red River,” http://www.metismuseum.ca/resource.php/07260.]

Aggravated Assault against Louis Hibbert:

On 24 May 1871, Louis Hibbert arrived at Fort Garry from the Qu’Appelle Lakes. Soldiers accosted him then beat him insensible “with belts.” His life was spared when two women intervened. One witness, newly arrived from Canada,  said, “he had not believed the newspaper reports of Volunteer violence at Fort Garry until he saw this incident, which he said exceeded the brutality of anything he had read and left him disgusted.”

[La Minerve (18July 1871), cited in Barkwell, “The Reign of Terror Against the Metis of Red River,” http://www.metismuseum.ca/resource.php/07260.]

Assault against American Consul at Winnipeg, James Wickes Taylor:

On 24 May 1871, an RREF Volunteer attacked James Wickes Taylor. News of the incident travelled widely. The New York Times ran a report titled “Military Reign of Terror in Manitoba.” Taylor commented, “Outrages upon the French population are of daily occurrence — often most flagrant and cowardly in their character, and so far this incident has tended to identify me with this long-suffering population. I do not regret it.”

[ La Minerve (18 July 1871), cited in Barkwell, “The Reign of Terror Against the Metis of Red River,” http://www.metismuseum.ca/resource.php/07260.]

Assault against Baptiste Lépine:

On 3 June 1871, Alexander Begg reported:

[A] disgraceful affair occurred … which was about the last open expression of ill-feeling between the Volunteers and French Half Breeds. Ambroise Lépine’s brother (Baptiste) and some others got into a dispute with some volunteers while drinking in the Davis House. It ended in blows and Lépine and friends were ejected into the street. A miniature battle took place then — volunteers and friends against Half Breeds. Sticks, chairs, boots, bottles, and chunks of hard mud were used. Injuries occurred. Lépine had his head cut open with a fence board.

[Barkwell, “The Reign of Terror Against the Metis of Red River,” http://www.metismuseum.ca/resource.php/07260.]

Canadian Usurpation of Property at Riviere Aux Ilets-De-Bois begins:

On 18 June 1871, Duncan Urquhart Campbell of Chatham ON recorded in his diary that he and other Canadians had been warned by “three French Half Breeds to which we paid no attention” to leave off staking claims along the Riviere Aux Ilets-De-Bois on Métis lands where homes had been established as early as the 1830s. Despite additional confrontations, and contrary to assurances in the Manitoba Act, the Canadians refused to honour pre-existing Métis claims. In the end, Métis families were displaced from their preferred site along the river and settled instead to the north. They named their new parish there Riviere aux Ilets-de-Bois, though it later became known as St. Daniel. The Canadian usurpers renamed the river the Boyne. By 1881 the settlement there was overwhelmingly inhabited by new arrivals from Ontario who were Protestant and English-speaking.

[Alan B. McCullough, “The Confrontations at Riviere Aux Ilets-De-Bois,” Manitoba History (1 January 2012).]

Harassment of William B. O’Donoghue:

Much has been made of charges levelled at William B O’Donoghue (former member of the Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia) for being a ‘Fenian.’ The entire province of Manitoba was mobilized against O’Dongohue in October 1871. Wild rumours were published in the press. These were readily relayed by Lieutenant Governor Adams G. Archibald, who parlayed them into a cause that he believed would unite the ‘English’ (formerly known as the ‘loyal’ affiliates of the ‘Canadian Party’), and the ‘French’ (former supporters of the Provisional Government of Assiniboia, also known as ‘Half-Breeds’).

O’Donoghue was captured and handed to American authorities. He protested his innocence and was released. His principal ‘crime’ seems to have been keeping company with Irish American migrants — settler hopefuls whom he was leading to Manitoba — some of whom were alleged to have participated in cross-border raids elsewhere. O’Donoghue subsequently declined to return to Canada. He died in 1878 while seeking medical treatment in St. Paul, Minnesota.

[See “The Fenians! Attack on the Province! … O’Donoghue Arrested …,” Manitoban and Northwest Herald (7 October 1871), 2; Canada, Parliament, House of Commons, “Report of the Select Committee on the Causes of the Difficulties in the North-West Territory in 1869–70,” 53, in which Taché deposes that in 1871,

“I met some of those who were called Fenians I met O’Donohue [sic] himself three days distant from Fort Garry. I made a point of speaking to him on the question, and I showed to him not only the impropriety, but the criminality of the thing. He denied to me having any intention of making an attack upon the Province of Manitoba. He said he was merely the leader of a party of emigrants who were going to Manitoba, and that he had come to an agreement with the railway companies to get a reduction in the passage for these emigrants. He also stated that he would convey them to their destination, and go back at once to secure other emigrants to Manitoba”;

“Riel and O’Donoghue,” The Nor’-Wester (9 November 1874), 2; J. P. Pritchett, “The Origins of the So-called Fenian Raid on Manitoba”, Canadian Historical Review 10 (1929); George F.G. Stanley, ‘O’Donoghue, William Bernard,’ DCB; Hereward Senior, The Last Invasion of Canada ; J. L. Granatstein, For better or for worse: Canada and the United States to the 1990s (Toronto: Copp Clark Pitman, 1991), 13; Ruth Swan and Edward A. Jerome, “‘Unequal Justice:’ The Metis in O’Donoghue’s Raid of 1871,” Manitoba History 39 (spring/summer 2000), http://www.mhs.mb.ca/docs/mb_history/39/unequaljustice.shtml.]

Harassment of Julie Lagimodière Riel:

Lieutenant Governor Adams G. Archibald, observed that sometime before late 1872, when the intention of the Ontario Legislature and the Middlesex County Council to offer rewards for the capture of Riel “had been spoken of,” it happened at Red River that “Already a party of some eight or ten disbanded volunteers had, without warrant, made a raid on the house of Riel’s mother [a widow], with faces masked and armed with revolvers, when they committed outrages that had excited the French half-breeds almost to frenzy.” Archibald added “The raid … was for the purpose of arresting Riel. The persons concerned in it threatened violence to Riel’s mother and sister.” He claimed, “I do not remember the date of the raid.”

[Source: Canada, Parliament, House of Commons,”Report of the Select Committee on the Causes of the Difficulties in the North-West Territory in 1869–70,” 162.]

Riel and Lépine supplied a date for the incident:

“On the 8th December following [the so-called ‘Fenian raid’ of autumn of 1871], a band of 15 men go to St. Vital, they enter like brigands at Madame Riel’s house, saying that they came in the Queen’s name with a warrent against Louis Riel, whom they sought everywhere with arms in their hands, upsetting everything in the house, insulting, outraging and feloniously threatening with their fire-arms the women in the house. Up to this moment [3 January 1873] these malefactors have been spared and even treated with consideration (menagés).”

[Source: Canada, Parliament, House of Commons,”Report of the Select Committee on the Causes of the Difficulties in the North-West Territory in 1869–70,” 205; see also Lesley Ericson, “Repositioning the Missionary: Sara Riel, the Grey Nuns, and Aboriginal Women in Catholic Missions of the Northwest,” in Recollecting the Lives of Aboriginal Women of the Canadian West and Borderlands, ed. Sarah Carter and Patricia McCormack (Edmonton: Athabasca University Press, 2011), 128-129.]

Attempted Assassinations of Louis Riel and A.-D. Lépine:

Riel and Lépine recounted:

“In the beginning of 1872, the Proclamation of the Governor of Ontario, against the pretended murderers of Scott, was exciting trouble in Manitoba. In order not to be the occasion of violent agitation in our young and beloved Province, and for the purpose of screening the Government at Ottawa, who, instead of protecting us against the Proclamation, complained that our presence in the Province gave the opposition a pretext and power against us, we agreed to leave the country for a time. We then went to reside at St. Paul’s. A member of the Federal Parliament [‘Dr’ John Christian Schultz, member for Lisgar, Manitoba], trampling all justice under his feet, came to disturb us in our exile. On the 17th of March, he formed and began to carry out, in the very capital of Minnesota, a conspiracy against us. His plan was to enter clandestinely into the hotel where we were living, break open our trunks, and carry off the official documents which we had respecting the troubles of ’69 and ’70, and respecting our agreements with the Government at Ottawa. On the 28th April, two men at St. Paul’s, believing no witness near, during the night at a fire, discussed measures for taking our lives, and thus securing the $5,000 which the Proclamation of the Governor of Ontario had offered for the pretended murderers of Scott. On the 30th April, at Breckenridge, four men, supposed to be in the service of this same hon. member whose iniquitous machinations we had had to resist at St. Paul, watched at the door of the hotel where we were until a late hour of the night, with the intention of assassinating us if we came out. These facts are supported by affidavits of honest witnesses still living.”

[Source: Canada, Parliament, House of Commons,”Report of the Select Committee on the Causes of the Difficulties in the North-West Territory in 1869–70,” 205-206.]

Mob Violence:

Historian Lovell Clark, has related,

“[John C.] Schultz’s return from Ottawa in the spring of 1872 was followed by a new outbreak of lawlessness on the part of his supporters, by attacks on prominent French-speaking Manitobans, and by the burning in effigy (paid for in part by Schultz) of Riel and [Lieutenant Governor Adams G.] Archibald in the streets of Winnipeg. The ringleader of the activities was Stewart Mulvey, a former officer in the volunteers and editor of Schultz’s new paper, the Manitoba Liberal.”

[Lovell Clark, “Schultz, Sir John Christian,” Dictionary of Canadian Biography online [DCB], http://www.biographi.ca/009004-119.01-e.php?BioId=40542.]

Riel and Lépine, asserted,

“As for these disturbers of public order, they can all, whoever they may be, move about freely and defy the law everywhere in Winnipeg. They can show themselves even in out courts of justice to the grievous scandal and alarm of honest men, merely laugh at our laws and show clearly in the eyes of the world that we may at any moment find ourselves plunged in the horrors of anarchy.”

[Source: Canada, Parliament, House of Commons,”Report of the Select Committee on the Causes of the Difficulties in the North-West Territory in 1869–70,” 206. At this point in the complaint, just as Sir John A. Macdonald is about to be discussed, the report is interrupted by the note “Here a page of the original M.S.S. is said to have been lost before reaching the Lieutenant-Governor of Manitoba.” That explanation seems off, as the document was “handed to you [Morris] by A. Beauchemin, Esq., M.P.P.,” (formerly of the Provisional Government of Assiniboia). It is more likely the page was lost after Morris received the document. The Select Committee report resumes with a grammatically incomplete and non-sequitor sentence that appears to refer to the conduct of either of Macdonald or Schultz: “In his public speeches and in his political harangues speaks of only one thing, hanging us because we do not devote ourselves to the defence of the interests of our Province.”]

Attacks on Maxime Lépine, Pierre Léveillé and André Neault:

On 1 May 1, 1872, soldier William Rogers “accosted and threatened” Maxime Lépine, Pierre Léveillé and André Neault, who were on their way to see Lieutenant Governor Adams G. Archibald at Upper Fort Garry. On receiving their complaint, Captain Thomas Scott had Rogers arrested, but Lépine, Léveillé, and Neault had to leave Scott’s office through “a gauntlet of 30 angry Volunteers” armed with clubs:

“…puis les trois Métis s’en retournèrent. Comme ils se dirigeaient vers la traverse de la rivière Assiniboine, une trentaine de soldats, armés de bâtons, sortaient en courant de la porte du Fort et se mettaient à leur poursuite.”

The three returned the next day to lay additional charges against the soldiers with Lieutenant Colonel Osborne Smith. Rogers received a 30 day sentence.

[Le Métis (1 May 1872), cited in Barkwell, “The Reign of Terror Against the Metis of Red River,” http://www.metismuseum.ca/resource.php/07260.]

Invasion of Madame Goulet’s home and Aggravated Assault against Alphonse Carrier and Maxime Goulet:

The article “Odieux,” Le Métis (14 August 1872), reported that twelve soldiers were involved in an attack at Madame Goulet’s house. They threw objects at it, then three invaded the home and brutally beat the occupants:

“Dix étaient engages à frapper et à lancer des projectiles, même sur les femmes qui se trouvaient dans la maison. Le ouzième cherchait à arrêter les autres. M.
Alphonse Carrière eut la lèvre fendue, outré les contusions et meurtrisure sur les épaules et les bras. M. Maxime Goulet reçut aussi un violent coup de bâton sur la tête. La porte de la maison fut enfoncée et brisée, et des habits furent déchirés.”

[Barkwell, “The Reign of Terror Against the Metis of Red River,” http://www.metismuseum.ca/resource.php/07260.]

Aggravated Assault against Moise Normand and Joseph St. Germain:

On 4 September 1872, soldiers threatened Moise Normand and Joseph St. Germain with knives and beat the two men when they tried to cross the bridge over the Assiniboine River.

[ “Encore une rixe,” Le Métis (4 September 1872), cited in Barkwell, “The Reign of Terror Against the Metis of Red River,” http://www.metismuseum.ca/resource.php/07260.]

Attacks on Voters at St. Boniface during the Federal Election of 1872:

Louis Riel and Ambroise-Dydime Lépine recounted:

“During the last Federal election we think that we acted nobly in electing as we did, the Minister of Militia [Georges E. Cartier, who was elected when Riel (projected to win) dropped out of the race]. Four days afterwards at St. Boniface the electors of Selkirk, in the peaceful exercise of their rights, were attacked in every possible way, even by shots, to recompense us for what we had just done in Provencher in the interest of one of the members of the Canadian Government,”

[Source: Canada, Parliament, House of Commons,”Report of the Select Committee on the Causes of the Difficulties in the North-West Territory,” 206.]

Clark, “Schultz, Sir John Christian,” DCB, notes, “A Winnipeg mob, urged on by Francis Evans Cornish, attacked a polling-booth in St Boniface and the offices of the Manitoban and Le Métis, Schultz’s rivals. Schultz was gleeful.”

Aggravated Assault against Crown Attorney Joseph Dubuc:

On 5 October 1872, John Ingram (later made Chief of Police, Winnipeg), attacked and “severely” beat Crown Attorney Joseph Dubuc, who had been involved in the prosecution of the election day rioters. According to one account, “the young lawyer, originally from Québec, was left unconscious in the street, and his face was battered to such an extent that he lost sight in one eye.”

[“Assault brutal,” Le Métis (12 October 1872), cited in Barkwell, “The Reign of Terror Against the Metis of Red River,” http://www.metismuseum.ca/resource.php/07260. Bruce Cherney, “Election riot of 1872 — polling station attacked and newspaper offices ransacked,” (part 1).]

Tarring-and-Feathering of Dr. James Curtis Bird:

On 6 March 1873, Dr. James Bird — formerly a member of the Legislative Assembly of Assinibois, and currently the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba — was “called from his home on a pretense … to attend the wife of the Reverend John Black of Kildonan.” As he neared Point Douglas House, “he was waylaid, dragged from his sled and brutally attacked.” A gang of men, masked by hoods, threw “a pail of tar” over him, then and “smeared him with … feathers.” News of the assault raised public outrage. “The apprehension of the culprits was demanded … But a reward of $1,000, a considerable sum in those days, posted for information leading to arrest, was never claimed.”

[Frank Hall, “City of Winnipeg – Offspring of Conflicting Passions … Incorporated 100 Years Ago,” http://www.mhs.mb.ca/docs/pageant/19/conflictingpassions.shtml; Memorable Manitobans, http://www.mhs.mb.ca/docs/people/bird_cj.shtml; Ross Mitchell, “Early Doctors of Red River and Manitoba,” http://www.mhs.mb.ca/docs/transactions/3/earlydoctors.shtml; Gordon H.A. Macintosh, “The Parliamentary Tradition in Manitoba,” http://www.revparl.ca/6/2/06n2_83e_Mackintosh.pdf.]

Burning down of the home of Anne ‘Annie’ McDermot Bannatyne and A.G.B. Bannatyne

Fire broke out in Bannatyne home — used as the first Legislative building of Manitoba on 3 December 1873. The Manitoban reported that “The work of taking the books from the shelves and handing them out of the windows occupied some time, and before all the volumes in the room could be got out.” Losses included “irreplaceable records and books,” possibly including records pertaining to the Provisional Government of Assiniboia. Although there was speculation as to the cause of the fire, it was never unequivocally determined — the investigation merely closed on a surmise that it had started as a chimney fire.

[Bruce Cherney, “Manitoba’s first legislative building — December 3 fire destroyed A.G.B. Bannatyne’s home,” http://www.winnipegrealestatenews.com/Resources/Article/?sysid=906.]

Evaluations, as of 1873:

According to Louis Riel and Ambroise-Dydime Lépine,

“The inhabitants of the settlement generally have been attacked in their persons and their property, by the majority of the emigrants, and by a large number of the men belonging to the militia.

And the Canadian authorities leave us to be crushed.

And thus they expect to heal the wounds caused by the troubles of 1869-’70, troubles which Lord Granville in his dispatch to the Governor General, of 30th November, 1869, says were brought about by the conduct of the Canadian Government.”

[Source:  Canada, Parliament, House of Commons,”Report of the Select Committee on the Causes of the Difficulties in the North-West Territory,” 205.]

On 1 April 1873, Rev. N.J. Ritchot wrote to “Right Honorable Sir Frederick Temple, Earl of Duffrin, Viscount and Baron Clandeboye of Clandeboye, in the County of Down, in the Peerage of the United Kingdom, Baron Duffrin, and Clandeboye of Ballyleidy and Killeleagh, in the County of Down, in the Peerage of Ireland, and a Baronet, Knight of the Most Illustrious Order of Saint Patrick, and Knight Commander of the Most Honorable Order of the Bath, Governor General of Canada, &c., &c., &c.” (translation):

“Three years have passed … and the promises made in regard to amnesty have not been fulfilled, and other promises and other conditions remain as yet unfulfilled.

So far from this being the case, men sent by the Dominion Government have engaged in committing actions the most alarming, as well as most unjust and atrocious, with respect to the inhabitants of the little Province of Manitoba. During these three years, on more than one occasion would the Province have become the theatre of scenes of horror which cause a shudder to think of, if the native population had engaged in reprisals.

Worn out by the present state of affairs, the people of Manitoba complain of having been deceived, and ask for justice.”

[Canada, Parliament, House of Commons,”Report of the Select Committee on the Causes of the Difficulties in the North-West Territory,” 87.]

Provincial and Federal Appointments: Uneven Rewards

On 27 January 1873, A.-A. Taché, Bishop at St. Boniface, Manitoba, wrote to Hon. H.L. Langevin, Minister of Public Works, Canada:

“I send herewith a list of those who administer in Manitoba, the several departments directly under the control of the Dominion Government. Everybody will not tell you, but everybody here feels the unjust preference exhibited by this list. Eighty-six appointments have been made at Ottawa. Out of this number five only are half-breeds; only twelve bear French names. If the Ottawa Government could not do otherwise, [it is as] if they had undertaken to justify the apprehensions which provoked the resistance of 1869!

Here discontent is increasing every day; not only is it general amongst the French population, but the English population manifest a like dissatisfaction … God knows how the Land Department is administered; … in that Department an employee … [who is] a French Canadian — a Catholic — an honest man, and this morning, Mr. McMicken has discharged him. Mr. Larivière is dismissed from the Land Office without any reason whatever, without even a pretext given … the whole French population of Manitoba and a large portion of the English population should be forced to witness the expulsion in this way of the only man in the Land Department in whom they had confidence”

[ Canada, Parliament, House of Commons,”Report of the Select Committee on the Causes of the Difficulties in the North-West Territory,” 50, 51.]

The Amnesty Question:

A.-A. Taché asserted,

[A]s to the promise of an amnesty, which it is now pretended was never made … That promise was made, not only to the delegates, but to myself. They have not the courage to avow their acts for fear of displeasing Ontario.

At Ottawa they do not know what takes place here, and they govern us so as to please the fanatics of Ontario.

[Canada, Parliament, House of Commons,”Report of the Select Committee on the Causes of the Difficulties in the North-West Territory,” 51.]

“The saying in the country”:

A.-A. Taché, recited:

“To John Schultz,
Honor and money, plenty;
To friends fools,
Scaffolds, or pockets empty.”

[Canada, Parliament, House of Commons,”Report of the Select Committee on the Causes of the Difficulties in the North-West Territory,” 50.]

The Arrest and Trial of Ambroise-Dydime Lépine:

On 17 September 1873, Lépine was arrested on the charge of murdering Thomas Scott, a charge brought by two Canadians who had been imprisoned by the Provisional Government. Several judges, who were not convinced the Court of Queen’s Bench had authority to try the case, delayed several times.

In June 1874, newly appointed provincial chief justice, Edmund Burke Wood, released Lépine on $8,000 bail.

On 13 October 1874 the trial began, continuing to 4 November. The jury returned a verdict of guilty with the recommendation of mercy. The judge described the execution of Scott as a “savage atrocity,” and sentenced Lépine to death by hanging.

[See George B. Elliott and Frederick Thomas Brokovski,  Preliminary investigation and trial of Ambroise D. Lepine for the murder of Thomas Scott: being a full report of the proceedings in this case before the Magistrates’ Court and the several Courts of Queen’s Bench in the province of Manitoba (1874).]

PM Alexander Mackenzie‘s government had Governor General Lord Dufferin [Blackwood], review the sentence. Dufferin’s decision was to have Lépine’s sentence commuted to two years in prison along with the forfeiture of his civil rights.

In April 1875, Lépine was offered an amnesty on the condition that he accept banishment from Canada for five years. Lépine refused and served out his sentence.

The Banishment and Death of Louis Riel:

Due to agitation in Ontario on the part of former ‘Canadian party’ members, Riel was never allowed to sit as a member of the Parliament of Canada — though he was elected for Provencher, Manitoba, in 1873 and 1874. In April 1875, Riel was offered an amnesty on the condition that he accept banishment from Canada for five years. He accepted, subsequently becoming an American citizen.

By 1884 Riel was living in Montana. In that year, Métis and non-Aboriginal settlers in what is now Saskatchewan solicited his help to petition the Government of Canada over grievances about its land policies. Riel agreed to join the movement, arriving at the settlement of Batoche in early July. On 19 March 1885, convinced that written protest had failed, Riel and Métis of the settlement took up arms and declared a provisional government. Their resistance effectively ended on 12 May with the capture of Batoche by Canadian forces.

Riel was hanged for treason at Regina on 16 November 1885. Increased marginalization of Métis people in Western Canada followed.

The Legacy of Damage Done:

As late as 1895 John C. Schultz and his wife, Agnes Campbell Farquharson Schultz, were described as “intensely unpopular.” Schultz was ill, subject to pernicious anemia and constant hemorrhages. He had the complexion “of a corpse,” with a “lemon-white” face. He died in Monterrey, Mexico, where he had sought a cure, but was shipped back to Winnipeg for a state funeral (20 April 1896). His last act of invasion was to be buried in the St. John’s cathedral cemetery — interred among the remains of the people he had loathed and tormented. Schultz had been a believer in the efficacy of Residential Schools. His will left a behest to establish an Industrial School [aka Residential School] for Métis children of Manitoba.

His removal from political affairs in the West was no doubt regarded as a relief for some — even Sheriff Colin Inkster, who had sided with him for a time, “after reading the fulsome inscription on Schultz’s tombstone,” reportedly remarked,  “What a pity we knew him.”  Schultz’s death occurred too late for many, however. Irreparable damage — setting in motion a sustained attack on Aboriginality in Manitoba and the North-West — had already been done.

[Source: Lovell Clark, “Schultz, John Christian,” DCB, http://www.biographi.ca/009004-119.01-e.php?BioId=40542]

_______________________________________________________

Published: 18 July 2012

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Responses

  1. I am the great grandson of ambroise lepine aged 74 residing in calgary alberta moving hear from st.boniface manitoba seven years ago I have truly enjojyed this article having given me more insite to my heritage .

  2. I don’t remember learning any of this in my history classes.

  3. I am an ex- Manitoban non of the above was ever touched on in any Manitoba public school history of Manitoba class I ever attended. Some of these people mentioned are my ancestors.


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