During 1870 (May)

1870

In Assiniboia:

1 May: a Sunday, on which the weather is hot and it has rained.

Canadian rumours circulate, alleging: both flags are flying at Upper Fort Garry, the Provisional Government flag was up all night because the rope was made fast ½ way up the pole; the settlement is quiet; HBC Gov. William Mactavish is well enough to be able to leave soon; Dr. William Cowan will go with Mactavish; HBC Clerk John Henry McTavish is to take charge of Upper Fort Garry business until a new HBC governor arrives.

[Begg, Red River Journal365.]

2 May:  Session 2, Day 6 of the Debates of Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia: meets only to adjourn, due to urgent Cabinet business [perhaps alerted to issues by the special messenger that had been sent to St. Paul MN for news of delegates in Ottawa?]

The weather is oppressively warm.

Canadian rumours circulate, alleging: the legislative assembly is in session; no mail arrived from the U.S.; Shamon/ Shawman/ Chamblin/ George Racette Jr. is heading towards Red River with 500 Sioux (though this is not widely believed); the river steamer International is expected to arrive from its winter berth; the HBC is to issue new £1 notes, the printing on older ones not being creditable.

[Begg, Red River Journal, 366.]

In Canada:

2 May: John A. Macdonald introduces the bill that will become the Manitoba Act for a first reading in the Canadian Parliament (the bill in printed form will not be presented until 4 May).

3 May: The Red River delegates meet Governor-General Sir John Young in Ottawa. They are assured that the wishes of the people will be accommodated by the Canadian government (including a general amnesty), before any military force is sent to Red River.

Delegate Rev. N.-J. Ritchot sends a telegram to Secretary of State Thomas Bunn at Red River, saying, “Bill erecting Province of Manitoba introduced before Parliament. We find it satisfactory. Other points to be settled. We are confident of amicable and acceptable arrangements.”

In the U.S.:

3 May: American Secretary of State, Hamilton Fish, writes to Henry Porter Baldwin, Governor of Michigan, instructing that, by order of President Ulysses S. Grant, the Canadian ship Chicora is to be barred from passing through the Sault Ste Marie Canal if carrying troops to Red River Settlement.

In Assiniboia:

3 May: Session 2, Day 7 of the Debates of Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia: information has been received in the news that came with the last mail; the laws are reviewed; liquor licences are debated.

The weather is warm.

Canadian rumours circulate, alleging: the U.S. mail came in with news from Canada regarding Thomas Scott‘s execution; John C. Schultz and Charles Mair are “doing their best to create excitement in Canada”; the legislative assembly is in session; the International did not come in; families of Chelsea Pensioners are leaving for the U.S., because they are not willing to fight for the Provisional Government; HBC Gov. William Mactavish is improving and will leave soon; the HBC has issued new monetary bills

[See Begg, Red River Journal, 366, for sample text of the HBC bills.]

4 May: Session 2, Day 8 of the Debates of Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia: articles relating to the liquor laws, customs duties, police force, and mails are reviewed; the President obtains consent to leave and “attend to other matters of public importance.”

Canadian rumours circulate, alleging: a Monster Lottery has been launched at the Settlement; the International came in to dock and is leaving tomorrow for Georgetown with HBC furs, but is to be back immediately for HBC Gov. William Mactavish; after leaving, the steamer captain came back by canoe with telegrams from [Delegate] Rev. N.-J. Ritchot, the latest dated 23d April – he said they are in no danger, the Government hearing is to begin soon; the settlement is quiet; there were no disturbances over the news from Canada.

[Begg, Red River Journal, 367.]

5 May: Session 2, Day 9 of the Debates of Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia: the laws relating to fires and animals are reviewed; President Louis Riel gives a speech; members appointed to the Executive Council/ Cabinet are named; Riel promises to table the revised List of Rights that was taken to Ottawa.

Canadian rumours circulate, alleging: loading of the  International is taking place; Henry McKenney put goods on board for Pembina and is travelling out with Mrs. Burdick and family and Katherine Jane Glen Macaulay Rae Hamilton Begg and her infant with [her brother] Colin Hamilton; [President] Louis Riel will stop the steamer from leaving (which turns out to be false); Father [Jean-Marie-Joseph] Lestanc left the steamer before it reached Pembina; the legislative assembly is in session; there is no U.S. mail.

6 May: Session 2, Day 10 of the Debates of Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia: the 4th Bill of Rights is tabled before the Legislative Assembly. News of the arrests of Delegates Hon. Alfred H. Scott and Rev. N.-J. Ritchot in Ottawa has reached Red River. According to American Vice-Consul, Henry Martin Robinson, on this date Louis Riel:

“gave notice, in consequence of the Canadian action against the Delegates from this Colony, of his intention to place before the Legislature, for their approval, the Bill of Rights as it was sent to Canada. This was to be accompanied by a Protest – also subject to the approval of the Legislature – against the sending of British troops into the Territory, also protesting against the idea, prevalent in Canada, of this people being divided in their allegiance to the Provisional Government, declaring them a unit in its support.”

In the evening, rain gave way to a gale.

The New Nation (6 May 1870), reports, with the credo “Hearts resolved and hands prepared The blessings we enjoy to guard,” on: the debates of the Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia, 2d Session; the Laws having been printed twice; the text of the President’s speech of 5 May; threats made against the delegates to Ottawa; the fact that during the Resistance 3 lives were lost, that “patient statesmanship” has been betrayed, that the men lauded by the Toronto Glode are the principal murderers of the 3 British subjects; the delegates at Ottawa having been released; the delegates having telegraphed that they have obtained Canadian Government recognition; U.S. troops expected at Pembina; the arrival of the U.S. mail and the postmaster’s notice; the arrival of the plain’s hunters; a Grand Concert planned for 24 May; the International having left for Georgetown with HBC furs aboard; the lyrics of a satirical song for the Settlement, “The Statesman of the Period.”

[See also “Songs of the Resistance,” this site.]

Canadian rumours circulate, alleging: the U.S. mail has brought more moderate Canadian news;  the legislative assembly met for the 9th day; the settlement is quiet; there are no more stories of ‘Indian’ attacks; the winterers are in from the plains and are quiet; the steamer International towed Henry McKenney’s schooner to Pembina and it will return with a load of lumber; troops are expected at Pembina.

[Begg, Red River Journal, 367.]

7 May: Session 2, Day 11 of the Debates of Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia: the laws are passed; the former laws are to be repealed and the new laws will be in force as of 20 May; the sitting of the Quarterly Court is set for the 2d Tuesday of June; members of the Judiciary are named; the question of a Senate is raised.

There are showers of rain throughout the day.

Canadian rumours circulate, alleging: Canadians held a meeting and talked angrily about the state of affairs — but their gathering was dispersed by Provisional Government guards; Walter F. Hyman, George Miller, F.C. Mercer, and Lewis Archibald left suddenly ‘across the line’ to the U.S.; the aforementioned were chased away (though this is not not widely believed); the HBC is issuing 5 shilling notes; the legislative assembly met for the 10th day; the winterers who are in from the plains say there is no smallpox; the U.S. mail went out.

[Begg, Red River Journal, 368. See also “Prisoners,” this site.]

8 May: a Sunday, cool, but no rain.

Canadian rumours circulate, alleging: [President] Louis Riel attended church at St. Boniface with an armed guard of 10 men; the settlement is quiet, but Canadians fear they will be arrested; the country may not be given to the Canadian government, but instead become a crown colony; [Hon.] Ambroise-Dydime Lépine, is “jumping” from the Settlement, having stolen all of the HBC gold (which “proved false”).

9 May: Session 2, Day 12 of the Debates of Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia: funding for public projects, roads, and bridges is determined; the question of instituting a Senate is postponed to session 3 of the Assembly; the second session of the Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia closes.

The weather begins raw with rain, then clears.

Canadian rumours circulate, alleging: Canadians fear that [President] Louis Riel “meant to keep them hostages”; no guards chased Walter F. Hymen and “the others” out of the Settlement, but the Canadians are “keeping low”; the HBC is to issue £5 notes; HBC Clerk John Henry McTavish is now Chief Trader at Upper Fort Garry and will be in charge when HBC Gov. William Mactavish leaves; the legislative assembly held its last session and will not meet again unless summoned by the President; Martial Law has ceased; the new laws are to be printed Wednesday in book form and distributed; the U.S. mail bag was empty; the police are arresting drunks at Winnipeg; U.S. soldiers are heading for Pembina in flat boats.

[Begg, Red River Journal, 369.]

10 May: the weather has turned warmer.

Canadian rumours circulate, alleging: [Davis] and wife arrived from Sherbrooke, Canada East; the Canadians are relaxing as ‘the French’ are not antagonistic; winterers are arriving, though some went to St. Joseph MN; there is no smallpox; the U.S. mail went out.

11 May: a  fine day, but there are mosquitoes.

Canadian rumours circulate, alleging: the winterers, Dauphinais, George Fisher, Louis Morin, and Pierre Oullet [sic: Ouellette] took their furs to St. Joseph MN; winterer Laframboise Sr. is dying, his sons are with him; [Hon.] Ambroise-Dydime Lépine,  [Hon.] William Bernard O’Donoghue [Treasurer of the Provisional Government], and the chief ‘French’ representatives of the Provisional Government are collecting all the gold and are likely to run off; [President] Louis Riel stopped the steamer from leaving on 5 May and complained about the HBC furs having been loaded on board; [President] Riel will prevent HBC Gov. William Mactavish from leaving; new building in the Town of Winnipeg will begin soon; the settlement is peaceful.

[Begg, Red River Journal, 369.]

 12 May: The weather is warm and sultry.

Canadian rumours circulate, alleging: there is a want of news from Canada; the U.S. mail came in and excitement is cooling in Canada; J.E. Norbert Gay is in command of Upper Fort Garry, where a password is required for entry after 9 pm.; Gay is drilling men, and wants uniforms for them, but there is no money for that; the Executive of the Provisional Government will meet each Thursday; HBC Gov. William Mactavish will not be allowed to leave.

[Begg, Red River Journal, 370.]

In Canada:

12 May: The Canadian Government passes the Manitoba Act creating the province of Manitoba, although the territory of the new province had not yet been transferred from the HBC to the British government to the Canadian government.

In Assiniboia:

13 May: it is very warm.

The New Nation (13 May 1870), reports: the debates of the Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia, Session 2; the new Local Laws; in a letter, William Jacobs, Chief and Warrior of the Six Nations, denies a Toronto Globe report of hostility to Red River Settlement; John C. Schultz and  Charles Mair tried to lynch the Red River Settlement delegates at Ottawa; a refutation of claims made by Dr. James Spencer Lynch to Governor-General Sir John Young; on a letter by Walter Robert Bown and Schultz; Canadian Schemes; Thomas Scott was the real rebel; the delegates to Ottawa have been freed; U.S. General William Tecumseh Sherman will be stationed at Pembina; a Red River Expeditionary Force will have 1,800 troops; the Fenian scare has fizzled; the body of a lost U.S. citizen has been found; the concert and target shooting notices.

Canadian rumours circulate, alleging: Bishop Alexandre-Antonin Taché received a telegram from [Delegate to Ottawa] Rev. N.-J. Ritchot, reporting that he and [Hon.] Alfred H. Scott are no longer in danger; a guard has been sent to Pembina; strangers are arriving in the Settlement then disappearing; Davis and wife left Emmerling’s hotel for an unkown destination; a man with letters passed around Red River to go to Lower Fort Garry; The Imperial Government is to take the country, bypassing Canada; the Red River Expeditionary Force commander will be a temporary Lieutenant Governor; the Settlement is quiet.

[Begg, Red River Journal, 370.]

14 May: a fine day.

Canadian rumours circulate, alleging: the winterers insist there is no smallpox; the settlement is peaceful; the International will arrive soon; the U.S. mail went out; Father [Jean-Marie-Joseph] Lestanc went out to keep ‘the Indians’ quiet.

15 May: a cold, raw day.

Canadian rumours circulate, alleging: the International came in.

16 May: it is warming up.

Canadian rumours circulate, alleging: HBC Gov. William Mactavish is on good terms with [President] Louis Riel and is packing to leave; Riel is to meet with the winterers tomorrow; the U.S. mail came in with peaceable news from Canada, but a Red River Expeditionary Force is being sent out; Canadians left the Settlement for Ontario to join the Red River Expeditionary Force; Sutherland is putting up a building next to William H. Lyon‘s store at the Town of Winnipeg; there are no grasshoppers.

[Begg, Red River Journal, 371.]

In the U.S.:

16 May: The American Government allows the Chicora and the Red River Expeditionary Force to pass through the Sault Ste Marie Canal on the understanding that no military action against the people of Red River is intended.

In Assiniboia:

17 May: the weather goes from good to bad, then there is a “terrific” night storm.

The steamer International departs with HBC Gov. William Mactavish; his wife — Mary Sarah ‘Sally’ McDermott Mactavish; his children — James William Mactavish and Andrew Dugald Mactavish; his sister-in-law — Anne ‘Annie’ McDermot Bannatyne — and her children; Jane Elizabeth Still/ Mrs. William Drever Jr., Miss Mary Isabella Drever, Henry McKenney, and Hon. Hugh Francis Olone.

Canadian rumours circulate, alleging: the International went out with Annie Bannatyne and her children, Lizzie and Willie, with Gov. & Mrs. Mactavish and their children; Gov. Mactavish spoke to his father-in-law Andrew McDermott; the rain and wind gave the steamer difficulty; the U.S. mail went out; there was a meeting with the winterers at Upper Fort Garry, but they were not warm to [President] Louis Riel.

[Begg, Red River Journal, 372.]

18 May: a clear, bright day.

Canadian rumours circulate, alleging: the winterers rejected wheat offered to them by [President] Louis Riel; the Provisional Government flag is down, but the Union Jack is still up; the winterers’ party with Laframboise Sr., who died at Portage la Prairie, is on the way to Red River; cannons were fired at Upper Fort Garry; one of the bastions at the fort is being cleared for a gaol, the old one being unfit; the settlement is quiet.

[Begg, Red River Journal, 372.]

In Canada:

18 May: the Toronto Globe reports:

18 May

In Assiniboia:

19 May: the day turns cold.

Canadian rumours circulate, alleging: there is no Provisional Government flag, but the Union Jack is up; winterers came in from St. Joseph without any furs; the Americans are to seize all furs at the border due to a smallpox threat; the U.S. mail came in with news of the North-West Bill introduced at the Canadian House of Commons; the Red River Expeditionary Force is on the way; news from St. Paul MN says a telegram from London gave an Imperial order to stop the Red River Expeditionary Force; the Settlement is quiet.

20 May: the weather is fine but raw.

The New Nation (20 May 1870), reports: the debates of the Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia, 2d Session; the Local Laws; a reminder in French and English that the Laws are in force; on the winterers’ meeting with President Louis Riel; that a second winterers’ meeting is to be held 23 May at Whitehorse Plains; smallpox is not a danger; artillery practice is taking place; a call for conciliation with Canadian newcomers; James Wickes Taylor [American ‘special’ and ‘secret’ agent] is at Ottawa; James Monkman met the royal Prince Arthur at Montreal; the Prince might visit Red River; Judge John Black is slated to be Governor at Red River; on Canada’s blunders; that the Bible is a good guide for youths; S. Foulds of St. James has died; on the concert rehearsal; on liquor licences.

Canadian rumours circulate, alleging: nothing important is going on: [Hon.] William Bernard O’Donoghue [Treasurer of the Provisional Government] objected that the New Nation is “too conciliatory in tone”; The newspaper’s editor, Thomas Spence, rejected an article from [President] Louis Riel until Bishop Alexandre-Antonin Taché “fixed it all right”; people will build in the Town of Winnipeg if they are assured things will stay quiet; the new local laws are in force; J.E. Norbert Gay conducted artillery practice, the men proved poor at short range.

[Begg, Red River Journal, 373.]

In Canada:

20 May: John C. Schultz writes to George Étienne Cartier, willing to accept a position as Senator for the new Province of Manitoba.

[LAC John A. Macdonald Correspondence May 20, 1870, MIKAN no. 498258.]

In Assiniboia:

21 May: a fine day.

Canadian rumours circulate, alleging: the Provisional Government flag is up again (the rope had broken); the Union Jack is still up; the HBC is issuing £10 notes; there are drunken fights in the Town of Winnipeg, but the police are active and making arrests and the settlement more quiet than it has been during this season in previous years; the U.S. mail was sent out.

22 May: a day of heavy rain.

Canadian rumours circulate, alleging: Fenians attacked the Red River Expeditionary Force; Enos Stutsman has been appointed U.S. Land Agent for Dakota Territory; Bishop Alexandre-Antonin Taché gave a sermon in English at the Sisters’ chapel [St. Mary’s] in at the Town of Winnipeg; William Drever Jr., [Hon.] Hugh Francis Olone, and Henry McKenney came in from Pembina, and say there is no U.S. military post at Pembina and none is to be built there, although there are 100 U.S. soldiers in tents; they say the Bill of Rights was granted at Ottawa, except for one clause, and they say Delegate Rev. N.-J. Ritchot is expected to arrive soon.

23 May: Canadian rumours circulate, alleging: the winterers met at White Horse Plains with [President] Louis Riel, [Hon.] William Bernard O’Donoghue [Treasurer of the Provisional Government], and ‘French’ Legislative Assembly Representatives; the U.S. mail came in with news of the Red River Expeditionary Force; the Manitoba Bill passed; the Canadian Parliament was prorogued; John A. Macdonald is “seriously ill” [with gall stones and/or a drinking binge]; Delegate Rev. N.-J. Ritchot is expected later in week

[Begg, Red River Journal374.]

24 May: a fine, bright day. The Queen’s Birthday is celebrated with horse races, shooting contests, a concert, and a display of manual platoon exercises, learned from Lieut. Colonel Charles de Salaberry (a Canadian Commissioner), and performed by St. Boniface College students.

Canadian rumours circulate, alleging: many people assembled for celebrations: the races took place 3 miles from Winnipeg; a large new Provisional Government flag was raised: some stores in the town were closed; the U.S. mail went out: the Grand Concert was held at the old Court House; there was a “big row” at the Lennon & Cosgrove Saloon, and another “big row” at the home of butcher Henri Coutu [/ LaCouture and Marie Catherine Lagimonière, President  Louis Riel’s cousin]; ‘the French’ fear the Canadian Volunteers of the Red River Expeditionary Force; hopefully no trouble will arise among ‘the French’ at Red River.

25 May: a fine, bright day.

Canadian rumours circulate, alleging: nothing important has happened:  J.E. Norbert Gay is conducting cavalry practices and the men are proving to be very good shots at a full gallop; scouts have been sent out from Upper Fort Garry in different directions.

[Begg, Red River Journal, 375.]

26 May: a fine day. Col.-Commandant J.E. Norbert Gay leads cavalry exercises in which the men prove to be “splendid troops for guerilla warfare.” The infantry has been engaged at target practice, and at 300 yards, out of 200 shots 36 were centred on the target.

Canadian rumours circulate, alleging: the U.S. mail is in; the Fenian alarms are “heavy”; [Samuel S.] Hildebrande the infamous [MO] outlaw is heading to the Settlement; the Red River Expeditionary Force is still on the way.

27 May: a fine, pleasant day.

The New Nation (27 May 1870), reports: the debates of the Legislative Assembly of Assinboia, 2d Session; the Manitoba Bill and representation, legislation, and the constitution; on Red River Cavalry exercises; a translated letter from Pierre Levielle[/ Laveiller/ Léveillé] of White Horse Plain that is critical of Canadian Commissioner Donald A. Smith’s report; that ignoring the 3 deaths caused by the Canadian Party at the Settlement is deplorable; a refutation of claims that ‘the Fench’ at the Settlement can be divided along ‘loyal’ and ‘disloyal’ lines; an assertion that there is no French-English split in the Settlement; John A. Macdonald is recovering; the latest Red River Expeditionary Force details; William McDougall: has claimed that Red River is “not fit for self-government and ought not have it”; the Toronto Globe is angry at the Manitoba outcome; the Delegates are expected to return soon; notices, in French and in English, that counterfeit money is circulating at the Settlement; there is gold in North-West and British Columbia; on the Queen’s birthday; that James Irwin Jr. is missing.

Canadian rumours circulate, alleging: there is no word on Rev. N.-J. Ritchot and the other delegates; ‘the French’ fear the Canadian Volunteers with the Red River Expeditionary Force, but this is an unreasonable fear.

28 May: a fine, pleasant day.

Canadian rumours circulate, alleging: the steamer International arrived with  Freeman and Kews aboard; HBC Gov. William Mactavish is at Georgetown; the Delegates did not arrive from Ottawa.

29 May: a warm pleasant

Canadian rumours circulate, alleging: everything is quiet.

30 May: a warm, sultry day.

Canadian rumours circulate, alleging: a storm threatens; the U.S. mail came in early; Bishop Alexandre-Antonin Taché has received a letter from [Delegate] Rev. N.-J. Ritchot, who says everything that was asked for was granted; the future looks hopeful; “feeling has cooled down” at Upper Fort Garry; there is little doubt everything will go smoothly.

[Begg, Red River Journal, 376.]

31 May: the day is sultry and warm. Col.-Commandant J.E. Norbert Gay has been leading cavalry firing manoeuvers for “several days,” and Lieut. John Cyr has been particularly commended for his prowess.

Canadian rumours circulate, alleging: there is no important news at the Settlement, which is quiet; ‘the French’ do not fear the coming of Canadian Volunteers with the Red River Expeditionary Forces as much as before; there is likely to be a peaceful resolution; the U.S. mail went out; there has been no word of Delgates Rev. N.-J. Ritchot and [Hon.] Alfred H. Scott, but Judge John Black is not returning to Red River: the winterers are preparing for their summer hunt and trade.

In the U.S.:

Intelligence man, H.P. Dwight, sends a telegram to H. Bernard, saying “Nothing of interest from any point of the frontier this morning.”

[LAC, John A. Macdonald Correspondence May 31, 1870, MIKAN no. 450932.]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: