Chronology: 1st Canadian Attack on Upper Fort Garry. 1869.

Based on Canada, Parliament, Correspondence and papers connected with recent occurrences in the Northwest (Ottawa: 1870), except as otherwise indicated; with links to texts, alphabetized and/ or numbered as they appear in the collection.

  • Documents referred to, but for which no text is supplied, are highlighted in orange.
  • Statements that indicate settler solidarity are highlight in green.
  • Statements that indicate Canadian intentions of armed intervention against settlers who reject non-representative annexation (but who are in favour of confederation with the guarantee of representative government), are highlighted in black.


Saturday, 11 September 1869:

Jürgen Christopher Oscar ‘George’ Malmros, American Consul at Winnipeg, writes to John Chandler Bancroft Davis, Acting Secretary of State, U.S.:

The entire French and over one half of the other inhabitants [of Red River Settlement] are strongly opposed to annexation [which is not confederation] to Canada; the rest, with the exception of perhaps a couple dozen Canadian partisans, are Politically indifferent.”[1]

[1] Malmros to Davis, in Hartwell Bowsfield, ed., The James Wickes Taylor Correspondence 1859-1870 (Winnipeg: Manitoba Record Society, 1968), 81.

Wednesday, 20 October:

The Comité National des Métis de la Rivière Rouge,[2] headquartered at the church in St. Norbert Parish, about 9–10 miles south of Upper Fort Garry, issues a call to prevent William McDougall from entering Assiniboia [having learned from newspaper reports that McDougall was designated by Canada to become Lieutenant Governor of a non-representative (elected) government, his appointment to take effect at some future date, once the Queen has decreed that the annexation of the North-West to Canada has been completed].[3]

The Comité National erects a barricade/ barrière on the west bank of the Red River across the King’s Road/ Red River Trail, where the road crosses the Rivière Sale, about “five minutes” south-east of the church.

[2] The Comité National appears initially to have consisted of a Council of Twelve (the subsequent provisional government might have had a council of 13), in addition to a president and secretary. See Bowsfield, ed., James Wickes Taylor Correspondence, 100, 121, who identifies the Comité National councillors (Métis) as Pierre Poitras, Pierre L’Eveille/ Leveille/ Lavallée, Magnus Burston/ Birston, François Jeanton/ Genthon, Ambroise-Dydime Lépine/ L’Epine, Jean-Baptiste Tourond/ Touron/ Tournon, Louis Lacerte/ Laserte/ Lasante, Pierre Parenteau/ Parranteau, Jean-Baptiste Perreau/ Perreault/ Perrault dit Morin, Charles Nolin, Jean-Baptiste Millet, and André Beauchemin/ Bauchemin. Notably, Riel, as “Secretary and Marshall,” in command of the cavalry and guard “could hardly be considered to hold a subordinate position”—at least by the Canadian Party.

[3] For example see “The North West Territory,” Nor’-Wester (20 June 1868), 1;  “Our New Government,” Nor’-Wester (26 June 1869), 2; Editorial and “Sketches in the House of Commons, Hon. William McDougall, C.B.,” Nor’-Wester (7 September 1869), 1; “Red River Council,” Daily Globe (4 October 1869); “Lieut. Governor McDougall,” Nor-Wester and Pioneer (26 October 1869), 2.

Thursday, 21 October:

Two hundred men have taken an oath to join the Comité National in resisting “McDougall’s coming into the country and to defend the same against all Canadian pretensions to govern it.”[4]

[4] Malmros to J.C.B. Davis (6 November 1869), in James Wickes Taylor Correspondence, 86-87.

Monday, 25 October:

Minutes of meeting for the Hudson’s Bay Company [HBC] Governor and Council of Assiniboia are recorded: Comité National members John Bruce (Métis), president, and Louis Riel (Métis), secretary, attend (reportedly from 10:00 am. to 7:00 pm.); Riel states that the Comité National “did not anticipate any opposition from their English-speaking fellow country-men.” The HBC Councillors likewise report,

“that they had made inquiries in their respective districts, and that the people refused to act either armed or unarmed, alleging, generally, that the Canadian Government had been preparing for a long time to assume the Government of the country, and should be able to do so without calling on one portion of the settlers to take up arms against another”[5];

HBC Councillors William Dease (Métis; who is being paid, as though on salary, by Canadian surveyor ‘Col.’ John Stoughton Dennis for supplying 5 men and 6 horses “including carts” for ‘Capt.’/ ‘Major’ Adam Clark Webb/ Webbe’s survey crew),[6] and Roger Norbert Alexis Goulét (Métis)—both of whom are absent from this council meeting[7]—are delegated to meet with the Comité National at St. Norbert and to try to convince them to disperse; Dease is to report back to HBC Governor William Mactavish (father of a Métis family).

[5] William Cowan quoted in Canada, Parliament, House of Commons, Debates of the House of Commons of the Dominion of Canada, vol. 1, session 1875, ed. A.M. Burgess (Ottawa: C.W. Mitchell, 1875), 1066.

[6] Canada, Sessional Papers 5, session 3, no. 12 (1870), 21, notes Dease received 75 cents of each dollar paid to P. Vallette, hired as “Driver and camp cook”; Dease received the full wages paid to A. Delorme, Jos. Delorme, G. La Fournaise, and W. La Fournaise—all of whom were hired as “Driver and axeman”; but Dease “did not personally belong to Mr. Webb’s party.”

[7] The copy of the minutes printed in Canada, Correspondence and papers, 135, does not list Dease and Goulét among those present. The version printed in 1874, in  Canada, Parliament, House of Commons, Select Committee, Report of the Select Committee on the Causes of the Difficulties in the North-West Territory in 1869–70 (Ottawa: I.B. Taylor, 1874), 97-99, and “certified” as accurate, likewise does not list the two men, but differs as to which of the other members of council were present.

Tuesday, 26 October:

The Nor-Wester and Pioneer published locally by Walter Robert Bown, a close affiliate of John Christian Schultz, includes:

“strongly demurred to expressing any sentiments of welcome or loyalty to Mr. MacDougall [sic], who was a partial Governor, and a man in whose antecedents and character he (Captain K.) had no faith; that the Red River Colonists should enter into the Confederation on equal terms with the other Provinces, and were fully competent to manage their own affairs.”[8]

[8] Nor-Wester and Pioneer (26 October 1869), 1, 4. See also “Red River Newspaper Chronology and the men who ‘made’ the news,” this site; and “Threatening Anarchy and Rebellion,” Nor’-Wester (20 June 1863), 2, on previous calls for a locally-elected government.

Wednesday, 27 October:

morning: Dease, with some 80 men in his company, tries to “procure … peaceable dispersion” at the barricade/ la barrière. The attempt fails and instead about 20 of Dease’s men defect to the ‘Patriotes‘ of the Comité National.

Dease and his remaining men ride towards Upper Fort Garry and set up camp (probably at the fort, but perhaps at Dease’s property at Point Coupée).

Dease reports to Mactavish: requesting “a supply of arms and ammunition” in order to “overawe” the ‘Patriotes.’ Dease proposes to send some of his men to take control of the ‘Old Crossing’ of the Rivière Sale (on the old Pembina Trail, west of the King’s Road/ Red River Trail), which is guarded by fewer men. As well, he wants to send about 15 men to escort McDougall into the settlement. They would travel via the captured crossing (and ‘The Passage‘ on the Assiniboine River), to a house “about two and one half miles” from Upper Fort Garry, at St. James Parish, where McDougall apparently expects to reside. [This is possibly the home of William Hallett ‘Sr.’ (Métis, 58 years old), though it seems more likely that McDougall was slated to stay at ‘Deer Lodge,’ the “fine home” of HBC Councillor James McKay (Métis) and Margaret Rowand (Métis), who will be wintering at St. Joseph U.S.  Other possible lodgings fit for a governor include ‘Silver Heights’ the home of John Rowand Jr. (Métis) and Margaret Harriott (Métis), or the equally fine home of Robert Tait (Métis) and Jane Inkster (Métis)—the McKay, Rowand, and Tait families being relatives as well as neighbours at St. James].

Mactavish rejects Dease’s proposal.

The Canadian Party meet at Charles Garrett’s saloon and boarding house, Winnipeg. They compose an address to Dennis [C.]. Twenty-two members sign up [D] to form an escort to bring McDougall from Pembina to Upper Fort Garry.

Dennis, residing at Schultz’s house at Winnipeg, writes to McDougall [F.]: Dennis states that the settlers of the lower Red River parishes (north of Winnipeg and St. John’s Parish), informed him that, “should an appeal to arms be necessary, we could hardly justify ourselves in engaging in a conflict” against the Comité National, adding,

“when you present us with a conflict with the French party, with whom we have hitherto lived in friendship … in which conflict it is almost certain the aid of Indians would be invoked, and perhaps obtained … we feel disinclined to enter upon it.”[9]

Further, Dennis reports that Dease, having returned from the barricade/ la barrière, told Dennis that Mactavish declined to supply arms or provisions for Dease’s men. Dennis believes (presumably based on speaking with Dease) that there are about 300 “Brown Bess” muzzle-loading, flintlock muskets stored at Upper Fort Garry.

[9] According to A.-A. Taché, quoted in Canada, Parliament, House of Commons, Report of the Select Committee on the Causes of the Difficulties in the North-West Territory in 1869–70, 24, Dennis was intent on eliciting the ‘aid of Indians.’ Taché reported that prior to his return to Red River in March 1870:

“When in Ottawa I was shown a letter of instruction given by Colonel Dennis to an English half-breed, of the name of Joseph Monkman [of St. Peter’s Parish]. I found that the letter was exceedingly dangerous; not perhaps according to its very wording, but on account of the spirit and disposition of the Indians.

I took the liberty of observing to the Government that there was real danger for the whole North-West in the transaction entrusted to the care of Mr. Monkman.

So much weight did the Government at Ottawa seem to attach to my observations, that they abstained from publishing the letter in the Blue Book with the other documents which were furnished to Parliament.

I received instructions from Sir John A. Macdonald, in a letter produced yesterday [at the Committee hearing], to find out Mr. Monkman, and to try and get back the instructions given him by Colonel Dennis, and to induce him if possible to abstain from taking any action in the matter, assuring him that he would be rewarded, and his troubles paid for.

He [Monkman] had been promised ten shillings sterling a day by Colonel Dennis, if he should work among the Indians and excite them. Such were not the words of the instruction, but such was the result which necessarily would have taken place.”

Thursday, 28 October:

Dease tasks Charles Donald (Métis), of St. Clements, with recruiting men in the lower settlement to join Dease’s “peace party” if called upon.

9:00 am.: Dennis sends provisions to “Dease’s party” (there are now only “twenty or thirty men” in his camp).

11:00 am.: Dennis calls on Dr. William Cowan (father of a Métis family), HBC chief trader at Upper Fort Garry, and member of the HBC Council of Assiniboia, who is with the acting president of the HBC Council, Judge John Black (widower of Margaret Christie, who is Métis). Councillor Robert McBeath/ McBeth arrives. Dennis reads them the statement he is going to send to McDougall (he will enclose an affidavit [D], sworn by Walter/ Walton S. Hyman on 22 October, regarding the barricade/ la barrière).

Mactavish, who is bedridden with tuberculosis, and Catholic, is with Père Nöel-Joseph Ritchot, resident priest at St. Norbert Church, for 3 hours.

5:00 pm.: Judge Black calls on Dennis and informs him that: Ritchot was not swayed by any arguments Mactavish presented. In addition, Dease was told by the Comité National that McDougall will be allowed to enter the settlement if Dease and his “peace party” will agree to help expel McDougall in the event that the latter refuses to recognize the rights of the people. Black says Dease is to meet again with the Comité National the next day.

Dennis writes to McDougall [B]: describing his activities at the settlement.

Friday, 29 October:

Dease meets with the Comité National, but is unable to convince them to back down. Dease believes Ritchot has told them that Mactavish agreed with their course of action. Dease informs Dennis about the meeting’s outcome. Dennis sends another day’s supplies to the remaining 20 or so “peace party” men still camping.

9:00 am.: Dennis attends a meeting at Upper Fort Garry with HBC Councillors John SutherlandWilliam Fraser (Métis), Cowan, Dease, and Judge Black. The councillors decide that the HBC Council of Assiniboia will meet the next day to draw up a letter to McDougall and that Sutherland and Fraser will meet with the Comité National.

Dennis makes travel arrangements for 2 men to meet with the Comité National: the one being William Hallett (either ‘Sr.’ or ‘Jr.’, but likely the former, a respected leader at the settlement—the latter being his nephew/ cousin-once-removed, who is Métis, 23 years old, and living at Portage la Prairie among Canadians); the other man being Chief Mahkesīs/ Makasis/ Mahkaysis/ Fox/ Little Fox (Plains Cree, likewise as respected leader, whose band hunts from the Turtle Mountains to near Fort Ellice; he is a son of Le Sonnant and a brother to Kā-kīwistāhāw/ Kā-k§wistühüw/ Kahkewistahaw/ ‘he who flies around’).

3 pm.: Donald reports to Dennis that he has a letter from the lower settlement to deliver to the Comité National [content of letter unknown, because not included in the Correspondence and papers, but likely a complaint from Chief Miskookenew/ ‘Red Eagle’/ Henry Prince (son of Chief Peguis/ William King) of St. Peter’s].  Donald needs a fresh horse. Dennis supplies him with one.

9 pm.: Fraser and Sutherland call on Dennis at Schultz’s, after having reported to Cowan. They tell Dennis: that they met with Ritchot, then were admitted to a session of the Comité National, as was Hallett. Also in attendance was Chief Grandes Oreilles/ “Grosse-Oreille” (Saulteaux/ Chippewa/ Outaois, of Oak Point, towards Lake of the Woods). Mahkesīs/ Fox spoke to men outside the session. The Comité was not swayed by Fraser and Sutherland’s arguments.

Hallett meets with Mahkesīs/ Fox and Grandes Oreilles.

Père Jean-Marie-Joseph Lestanc (councillor for the Oblate mission vicariate and superior of the house in Saint-Boniface) stays overnight at Mactavish’s residence.

Dennis updates his report to McDougall [B]: about his activities at the settlement.

Saturday, 30 October:

Lestanc leaves Upper Fort Garry to meet with the Comité National.

9:00 am.: Dennis meets Cowan and “the Recorder” (Judge Black) and is informed that a special meeting of the HBC Council of Assiniboia has been called for 11:00 am.

Dennis meets with Grandes Oreilles and Mahkesīs/ Fox at Winnipeg, bringing them presents.

11:00 am.: the Minutes of the HBC Council of Assiniboia record that: Dease’s mission failed; Black submitted a draft of a letter (A.), penned by Mactavish, from the Council to McDougall; the Council agreed to the draft.

Mactavish sends a despatch [either the same as, or a briefer version along the same lines as the letter from the HBC Council of Assiniboia to McDougall (A.)]: advising the road into the settlement is barricaded and McDougall is not to come forward as this would provoke violence, even “war.” Mactavish suggests that “conciliatory negotiations” will take place in the settlement shortly, after which the “malcontents” will likely disperse.

5:00 pm.: Dennis meets with Cowan at Upper Fort Garry and is read the letter (A.) to McDougall from the Council of Assiniboia.

evening: Lestanc meets with Mactavish.

10:30 pm.: Dennis receives a copy of Mactavish’s despatch to McDougall (A.) dated 30 October (later, Dennis would state this occurred a day earlier.)

Dennis updates his report to McDougall [B]: about his activities at the settlement.

Sunday, 31 October:

3 am.: Dennis leaves Winnipeg for Pembina, guided by William Hallet (‘Sr.’ or ‘Jr.’) on a detour (probably using ‘the Passage’ on the Assiniboine, to the Pembina Trail, and using the ‘Old Crossing’ on the Sale) to avoid the main barricade/ la barrière at Rivière Sale (later, Dennis would state this occurred a day earlier).

McDougall arrives at the American customs house, Pembina. He meets ‘Major’ James Wallace (who is in the employ of Snow), and receives a message  from the Comité National [E], but ignores it (allegedly tearing it up without opening it, in front of the messenger).[10] McDougall proceeds 2 miles north to HBC Pembina Post across the international boundary, where he writes a letter to Joseph Howe (President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada), stating that McDougall’s policy towards the Comité National will be:

“that until the new government [McDougall’s] was organized, and so long as they remained with arms in their hands, no official communication could be had with them by me, or any one on my behalf.”

[10] Charles-René-Léonidas d’Irumberry de Salaberry quoted by James Wallace, letter dated Abercrombie, 27 December 1869, in “Appendix C.,” The Red River Rebellion. Eight Letters to Hon. Joseph Howe, Secretary of State for the Provinces, etc., In Reply to an Official Pamphlet, ed. William McDougall (Toronto: Hunter, Rose and Company, 1870), 65, apparently de Salaberry had heard that McDougall “treated … people very roughly when they called upon him at Pembina … He also spoke harshly to them at the Hudson Bay Company’s post and would not even condescend to speak to the men who bore the message.” Wallace, however, countered that he was present at the time and witnessed McDougall treating “parties very civilly.”

Provencher leaves Pembina for Upper Fort Garry “if permitted to go so far,” as per instructions given the previous day by McDougall. Provencher has been instructed to deliver:

“a verbal message to Governor Mactavish, announcing my [McDougall’s] arrival, and claiming his protection for myself and party … to ascertain from the insurgents by a friendly conference, if possible, their object, and the extent of the force at their command”;

Provencher is to assure the ‘insurgents’ of McDougall’s good will towards “all classes” [sic: italics in source], but to insist:

“until the new government [McDougall’s] was organized, and so long as they remained with arms in their hands, no official communication could be had with them by me, or any one on my behalf.”[11]

[11] McDougall, Red River Rebellion, 12.

Apparently Cameron has expressed to MacDougall an intent to likewise proceed to the settlement.

McDougall writes to Cameron, “Royal Artillery,” (G) [from the content, it would appear McDougall has received a shorter despatch, covering points in the official letter from Mactavish and the Councillors (A.)—perhaps with notice that the latter letter would arrive with Dennis shortly]. McDouall informs Cameron that the road to Fort Garry is barricaded and the local HBC authorities have requested that McDougall stay were he is, so as not to “embarrass their proceedings.” He warns that Cameron will be “regarded as an official of the Canadian Government … and … may cause some embarrassments … by provoking a collision at the present moment.” McDougall states, therefore, that he absolves himself “of all responsibility for the consequences of your attempt to proceed immediately to Fort Garry.”

Cameron ignores McDougall’s warning and leaves Pembina, with his wife and 2 servants, for Upper Fort Garry.[12]

[12] See McDougall, Red River Rebellion, 14–15, in which the timing of Cameron’s departure is not clear.

5:00 pm.: Provencher’s progress has been followed all along by mounted scouts. Now one is riding directly behind Provencher’s wagon and says he will continue do so down to the barricade/ la barrière.

Provencher stops for the night at a house along the road.

Monday, 1 November:

11:00 am.: McDougall, at HBC Pembina Post, meets with Chief Kewetaosh/ Kewetosh/ Kaquatosh/ Katwaitosh (Chippewa), carrier of a War of 1812 medal (awarded to his Menominee grandfather, Chief Tomah), and in company with his Band. Kewetaosh informs McDougall that his people hold title to the country from Pembina to the Assiniboine “and from the high lands on the West [Pembina Mountain] to Lake of the Woods” (having migrated from MI and WI). Kewetaosh says that he had agreed the previous winter with Chief Peguis [sic: Miskookenew/ Prince], Mahkesīs/ Fox, and Grandes Oreilles as to the boundaries of their respective territories. McDougall regards this as a “pretended” ownership.

Dennis and Hallett arrive at HBC Pembina Post from Upper Fort Garry with the copy of the despatch from Mactavish (A.), as well as the report from Dennis [B], and the address to Dennis from the Canadian Party [C.]. Dennis and Hallett remark to MacDougall that there is no evidence that the Comité National will be resisted by Red River settlers. Dennis, however, assures McDougall that the Canadians can be relied upon to “at once rally”—though their number is small—while he characterizes Usonians as scheming American annexationists.

McDougall decides that his furniture (both private and Canadian government property) should be delivered to Fort Garry. He tells the driver (whom McDougall suspects carries ‘insurgent’ sympathies) that the Comité National can expect that “all the consequences of rebellion against Imperial authority must follow in this case as in others [throughout the British Empire]” and that he is ready to institute military rule and martial law. McDougall further informs the driver that “the farms and cattle of the half-breed settlers would ultimately be found sufficient to pay for any damage they might inflict” on his furniture.

Provencher arrives at the barricade/ la barrière, which is guarded by 30–40 men. Ten to fifteen of the men escort him to the nearby church, where he is asked to assist in the Sunday service. He is surprised to learn that people have not been informed about what Canada or Britain have arranged, only that with £300,000 Canada sought to buy “their rights” in Rupert’s Land from the HBC. Provencher offers reassurances, but is told these come too late,

a new Government was already organized … a new constitution had been drafted … elections had taken place … [and the Comité National is in negotiations with] the English and Protestant half-breeds. … for many years they had agitated [on] the question of electing their representatives in the Council of Assiniboia, and now they were resolved to take advantage of the recent changes to realize that desire.”[13]

[13] See also “The Situation at Red River,” reprint in Toronto Globe (23 November 1869), in Glenbow Museum, M-6058, “James Ross’ Scrapbook,” 7, which echoes Provencher’s description of the Red River grievances:

“for the paltry sum of £300,000 paid to the Hudson Bay Coterie in London, it was proposed, by a mere order of the Queen’s council, to transfer their country to Canadian domination without any guarantee for the rights of the settlers, and to impose a government of Canadian officials upon them without any consultation with the inhabitants. The high contracting parties to this cession took no pains to secure in the terms of the transfer or by subsequent legislation the possessory or other rights of the settlers. They and their lands, which, for a half century, they have occupied, were turned over by the stroke of a pen to what was to them a foreign government, their wishes, views and interests being utterly ignored as if wholly unworthy of notice. They conceived, therefore, that they and their property had been wantonly delivered up by an act of despotism to spoilation and oppression. This general popular dissatisfaction was greatly aggravated by the policy of the Canadian Government, which, as the first step to the establishment of its authority in that ceded territory, undertook to impose upon it a provisional government in the most offensive form of arbitrary power. This new government was to consist of a Governor and a council to be nominated by himself, to consist of not more than 12 persons, in whom were to be vested complete executive and legislative power, subject, of course, to the authority of Canada. Rupert’s Land was thus reduced to a mere satrapy.”

4:00 pm.: Provencher meets with Bruce for 20 minutes. Provencher credits Bruce with responding that the Comité National,

“could not acknowledge the validity of any proceedings of the Canadian Government towards them, nor our [McDougall and party] appointment. Nevertheless, if the Canadian Government was willing to do it, they were ready to open negotiations with them, or any person vested with full powers, in view of settling the terms of their coming into the Dominion of Canada.”

Provencher is then instructed to “leave at once” for Pembina. He is escorted by an armed and mounted guard of 13 men.

“a few hours later”: Cameron is stopped at the barricade/ la barrière and turned back.

Tuesday, 2 November:

Provencher continues to Pembina with 6 of the mounted guards, the others having ridden ahead.

McDougall writes to Mactavish [F.]: he has received (A.) brought by Dennis. McDougall observes that as “legal ruler … responsible for the public peace” Mactavish neglected to call “upon the loyal and well-disposed inhabitants of the country” to suppress the Comité National. McDougall complains that Mactavish has not issued a proclamation “warning the malcontents” that their actions are criminal and will have “grave consequences,” which will begin “about the 1st day of December” when McDougall takes over governorship.

afternoon: About 120 men of the Comité National enter Upper Fort Garry and post guards inside and outside the gates [and “night and day … constantly kept a pretty strong armed guard. … their object was to protect it … from danger.”]

Mactavish writes a letter to William Gregory Smith, HBC secretary, London (extract; copy only included in the Correspondence and papers): recounting that “about twelve days ago” the barricade/ la barrière went up at St. Norbert. The HBC Council of Assiniboia met with Bruce and Riel on 25 October. Mactavish explains that the Council decided against enrolling “a force of special constables” or calling out “a counter demonstration” in favour of McDougall, and Mactavish wrote to McDougall (A.) (enclosed). Mactavish heard that Provencher was stopped at the barricade on 1 November, as was Cameron “a few hours” later. Mactavish informs Smith that the Comité National has just taken possession of Upper Fort Garry, “under pretext of defending it … Riel alleges it is in danger,” but assures Smith that the Comité National will pay for provisions. Mactavish has heard that about 400 men are at St. Norbert, and that the mails are subject to examination.

5:00 pm.: Fourteen armed horsemen of the Comité National arrive at HBC Pembina Post. They are led by Ambroise-Dydime Lépine (Métis) and Pierre Leveille/ Lavallée (Métis), who tell McDougall to remove to American territory. McDougall shows them his ‘commission’ (though any final, official commission has yet to be granted and forwarded to him). Lépine and Leveille respond by insisting that they “did not wish to take up arms against the Queen”—Canada is the problem.

6:00 pm.: Provencher arrives at HBC Pembina Post (Cameron, apparently, is also in company) under the escort of 6 men.[14]

[14] Purportedly, Cameron subsequently attempted to send “his servant and horses” into the settlement. See McDougall, Red River Rebellion, 16, who also alleges Cameron began “negotiating for an expedition [into Red River] on ‘his own hook,'” and that someone in McDougall’s party reported “the Captain had given out that he was going to Fort Garry under the Minister of the Militia, and not under my Government! [sic: italics in source].” McDougall claimed to know nothing about Cameron being a “confidential military agent.”

Wednesday, 3 November:

8:00 am.: At HBC Pembina Post, the 20 Comité National guards tell McDougall and party—including Dennis—to be off by 9:00 am. Hallett has been tied to a cart.

9:00 am.: McDougall, Dennis, and the others are escorted by men on foot to the American boundary and McDougall is told he is not a Governor, only a “Mister,” and is not to recross. McDougall drives on to Peter Hayden’s house, where he stays. (McDougall describes Hayden as Irish. Although probably aware that Hayden’s son, Felix, is Métis, and a nephew of Chief Kewetaosh, McDougall likely does not realize that Felix is also Louis Riel’s cousin).[15] McDougall tells Dennis to find lodgings to rent for the 20 people in McDougall’s entourage.

[15]  Felix Hayden’s mother was Marie-Rose ‘Antoinette’ Lagemonière/ Lagemodière (daughter of Jean-Baptiste Lagemonière/ Lagemodiere Jr. and his 1st wife ‘Little Weasel’/ Josephte ‘Josette’ Montagnaise, a Saulteux woman). Louis Riel’s mother was Julie Lagemonière/ Lagemodière (daughter of Jean-Baptiste Lagemonière/ Lagemodière Jr. and his 2d wife Marie-Ann Gaboury.

Provencher, also at Pembina U.S., writes a report to McDougall [E.]: about heading to Upper Fort Garry and being turned back at the barricade/ la barriere.

McDougall holds council with Dennis, Richards, and Provencher (Cameron is elsewhere). They discuss procuring provisions. They think McDougall returning to Canada at this point “would be discouraging to our friends.” McDougall therefore resolves to stay at least 2 weeks, if supplies can be found.

McDougall finds that residents at Pembina are in constant communication with “the ‘patriot army,’ at River Sale.” He believes this is particularly true of Enos Stutsman (a Mason), a lawyer, and formerly of the U.S. Treasury Department, who is empowered to grant travel passes to Comité National sympathisers.

Wallace (a Mason) obtains a travel pass from Stutsman by pretending hostility to McDougall.

Thursday, 4 November:

McDougall writes to Mactavish [G.]: about his expulsion from HBC Pembina Post; that he has the letter from the Comité National [E]; and that he is at Hayden’s and is mistrusting Americans.

Wallace leaves Pembina—with the “safe conduct” pass from Stutsman—travelling to Upper Fort Garry with letters from McDougall for Mactavish [F.] and [G.], and to spy for McDougall.

Friday, 5 November:

Wallace, at the barricade/ la barriere, is taken to Comité National headquarters at the St. Norbert church and interviewed by Bruce and Riel (Ritchot, Hugh F. Olone, Henry McKenney Jr. [of MN; nephew of Henry McKenney Sr. and of Schultz, who is McKenney Sr.’s half-brother], and others are also present).[16] Wallace is asked to show any documents carried, he pretends to have none. McKenney tells Wallace “there had … been no official notification that there had been any transfer of the Territory.”[17]

[16] According to John Lennon, affidavit (1876), quoted in Canada, Parliament, House of Commons, Debates of the House of Commons of the Dominion of Canada 3d session, 3d parliament (Ottawa: McLean Roger and Co., 1876), 812, after the barricade/ la barriere was raised at St. Norbert on 20 October, Olone went with Lennon to speak with Governor Mactavish and ask “his opinion of the movement.” They came away from the interview believing that those at the barricade “were perfectly right in resisting”:

“That the Canadian Government had no right to force the purchase of the country and thus injure the half-breeds, and that the Hudson Bay Company were forced to take the three hundred thousand pounds rather than nothing from the Dominion Government, and that it was an act of injustice to them as well.”

[17] McDougall, Red River Rebellion, 13 n.

McDougall writes to Howe: explaining why he has not reached Red River Settlement.

[Schultz] writes to McDougall [H.] for the Canadian Party at Winnipeg, reporting: a Comité National presence inside Upper Fort Garry was established without resistance from HBC. [Schultz] alleges that the Company had 12 hours notice and encouraged the occupation, so as to pretend to be unable to communicate with McDougall. [Schultz] observes that the Comité National has called a meeting of representatives of the “whole settlement” for about 15 November [the Council of Twenty-four]. [Schultz] states that the settlers, however, no doubt support McDougall—he need only show “a Commission from Her Majesty to enter here as Governor” and everyone “will lay down their arms.” [Schultz] argues that the HBC only pretends an inability to “suppress the insurrection,” so McDougall issuing his official “Proclamation” would force the HBC to “easily” put an end to the Comité National. After all, the latter really consists of only 40 men, the rest (not over 210), would desert at “the slightest opposition.” [Schultz] advises McDougall to forward his Proclamation to Winnipeg [by George Klyne (Métis)] and assures him that the Canadian party will “see it placarded here”; copies should also be sent “by a trusty man” to [redacted] at Portage la Prairie. [Schultz] warns that McDougall should wait at Pembina for the results of the Council of Twenty-four and not leave on any account until he establishes communication with the HBC by way of the Canadian Party messenger [Klyne].

Saturday, 6 November:

James Ross (Métis) and an unnamed “Yankee” (likely Henry Martin Robinson),[18] print the “Public Notice to the Inhabitants of Rupert’s Land(“A.”)—announcing the Council of Twenty-four. They print it for the Comité National on the Nor’-Wester press—Bown having refused to do so.

[6 November?] Wallace reaches Winnipeg and arranges to get despatches into Upper Fort Garry for Mactavish (perhaps via Andrew G.B. Bannatyne [father of a Métis family; brother-in-law of Mactavish], who, like Wallace, is a Mason).

Malmros writes to Davis: the Comité National has the support of 600 men.[19]

‘Pemican’ at Fort Garry writes a letter to the St. Paul Daily Press (1): it alleges that the Comité National has 600 armed men and is in possession of Upper Fort Garry; that all is orderly; and that it would be deadly folly to send in Canadian troops.

‘Pembina’ at Pembina writes a letter to the St. Paul Daily Press (3): it alleges that there was no resistance to the Comité National taking possession of Upper Fort Garry; that they are in the process of organizing a provisional government; and that their force numbers 500–600 men.

[18] See “Red River Newspaper Chronology and the men who ‘made’ the news,” this site.

[19] Malmros to Davis (6 November 1869), in James Wickes Taylor Correspondence, 87.

Sunday, 7 November:

McDougall is at the farm of François ‘Frank’ Larose (Métis), a mile south of Pembina, with 2–3 weeks’ worth of supplies (brought from Red River by Hayden).

Richards, Provencher, and Begg [of Canada] are lodged at Pembina. Cameron has remained at Hayden’s.

McDougall has heard rumours that the Comité National has “taken” Upper Fort Garry, has sent Mactavish away, and has posted sentries throughout the settlement, without resistance from anyone.

6:00 pm.: McDougall receives a message from the Canadian Party [H.], delivered by a messenger [Klyne?]. McDougall replies [actual reply not included in the Correspondence and papers]: he believes the HBC only acceded to the Comité National under force; he will “at the proper time” issue a manifesto or proclamation. McDougall asks that the Canadian Party keep lines of communication open; and encourages that they “act rather than recriminate.”

McDougall also writes to Mactavish [I.], expressing disappointment: that the latter had not issued a proclamation as McDougall had suggested; and that the Comité National had been allowed into Upper Fort Garry without opposition or public protest. He avows that that unless the Comité National drop their protest against McDougall, the consequences will be “war and bloodshed, and confiscation.” McDougall gives assurance that he will remain at Pembina “until I hear officially of the transfer of authority” [it never comes to him]. He sends the letter with the messenger [Klyne?], who is to be his “private channel of communication” with the Canadians at Red River.

Monday, 8 November:

10 am.: Mactavish receives McDougall’s letters [F.] and [G.] (of 2d and 4th November respectively), which have been brought in by Wallace, and calls a meeting of the HBC Council of Assiniboia for the next day.

evening: Charles Mair, at Schultz’s house in Winnipeg, writes to McDougall (“C.”): alleging that the HBC is cooperating with the Comité National, as are “All the Yankees” at Winnipeg. He states that an HBC “Council”  is deliberating today [actually it will meet the next day]. He notes that “The English have not risen,” but avows that 500 would do so, if McDougall issued his proclamation. Mair reports that Snow has argued that the Comité National will stop the road-building, so, according to Mair, Snow has decided to stop it, so as not to pay Métis. Mair says the HBC should do the same to its Métis employees (starve them into submission). Mair encloses a copy of the notice for the Council of Twenty-four (“A.”). He speculates that Hugh S. Donaldson [from Quebec, then Pembina, now a merchant at Winnipeg] has engaged Fenian aid [William B. O’Donoghue is the more likely subject of any such rumour]. Mair tells McDougall to stay at Pembina.

‘Spectator’ at Pembina writes a letter to the St. Paul Daily Press (2), describing events at Red River: the occupation of Upper Fort Garry was “peaceful.” Martial law has been instituted, in response to rumours that McDougall at Pembina is threatening to bring in Canadian troops—and the belief is that he will thereby coerce settlers into a civil war. ‘Spectator’ therefore argues that the U.S. should not allow troops from Canada to cross American territory. He adds that Cameron, “a half-witted unfortunate,” is proposing to lead 400 Canadian troops.

Tuesday, 9 November:

The HBC Council of Assiniboia meets: McDougall’s letters to Mactavish, [F.] and [G.], are read.

Mactavish writes to McDougall (A.): assuring him that staying at Pembina is wise, if unfortunate. Mactavish believes it is doubtful that a HBC proclamation will accomplish anything—as anyone familiar with the settlement knows. No official information has come from England or Canada to the HBC Governor and Council of Assiniboia “of the fact of the transfer, or of its conditions, or of the date” on which they would take effect. Mactavish and Council cannot disseminate such information until it is received. The Council has done its best to warn the Comité National of the “illegality and danger” of their action. The Council has not attempted coercive force, because it has “no reliable force” at its disposal, and has already explained to McDougall the peril of “of deliberately calling upon one portion of so peculiar a community as to confront the other in an attitude of determined hostility.” Mactavish takes offence at McDougall impugning his leadership, and complains that Canada’s action could not but provoke the response at Red River. As far as Mactavish knows, the settlers are not looking to form a government of their own, nor do they wish American annexation, but will not take up arms against the Comité National or the keeping of McDougall out of the settlement, until their demands—whatever they might be—are addressed. Mactavish describes the occupation of Upper Fort Garry by the Comité National force: they have not injured “either person or property,” but are an “inconvenience” and there is resentment at their presence on the part of HBC personnel. Mactavish’s conjecture about the unspecified ‘danger,’ alluded to by the Comité National, is that they meant McDougall’s entry. Along with the Council of Assiniboia, Mactavish shares the view that the Comité National will continue to oppose McDougall’s entry of the settlement, and attempting to bring him in would have “most disastrous” consequences. McDougall’s remaining at Pembina will only perpetuate this state of affairs, so that his returning to Canada is “essential for the peace of the country, … [and] in the interest of the establishment in the future of the Canadian Government.” The Council of Twenty-four might have a moderating effect, but Mactavish expects little change any time soon.

Mactavish writes to Smith: he has heard from McDougall regarding letter (A.) [received by McDougall via Dennis on 2 November]. Mactavish describes McDougall as critical of Mactavish and as a demanding individual. McDougall “refers to military and other arrangements, which arise out of the outrage to which he has been subjected.” The Comité National has invited delegates from Protestant parishes to “consult on the state of the country and the government to be adopted” [at the Council of Twenty-four].

Snow (identified by the handwriting) writes to McDougall (“B.”): A “Council” [HBC] meets today to “deliberate” on McDougall’s [letter], “Decision not known.” Snow asserts [wrongly] that the “English and Scotch parishes will not respond” to the invitation for the Council of Twenty-four. Snow tells McDougall to “Issue Proclamation, and then you may come fearlessly down,” but to “By no means leave Pembina.”

Wednesday, 10 November:

Chief Miskookenew/ Prince and 50 of his men meet with Canadian Party members and [D.A.?] Grant. Miskookenew sends a letter to Mactavish, via Grant [contents unknown, not included in Correspondence and papers].

Thursday, 11 November:

Begg [of Canada] at Pembina writes to Ottawa to notify the government that McDougall’s party is running low on funds and to request more.

An “Englishman,” [D.A. Grant?] who had travelled with Begg [of Canada] and who had driven an HBC wagon past la barriere [with Wallace?] writes from ‘Fort Garry’ [Lower?] to Begg [of Canada]: that the Government is now a Republic, with “French half-breeds” as its officers “of course” and 140 men guarding Upper Fort Garry. This “Englishman” alleges that the HBC is feeding the 140 men and that at one point they had all left the fort when it was rumoured McDougall had returned to Ottawa, but came back in the next day. The “Englishman” is of the opinion that forces should be sent from Canada, and that when McDougall issues a proclamation the ‘English’ “will rise and ‘lick’ the French.” The “Englishman” wants to hear from Begg about “what is being done.”

Friday, 12 November:

 The Canadian Party at Winnipeg [Schultz] write to Dennis (“E.”): stating that letters by McDougall to the Canadian Party [referred to, but not included in Correspondence and papers] and to Mactavish [I.] were received [via Klyne?] by “Mr. [D.A.?] Grant,” who brought them into town. Canadian Party letters were sent on 9 November for McDougall (identified as “His Excellency”—though no official title has been conferred as yet), and for Dennis [presumably the letters (“C.”) and (“B.”) to McDougall; but, unless this letter is meant, the letter to Dennis is unknown, apparently it is not included in Correspondence and papers]. The letters had been addressed to Charles Turner Cavalier/ Cavilier/ Cavileer (the American postmaster at Pembina) and to Stutsman, likewise at Pembina, “respectively.” [Schultz] speculates that the letters have been intercepted by the Comité National, which is rumoured to be inspecting the mails. [Schultz] passes on additional rumours: only 6 men remain at the barricade [though he does not identify which barricade]; Mactavish receives no communications; Bruce and Riel are at odds—if Bruce leaves, the majority will follow; “the English half-breeds” have hidden all the ammunition at Lower Fort Garry; Riel is guarding all the guns at Upper Fort Garry (but has no ammunition). [Schultz] reports that Miskookenew/ Prince’s men are on-side with the Canadians; McDougall need only to send in something official and “we will guarantee the result.” [Schultz] believes “most of the parishes” will not attend the Council of Twenty-four [he is mistaken, all parishes attend]. [Schultz] promises that the Canadian party will disrupt the election for a representative at the Town of Winnipeg “if the Americans are not too strong” (Bannatyne and McKenney are running) [‘the Americans’ do in fact prove too strong]. [Schultz] relays the information that Snow at Oak Point has laid off all the Métis employed on the road-building project, but has laid the blame on the Comité National, to undermine community support for that organization. The Canadian Party wants McDougall to take charge and force the Comité National “to action”—they can then be put down.

The Canadian Party at Winnipeg presents a written protest to Mactavish.

Saturday, 13 November:

McDougall at Larose’s farm writes to Howe (1036.): McDougall has not heard from HBC at Upper Fort Garry (since 1 November), but he is sure no HBC proclamation has been issued. McDougall thinks Mactavish is guilty of “weakness and imbecility” and that members of the HBC Council of Assiniboia are guilty of “complicity … with the insurrection.” McDougall suspects an HBC Councillor is corresponding with Americans at Pembina, who are tracking McDougall’s movements. He complains that the HBC is not sending supplies he ordered. McDougall encloses the Comité National’s “call” of 6 November (“A.”). He avers the “English-speaking” settlers will not respond to it “except a few traitors who have been in the plot from the beginning.” Additionally he writes: “I expected to hear by this time that the transfer had been agreed to and the Imperial Order in Council passed. If I don’t receive notice of this ‘Order’ in a few days, I shall be much embarrassed in my plans.”[20]

[20] McDougall, Red River Rebellion, 25.

Sunday, 14 November:

McDougall writes to Howe: enclosing (“B.”) from Snow (known by the handwriting). McDougall repeats that he will not issue a proclamation until notified that the transfer of the territory has taken place, Richards and Provencher agreeing with that course of action. McDougall encloses extracts of a letter from Mair (“C.”), and extracts from letter to Begg [of Canada] by “a young Englishman” [D.A. Grant?] (“D.”); as well as a letter from the “Friends of Canada” to Dennis (“E.”).

Tuesday, 16 November:

Mactavish issues a proclamation, though he does so “more … in deference to [McDougall’s] opinion, than from any expectation of a favourable result.”

noon: the Council of Twenty-four meets at the Court House for day 1.[21] The Comité National welcomes the English delegates with a salute from the Upper Fort Garry field pieces. Mactavish’s proclamation is read.

[21] Alexander Begg,  Alexander Begg’s Red River journal: and other papers relative to the Red River resistance of 1869-1870, ed. W.L. Morton (Toronto: Champlain Society, 1956), 165, indicates the elected delegates were: Henry McKenney Sr. and Hugh F. Olone for Winnipeg; Maurice Lowman for St. John’sJames Ross (Métis) for Kildonan; Dr. Curtis James Bird (who has Métis half-siblings; and who is a member of Council of Assiniboia) for Middlechurch; Donald Gunn (father of Métis family) for St. Andrew’s; Thomas Bunn (Métis; and a member of Council of Assiniboia) for St. Clements; Chief  Miskookenew/ ‘Red Eagle’/ Henry Prince (Saulteaux Firts Nations) for St. Peters; Robert Tait (Métis) for St. James; William Auld Tait (Métis) for Headingly; George Gunn (Métis) for St. Ann’s; John Garrioch (Métis) for Portage; François Dauphinais (Métis), Pierre Poitras (Métis), Pierre Leveille (Métis), and Patrice Breland (Métis, but not mentioned in other lists of representatives) for St. François-Xavier; William B. O’Donoghue for St. Boniface; André Beauchemin (Métis) and Pierre Paranteau Sr. (Métis; Justice of the Peace) for St. Vital; Louis Lacerte (Métis) and Jean-Baptiste Tourond (Métis) for St. Norbert (and Pointe Coupée); Charles Nolin (Métis) and Jean Baptiste Perrault dit Morin (Métis) for Ste-Anne/ Oak Point.

Mactavish writes to W.G. Smith: reporting that the overall situation remains the same. Mactavish has received a complaint from Riel that McDougall is being supplied by the HBC Pembina Post—with a warning/ threat from Riel as to the vulnerability of HBC posts. Mactavish reports additionally that Riel wants the keys to the two Upper Fort Garry Bastions “containing some muskets.” Mactavish expresses the hope that the people continue to “hesitate.” He has heard a rumour that O’Donoghue can procure Fenian assistance. He notes that the Council of Twenty-four has begun. Mactavish sent his proclamation in to the Council—”to satisfy McDougall” and some members of the Council of Assiniboia—but doubts it will be of benefit. Mactavish encloses documents for the London Committee.

Wednesday, 17 November:

The Council of Twenty-four meets for day 2.

11 pm.: [the Canadian Party?] at Winnipeg writes a report to Dennis (B.): three “English delegates” of Council of Twenty-four, met with [the Canadian Party?] and reported that the ‘English’ will have meetings with their constituents for the next 4 days, then will again attend the Council. There is a rumour that 2,000 troops are on the way from Canada. The ‘English’ think that all opposition will disappear if McDougall’s government should consist of a council of 15, with 5 appointees, and 10 councillors elected by the people.

Thursday, 18 November:

William Eli Sanford (wholesaler to retailers Bannatyne & Begg [of Red River]), writes to Howe: that the Comité National des Métis had known about the rifles that McDougall was transporting[22] with the Government supplies for Dennis and Snow, and had intended to intercept them. Sanford had sent messengers to warn McDougall, and the latter had left the rifles at St. Cloud U.S., to be sent to HBC agent at Georgetown Post for safe keeping. Sanford has published disinformation in the St. Paul press, indicating that McDougall has successfully arrived at Upper Fort Garry.

[22] Mcdougall, Red River Rebellion, 38-39, avers Dennis recommended sending “arms and ammunition for the equipment of two or three companies of volunteers” and that McDougall was “authorized, by the Minister of militia, to take with me 350 breech-loading rifles, with 30,000 rounds of ammunition [sic: italics in source].” Begg, Red River Journal, 162, notes, “It having been reported that the Canadian government had the intention of running in guns into the settlement all Freight cars were stopped and searched at the barriers.”

Friday, 19 November:

Joseph Howe writes to McDougall that “you can claim or assert no authority in the Hudson’s Bay Territory, until the Queen’s Proclamation, annexing the country to Canada, reaches you through this office.” [No such proclamation is ever issued. Howe’s letter will not arrive until 6 December].

Dennis with McDougall replies to the Canadian Party[?]‘s report (B.) of 17 November: observing that results of Council of Twenty-four on Monday are awaited anxiously. They are thankful for the “efforts of the Loyalists to maintain order and the authority of the Crown” and those people can expect reward. Dennis with McDougall approves of Mactavish’s proclamation. Dennis advises that if the Council decides on a provisional government, the Canadian Party and supporters “should withdraw from all association and discussion … and be prepared … the moment a call is made.” Dennis with McDougall states that 3 members of McDougall’s council will be Canadian—and there will be appointments of others from the settlement [but not elections].

The HBC Council of Assinibioa General Quarterly Court hears the case of “Snow the [Canadian] government road master vs. his employees,” the latters being ‘Ensign’ William John Allen, ‘Private’ Thomas Scott, Francis Mugridge, and George Francis Fortney, who were charged with assault.[23]

It is rumoured that as Wallace prepared to leave the settlement for Pembina, he was relieved of “two rifles and one shot gun” by the Comité National.[24]

[23] Begg, Red River Journal, 173; “Aggravated Assault,” Nor’-Wester (26 October 1869), 1; “The Quarterly Court,Nor’-Wester (23 November 1869), 1.

[24] Ibid.

Saturday, 20 November:

morning: Wallace meets with McKenney Sr. for “about an hour.” Wallace hears that a threat of Fenian participation has been rumoured. McKenney, who is a delegate at the Council of Twenty-four, is reading “the Imperial Act ceding the North-West Territory.” McKenney believes peace suitable for trade-as-usual is not possible unless McDougall leaves for Canada. He explains that the people want representative government [democracy], not a governor. According to McKenney, after the Council, elections will be held “and a Parliament established that the Canadian Government must respect.” McKenney says:

“Why … should we be any worse dealt with than British Columbia, Newfoundland, or Prince Edward Island? … Howe … told us … we were entitled to the same rights, and that by perseverance we would get them.”

Wallace leaves for Pembina.

There is a rumour that Horace Sewell and Garrett are “circulating stories to the effect that letters are being opened on transit to [Red River] and that Mr. Bannatyne the postmaster is accessory to the fact.”[25]

[25] Begg, Red River Journal, 175, insists the stories are false.

McDougall, at Larose’s, writes to Howe: noting he encloses a copy of Mactavish’s reply (A.) of 9 November to McDougall’s letters of 2d and 4th November, and a copy of the correspondence of Canadian Party and Dennis (who is also at Larose’s) (B.) of 17 November. He also notes that he encloses copy of the Canadian Party protest to Mactavish and the proclamation they claim to have pressured Mactavish into issuing. McDougall states he has not replied to the “lengthy … extraordinary” address from the HBC Council of Assiniboia, nor made any attempt to follow their recommendation to meet with the Comité National. McDougall says that he is not impressed with Judge Black, and does not believe that the HBC in England will be happy with the opinions expressed in the address from the Council of Assiniboia. McDougall complains that the HBC is not looking after him materially, nor keeping him informed on what is happening at the settlement. He says that the Canadian Party is his only source of information and support for “attempting to organize … resistance to the conspiracy” of the HBC with the Comité National—which Wallace, returned from Upper Fort Garry, believes exists, on the basis of Canadian Party reports [probably originating with Schultz, but attributed to the happy-to-accommodate James Mulligan].[26] Additionally McDougall complains that Cowan refused an offer to let the Canadians protect the fort [boosting their numbers with former Chelsea Pensioners]. McDougall adds that he encloses “(B.)” [document unknown: not included in Correspondence and papers] from a “well informed correspondent” who attends Comité National sessions [Charles Nolin? (Métis)].[27] McDougall then complains of the Canadian Press’ representations of his government. He claims Howe is responsible for the Red River settlers’ talk of “resistance to tyranny” and “defence of their rights.” McDougall is defensive when describing his position, actions, and plans: stating that the local HBC representatives have adopted an “extraordinary policy” so that McDougall has been forced to rely on the Canadian Party—a hardship because his existence is expensive. And that he anticipates launching a “bolder and more costly” campaign. He meets with Richards and Provencher daily, and once the results of Council of Twenty-four are known, he and they will hold a council and determine what course “duty” and “prudence” demand.

[26] Mulligan was a former sergeant with the Chealsea Pensioners and one of the constables at Red River in 1869. Both Schultz and Mulligan continued to bring the story up—despite denials that any such conspiracy existed. See James Mulligan, letter to William McDougall (1 October 1870), “Appendix E,” Red River Rebellion, 66-68; Donald A. Smith and William Cowan quoted in Canada, Parliament, House of Commons, Debates of the House of Commons of the Dominion of Canada, vol. 1, ed. A.M. Burgess (Ottawa: C.W. Mitchell, 1875), 1065, 1068; William Mactavish quoted by A.G.B. Bannatyne in Canada, Parliament, House of Commons, Debates of the House of Commons of the Dominion of Canada, 3d session, 3d parliament, 1876, ed. A.M. Burgess (Ottawa: McLean, Roger & Co., 1876), 804.

[27] The surmise that Nolin was reporting Comité National business to the Canadians would explain Riel’s later accusation that Nolin was a “traitor.” See “11th Day: 5 February,” Convention of Forty, this site.

Monday, 22 November:

Copies of the St. Paul Press arrive at Red River with “a statement purporting to be from Mr. W.E. Sanford” misrepresenting the Red River response to McDougall (by claiming he was escorted into the settlement).[28]

About this date, McDougall receives a private note from Canadian Prime Minister John A. Macdonald (dated 19 October) [content unknown: not included in Correspondence and papers].[29]

Stutsman arrives at Red River and claims McDougall’s party is anxious to return to Canada, but McDougall won’t allow anyone to do so. Stutsman describes McDougall as having an intense dislike of the people of Red River, and describes Cameron as “a natural ass.” It is rumoured that Stutsman is carrying a letter (dated 26 September) from Pie Wasch and Cha-wa-we-ash (Chippewa) to McDougall, stating that they had decided against meeting with him, “on their hearing of the French Half Breed movement … fearing that … it would hurt the cause of their Half Breed brethren.”[30]

Bown circulates a petition, “written by Schultz headed by Jas. Stewart and a number of strangers in the settlement,” against having Olone and McKenny attend the Council of Twenty-four as delegates for Winnipeg.

Bannatyne writes a letter to the Council of Twenty-four objecting to the Canadian petitioners, who are “to a very great extent the cause of our present troubles … The petition has been written by one who has broken our laws [Schultz] and handed … [about] by one who has broken our laws [Bown].” Additionally, Bannatyne (the postmaster) states “no letters have been tampered with” at Red River. He declares,

I coincide with the party of action [the Comité National] so far as they endeavor to obtain their and our rights … My earnest wish is that the Canadian Government should be established as early as possible, only let us have our elective and other acknowledged rights. … the unassailable rights of a free people worthy of having a thorough & complete voice in the management of their own affairs.” [31]

It is rumoured that D.A. Grant is also circulating a petition, signed by Canadians who are willing to “arrange matters and conciliate parties as much as possible” if “the French … lay down their arms.”[32]

The Council of Twenty-four, meets for day 3.

[28] Begg, Red River Journal, 177.

[29] McDougall, Red River Rebellion, 22, maintains that he received the note “a few days” before 26 November, and that there was enclosed a copy of a letter from HBC London Governor Stafford Henry Northcote to Mactavish, dated 19 October 1869, in which the transfer date was given as 1 December.

[30] Begg, Red River Journal, 176, 180181. The letter was first printed in the Yankton Dakotian c. 20 October, it was reprinted in “The Red River Row. An American Account of the Affair, (Pembina, D.T., Sept 27, Correspondent of the Yankton Dakota),” Toronto Daily Globe (c. 13 November?), in Glenbow Museum [GM], M-6058, “James Ross’ Scrapbook,” 3.

[31] A.G.B. Bannatyne, letter to Council of Twenty-four, quoted in Ibid., 177178.

[32] Begg, Red River Journal, 179.

Wallace completes his notes to McDougall on the spy mission to Upper Fort Garry, 4th to 22d November [the chronology, however, is awry, the dates being off or absent]. He reports gossip—some of which he obtained by interviews, some at second-hand. He claims:

  • Bannatyne said: that there has still been no official notification of the transfer of the territory;[33] that Mactavish was insulted by McDougall’s letters [F.] and [G.]; and that Bannatyne is in favour of the Comité National, regretting the turn of events, but of the opinion that McDougall and company—especially Dennis—should return to Canada;
  • McKenney Sr. said: that the settlers had grievances regarding Canada’s handling of the transfer and of their desire for representative government; that the Comité National has 700 men in arms; the remarks 0f 20 November (see above entry, that date); that the Council of Twenty-four would not send delegates to meet with McDougall;
  • Maurice J.G. Lowman, delegate at the Council of Twenty-four representing St. John’s Parish said: he believes that the Council is a positive step [he is the son, from a previous marriage, of Mary Kelly Lowman Bird, the widow of James Bird Sr., and so is half-brother to Dr. Curtis James Bird (Métis)];
  • William Auld Tait (Métis), delegate from Headingly at the Council of Twenty-four said:

you may talk, but in that convention we sit opposite to those who have been born and brought up among us, ate with us, slept with us, hunted with us, traded with us, and are of our own flesh and blood … I for one cannot fight them. I will not imbue my hands in their blood”;

  • Donaldson said: that he was violently opposed to McDougall;
  • Olone, George Devlin, and others at Winnipeg were in agreement with McKenney Sr.;
  • Robinson might be more in favour of U.S. than of Canadian annexation;
  • Ross criticized Wallace for making remarks against McDougall;
  • John Taylor (Métis; a merchant 12 miles up the Assiniboine at Headingly) said: that the Toronto Globe is highly critical of McDougall;
  • Mulligan’s story is: that (c. 1 November) Judge Black and Cowan had refused an offer made by former Chelsea Pensioners, with Canadians, to help prevent the Comité National entry into Upper Fort Garry. Afterwards (c. 8 November) a similar offer to get the Comité National out was likewise refused;
  • Schultz wants no troops sent from Canada, because he fears that all Canadians presently at the settlement will be slaughtered. He thinks the Council of Twenty-four might send delegates to meet with McDougall at Pembina. He blames the HBC for the ascent of the Comité National. He says Sioux and Chippewa are with the Canadian Party, willing to act for the Canadian Government;
  • Snow agrees with Schultz and was helpful to Wallace;
  • [redacted: Canadian Party?] said: “English and Scotch half-breeds” are unlikely take up arms against Comité National, but 300 Sioux have been recruited to do so “any time they are required”;
  • [redacted, Canadian Party?] said: the Chippewa will fight for the Canadian Party, so should be given a treaty immediately;
  • [redacted: Canadian government sympathizer, who has a brother with the Comité National] has “very great influence amongst Indians, and “would be a most useful man”;
  • [redacted: Hallett Sr.? a “wealthy half-breed” who is most influential among “the French”] said: he is opposed to “Priests,”[34] and wants a proclamation from McDougall and 500 or 1000 Canadian troops to put down the “reign of terror,” because the “English and Scotch half-breeds … are very unwilling to take steps” against Comité National. He derided the Council of Twenty-four as useless against McKenney, Olone, Riel, Ritchot, O’Donoghue, and Bannatyne;
  • [redacted] said: the Council of Twenty-four was useless, and if troops were not sent by Canada for January, he would ask for U.S. annexation;
  • [redacted Canadian Party?] said: he wants authority from McDougall to organize “English and French half-breeds” to take Upper Fort Garry “any day, and keep it too.” He would welcome troops from Canada, because he expects Fenian forces in the spring;
  • [redacted, Canadian Party?] said: he wants 1000 troops from Canada before the “whole country” is lost.

Wallace is of the opinion that the settlers want representative government, and “will not accept a Governor from the Dominion [of Canada] on any terms”—though Wallace repeatedly told settlers that this would be a temporary condition, that the Governor would appoint 5 local people to his council, and that eventually “a responsible Government would be formed as understood in Canada.” Wallace blames the HBC for not issuing a proclamation at the outset and for not calling out “the whole available civil force” [a fictive entity at best—the Canadian Party at worst]. Wallace does not trust “Indians.” He recommends sending troops from Canada, to arrive at Pembina by middle or end of January, “for there is great danger of Fenian Hordes early in the spring” [another fiction].

[33] McDougall, Red River Rebellion, 13 n.

[34] Hallett Sr. was Protestant, and had been described by James Ross and William Coldwell, eds., “Serious Disturbances,” Nor’-Wester (27 April 1863), 3, as:

“the veteran chieftain of a hundred battles. … one of the first men in this country; he is universally beloved and esteemed; he has extensive and powerful connections among all classes; of a mild and peaceful disposition himself, he has ever exerted himself to preserve peace and order in this country; as against the Indian tribes around us his very name is a tower of strength.”

Hallet, however, also had a reputation for being a strong and intimidating organizer, not averse to taking the law into his own hands. He had a proven capacity for cowing Hudson’s Bay Company officials, Sheriffs, and Governors of the Gaol by dint of assembled might on his side, and for heading up successful jailbreaks (in 1863). See Joseph James Hargrave, Red River (Montreal: John Lovell, 1871), 285 -287. See also Noel Joseph Ritchot, quoted in Canada, Parliament, House of Commons, Select Committee, Report of the Select Committee on the Causes of the Difficulties in the North-West Territory in 1869–70 (Ottawa: I.B. Taylor, 1874), 68.

McDougall writes to General Hunt at Fort Abercrombie U.S. that “certain French half-breeds plan to burn down HBC Fort George MN. In consequence, McDougall is sending his rifles, ammunition, and personal effects that have been stored there to Fort Abercrombie.

Tuesday, 23 November:

The Council of Twenty-four meets for day 4.

The Canadian Party’s protest to Mactavish is printed in “Governor Mactavish and the Situation,” in the Nor’-Wester, which includes part of the text of Mactavish’s proclamation under the sub-head of “Governor Mactavish to the People of Red River,” of 16 November.[35]

[35]Governor Mactavish and the Situation,” Nor’-Wester (23 November 1869), 1. Begg, Red River Journal, 170, reports the rumour that the governor’s document was to be printed by James Ross and William Coldwell in their new newspaper, The Red River Pioneer, but that Bown had filched an incomplete copy and published that text in the Nor’-Wester. In addition, Begg avers Mactavish’s proclamation was not a response to the Canadian Party protest, but was written earlier and independently.

Mactavish writes to W.G. Smith: that the Council of Twenty-four is in session; McDougall is still not allowed into the settlement; and “the French party” are pushing for a locally-led provisional government. Mactavish says Riel took the Land Register and the “cash blotter” from HBC clerk/ accountant John Henry ‘Jack’ Mactavish (father of a Métis family), but that Riel promised “not to meddle … but respect private funds.” Mactavish also encloses a copy of his proclamation. He notes that he has not heard from McDougall. [36]

[36] Begg, Red River Journal, 181, records the rumour, attributed to George H. Young Jr., that Mactavish and all other HBC personnel were now prisoners. See also “Prisoners,” this site.

Wednesday, 24 November:

The Council of Twenty-four meets for day 5.

The Comité National inspects Schultz’s incoming carts at Upper Fort Garry and ask if he is importing arms. Schultz says no. Riel accompanies Schultz with his carts to the latter’s store/ warehouse. Riel then inspects the premises. On being informed that Government property for Snow’s project is stored there, Riel says he will conduct an inventory “in case any parties should remove any portion, and it would be laid to us.” Four guards arrive from the fort. Riel leaves and the guards help Schultz unload his wagons. Riel returns to take inventory, but Schultz refuses him entry unless Riel agrees not to take anything. Riel agrees. They enter the store. Hallet shows up. Riel ceases taking inventory and exits the store with Schultz.

4 pm.: D.A. Grant, Boulton, and Dennis’ ‘Aide de Camp,’ Donald Codd, hear a rumour that Snow’s “Government stores” (pork and beans and flour) at Schultz’s are being seized by the Comité National.[37] Grant, Boulton, and Codd arrive at Schultz’s to see Riel, with Comité National guards, and Schultz coming out a back door. Schultz informs them that Riel was taking an inventory. Riel leaves.

[37] Begg, Red River Journal, 184, heard the rumour as well—though, as he understands it, “the reason for the seizure seems to be that the provisions might disappear in the excitement of the times and the French have placed a guard over it in the interest of the Canadian Government.”

D.A. Grant writes to Dennis (A.), about the pork and beans ‘outrage’: a Canadian party of 20-30 men plan to remove the pork and beans at about noon to Lower Fort Garry in rented sleighs, leaving [redacted] in charge. They will then have an excuse to occupy the Lower Fort, “where a large amount of ammunition is stored.” The Canadian Party will fight “all comers” to protect the cargo, aware that this “will have the effect, perhaps, of precipitating matters.” They do not want to risk allowing the Comité National to get the pork and beans because then the Comité will “have gained a very important advantage.” Hallet has sworn to assist the Canadians. The Canadians will take all responsibility for the act, but would like advice.

Thursday, 25 November:

According to Begg [of Red River]: a meeting is held at St. Andrews, at which Ross and Lowman attend; rumours of Canadian pork and HBC prisoners are discussed; Ross and Lowman learn that “There is a very strong feeling against Canadians and others trying to start a fight prematurely.”[38]

George Newcombe (after a 20 hour hike) arrives at Larose’s with D.A. Grant’s letter to Dennis (A.) explaining that the Comité National asked to inventory Snow’s pork and beans stored at Schultz’s, and that in consequence the Canadians will move the food stores to Lower Fort Garry and then occupy the fort.

Dennis replies to D.A. Grant, with McDougall’s orders: 1) prevent theft by applying for police or other protection. 2) if no such protection is available, apply to Mactavish or other HBC officer to store the pork and beans at Lower Fort Garry and ask for authority to guard and defend it with volunteers 3) if permission is granted, move the food stores and guard them 4) if a “considerable force of armed men” attempts to seize the pork and beans before the Lower Fort is reached do not “risk a collision which may cause bloodshed,” unless the HBC authorities have empowered you as an armed force directed to defend the cargo at all costs. Dennis tells Grant that McDougall has written Mactavish asking for his support.

McDougall writes to Mactavish, enclosing Dennis’ reply to D.A. Grant, with McDougall’s orders: McDougall alleges that “an armed party of lawless persons” attempted to steal the Canadian pork and beans. The Canadian party wants to move the food stores to Lower Fort Garry under escort. McDougall requests that Mactavish supply assistance, and give them the “desired authority.

McDougall writes to Howe, forwarding Wallace’s notes to McDougall on the spy mission and reporting: McDougall has received word [a rumour], alledged to have been sent by Mactavish, that there is a plot to burn the HBC Georgetown Post and to destroy the Canadian rifles and ammunition stored there. McDougall therefore took steps to move the rifles to Fort Abercrombie under General Hunt (copy of letter of 22 November). McDougall told all his contacts to let it be known this had been done. He has heard from Mactavish, who holds little faith in the effectiveness of the proclamation issued by the HBC governor. McDougall also forwards letters from Curtis M. Lampson (deputy governor of the HBC in England)[39] and from Smith, the HBC secretary [the letters are not included in Correspondence and papers]. McDougall, without official confirmation from Canada as to the date of the transfer of territory, decides to assume it is still 1 December 1869, on the basis of Lampson’s letter (dated 25 September). McDougall has heard a rumour that the Canadians have recruited support among “English and Scotch half-breeds” and were arming in expectation of a “row.” McDougall is waiting to hear about the Council of Twenty-four.

It is rumoured that at Red River “the general opinion of the English side is against a provisional government while the H.B.C. rule is still in force.”[40]

Cameron proposes to McDougall: that he “go among” the “friends of the new [McDougall’s] Government” at Red River.[41]

[38] Begg, Red River Journal, 190.

[39] McDougall, Red River Rebellion, 22, published one of Lampson’s letters, dated 25 September 1869, which was addressed to McDougall, under cover of Mactavish.

[40] Begg, Red River Journal, 184.

[41] Cameron quoted in McDougall, Red River Rebellion, 16.

Friday, 26 November:

early morning: according to Begg [of Red River] Alexander Polson [of St. John’s], travels to St. Andrews with the message that as far as the ‘Scots’ are concerned. “the Government Pork might go to the d—l.”[42]

John Young telegraphs Lord Granville, Secretary of State for the Colonies, England, including the statement that “Parties having influence with Indians and half-breeds are proceeding to join McDougall.”

[According to the local press:] The Comité National scout, Leveille, reports that Sioux from Portage la Prairie are on their way to attack Upper Fort Garry and would soon reach St. James. A meeting of all citizens of Winnipeg is called. A company is formed under Capt. Donaldson, 1st Lieut. Olone, and 2d Lieut. Robinson, to “act in unison with the military” of the Comité National. A contingent of guards rides to McKay’s and holds a council with the Sioux. The Sioux from Portage attest to having been solicited by the Canadians to put down a rebellion, but are persuaded to return to Portage.[43]

[Joseph Wheelock?] “resident at St. Paul” MN writes to Howe [No. 1042.]: that he has forwarded Howe’s letter to McDougall via a “trusty friend.” This “resident at St. Paul” is certain that at Red River the mails are examined by the Comité National. He tells Howe that no one in the U.S. wants an “Indian war” provoked, and that it would be “the height of imprudence to attempt coercion” of the Comité National. In his opinion, such a move would also encourage annexation to the U.S. The “resident at St. Paul” alleges that O’Donoghue is a Fenian and “the brains of the movement.”

It is rumoured: that the Comité National sent 8 men to “take charge” of HBC Pembina Post; 100 “English” are threatening “to take Lower Fort Garry and keep it”; Hallet [Sr.?] failed “to raise a force to rescue the Pork belonging to Snow,” because it was “not seized but for good purpose to prevent any loss arising to it.”[44]

HBC Chief Factor Bernard Rogan Ross [of Fort Alexander], Dr. Bird, Bannatyne, O’Donoghue, Alexander Logan, and Begg [of Red River] meet and discuss the possibility of keeping the HBC government as is (Governor and appointed legislative council), but creating an elected executive council “whose duties would be to treat with the Canadian government as to the terms on which this country should be annexed to Canada.”[45]

evening: a meeting is  held in the Mactavish Fire Engine Company house, Winnipeg, to hear the report of Council of Twenty-four delegates Olone and McKenney. Riel, Bannatyne (chairman), and Jas. Ross attend, as do Schultz, Bown, and the Canadian Party. Riel explains the reasons for forming a locally elected provisional government. Begg [of Red River] is annoyed at ‘Sergeant’ Micheal Powers’ (a former Chelsea Penshioner, living at Sturgeon Creek) for his ‘bombastic’ use of the word ‘loyal’—Begg pointing out that at Red River “there had never been anything else but loyalty to Britain expressed on all sides.” Powers is ejected from the meeting, not being a resident of Winnipeg. The meeting is adjourned when members of the Canadian party insult Bannatyne after the right to vote is not extended to those “who had resided in the town a week.”[46]

[42] Begg, Red River Journal, 190.

[43]The Sioux! Winnipeg in Arms! The First Appearance of the Canadian Allies,” Red River Pioneer (1 December 1869), 2.

[44] Begg, Red River Journal, 184185.

[45] Ibid., 185.           [46] Ibid., 186.

Saturday, 27 November:

morning: Bannatyne calls a meeting of Winnipeg residents, for 3:00 at ‘Dutch George’ Emmerling’s Hotel, to “decide the question … as to who are to be considered entitled to vote.”[47]

It is rumoured that various people [including Bannatyne, Malmros, and Donaldson] are meeting with Riel and presenting arguements in favour of continuing the HBC government, but adding an elected executive council to it.[48]

3:00: Begg [of Red River] chairs a meeting at Emmerling’s Hotel. William Coldwell (father of a Métis family) is secretary. The boundaries of the Town of Winnipeg are determined, and “all householders, property owners and seven months residents” are given the vote [apparently including women, who were already voting by male proxy]. (Schultz had moved an amendment for 3 weeks’ residents to be allowed the vote, but it was defeated).[49]

It is rumoured: that Schultz sent out a cry to Canadians that his house was “endangered by having the Pork in his possession” and that the guns of Upper Fort Garry “were levelled at his house.” Some Canadians were said to have responded with arms, but everything was quieted down “by the assurance … that neither private property nor the Canadian Pork would suffer” from a guard put on it to prevent theft that might “reflect to the discredit of the French.”[50]

The Canadian Party? sends a message to Cameron: complaining that “no authority is in force” at the settlement. The message invites Cameron “to lead ‘the friends of the new [McDougall] Government,’ and of law and order.”[51]

In response to claims of an attack on the Canadian government pork, with “private property and lives … in danger … over two hundred men” from St. Clements Parish consider an armed march on Upper Fort Garry. Thomas Bunn (Métis; member of the HBC Council of Assiniboia) informs the men about the truth of the matter and they return home.[52]

Macdonald writes to McDougall.

towards evening: it is rumoured in Winnipeg that Canadians plan to take Fort Garry.[53]

evening: it is rumoured that: Malmros and Donaldson heard Riel assure Bannatyne that continuence of the HBC government, but with an elected executive council, formed “to lay the claims of the people before Canada,” was acceptable to the Comité National. Bannatyne is said to have given written affirmation of this assurance to Bernard Ross and verbal confirmation of the same to Dr. Bird.

Begg [of Red River] decides to travel to St. Andrews Parish and to Bunn’s at St. Clements with the news that an agreement to support HBC governance, but with an elected executive council, has been reached.[54]

[47] Bannatyne, notice, quoted in Begg, Red River Journal, 186.

[48] Begg, Red River Journal, 187.

[49] Ibid.; see also “Consideration of the political position of Women during the Resistance,” this site.

[50] Begg, Red River Journal, 188.

[51] Cameron quoted in McDougall, Red River Rebellion, 15.

[52] Begg, Red River Journal, 189.

[53] Ibid., 188, assumes Upper Fort Garry is meant, so does not credit the rumour.

[54] Ibid.

Sunday, 28 November:

2 am.: “about fifty” men from St. Peters Parish arrive at Bunn’s, ready to save Schultz and the Canadian government pork and beans at Winnipeg. Bunn explains the situation and the men go home.[55]

Begg [of Red River] goes to Lower Fort Garry to spread news of the “new proposals” for an elected executive council to be added to the HBC Governor Council of Assiniboia. HBC Chief Trader William Flett (father of a Métis family) at Lower Fort Garry drives Flett on to Bunn’s. Both Bunn and Flett think the proposal for an elected executive council is a good idea. Bunn reports the near-incident over the Canadian uproar about the government pork and beans.

Bannatyne goes to Robtert Tait’s at St. James Parish on a mission similar to Begg’s.[56]

[55] Begg, Red River Journal, 189.

[56] Ibid., 188.

Monday, 29 November:

Bunn drives Begg [of Red River] to Lower Fort Garry. They meet with Thomas Truthwaite (Métis) and Flett, who is “still of the opinion that an Executive Council of the people to treat for their rights was the best thing under the circumstances.” Begg and Truthwaite drive to the home of Edward H.G.G. Hay (father of a Métis family) at St. Andrews Parish. Hay likes the ‘executive council’ option. Begg and Truthwaite then visit Rev. Joseph Phelps Gardiner, who agrees to call a meeting of parishioners of St. Andrews at the schoolhouse tomorrow afternoon to discuss the proposition.[57]

Howe at Ottawa writes to McDougall: Howe has received McDougall’s letters of the 5th & 7th November, with 8 enclosures. Howe cautions that the “crisis … might, if dealt with rashly and unwisely, lead to a civil if not a national war, the end of which no man could foresee,” and reports that all papers have been forwarded to England. Howe is of the opinion that the Comité National is acting against the Crown as well as Canada, but he does not yet know the opinion of the Queen’s Government. He tells McDougall to ensure that “all collision with the insurgents may be avoided, and that no violation of the neutrality laws of the United States give a pretext for the interference of their Government.” Howe instructs McDougall to remain at Pembina. Howe means to send this letter “by a special messenger, who … speaks French fluently and is a gentleman of some experience, [and] may be of some service,” but the messenger will be delayed “for a day or two.”

McDougall writes to Howe (No. 1089): McDougall is still at Pembina with Richards, Provencher, and Begg [of Canada], all blocked from going any further. McDougall has received no official instructions from Canada, nor notification that the transfer of territory will take place as planned. He suspects his incoming mail has been stolen and he suspects Stutsman has stolen, or at least read, his outgoing mail. From newspaper reports, and the letter to Mactavish from HBC Deputy Governor Lampson, it appears to McDougall that all is as it should be in terms of the transfer date. He is determined, therefore, to go ahead with the plan laid out initially. To do so, he has written his own proclamation (which is not the ‘1st’ text he was issued on departing Ottawa) to issue on 1 December in the name of the Queen—deeming such action as absolutely necessary to lend “legality to the acts” of the Canadian Party and to put the Comité National and “American advisers and sympathizers publically and technically in the wrong.” McDougall alleges [wrongly] that on 24 November “Riel and his party” took possession (without resistance) “of the public offices in the Fort” and of its records, and imprisoned its officers, perhaps even forcing Mactavish out of his residence. McDougall states he has not heard from Mactavish since 19 November [though in his letter to Howe of the 25th November, McDougall had alleged he had heard from Mactavish about HBC Post Georgetown] and has concluded that Mactavish must certainly be a prisoner. McDougall reports Canadian Party indignation [letter (A.) of 24 November] over the threat to the Canadian government pork and beans. He describes Newcombe as so full of courage and zeal as to have inspired McDougall to believe that “a reaction had set in, and as soon as the incubus of a moribund and inactive [HBC] Government was removed, a call” could be made to the Canadian Party. But McDougall thinks it would be best if the Comité National did not collide with the Canadian Party (over the pork and beans for example), and instead could be seen to commit some other outrage first—so that the “English and the Scotch” would join the Canadians. McDougall thinks that Comité National outrages appropriately conducive to dividing the settlement (outrages McDougall thinks likely to occur) would include: arresting Hallett; driving up prices due to interrupting business; taking provisions from settlers; and occupying settlers’ houses without consent. McDougall thinks waiting for such events to happen is better than organizing Canadians to oppose the pork and beans inventory-taking (an event no other settlers seem likely to be concerned about), especially before 1 December—because the HBC Sheriff McKenney and other authorities are most likely to issue warrants against the Canadians [Schultz already having an year-old outstanding warrant against him]. McDougall has detained Newcombe at Pembina “for future service.” McDougall sent “a loyal French half-breed” with Dennis’ reply and McDougall’s orders (B.) to D.A. Grant (from 25 November). A copy of that letter is enclosed with this letter to Howe, as is McDougall’s letter to Mactavish (C.) of 25 November. McDougall’s plan is to “delay” the Canadians from attacking the Comité National until the time is right, but he is not sure how the Canadian Party will react in the pork and beans case (whether they will get his message soon enough). McDougall has taken “measures … to organize an armed force to seize Riel and his colleagues, and disperse the rank and file of his followers” and thereby get the pork and beans back, if they are stolen. He will write no more about “the operations contemplated after the 1st December” in order to ensure they are not discovered by the enemy. McDougall reports that Peguis [sic: Miskookenew/ Henry Prince] is on side with the Canadian Party—they having told Peguis that the Comité National will not respect First Nations land title or people. McDougall sent a verbal message to Miskookenew/ Prince thinking it unwise to put in writing anything like “an invitation to the Indians to arm or attack … the inhabitants … even those now under arms.” McDougall is satisfied that “the Indians in all directions” will not aid the Comité National, because he has “taken pains” to have “loyal persons having influence … to arouse the apprehensions” that the Comité National intends to take their lands. McDougal notes that the newspaper at Yankton Dakota (of 23 September) carried false reports that “Indian chiefs” would stop Canadians from passing through their territory, and reported that the Red River resistance was led at Pembina (naming Stutsman). McDougall asserts that the Priests at Red River have withdrawn their support from the Comité National. He has no special advice for Canada, beyond organizing to send a large number of “such settlers … of this class” [men willing and able to act as a civilian vanguard and then to form a militia when called upon] from Col. Barivis, Halifax, and from County Bruce, in the early spring.

McDougall has copies (in English and French) of his proclamation of Lieutenant Governorship—made by himself, in the name of the Queen [A. 9]—drawn up for Dennis [and perhaps (“B”) as well?], to be taken to Upper Fort Garry [the document in fact has no legitimacy]. McDougall commissions Dennis to act as his “Lieutenant,” and as “Conservator of the Peace” empowered to organize the Canadians and supporters “in defence of law and order” [“B 9.”] [equally illegal]. [Initially, according to Dennis, McDougall had intended “to give legal effect to the document, to go to … some point in British Territory, on the morning of 1st December, and execute the originals in the presence of Mssrs. Provencher and Richards.]

evening: Begg [of Red River] is at Truthwaite’s home when delegate to the Council of Twenty-four, Donald Gunn (father of Métis family), and [John] Geddes (of Kildonan) arrive. According to Begg, Gunn likes the ‘executive council’ proposition and will help with tomorrow’s meeting. Begg notes that “All parties seemed glad that a peaceful solution to the present difficulties seemed probable.” Gunn is unwell, but will write to the members of the Council about his support for the proposition. Begg hears the rumour [probably from Geddes] that: at the meeting in St. Andrew’s on 27 November, James Ross and Lowman claimed that 220 men at St. John’s and Kildonan planned to go to Winnipeg on 28 November and “take charge of the Government Pork” and Ross called on the men of St. Andrews to support them. This made the people of St. John’s and Kildonan unhappy with James Ross, because none cared one wit for the pork.[58]

evening‘ 10:30 pm.: Dennis leaves Pembina, Dakota Territory, U.S., after meeting with McDougall. Dennis heads north, carrying [A. 9], and his own commission from McDougall as “Conservator of the Peace” [“B 9.”].

William Dease Sr. composes a declaration to “French Representatives,” who were attending the Council of Twenty-four (which had taken a break to “consult with their respective parishes” after the debates of 24 November convened and were not due to resume until 1 December). The declaration apparently opposes the formation of a locally led provisional government and has 95 signatures.

‘evening’: Dennis arrives from Pembina at Dease’s house, and spends “a couple of hours” there. Dennis gathers that Dease has “over ninety men … [who] could be relied on to fight,” and that the provisional government can rely on over three hundred. Dennis decides to “make the call.”

[57] Begg, Red River Journal, 189.

[58] Ibid., 189190.

Tuesday, 30 November:

Lord Granville telegraphs Young: Granville criticizes Canada’s request to delay the transfer. He points out problems that might arise over responsibility of governance and damages. He blames Canada for handling the issue badly.

Cameron at Pembina writes to McDougall that: “reports from Fort Garry persuade me that I might be of use in striking whilst the iron is hot there. … feeling against the French 1/2 breeds may cool unless the Government party [Canadians] there are encouraged … being for the future welfare of the country that the present rising should be quelled by the inhabitants, rather than by soldiers, employed by the new Government [McDougall’s] to introduce itself.”[59]

Where exactly Dennis is on the 30th is not clear (he states that he “travelled all that night, all the following day, and all the following night.”)

McDougall writes a reply to Cameron: stating that McDougall is not using “soldiers” [sic: italics in source]. He argues that any fighting must be undertaken by civilians—the organization of whom “is now going on”—properly “prompted by themselves,” with “the sanction of authority.” This authority McDougall has given “so far as I could give it,” to erstwhile combatants, as “‘conservators of the peace’ and in the name and with the forms of the civil power” [McDougall has determined to avoid having his campaign classed as a military action directed by himself on foreign soil]. He requests that Cameron come to McDougall’s at 11:00 next day “for a special purpose.”[60]

Begg [of Red River] meets at McKenney’s, Winnipeg, with Riel, O’Donoghue, Olone, McKenney, and Bannatyne. Riel is no longer interested in the proposition to enlarge the HBC government with an elected executive council, now being of the opinion that the HBC cannot govern—with or without such a modification—because the government of the Governor and Council of Assiniboia “was dead already … not in force nor able to protect the people.”[61]

evening: Bunn arrives at Winnipeg to attend tomorrow’s Council of Twenty-four. He meets with James Ross, William Tait, Robert Tait, Bruce, Riel, Colin Inkster (Métis), Bannatyne, Begg [of Red River], “and others … to discuss the political state of the country.” The right to representative government is reiterated. Bunn is of the opinion that all “people of this country would fight if necessary for their rights.”[62]

It is rumoured at Red River that: McDougall will issue his “Queen’s Proclamation” tomorrow. [Due to Boulton’s efforts?] it is said that “The English and Scotch Half Breeds are forming in companies for drilling purposes to be ready in case of an emergency.” However, among Red River settlers, “the universal feeling is against fighting with each other.”[63]

[59] McDougall, Red River Rebellion, 14.

[60] Ibid., 15-16.

[61] Begg, Red River Journal, 190.

[62] Ibid., 191.                [63] Ibid.

Wednesday, 1 December:

5:00 am.: Dennis arrives at “Hallet’s on the Assiniboine,” then sends messengers for McKay and Robert Tait. When they arrive, Dennis reads McDougall’s proclamation [A. 9] to Hallet, McKay, and Tait, along with Dennis’ own commission [“B 9.”]. Dennis explains his mission “of organising a force to put down the malcontents.” McKay and Tait tell Dennis that they do not think that his attempting armed intervention in Settlement affairs is a good idea,[64] and that the Council of Twenty-four is to meet that day to decide on whether to form a provisional government. Tait is given McDougall’s proclamation to present at the convention.

[64] See also “Colonel Dennis’ Statements Denied,” New Nation (29 April 1870), 2, a letter to the editor from Robert Tait and James McKay, who assert,

“we pressed upon him in the clearest and most express terms to abandon the idea of an appeal to arms, advising him moreover that a resort to arms would be nothing but madness, and insisting upon his leaving the settlement forthwith and remaining quiet.”

Dennis rides to Winnipeg with Robert Tait. There, Dennis meets with members of the Canadian Party, including Schultz, who is “in a condition of much anxiety in regard to the immediate future” and still “in favor of forcible measures.” Schultz had refused to allow the provisional government to inventory and protect the Canadian government’s pork and beans at his store. The Canadians claim that on 29 November, “two six-pounder guns” had been pointed at Schultz’s store (though they were not in evidence when Dennis arrived). Dennis has D.A. Grant and others make “a lot of manuscript copies” of Dennis’ call to arms, “which were distributed during the afternoon and evening, some being despatched to Prairie Portage, and others posted up in the town of Winnipeg.” Joseph Marion and William A. Farmer are sent to post McDougall’s proclamation at Portage.

morning: William Drever circulates a petition signed by “Schultz & others.” He is told he doing more harm than good, but persists in his effort.[65]

[65] Begg, Red River Journal, 192.

Cameron writes to McDougall: Cameron declines to consider himself subject to McDougall’s reprimand or rebuke. To Cameron it appears that McDougall’s ‘loyal supporters’ are organizing and contemplating a military response in which he could be of service. He requests to be informed as to what “special purpose” the meeting with McDougall is to have.[66]

[66] Cameron quoted in McDougall, Red River Rebellion, 15, but the date is uncertain.

McDougall writes to Cameron: McDougall is highly critical of Cameron, who does “not seem to comprehend the situation, or the policy which has been adopted in dealing with it.” McDougall closes the letter with the statement that, “if … with spies, and eaves-droppers all about us, you require me to send specific information … of the ‘purpose’ of any interview I may desire, I must decline to hold interviews with you.”[67]

The Council of Twenty-Four reassembles for its 6th and last day. The councillors review William McDougall’s proclamation [A. 9]. Secretary Riel states,

If Mr. McDougall is really our governor to-day, our chances are better than ever. He has no more to do than prove to us his desire to treat us well. If he guarantees our rights, I am one of those who will go to meet him in order to escort him as far as the seat of his government.

The convention “without a dissenting voice as the condition upon which the people of Rupert’s Land enter into Confederation,” approves the Bill of Rights/ List of Rights to be “guaranteed by Mr. McDougall before he be admitted into this Territory.”[68] [The councillors have rejected Annexation.]

The Sioux! Winnipeg in Arms! The First Appearance of the Canadian Allies,” Red River Pioneer (1 December 1869), 2, reports on the events of Friday, 26 November, regarding Sioux from Portage heading towards Winnipeg, but who turned back at St. James after speaking with McKay. Mahkesīs/ Fox had apparently encouraged the Sioux to ride against the Comité National. The Sioux “exhibited new English silver medals, with the British coat of arms upon the one side, and a medallion of the Queen upon the other” [these were perhaps among the ‘presents’ distributed by Dennis to Mahkesīs/ Fox and Grandes Oreilles on 30 October (see that date above).]

Dennis rides to the Lower Settlement. He is under the impression that “Major Boulton of Mr. Hart’s surveying staff” has been speaking to various people (including Archdeacon John McLean of St. John’s Parish, Rev. John Black [father of a Métis family], “Mr. Rose,” [Jas. Ross?] and Judge Black) and that “men had been enrolled and had commenced to drill at several places in the settlement.”

6 pm.: Dennis arrives at Lower Fort Garry. He reads his commission to Flett, then occupies the fort on behalf of Canada. Flett gives Dennis a building to use as headquarters. Dennis sends out messengers.

8:00 pm.: 70 men drill upstairs in Dennis’ building.

Dennis sends a request to Judge Black to meet at the fort.

Dennis begins writing a report [A. 8.].

Dennis stays overnight with members of the Canadian militia—”A number of young men, some forty in all, had been in the habit for several days back of assembling for drill, in one of the Company’s Stores here, the drill instructor being Mr. William Durie, a military school cadet … of Mr. Hart’s surveying party.”

evening: McDougall, with Richards, Provencher, and four others in company, crosses the border to HBC Pembina Post. McDougall proclaims himself Lieutenant-Governor of Rupert’s Land. He makes arrangements to occupy the post at a later date—once he hears from Dennis that the Comité National is engaged in fighting elsewhere—McDougall having decided the fence around the post is high enough that “with a little improvement [it] may be defended against a considerable force, by a few resolute men with breech-loading rifles” (of which he has “a few” with ammunition). McDougall and entourage then returns to U.S. territory.

[67] McDougall, Red River Rebellion, 17.

[68] Begg, Red River Journal, 210; see also (5 F.).

Thursday, 2 December:

By the morning there were about 120 men in the [Lower] Fort Garry, most (70–120) from St. Peter’s. [Dennis is inconsistent in copies of the report as to numbers—in some they seem to be inflated; there are probably 40 Canadians with supporters and 70 of Miskookenew/ Prince’s men with relatives.] Dennis reads McDougall’s proclamation and explains the reason for his call to arms (which is to put down the “Rioters under Riel”).

Dennis finds “many of the men are deficient of arms, and those who have arms have only the trading gun.” Dennis reports his “arrival and occupation of the Stone Fort to Governor McTavish … also a copy of my commission.” He sends requisitions to other points that might have supplies, and orders “20 fat cattle.”

Dennis sends for Hart and his surveyors.

Dennis sends for Boulton, “who has been very active lately, assisting the people to organize, and gave him definite instruction as to enrolment.” Dennis claims he has divided the parishes of St. John’s, St. Andrew, Mapleton, and St. Peter into company districts with meeting points to practice drilling. He names “Inkster,” Gardiner, and Bunn as supportive [though which Bunn is not clear—that Thomas Bunn would engage seems unlikely].

Dennis sends “Canadian volunteer officer” Webb (who is camped on the Assiniboine) a message to proceed to Portage, with “the staff of his party, who are all cadets … and organize a force of four companies [50 men each] there. When organized, equipped, and provisioned, to advise me, express, and await orders, drilling industriously in the meantime.”

Dennis assembles Miskookenew/ Prince’s men in Lower Fort Garry and has an interpreter [Monkman?] translate McDougall’s proclamation. Dennis keeps 50 men as a guard to protect the fort against attack. He pays off the rest in the name of Canada and they leave.

Dennis meets “for several hours” with Judge Black—Dennis asking about “the expediency of my proclaiming Martial Law in the Territory, so as to … seize upon Stutsman.” This alarms Black. Black councils that Dennis wait until the results of the Council of Twenty-four are known. Dennis agrees to wait.

Augustin Nolin and François Nolin (Métis, brothers of Charles Nolin) of Ste.-Anne are in Winnipeg. They interview Bannatynne, then set off to St. James to interview McKay.[69]

6 pm.: Dennis writes a 1st report (“2 A”) to McDougall. Dennis describes his progress from Pembina to Winnipeg; notes that McKay and Tait are not enthusiastic; and reports that Dease has 96 men. Dennis tells of meeting with the Canadian Party members at Winnipeg and the subsequent occupation of Lower Fort Garry. Dennis avers the Comité National would have taken the Lower fort, except for their fear of the ‘English.’ Dennis is expecting 100–200 more men to arrive at the fort this evening. He will not declare martial law immediately, but, as soon as his force is organized—unless James Ross (a lawyer) says otherwise—Dennis will go ahead and declare it. He will arrest Stutsman, and lock him up in Lower Fort Garry—”under charge of my friend Pima, the Indian Chief.” Dennis adds that he has notified Mactavish, sending along a copy of Dennis’ commission.

S.D. Mulkins (Dennis’ nephew) at Winnipeg writes (2 “B.”) to McDougall: Mulkins forwards a report of the Council of Twenty-four, enclosing a version of their List of Rights (2 “C”) and [mistakenly] stating these were not agreed to. He also alleges that the Comité National is “deserting” Riel [though they are not doing so], and that they might ‘spill blood’ tonight. Mulkins reports that [redacted] came from Lower Fort Garry and collected all (“about 22”) of the Canadian volunteers at Winnipeg. Mulkins is of the opinion that the Comité National is aware something is up. Mulkins explains that copies of McDougall’s proclamation had to be handwritten because “Rebels” had seized the press.

evening: Dennis meets with Schultz and Dease. “Some twenty-one Canadians reported themselves in a body from the town of Winnipeg … and enrolled their names.” There are about thirty Canadians in total at the town. Dennis instructs Dr. James Spencer Lynch “a military school cadet, to enrol a company in Winnipeg … the Canadians are all, more or less, acquainted with drill … [they are to] remain quietly in their lodgings until further orders.” William Dwire is put in charge of the men at Lower Fort Garry; Alexander N. Muckle in charge at St. Paul’s north; and ‘Captain’ Copland Cowlard is in charge of St. Paul’s south and Kildonan. Patrick Gammie Laurie is sent to obtain a hand press for printing.

Dennis continues writing report [A. 8.].

Schultz, returning to Winnipeg, spends the night at John Tait’s.

It is rumoured that the Comité National has shut down the Nor’-Wester press, and/ or that of the Pioneer.[70]

Midnight: According to rumour: Twenty-five guards from Upper Fort Garry enter Schultz’s store—apparently searching for Bown, but he is hidden (in an attic space) and escapes detection. Or, according to an alternate version, the guards were searching for Klyne.[71]

McDougall writes to Howe (No. 1108): McDougall reiterates a complaint made in the letter of 29 November that he received no instructions on how to proceed after “assuming the Government of the North-West Territories” nor any word of the transfer of territory taking place. He hopes and assumes the letters regarding the pork and beans have “reached Ottawa safely” [an impossibility on this date, given the distance and time frame]. McDougall details his activity since the last letter: he has issued a Queen’s proclamation of transfer of territory ([A. 9]), though he has not enclosed it. He also wrote a commission empowering Dennis, but did not include copy of Dennis’ commission ([“B 9.”]) for Howe, because McDougall was worried it might be intercepted. McDougall asserts that on the basis of an enclosed query from three parishes (“A”) [which only states that no one knows for certain that the transfer has taken place and so cannot act as requested] and apparently on messages from the Canadian Party [the one enclosed only asserts that (“A”) is anonymous for security reasons, but can be vouched for as authentic], the settlers’ choice for governance is limited to either the Comité National with Americans, or the Queen with Canada. McDougall writes that the Canadian Party with surveyors and road crews (“the only persons of intelligence and apparent authority”), held secret meetings in parishes that were not ‘French’ and organized a “Committee of Public Safety” to lead the “poor” settlers. McDougall avers that James Ross is supporting the Canadian cause [though, if Ross is doing so, it is not to the extent implied]. McDougall describes Boulton as zealously active. McDougall says Dennis will eventually make his commission known, and that McDougall’s proclamation will bolster the Canadian Party. He notes that those who engage to put down the Comité National want to be reimbursed for any losses incurred, so Dennis is authorized to tell them that Canada will treat them with liberality.  In addition, Dennis will “allow the same rates of pay &c., as are allowed under the Canada Militia Act, to Volunteers called out in aid to the civil power.” Dennis’ force is to engage the Comité National at Upper Fort Garry. McDougall will occupy HBC Pembina Post. McDougall notes that the Americans at Pembina are aware that a Canadian resistance “is being organized.” Stutsman is at Upper Fort Garry but will no doubt retreat to the U.S. “when the loyal settlers with Colonel Dennis at their head come upon the scene.” McDougall has heard that his pork-protection instructions arrived safely in Winnipeg. Riel has apparently postponed seizing the Canadian government food supplies. McDougall hopes there is no “collision” over the pork and beans as it would undermine support for the Canadian cause. McDougall’s ‘2d’ proclamation (“B.”) (the one composed by himself) is enclosed; he issued it using the Queen’s name prominently to make it clear to the Comité National that they were not solely resisting Canada—as has been their claim. McDougall had Provencher sign the proclamation as Secretary—though he was not officially one yet. McDougall encloses American newspaper reports in from the St. Paul Daily Press (21 November), being: (1) [the letter by ‘Pemican’ dated 6 November]; (3) [the letter by ‘Pembina’ dated 6 November]; and (2) [the letter by ‘Spectator’ dated 8 November], to show that Americans are behind the Comité National.

[69] Begg, Red River Journal, 197.

[70] Ibid.          [71] Ibid.

Friday, 3 December:

Howe receives the letter from McDougall of the 13th–14th November (1036.) and the documents (“A.”), (“B.”), (“C.”), (“D.”), anf (“E.”).

The Comité National holds a meeting at Upper Fort Garry; Bannatyne attends.[72]

noon: the Canadians who had reported to Lower Fort Garry are back in Winnipeg.[73]

It is rumoured that: “a large number of men were assembling in the Town to attack” Upper Fort Garry, and that George ‘Shawman’ Racette is heading into town from Portage with “1100” Sioux.[74]

In response to the rumours the meeting at Upper Fort Garry breaks up, and “a number of the French who were outside of the Riel party” ask to join the Comité National.[75]

Olone holds a meeting at his saloon to “form a company for the protection of the Town.” Twenty-four men sign up immediately. Olone, ‘Capt’ Donaldson, and J. Kennedy form a committee to enrol more men and to obtain arms. Subsequently, “there are armed night patrols of from 15 to 20 men on guard in the Town of Winnipeg to prevent fire or pillage.”[76]

Boulton arrives at Kildonan “for the purpose of organizing Companies in the Parish.” He holds a meeting at the Kildonan School house. At the meeting, Boulton reads Dennis’ commission and the “Service Roll Heading. He is questioned regarding the legality of the proposed action and he fails to assure everyone on that point. Boulton agrees to allow Judge Black to review the matter and meet again at 10 am. tomorrow.

Dennis takes stock of Lower Fort Garry’s “contents of magazine etc.” and rearranges the fort, inside and out, preparing for warfare. He designs a sled to carry a “brass six pounder” and orders HBC employee Avel [sic: Edmund Richard Abell] to build it. Dennis sends out orders “for the delivery of beef and supplies to be stored in the fort.” Hart is appointed as quartermaster. Laurie arrives with a hand press and prints copies of McDougall’s proclamation “which were at once distributed.”

Midday in Winnipeg: according to rumour, Bown emerges from his hiding place to greet Schultz. Schultz writes to Dennis [content unknown: not included in Correspondence and papers].

Dennis writes to Schultz: “the Canadians … are not to invite, either by word or deed, any attack … a collision at present, would, in consequence of our not being fully prepared, possibly result disadvantageously.”

Dennis writes to Mactavish: requisitioning “such arms as were at” Fort Alexander, White Horse Plains, Prairie Portage, and Oak Point. Dennis gathers that there is “a large supply of powder, a lot of arms, stocks of blankets, and a considerable quantity of beef,” available from the store of Alfred Boyd [engaged in trade with the Inksters (a Métis family; importers of merchandise), at St. John’s—Boyd living in that parish at Redwood, the home of the recently deceased William Inkster]. Dennis orders the supplies.

James Carrie at Headingly writes to Dennis: William Farmer brought in McDougall’s proclamation, and everyone is ready to support McDougall, once he is installed.

Dennis continues writing report [A. 8.]

Supplies ordered from Boyd arrive for Dennis at Lower Fort Garry. Guns are distributed. Dennis ‘makes it known’ that “any spare arms” were to be “sent to the Fort for the use of the Government.”

Canadians assemble at Schultz’s house. He enrolls the men to protect “his property … and the Government provisions in his charge.”

Guards from Upper Fort Garry are in Winnipeg, in communication with Olone, at the latter’s saloon, and performing maneuvers, to about 1:30 am.

[72] Begg, Red River Journal, 198.

[73] Ibid.         [74] Ibid.           [75] Ibid.

[76] Begg, Red River Journal, 198, 204, see also 162, 247.

Saturday, 4 December:

morning: People of ‘French’ parishes, who are related to people living in ‘English’ parishes, travel to inform their relatives that the Comité National “were only for their rights from Canada.”[77]

Schultz sends a note to Dennis [unknown content: not included in Correspondence and papers, but presumably claiming there is ‘enthusiasm’ for engaging with ‘the French’ (see Dennis’ response below)].

Dennis is labouring under the impression that there might be an attack on Lower Fort Garry. He sends a written order/ request/ memorandum [A.1] “to the Canadians to withdraw from Winnipeg,” writing memoranda to Schultz [A.3] and Boulton [A.2] “on this subject.” Dennis advises them that he has sent supplies to Kildonan Kirk (50 blankets, 20 guns, etc.). He tells Schultz to send the Canadians in his house at Winnipeg to Kildonan, and to dismiss the guard over the pork and beans. Dennis advises that Schultz should lock up his house, take his wife, and leave town. Dennis remarks,

You speak of enthusiasm [for the Canadian’s cause] — I have not seen it yet.”

Dennis instructs Boulton to take charge of the Canadians withdrawing to Kildonan Kirk and to find a house (if Rev. Black objects to use of the church as a military post).

It is rumoured in Winnipeg that: the Sioux are approaching; Schultz has barricaded his house and if Schultz hoists his ‘Canada’ flag, the Comité National will hoist the British flag. Additional rumours allege: “Companies are being formed for drilling purposes all over the settlement; Col. Dennis said Canada does not intend to send troops into the settlement, but “they will endeavour to form a Militia amongst the settlers”; “The French” are stealing supplies at Upper Fort Garry; and McDougall’s daughter is a Lower Fort Garry.[78]

Mckay meets with the Comité National.[79]

Mactavish writes to Dennis [“B”] in answer to the query of 3 December as to the number of available guns. Mactavish offers only about 25, for which he expects a receipt. He notes that, in response to “the excitement about the pork” Dr. Cowan “countermanded” over 60 guns—preventing them from leaving Upper Fort Garry.

10 am.: Boulton attends part II of the meeting held at Kildonan School House. Those settlers who returned (60 men), are satisfied as to the legality of Dennis and Boulton’s propositions and enrol. They are formed into a company of 2 district squads, with officers. They are to assemble on Monday, 5 December, at 1 pm.

Boulton receives the memo [A.2] from Dennis asking that Boulton go to Schultz’s. Boulton also receives a copy of [A.1].

Boulton writes to Dennis (I.): about the Kildonan School house meetings (of the previous day and today), and about the enrollments. Boulton plans to assist Schultz and “the party,” but Boulton needs guns and ammunition etc. Boulton has been offered a place (Prud’homme’s house) for stores and men. He is ready to defend Kildonan. Boulton adds that he sent Dennis’ letter to Judge Black.

McKay leaves for Lower Fort Garry to show Dennis the List of Rights.[80]

4:00 pm. John Bruce visits Schultz’s and asks what Schultz is concerned about. Schultz replies that the last point in the List of Rights is insulting. Bruce cannot see the insult, and wonders if Schultz has a correct copy. [Depending on the version that Schultz had seen, (2 “C”), (5 F.), or 1 December 1869, this ‘last point’ might have been: “13. That these rights be granted to us by Mr. McDougall before he be allowed to enter the country …”; or “14. That all privileges, customs, and usages existing at the time of the transfer, be respected”; or the point numbered ’14.’ one one list and ’15.’ on another, that read “That we have a full and fair representation in the Dominion Parliament.”] Bruce agrees to a meeting with Dennis, if Schultz arranges one.

It is rumoured that “Large numbers of French are collecting around [Upper] Fort Garry” and more will arrive tomorrow.[81]

evening: Dennis receives Mactavish’s reply [“B”] [Dennis reports this happening a day earlier, but the note is dated 4 December.]

Boulton arrives at Schultz’s and finds “about sixty” men, “Canadians and others.” Boulton takes down their names and divides them into “sub-divisions and sections.” They “choose officers and non-commissioned officers,” who are “distributed about the house.” The ‘enemy’ is identified as ‘the French’ who might get drunk and decide to attack.

McKay and [Charles?] Nolin arrive at Lower Fort Garry with the List of Rights from the Council of Twenty-four, and ask Dennis whether McDougall would be likely to grant these rights. Dennis is of the opinion that some were acceptable, but others were not. McKay “begged that the order to arm” be “delayed,” as it was not necessary and exceedingly dangerous to resort to violence—particularly for the Canadians, who would not fare well. McKay advises that all difficulties would disappear if McDougall would prove that his proclamation was legitimate and that he “actually held a parchment commission under the Great Seal, and that he had been duly sworn into office as Lieutenant Governor” [no one having seen anything to date but handwritten, and hand-printed copies.]

Dennis writes a memorandum/ proposition for McKay [A 4.], who then leaves with Nolin. The memorandum commits Dennis to going to Pembina, obtaining proof that McDougall is the legitimate governor (that he has the Queen’s Commission, and has been legally sworn into office), and delivering these to Mactavish. All of this Dennis will do only if the ‘French’ will first promise to disband and as well promise to allow McDougall to enter the settlement once Dennis has completed his task. Dennis promises to cease “any further steps towards arming” the ‘English’ if the ‘French’ will sign his memorandum and return it.

Dennis commissions Alexander McKenzie of Mapleton (Métis; delegate at the Council of Twenty-four) to enrol a company in that parish.

9:00-10:00 pm.: Dennis’ orders to withdraw from Winnipeg arrive at Schultz’s. Boulton decides not to tell everyone about the order, nor is anyone told to leave—because the hour is late, no drunken and violent French have turned up, and the men have dispersed to sleep in three different buildings.

Dennis recieves a note from Boulton [E.], informing him that Boulton, Lynch, Snow, and Schultz determind that they have “70 men and 65 good arms” at Schultz’s and a “strong position.” They will not withdraw from Winnipeg. Boulton will, however, fit up Prud’homme’s empty house the next day. He has contacted Pinkham at St. James to set up a meeting to enrol volunteers there and to drill them.

Dennis receives a note from Schultz [F.], about “President Bruce” visiting. Schultz thinks Boulton’s note “will probably induce you to countermand or modify” the order to retreat from Winnipeg.

Dennis continues writing report [A. 8.]

[77] Begg, Red River Journal, 204.

[78]  Ibid., 204.       [79] Ibid.        [80] Ibid.

[81] Ibid., 205.

Sunday, 5 December:

According to Begg [of Red River]: there are “about four hundred French collected around [Upper] Fort Garry the reason for which is on account of the numerous rumours that the English speaking population are joining Col. Dennis to force the French to put down their arms—as far as can be ascertained these rumours are untrue. Everything seems quiet enough otherwise.”[82]

morning: Boulton and Snow leave Winnipeg for Lower Fort Garry. Boulton tells the men at Winnipeg “who had no houses to go to” to remain quiet at Schultz’s.

Multiple copies of the “true version” of the List of Rights are sent out to be “posted up and distributed … throughout the settlement” [(5 F.)]. Meanwhile, the people gathered around Upper Fort Garry are “amusing themselves to-day running foot races.”[83]

Dennis sends “orders for enrolment of a company in St. James, also one in Headingly.” The latter order is sent to Rev. J. Carrie.

Joseph Marion arrives at Lower Fort Garry. He is sent to tell William Dease to “have his men armed, and await orders.”

Dennis receives the letter from Boulton.

evening: Boulton and Snow arrive at Lower Fort Garry. Snow is in favour of the Canadians remaining in Schultz’s building at Winnipeg to guard the pork and beans. Dennis objects that as representative of the Canadian government, he did not think guarding the food was sufficient reason to risk “a collision at the present time.”

Boulton goes to Winnipeg, arrives outside of town at 11 pm., leaves his sleigh and goes on foot, by way of the river, to Schultz’s, arriving there at midnight. There are 70–75 men inside Schultz’s house. Boulton counts a total of 96 men coming and going in Winnipeg from Upper Fort Garry through the night.

Dennis continues writing report [A. 8.]

[82] Begg, Red River Journal, 209.

[83] Ibid.

Monday, 6 December:

According to Begg [of Red River]: “The guard from the French was larger than usual in the Town to-day.”[84]

[84] Begg, Red River Journal, 211.

morning: Boulton assembles the Canadians and communicates Dennis’ orders to leave. Boulton points out the futility of staying and “they all agreed to leave.” Boulton tells Schultz to prepare to get the women out immediately [Mrs Scultz, Mrs. O’Donnell, and perhaps Mrs. Mair]. Boulton instructs the officers to either have men with arms leave one at a time “throughout the day, or to leave the arms behind and “march out in a body”—which was perfectly easy, being what ‘the French’ wanted anyway. Either way, everyone was to be out by 3:00 pm.

9:00 am.: Boulton leaves with Hallett, for a meeting at St. James.[85] It is not well attended, but 16 men enrol to the Canadian Militia.

[85] Begg, Red River Journal, 211, remarks, “the men inside of the house [Schultz’s] pointed their guns at the French as if to cover the [two] horsemen when leaving—this exasperated the French who state that they did not intend to interfere with the horsemen. … Riel it is reported assured the Dr. that he would not be interfered with if he would withdraw his men.”

Begg [of Red River] goes to Bishop Machray, to see if the bishop “could use any influence he might have with Schultz to induce him to disperse the men.” Machray declines to get involved, arguing: that he did not know Schultz well; he thought there was good reason to keep the pork away from ‘the French’; and he thought Dennis ought to be asked to do something.[86]

[86] Begg, Red River Journal, 211, reported that Machray went to ask Riel about whether perhaps Machray ought to speak to Schultz, but tht Riel replied you are too good a man to visit the Dr. don’t go [sic: italics in source].”

According to Begg [of Red River]: entrance and exit to and from Winnipeg is under surveillance “on account of reports that the English intend attacking the French and also to stop despatches to Col. Dennis.” There are rumours: of people being turned away from the town or prevented from leaving the settlement for Pembina; that Scott and A. McArthur have been arrested; and that Dennis has twice ordered the men out of Schultz’s. Another rumour holds that previously Agnes Schultz had been sending messages to St. James, via Miss Drever, claiming that the Schultz’s house was about to be attacked—though when John Burke rode in to check, he found nothing was going on.[87]

[87] Begg, Red River Journal, 212.

Dennis prints and distributes “a call … with evidence … as to my authority” [K 1.]. It includes his commission as Conservator of the Peace [“B 9.”], and reads

“By virtue of the above commission from the Lieutenant Governor, I now hereby call on, and order, all loyal men of the North-West Territories, to assist me, by every means in their power, to carry out the same, and thereby restore public peace and order, and uphold the supremacy of the Queen in this part of Her Majesty’s Dominions.”

[According to McDougall, on this date] the Comité National receives by the mail “private information from Ottawa … that the Canadian Government would not accept the transfer! That their so-called [HBC] Governor had no authority [sic: italics in source].”[88]

[88] McDougall, Red River Rebellion, 33, see also 11. The assertion is made without referring to a document or other source, but with the implication that this letter is among  “private correspondence found among Riel’s papers”—though found by whom, or where the papers might be, is  not stated.

McDougall at Pembina receives a letter from Joseph Howe, dated 19 November, by which McDougall ought to know his proclamation of governorship on 1 December was not sanctioned by the Canadian government (nor the Imperial government, and therefore was not legal).

McDougall writes to Howe: McDougall describes his circumstances as difficult and defends his conduct by pointing out that the Canadian government allowed him “large discretion and ‘freedom of action’.” McDougall believes he has followed the best course for representing Canada and preserving the Crown’s authority. He relies on reports previously forwarded to justify his actions. McDougall encloses Dennis’ 1st report (“2 A”) of 2 December. McDougall reports that an informant at the Council of Twenty-four [James Ross?] said that McDougall’s proclamation had a calming effect. McDougall encloses D.S. Muskin’s [sic: S.D. Mulkin’s] letter (2 “B.”) of 2 December and a copy of the List of Rights from the Council (2 “C”) [it is shorter than other copies from the convention]. McDougall says that no deputation from the Council ever arrived at Pembina. He alleges that the Comité National has no guards in Winnipeg or over the pork and beans, but has 30–40 men in Upper Fort Garry. McDougall encloses Mair’s letter “2 C” [sic: not printed in collection, listed as “wanting” in the Correspondence and papers]. McDougall is confident that “this prompt display of vigour” will either convert the Comité National or see it “beat a hasty retreat.” He alleges the “Prime Conspirator,” whom he identifies as Stutsman, ran back to Pembina to escape Dennis. McDougall rejects Howe’s instruction that McDougall could not claim or assert authority until notified by Canada, reasoning that, if he had followed the instruction, the HBC would have resigned its authority and the Comité National would have stepped in [which, in practice, both did anyway]. He encloses an article from the St. Paul Daily Pioneer (21 November) [2. D.] as proof of an American threat, and mentions Fenians as another threat, and asserts any enemy “now melts away” before his proclamation and Dennis’ commission. McDougall will nontheless wait to hear from Canada before taking oaths of office, and will only perform “necessary acts.” McDougall adds that if he has erred, or continues in error, he trusts “necessity” is a valid justification.

Boulton goes to Kildonan and drills “about 100 men.” He stores the provisions and blankets sent by Dennis at Prud’homme’s house.

2:30 pm.: Dennis sends a memo/ “peremptory orders” [K 2.], again calling (see [A.1] of 4 December), “for the Canadians to leave the town” and to assemble at the Kildonan school house. He allows that if leaving will “bring on a fight” they can stay at Winnipeg, but that they cannot start “hostilities.” Dennis says that either Boulton or Lynch is to see that they “come down under cover of evening.”

4:00 pm. Boulton goes to Winnipeg. About 45 or 50 Canadians have left Schultz’s. Bishop McCrea [sic: Machray] tells Boulton there are 600 armed guards connected with the provisional government at Upper Fort Garry and that the List of Rights ought to be taken into consideration.

Boulton writes to Dennis (K.), detailing Boulton’s activity. Boulton has informed Schultz, Snow, and “the officers of the company” of Dennis’ order to leave. Boulton gave “strict orders” that they be gone not later than 2:00–3:00 pm. After the St. James meeting, Boulton had gone to Kildonan. He learned that St. Paul’s Parish had 43 men enrolled. Then Boulton went to Winnipeg. He does not know why 25 or 30 Canadians had stayed there. He will check again the next day. He observes that if all the Canadians leave, then both Upper Fort Garry and Winnipeg will be controlled by ‘the French.’

‘late in the day’: according to Begg [of Red River]: Devlin Sr. went to Schultz’s, then to Upper Fort Garry, to say that Schultz wanted a guarantee that his property would not be destroyed before he would withdraw his men. Devlin, however, was too late—the Council had finished for the day.[89]

[89] Begg, Red River Journal, 211, adds that there was a rumour that ‘Breland’ left the council dissatisfied with their course of action and wanted nothing more to do with them.

Dennis receives Boulton’s letter about Boulton’s activity and conditions at Winnipeg.

James Ross sends a note [K 4.] to Dennis: counselling against “any aggressive movement at present. … A civil war is altogether too dear a price to pay for any thing wanted on either side.” Ross says Dennis might be visited by a deputation from English-speaking settlers urging the same caution, today or the next.

Dennis writes a reply [K 3.] to James Ross: Dennis stating that he will not “relax preparations to put down, by force of arms if necessary, the present outrageous condition of things in the Settlement.” He is tired of waiting for a peaceful resolution.

Dennis writes to Grant of Sturgeon Creek, requisitioning a “small howitzer.”

Judge Black meets with Dennis “for an hour or two.”

Robert Machray, Bishop of Rupert’s Land writes [“N”] to Dennis: Machray visted Upper Fort Garry and Mactavish. Machray estimates there are 600 men “now in arms” at the fort. There is “a determination to avenge loss of life, if they are attacked by house to house massacring, or at any rate by individual assassination.” Machray believes an attack by Dennis’ forces will bring on warfare in which “a victory will only be less fatal to the Settlement, and the interest of the Canadian Government than a defeat.” Machray believes that the best course to follow is to have McDougall  meet with “the disaffected people.” After all, according to Machray, no one knows “any detail of the character or policy of [McDougall’s] Government.” Machray advises that McDougall should consider the settlers’ List of Rights, and be generous.

Sutherland and McBeth arrive at Lower Fort Garry (likely with the List of Rights). Sutherland advises Dennis to meet with “the French Council” (under John Bruce), so as to have a delegation meet with McDougall. Dennis agrees, Sutherland leaves to inform the Council (the next morning) and to arrange a meeting.

Evening: Alexander Black and wife arrive at Lower Fort Garry from Winnipeg, Mrs Black relaying a verbal message from Schultz that “some forty Canadians,” refused to follow Dennis’ orders and were now held, by the presence of 50 ‘French’ guards in the town, “in a state of siege in his house without provisions.” Schultz is calling for reinforcements.

Dennis has no organized force to send to Winnipeg to rescue Schultz, except the ‘about forty’ Canadians at Lower Fort Garry. Captain Webb has not responded to Dennis’ call. Dennis nevertheless decides to march on the town. He takes a sleigh “up the Settlement” to Rev. Gardiner’s, at St. Andrews, to collect an additional 60 volunteers from among those who have been enrolled in the two companies in the parish. The officers of the companies—Donald Gunn, Joseph Macdonald, and Thomas Sinclair—meet Dennis. Gunn, Macdonald, and Sinclair decline to support the march on Winnipeg, and inform Dennis that no one supports “a resort to arms.” The settlers are satisfied that the List of Rights devised by their representatives at Council of Twenty-four are just, and they are willing to have a deputation present the List to McDougall for approval.

5 p.m.: McDougall and his son, with Richards and Provencher, ride to the village at Pembina to speak with N.E. Nelson, Deputy Collector of Customs, Pembina U.S., and to organize a meeting to answer accusations that McDougall has authorized Canadians to engage and arm First Nations—particularly Sioux, who were secured by the Canadian Party at Winnipeg—to attack the Comité National, which, McDougall’s critics say, will touch off a cross-border “Indian war.”

evening: McDougall attends a meeting at the village at Pembina with: Nelson; Joseph Rolette Jr., of the American customs office; Cavelier, postmaster; Joseph Rolette Sr., Deputy U.S. Marshall at Pembina; Harrison, Justice of the Peace; Lemay, former collector of customs; and “three or four other residents.” McDougall tells Nelson that as of 1 December, the powers of the HBC had passed to McDougall, who, as an appointee of Canada’s Governor General, represents the Queen [the appointment had not in fact taken place]. McDougall states that although he was forced to take refuge on American soil, he “had not done and did not intend to do any official Act except when in my own jurisdiction.” McDougall alleges that the Canadians at Red River were acting in a “spontaneous” manner, under the direction of local “Conservators of the Peace,” who were Peace Officers, each authorized to exercise the civil power of raising “the posse comitatus or whatever force he needs to put down mobs and riots, acting in breach of the public peace.” McDougall states that he “had not authorized the employment of Indians” except as a last resort [forgetting Miskookenew/ Prince’s men]. McDougall believes himself to command as much respect as the Queen among ‘Indians’ and to therefore be “the only power which the Indians would be likely to obey.” Cavelier states as “true” that Schultz sent George ‘Shawman’ Racette with presents for the Sioux at Turtle Mountain to enlist them against the Comité National; that Schultz was “a reckless and selfish man, whose doctrine was that ‘you could trust no one as a friend, except so far as interest moved him,’ &c., &c.”; and that the Sioux in question were not reconciled to the American government nor to American citizens, and further that Racette was barred from American territory—as an outlaw. Lemay and Harrison try to make McDougall aware of the danger to himself in event of an outbreak of war [rejecting McDougall’s characterization of civil police action] involving Indigenous combatants [they warn that he wouldn’t last “five minutes”]; and they press him to be clear on whether “in any case” [sic: italics in source] McDougall would accept or authorize the enlisting of First Nations troops. McDougall will not disclose what he might do, except to say” I had not authorized and did not wish to employ even half breeds in warlike operations” [sic: italics in source]. McDougall is “startled” at what he is told about the potential danger. He then blames the Americans at Pembina for “kindling” and ‘fanning the flames’ of “disorder and riot among the French half-breeds, next to the Indian the most dangerous element in the country”—McDougall therefore will not accept responsibility for any “conflagration.”

Dennis continues writing report [A. 8.]

Tuesday, 7 December:

2 am.: Dennis arrives back at Lower Fort Garry. He receives a proclamation sent by McDougall directing the HBC Governor and Council [which has all but ceased functioning] to “continue to discharge their several duties as previous.” Dennis replies to McDougall, forwarding a copy of the List of Rights, a copy of James Ross’ note, and informing McDougall that the settler support for the List of Rights is widespread.

3 am.: Dennis sends a verbal message to besieged Canadians at Schultz’s, informing them that there will be no reinforcement, that there is no settler support for the Canadian’s plans, and that “if obliged to surrender, they must only get the best terms they could.”

Dennis’ proclamation has reached Upper Fort Garry.[90]

morning: it is rumoured that Hallett has been taken prisoner, having “violated his word” to remain neutral—given previously to the Comité National.[91]

According to Begg [of Red River]: Bannatyne, Burke, and Baptiste Morin dit Perrault go to Upper Fort Garry to speak with Riel. Afterwards Bannatyne, Burke and two of his brothers, meet with Sutherland, Alex Dawes, Colin Inkster, Donaldson, Begg [of Red River], Emmerling, and W.H. Lyons and then decide to go to tell Schultz that “he was endangering the whole settlement … and ask him to withdraw his men,” promising that his property would be safe.[92]

before noon: Dennis sends Mulkins as a messenger to Upper Fort Garry.

Bannatyne and Burke’s party meet Riel “with about three hundred” on Main Street. Bannatyne is to go to Schultz’s, tell Schultz that his property is safe, but that his entire party must put down their arms and surrender. On Bannatyne doing so, Schultz prevaricates, and Bannatyne again consults with Riel.[93]

Bannatyne returns to Schultz’s and relays a message to Schultz, the Canadians, and anyone else in the store:

“Dr. Schultz and men are hereby ordered to give up their arms and surrender themselves. Their lives will be spared should they comply. In case of refusal all the English Halfbreeds and other natives[,] women and children are at liberty to depart unmolested.

(Signed) Louis Riel

“Fort Garry 7th Dec. 1869. The surrender will be accepted at or 15 minutes after the order.”

The Canadians opt to surrender. About 45 are arrested and jailed at Upper Fort Garry (where Mulkins is jailed with them; arrest warrants are issued for Garrett and James Mulligan).[94]

Howe writes a note to McDougall (1611.), acknowledging McDougall’s despatch of 20 November with the HBC enclosures [Mactavish’s reply (A.) of 9 November to McDougall’s letters of 2d and 4th November; correspondence of the Canadian Party and Dennis (B.) of 17 November; and the Canadian Party protest to Mactavish, along with Mactavish’s proclamation]. Howe says the papers will be forwarded to England.

Howe writes to McDougall (No. 1608): Howe’s despatches of 19 and 29 November were sent to a “friend at St. Paul” MN to be forwarded—duplicates are attached to this letter. Howe explains, regarding McDougall’s letter of the 13th–14th November (1036.) and (“A.”), (“B.”), (“C.”), (“D.”), (“E.”): that these were laid before the Council, and copies will be sent to England. Thibault and Charles De Salaberry are to leave the next day for St. Paul MN, then proceed to Pembina to consult with McDougall (secretly would be best), then go on to Red River “for the purpose of assisting in putting down the unlawful assemblage” and gaining entry for McDougall. They will carry a Proclamation from the Governor General (John Young), to be “widely disseminated, and copies of McDougall’s instructions. Donald A. Smith, of the HBC at Montreal [and a descendent of the same Grant family as Cuthbert Grant Jr.], will follow, to help Mactavish re-establish HBC control of Upper Fort Garry. Smith will act as a “Commissioner holding confidential relations with the Canadian Government,” and a communicator of its “beneficent intentions” [papers for his official commission will not be issued until 25 January 1870]. Howe hopes that by these measures the Comité National will disperse and McDougall will be able to proceed to carry out his instructions. McDougall is to send word by telegraph from St. Cloud when that turn of affairs happens. “His Excellency” the Governor General will then cable England, and the Queen’s proclamation will be issued to McDougall (which will be delayed until then to keep the HBC government legal). Howe says that there will not be representative government for Assiniboia, but that “civil and religious liberties and privileges will be sacredly respected,” and that settlers will get title to occupied lands.

Dennis attends a meeting held at Rev. Black’s (those present include: Rev. Black, Judge Black, James Ross, HBC Chief Factor Bernard Ross, HBC Councillor Sutherland, John Fraser, William Fraser, Polson and others). William Coldwell arrives at the meeting with a copy (in French) of the “Declaration of the People of Rupert’s Land and the North-West,” (5 E.), which announces Red River’s pending establishment of a Provisional Government (mostly ‘French’ Métis), under the presidency of John Bruce. Dennis is informed that an earlier public meeting had resolved to send him a deputation “to request that aggressive measures … be abandoned.” Dennis is again asked to arrange a meeting between the ‘French’ Council and McDougall (Sutherland has not yet been able to see Riel on the matter, because of the business with Canadians surrendering at Schultz’s store—Sutherland will try again tomorrow morning).

Machray, Bishop of Rupert’s Land, writes [“O”] to Dennis: there is a rumour that Dennis plans to attack Upper Fort Garry, but about 60 men were taken prisoner, and about 600 men are at the fort. Machray adds that “only evil is to be apprehended from action” on Dennis’ part. Archdeacon J. McLean signs in agreement.

Dennis concludes that a “resort to arms to put down the French party, at the present time must be given up.” He resolves, however to keep “the drill going on in several parishes.”

Dennis continues writing report [A. 8.]

[90] Begg, Red River Journal, 215.

[91] Ibid., 212.          [92] Ibid., 215.

[93] Ibid.

[94] Ibid., 215-217; see also “Prisoners,” this site.

Wednesday, 8 December:

Dennis concludes that “It is unnecessary to say that measures of [aggressive] character are out of the question, as people evidently will not sustain them at present.” He prints and distributes McDougall’s proclamation, “confirming the former [HBC] officials in office.”

‘S’ [Joseph Marion] of St. Boniface writes to Dennis regarding Dease, saying that the latter’s party will only act on the defensive.

[redacted: a guide on trip from St. Cloud to Pembina] at Red River writes McDougall (“5 C.“): saying that he doesn’t know why, but he cannot raise a force to assist Dennis among ‘English’ or ‘Scotch’, “so that it would be the height of folly for us to take aggressive steps, for we would be overpowered by numbers” and that the Canadian arms have been confiscated and the settlers will not muster replacement arms. [Redacted; guide] is sure the settlers are all cowards.

Howe writes to McDougall (No. 1612): enclosing the Governor General’s Proclamation in English and French.

McDougall wites Dennis (3 C.): commanding that if the band of Sioux on the Assiniboine has been employed by Canadians and is drilling in preparation for action against “the French half-breeds … with a view to military or warlike services of some kind,” Dennis is to do what he can to prevent it. Likewise, if arms and ammunition have been sent to the Sioux near Turtle Mountain for the same purpose, Dennis is to “counteract any movement of the kind.” While leaving matters to Dennis’ “discretion,” McDougall says he would be happy to hear that Miskookenew/ Prince’s men were let go from duty at Lower Fort Garry, so that other First Nations would not get any untoward ideas. McDougall acknowledges the necessity can call for “extreme measures” in putting down riots, but that he hopes the Canadians can “accomplish their object without the active aid of Indian allies.”

McDougall writes to Nelson: supplying a report of their meeting of 6 December (3 A.). McDougall adds that he has heard that his messenger carrying the proclamation of ongoing authority of HBC Council of Assiniboia was arrested in British territory by 2 Americans and his papers were stolen. McDougall complains that this was done by the same people asking him to “exercise my authority over the Indians” (by calling them off). He additionally complains that the only “obstruction or danger” that Canadians at Red River are experiencing is from Americans near the border—alleging threats have been made against himself by Rollette Jr. McDougall encloses his letter to Dennis giving orders “against the employment of Indians in the present crisis.” McDougall instructs Nelson so send the letter in the latter’s name to someone “unsuspected” who would take it to Dennis.,”as my letters are so often tampered with.” McDougall assures Nelson that in the event of a Sioux attack on Pembina, Nelson can rest assured that McDougall will defend the village with “all the influence and authority of my office, and all means of defence at my command.”

McDougall writes to Howe: reporting that he has heard nothing from Dennis of Lower Fort Garry since 6 December, but that McDougall has heard a rumour that Dennis has 600 men at that fort, while the Comité National has 300 “under Riel” at Upper Fort Garry. McDougall states that he did not expect Dennis to move until joined by the Canadians at Portage (maybe the 6th of 7th December). McDougall is hearing complaints at Pembina that Canadians were arming First Nations—particularly that Sioux had been secured by the Canadian Party at Winnipeg. McDougall observes that some people are furious enough with this action that Richards thinks it best to go to Fort Abercrombie to avoid retaliation, but McDougall’s party did not have the means of transportation. McDougall says he organized a meeting, which is detailed in the report to Nelson (3 A.). According to McDougall, Nelson was relieved of his worries by by 7 December, but Stutsman and Rolette were still furious. Richards, Provencher, and Begg [of Canada], joined McDougall at his house and they took turns standing watch “prepared to resist an attack from any quarter.” McDougall kept up daily communication with HBC Pembina Post across the international boundary, but did not go there. McDougall has enclosed an anonymous note to Provencher (3 B), counselling McDougall and party to leave for Canada. McDougall, however, vows he will stay on “at all hazards … in the hope of a peaceful solution”—”dispersion of Riel and his party, or of a joint deputation to me, and an armistice in the meantime.” McDougall is convinced that as long as he has First Nations “properly handled” Canada will “hold … these great plains” from Washington, as well as from Fenians in New York [neither of which intends to march against him]. McDougall explains that his “loyal and humane policy” has only ever been “to threaten” [sic: italics his emphasis] the Comité National with “an Indian as well as a civil war” and that the Americans are over-reacting. McDougall thought it prudent, nevertheless, to write (3 C.) to Dennis. McDougall adds that he heard from Hunt at Abercrombie that Hunt could not store the rifles etc. in the fort, so put them up instead at McCauley’s (a merchant).

Dennis continues writing report [A. 8.]

Thursday, 9 December:

McDougall writes to Howe: the closing of the previous day’s letter, with a reference to McDougall’s having asked Nelson to send a letter in the latter’s name to someone who would take it to Dennis.

Boulton writes a report [“L”] on his activities during “the past few days” (beginning 3 December) for Dennis.

Dennis is “convinced it is useless longer to entertain any expectation of being enabled to get a reliable force with which to put down the party” at Upper Fort Garry. He therefore resolves “to abandon the call upon the English speaking people, and take advantage of the disposition from the French, as expressed by them, to send delegates to Lieutenant Governor.”

Dennis sends a notification [“K. 5.”] to Bannatyne at Winnipeg, with a request that it be laid before the “French Council.” His note reads in part “if I can contribute in [any] way to bring about a settlement, I shall be glad to do so.” His notification, “To All Whom It May Concern[“P”], includes the statement: “Under the belief that the party in arms [the Provisional Government] is sincere in their desire for peace, and … to … relieve the situation of much embarrassment, and so contribute to bring about peace, and save the country from … ruin and desolation … I now call on and order the loyal party in the North-West Territory, to cease from further action under the appeal to arms made by me; and I call on the French party to … [send] a deputation to the Lieutenant Governor at Pembina, without unnecessary delay.” He keeps Miskookenew/ Prince’s 50 men on guard at Lower Fort Garry.

Dennis receives message from ‘S’/ Joseph Marion [“S”] about Dease.

Dennis writes to McDougall [5 A.]: Dennis regrets to inform that “as a body, the English-speaking portion of the Red River Settlement proper, … cannot be counted on in any measure of an aggressive character … to put down the French” and that “many people here” are likely to join ‘the French’ because they believe the List of Rights is not unreasonable. Dennis will stay a few days to see if  ‘the French’ will send a delegation to McDougall, though he doubts they will, and then he will return to Pembina. Dennis encloses his record (5 B.). He expects to hear in the evening whether a delegation will be sent to McDougall. If no delegation is sent, and a locally-led provisional government is installed—which means they will have full possession for the winter (Dennis alleges that they have Fenian and filibusters’ support—then Dennis will discharge the guard at Lower Fort Garry and leave for Pembina. Dennis says it will take about a week to get there. Dennis advises that the messenger sent by him should wait at Pembina for Dennis’ arrival there, in case messages have to be sent back into the settlement.

Dennis gives an order “to cease drill and stop the receipt of any further supplies.” He still  has not heard from Captain Webb.

Dennis continues writing report [A. 8.]

night: the Comité National mounted guards arrive at HBC Pembina Post [reported St. Paul 20 December]

Friday, 10 December:

A Provisional Government is formally proclaimed at Upper Fort Garry with a flag-raising ceremony.

Howe writes to McDougall (No. 1617): informing that Donald A. Smith is on the way, to consult McDougall before going to Fort Garry.

Howe writes to McDougall (No. 1618): warning that the rifles “purchased for Government service at the Red River,” but left at HBC Post Georgetown, are too vulnerable to theft by “any roving band of half-breeds or Indians, or by persons quite as unscrupulous” and suggests moving them to St. Cloud or St. Paul MN.

Provisional Government mounted guards take possession of HBC Pembina Post [reported St. Paul 20 December; see also McDougall to Howe 13 December.]

4:00 am. Boulton leaves for Portage by way of “the Grosse Isle.”

Arkland and Elwood (who say they have taken no part in the activity at Winnipeg) arrive at Lower Fort Garry from the town and report that Canadians are still being arrested. Dennis sends his report to McDougall (carried by two of Miskookenew/ Prince’s men).

Dennis recieves a message from Sutherland that “there was no prospect” of getting the Provisional Government leaders to agree to a meeting.

noon: Dennis orders Hart to pay and discharge Miskookenew/ Prince’s men and vacate Lower Fort Garry. The HBC will take the supplies on account. Guns will remain with the men “held subject to Government order.” Powder and bullets are to be returned to those who supplied them. Hart will resume surveying. There are rumours of a Sioux attack (500 Sioux are reported to have gathered at Poplar Point). Dennis decides to meet them and try to turn them back.

evening: Boulton arrives at Poplar Point.

Dennis finishes writing report [A. 8.]

Saturday, 11 December:

Howe receives McDougall’s letter of 25 November, with Wallace’s notes to McDougall on the spy mission to Upper Fort Garry and the copy of the letter of 22 November to General Hunt at Fort Abercrombie U.S.

Howe writes to McDougall (No. 1620): Howe complains that the Canadian Party are attributing statements to Howe that he never made (in some cases to people he never met—specifically Bruce, Riel, and Ritchot), and says that McDougall ought to contradict them. Howe argues that he only ever said that eventually there would be representative government, that in the meantime there would be a Lieutenant Governor and appointed council, but that elections could be held for public service positions.

McDougall sends his son to St. Joseph (26 miles south) with a message for James McKay, who is residing there with his family at the house of William Dease.

2 am.: Dennis leaves Lower Fort Garry, changes horses at Winnipeg, and drives to Poplar Point.

1 pm.: Dennis arrives at George Taylor’s, Poplar Point and meets Webb and Newcombe “actively engaged with the Company, which had its head-quarters at this point.” Dennis receives Webb’s report. Dennis finds 100 Sioux lodges between Poplar Point and Portage.

Boulton is holding a meeting with the Sioux and Mahkesīs/ Fox. They have no intention of attacking the settement unless “asked to do so by the [Lieut.] Governor.” Boulton distributes presents and provisions.

Mahkesīs/ Fox meets with Dennis at Taylor’s.

Dennis leaves for High Bluff and the Portage, “to explain why the movement was to be given up.”

Dennis meets Hamilton (of Webb’s crew), who was “zealously drilling the company” at High Bluff.

Malmros writes to J.C.B. Davis: reporting that Dennis “has entirely failed to get recruits willing to take up arms for Gov. McDougall’s proposed government. On the contrary this open attempt and several clandestine ones to create civil war in the Colony has created great and almost universal indignation towards Mr. McDougall.”[95]

[95] Malmros to Davis (11 December 1869), in James Wickes Taylor Correspondence, 93.

6 pm.: Dennis arrives at Portage. He gives Webb instructions on closing down and returning supplies. The 99 enrolled men are unhappy with the order to stop their activity. Web will resume surveying. Dennis engages guide.

evening: McDougall receives 2 private letters from John A. Macdonald (dated 23 November) [contents unknown; not included in the Correspondence and papers]

Sunday, 12 December:

7 am.: A Guide and Dennis head for Pembina. Snow impedes their progress (it is stormy on the 14th).

Wallace, at Hayden’s near HBC Post Pembina, reports a rumour to McDougall that Riel will arrive there at night.

Monday, 13 December:

McDougall writes to Riel (4 B): McDougall expresses his expectation of Riel’s arrival tonight at HBC Post Pembina. McDougall says that he is anxious to speak with Riel before answering despatches from the Canadian government. McDougall addresses Riel and his party as “French half-breeds” and claims to not know what their “complaints and wishes in reference to the New Government” are. McDougall describes his own station as that of “representative of the Sovereign to whom you and they owe, and … do not wish to deny allegiance.” He argues that therefore he deserves communication. He then threatens that if he leaves, a “military ruler” will replace him. McDougall then claims he holds full powers from Canada and a desire to “meet all just claims of every class and section of the people.” He avows that he holds no animosity regardless of what has taken place—but states no Americans are to be allowed in on the conversation. McDougall sends his missive to the Captain of the Provisional Government Guard stationed at HBC Post Pembina.

Wm. B. McDougall [the son of the erstwhile but rejected Lt-gov. McDougall] writes a memo (4 A.): stating that he journeyed to [redacted; wealthy and influential  “half-breed born in Oregon; William Dease?] at St. Joseph on 11 December. There, he is told that Gingras of St. Joseph tried to raise 130 men among the Métis on 10 December to drive McDougall back to Canada. Dease warns that McDougall [Sr.] is in danger. McDougall Jr. visits James McKay with family at Charles Grant’s house. McKay says that says 50 Canadians guarding pork and beans were arrested—including Schultz, Bown, Mair, and Hallet—and says that he had told Dennis on arrival from Pembina “not to incite one portion of the population to take up arms against the other.” McKay says that 100 had signed a document agreeing to let McDougall Sr. in to the settlement. McKay warns that McDougall Sr. and family would certainly die if “hostilities commenced and blood spilt.” McKay says others at Red River agree with him. He explains he did not stop to see McDougall because a take-over action at HBC Post Pembina forced him to detour. McKay thinks Dennis went to Portage and that Lower Fort Garry is still held by Miskookenew/ Prince’s men and others under Dennis.

5 pm.: McDougall writes to Howe: noting that he has not received any communication from Howe since 19 November, but that he received Ottawa and Montreal newspapers of 27 and 29 November respectively. McDougall reports: that the Comité National is gaining strength; that he suspects Americans have been preventing communication between McDougall and Dennis since 2 December; and that, according to rumours, on 5 or 6 December 40 or 50 Canadians, armed and with 400 rounds of ammunition, were at Schultz’s, either guarding pork and beans or waiting to join up with Dennis’ force, but were taken prisoner without resistance. McDougall says that the Canadians are held at Upper Fort Garry, “allowed to supply themselves with provisions from the village.” McDougall describes the Comité National as having 400 men in the fort, and the Canadians and friends as discouraged, because “the English and Scotch half-breeds have refused, in any number, to join the [Canadian] party of ‘law and order’.” McDougall says that the Comité National holds HBC Post Pembina. He reports that Americans are saying that McDougall’s party will leave for Canada in a few days. McDougall received a report from James McKay (whom Dennis was to consult before taking any action), at St. Joseph (4 A.). McDougall refers back to Dennis’ 1st report (“2 A”) of 2 December (sent to Howe 6 December). McDougall believes McKay fled St. James in fear of personal safety and is thoroughly supportive of the Canadian cause, but, like “many others” is only supportive if Canadians “will do all the fighting, and pay all the money.” Since McDougall has not heard from Dennis, he decided he would open communication with Riel after all, and encloses (4 B), but has not heard any reply. Jackes, while at Rollette’s to deliver a baby, was shown a copy of the “Declaration of the People of Rupert’s Land and the North-West,” [(5 E.)] but was not allowed to take it for McDougall. McDougall sticks by his advice to Canada given in the letter to Howe of 29 November (the advice being to organize and send a large number of “such settlers … of this class” [militia] from Col. Barivis, Halifax, and from County Bruce, in early spring)—a plan based on the advice McDougall had laid out “more fully in previous letters to Sir John A. Macdonald” [letters not included in the Correspondence and papers].

night: Miskookenew/ Prince’s men arrive at Pembina with messages [5 A.] and (5 B.) for McDougall.

Wednesday, 15 December:

Howe writes to McDougall (No. 1635): acknowledging Wallace’s notes to McDougall on the spy mission to Upper Fort Garry and the copy of the letter of 22 November to General Hunt at Fort Abercrombie U.S., which were received on 11 December.

Howe receives McDougall’s letter of 29 November. Howe is alarmed that McDougall would issue a proclamation announcing a transfer of territory and authority that had not taken place. Howe is alarmed that McDougall’s plans for military action are “without the sanction of law.”

H.P. Dwight at St. Paul MN writes to John A. Macdonald: repeating rumours that Mactavish is a prisoner; that the Comité National is rapidly consuming HBC supplies; and that Cameron got as far as Upper Fort Garry, but was forced from the gate back onto American soil by two soldiers.

evening: Dennis arrives at Pembina, having crossed from Prairie Portage, and reports to McDougall.

Thursday, 16 December:

John A. Macdonald writes in a Privy Council report: that the HBC was negligent in not informing Canada of discontent with the proposed institution of Canadian rule. Macdonald denies Canada handled the transfer badly. He notes “It is better to have the semblence of a Government in the Country than none at all. While the issue of the Proclamation would put an end to the Government of the Hudson Bay Company, it would not substitute Government by Canada therefore … and a legal status might be given to any Government de facto, formed by the inhabitants for the protection of their lives and property” [which was what the provisional government also argued]. Macdonald wants the delay of the transfer to continue “until quiet is restored”, or, until a military force can be organized and sent to “compel obedience” (which he states is being organized for a spring departure).

Howe receives enclosures sent by McDougall with the letter of 29 November (received the previous day): letter (A.) of 24 November; (B.) Dennis’ reply to D.A. Grant, with McDougall’s orders to D.A. Grant (25 November; copy enclosed) regarding the pork and beans; and (C.) McDougall’s letter to Mactavish of 25 November, regarding the same. Howe is relieved, by (B.), to see that no precipitate action is being taken by McDougall and that Mactavish still has authority.

McDougall writes to Mactavish [5 D.]: reporting that because the HBC has submitted to the Provisional Government and McDougall has “no force at my command,” he has decided to return to St. Paul “and await there the order of Her Majesty’s Imperial and Canadian Governments.” McDougall says that he has not heard from Mactavish since 19 November, nor has McDougall sent any letters because sure they would not reach Mactavish without being intercepted. MacDougall states that he has learned from Howe that the Governor General forwarded McDougall’s letters up to 9 November to Lord Granville, and telegraphed more recent events—including, probably, the occupation of Upper Fort Garry. McDougall says that he has learned by the Montreal Gazette that the HBC withheld payment on the purchase of Rupert’s Land and believes it is probably true. McDougall then argues his case regarding what the legal position is: if the transfer did not take place then Mactavish is responsible for law and order as before; if it did take place, then McDougall’s proclamation of 1 December was correct in all particulars; his proclamation of 2 December, published at Red River by Dennis confirmed that all public officers (except Mactavish) were still in place (though McDougall had believed the proclamation had not been stolen, he thought it was not published); so in McDougall’s opinion, nothing has changed at the settlement regarding the illegality of any substitution of a provisional government for that of the HBC—except for Mactavish’s position, in whose stead a deputy governor would now be in charge during McDougall’s abscence. He advises Mactavish to consult with Judge Black on the question. The provisional government he dismisses as in charge of nothing beyond the end of their guns.

McDougall writes to Howe: that McDougall received Howe’s letter of 29 November, but that none of the messengers written of have arrived. McDougall has decided to go back to St. Paul MN and write from there—he does not want to risk writing more from Pembina because details might, “if known here, interfere with our future operations.” McDougall says that his previous letter of 13 December was based on enemy rumours, but that these have been confirmed by Dennis. McDougall encloses messages [5 A.] of 9 December from Dennis to McDougall; and a record (5 B.) of same date brought, with other papers, by two of Miskookenew/ Prince’s men. McDougall states that he encloses (“5 C.“), a description of the character flaw in Red River people written by a former guide from St. Cloud to Pembina. McDougall also encloses a copy of [5 D.] to Mactavish, which was sent by way of McDougall’s “faithful Indians.” McDougall says that he cannot get supplies from HBC Post Pembina, and has not heard from Riel, nor does he expect to. McDougall encloses (5 E.), the”Declaration of the People of Rupert’s Land and the North-West,” which was adopted, according to McDougall, on 24 November by the Council of Twenty-four and printed on 8 December; and the List of Rights (5 F.), which, once distributed, saw support for ousting the Comité National by force of arms dissipate. McDougall believes “the English-speaking settlers” have been duped and are now having all their guns confiscated. He encloses Dennis’ notice, issued at Lower Fort Garry (5 G) [not labelled as such in the Correspondence and papers, but possibly referring to Dennis’ notice of 9 December].

Friday, 17 December:

Howe writes to McDougall: stating that mcDougall’s letter of 29 November, when received on 15 December initially created an “apprehension” that McDougall would act illegally, but that feeling was ameliorated by enclosure (B.). Howe believes that letters sent to McDougall on 19 and 29 November and on 7, 8, 10, and 11 December will explain the Canadian Government’s views, and the nature of ongoing correspondence on the issue with the Imperial Government. Howe explains that Canada has still not received any notice “of the issue of the Queen’s Proclamation annexing the country to Canada, or payment of the purchase money.” Therefore, Howe commands, “You will, until further advised, abstain from all movements in excess of your authority” and by no means do anything (such as issue a proclamation), that would cancel HBC authority. Howe states that even if McDougall receives notification of the transfer by telegraph, he is still to wait and refrain from any action until he receives a copy of the official proclamation from Howe.

Joseph Wheelock at St. Paul MN sends a telegram to Howe: stating that Dennis has enlisted and armed 200 “Swampy Indians” [Miskookenew/ Prince’s Band] and “a number” of their relatives, and garrisoned Lower Fort Garry; that McDougall organized “hostile Sioux” under Canadians at Portage; and that both groups will march against Upper Fort Garry. Wheelock says that the Comité National’s “General Riel” has called in over 300 men; “a collision … hourly expected.”

Donald A. Smith at St. Paul MN sends a telegram to John A. Macdonald: reporting that Mactavish is believed to be arrested; the situation is perhaps critical; and it would best to have all possible power to make promises conferred to Smith as soon as possible (8 days). Smith says that he is ahead of Thibault and De Salaberry, and asks that Macdonald telegraph an answer immediately to Kittson.

John A. Macdonald sends a telegram to Kittson: allowing that Smith “can state his appointment as one of the Council of Territory, and inform McDougall to that effect.”

Dennis writes to McDougall [“B.8.”]: explaining Dennis’ retreat to Pembina beginning 10 December. Dennis includes a chart indicting the number of men enrolled under his commission and the days they drilled at St. Peters, Lower Fort Garry, St. Andrews, St. Paul’s, Kildonan, Winnipeg, Poplar Point, High Bluff, and Portage la Prairie. [Notably St. Clements, St. John’s, St. James, St. Charles, and Headingly are not listed—along with any ‘French’ parishes]

Saturday, 18 December:

H.P. Dwight at Toronto telegraphs John A. Macdonald: reporting on letters of 6 December from Red River: Dwight says McDougall recruited First Nations that were now marching to Lower Fort Garry with Dennis; that fighting might have already begun. Dwight says McDougall wrote on 6 December to say that Canadians had announced their rule on 1 December, and the Canadian party occupied Lower Fort Garry the same day. Dwight says Dennis has 300 men. Dwight believes the Comité National is dispersing, but has 400 men in Upper Fort Garry. He thinks they probably did not oust Mactavish from his sickbed and throw him in prison, nor steal HBC supplies. Dwight says that the St. Paul Press (18 December) alleges McDougall has risked touching off “Indian war,” apparently without consulting the Canadian government, given that an Ottawa despatch of 17 December stated that Canada “may not complete the purchase of the North-West till Spring.”

Thursday, 23 December:

Dennis learns from De Salaberry that the transfer never took place, so that his commission as Conservator of the Peace had no validity. Dennis, already embarrassed, is relieved that there had been no bloodshed

Friday, 24 December:

Howe writes to McDougall to make clear that “the proceedings by which the lives and properties of the people of Rupert’s Land were jeopardized for a time, were … disavowed and condemned” by the Government of the Dominion of Canada.

Tuesday, 28 December:

McDougall telegraphs John A. Macdonald [96]

[96] LAC, MIKAN no. 557621.

Friday, 31 December:

John A. Macdonald telegraphs McDougall.[97]

[97] LAC, MIKAN no. 557623.

Saturday, 1 January 1870:

McDougall at St. Paul writes to Howe: reporting that while travelling McDougall received the following letters: (No. 1602) of 2 December on finances [not included in the Correspondence and papers]; (No. 1611.) of 7 December acknowledging the receipt of McDougall’s 20 November letter; (No. 1608) of 7 December, and duplicates of 19 and 20 November letters enclosed with the announcement of the Thibault and De Salaberry mission carrying the Governor General’s proclamation and authorization for McDougall to agree to some demands of the people of the North-West regarding taxation [this document and those that follow, if included in the Correspondence and papers, are not numbered as such]; (No. 1612) of 8 December enclosing the Governor General’s Proclamation referred to in the 7 December letter; (No. 1618) of 10 December, about moving rifles from Georgetown; (No. 1617) of 10 December, announcing the appointment of Donald A. Smith with a copy of his instructions; (No. 1620) of 11 December, on contradicting rumours about Howe’s statements; (No. 1635) of 15 December acknowledging the receipt of McDougall’s 25 November letter and Wallace’s report and a copy of a letter to Hunt regarding storing the Canadian rifles at Fort Abercrombie.

Published 28 October 2014; updated 9 December 2015


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