Riel Rebellion, 1869-1870


Riel Rebellion, 1869-1870
   The territorial rights of the Hudson's Bay Company having been transferred to Canada, a surveying party under Colonel Dennis was sent out to Red River in 1869, and the same year William Macdougall was appointed lieutenant-governor of Rupert's Land, and instructed to proceed to Fort Garry and assume control. The French half-breeds, alarmed at these proceedings, which they thought menaced the rights to their lands, turned back the surveying parties, and prevented Macdougall from crossing the boundary. They formed themselves into a provisional government, of which Louis Riel was secretary, and later was elected president. Riel published a "Bill of Rights," and seized Fort Garry. An ill-judged attempt on the part of some of the loyal settlers to compel the release of certain prisoners failed, and the leader, Major Boulton, with Thomas Scott and others, was captured. Boulton was released, but Riel caused Scott to be shot. Intense indignation throughout Canada was aroused by this act, and the government at once organized an expeditionary force, under Colonel Wolseley. The force proceeded by way of the lakes, and the Dawson route from Fort William to Lake Winnipeg. Wolseley reached Fort Garry on Aug. 24, 1870, to find that Riel, with his lieutenants Lepine and O'Donoghue, had fled across the border. Riel was subsequently outlawed.
   Index: C Its causes, 69. H Joseph Howe's official connection with, 227-228. See also Riel.
   Bib.: Huyshe, Red River Expedition; Boulton, Reminiscences of the North-West Rebellions; Bryce, Manitoba; McArthur, Causes of the Rising in Red River Settlement (Man. Hist. and Sc. Soc., 1882); Denison, Reminiscences of the Rebellion of 1869 and Soldiering in Canada.

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