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By Joseph Boyden • Penguin, , pp After a night spent alone in mid-May , Louis Riel emerged from the wilderness and. Laying of a wreath in memory of Louis Riel at the Northwest Rebellion monument Readings from Louis Riel and Gabriel Dumont by author Joseph Boyden. Is there anything left to be said about Louis Riel? . The Company had given it to Louis Riel pere in spring in connection with his proposal to build a flour mill. .  The land market in Manitoba was recovering from the .. On June 4, , James Isbister, Gabriel Dumont, Moise Ouellette, and Michel.
Macdonald in to leave the country; gifts and loans from relatives, friends, and sympathizers; and collections from public meetings. All this is well known. What is new is the realization that Riel also made money by buying and selling land in Manitoba. This hardly matches the activities of such contemporaries as Donald A. Bannatyneor N. Ritchot who bought and sold hundreds of pieces of Manitoba land and scrip. But his transactions were important in the course of his own life.
He was chronically short of cash, and sale of his lands was his main way of trying to raise money. This financial context was as much familial as individual. After the death of his father inRiel, who was the oldest of nine children, was morally, if not legally, the head of the family.
His mother consulted him about transactions concerning the family property at St. Vital 50 and 51, even though it was registered in her name rather than his. Although the documentary sources are not usually precise about the amounts, it is clear that Riel, his mother, and his brother, sisters, and in-laws gave and loaned substantial amounts of money among themselves.
Another preliminary note is in order. The amounts of money discussed here will seem absurdly small to a modern reader, but they must be kept in the setting of the nineteenth century. Riel house, located on HBC lot This lot, four chains wide and about 80 acres in area, was adjacent to the Riel family lot in St.
They were later consolidated as St. Vital 51 in the Dominion Lands survey. The document was not witnessed, and Lariviere later spoke of the land as having been sold in January rather than June Settlers went further south along the Red River, founding a settlement at Pointe a Grouette that became the nucleus of Ste. Agathe, and they also moved out to the banks of the lesser rivers, staking claims and founding small settlements on the Seine, Oak, Rat, and Salle Rivers.
A man might stake a claim but do little with it for some time. Depending on the type of land, he might cut timber or hay, collect maple syrup, or pasture livestock for years before he would build a year-round habitation. Customary usage ruled these claims. They were marked with blazes on trees, stakes in the ground, or a furrow plowed around the edge of the lot.
Claimants often erected a square of logs that could serve as a crude house if a roof were added. This expansion outside the formally surveyed part of the Colony was motivated by population pressure, manifesting itself not so much through shortage of land as through shortage of hay and timber.
Years of drought had dried out the marshy haylands near the Red and Assiniboine Rivers, and much of the riverbank forest had long ago been cut for building, fencing, and heating. Sometime inRiel staked a claim at the east end of what later became the parish of Lorette. It was described as follows by Roger Goulet when he investigated the Lorette claims in Beginning at corner post at the South West corner of Section 9, Tp.
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Anne Pointe de Chenes. I have not been able to ascertain frontage of said claim. I was told it is meant to be two miles in length on South side of River. But George McPhillips, the Dominion Lands Surveyor, was aware of it, as shown by the illustration on page 5a drawing from his field notes. Limits of claim could not be definitely ascertained. Goulet thinks the claim is on south bank of Seine and ten chains wide by chains long.
A number of logs piled in the shape of a house were on lot in and a few logs are still there. He wrote to his mother on May 17,when he was in St. Sow barley and make it obvious. Pay him yourself or I will send him the money. Andre Nault had claims of his own nearby, so it would not have been inconvenient for him to plow a couple of acres for Riel.
The mention of a canal is also indicative. In orRiel also staked a claim on the upper reaches of the Salle River, not far from the modern village of Starbuck. To judge from the names of the claimants written on the map, Riel went out with a group of friends and relatives from St. Vital to stake these claims Paul Proulx was a cousin, as were all the members of the Nault family. The map printed on page 9 was drawn by Roger Goulet as part of an investigation of the Salle River claims.
Although the Department of the Interior recognized these claims, it did not survey the area into river lots. It satisfied the claims by granting pieces of land similar to the claims in size and located along the river but described within the square survey system. Unfortunately, we do not know exactly when he bought the lots or how much he paid for them; all information about them must be inferred from statements in documents relating to their resale several years later. This was HBCrelabelled St.
Boniface in the Dominion Lands Survey. It was a small lot, only The Company had given it to Louis Riel pere in spring in connection with his proposal to build a flour mill. Permission given to Louis Rielle to form a canal 9 miles long to his mill through certain lots mentioned below Vital and never resided on HBC Louis then bought it back. Another purchase was St. Vital 16 HBC This was a small lot Dumas had plowed four acres and built a small house on the lot inthen had it surveyed by Roger Goulet the following year.
His mother wrote to him in August: The land commissioners came to St.
Their office was at the schoolhouse, and they came here for dinner. They left the 5th of this month. Ryan and Forget [A. Forget, French secretary to the commission] told me to give you their regards, and they also said to tell you that you can authorize me to obtain your land by giving me a power of attorney; they could do it like that, they are at Oak Point now.
New book on 1885 looks at the resistance from a feminine perspective
In the summer and fall ofhe was moving incessantly about the northeastern United States, trying to find support for a military invasion of Manitoba. The way they are scattered around the Red River colony see map, page 6 shows that Riel could not possibly have intended to farm them all and must have viewed them as investments for resale.
Agathe to A. Agathe several years later. Riel went into hiding in mid-September to avoid attempted arrest and left Manitoba on October 21,to take his seat in Parliament and press his case before public opinion in the east.
Riel next thought of selling land in Mayafter Parliament had voted to exile him for five years. He wrote to his mother, asking her to sell the remainder of Ste. Joseph, if, as he intimated to his mother, he chose to spend his exile there. Sometime in the spring ofafter he had been hospitalized for a year and did not know when he would be released, Riel wrote to his mother that she could sell all his lands to support herself and other members of the family.
He then asked his mother to sell, for his own needs, Ste. Agathe and half of St. He said he would use the money to establish himself on a farm in Nebraska. Riel hoped that voluntarily turning himself over would garner him some goodwill on the part of the authorities.
It soon became clear that none would be forthcoming. Following months in captivity he was charged with high treason. The trial was held in Regina even though Riel has asked that it be held closer to home.
Biography – DUMONT, GABRIEL – Volume XIII () – Dictionary of Canadian Biography
Riel is found guilty of high treason and given the death penalty. On November 16, Riel was hanged. The fate of Louis Riel is known by most Canadians. But the land they were living on for generations was fertile and thus valuable. The federal government would routinely send surveyors west to capture more and more land.
Dumont took his men back to Batoche and began preparing defensive positions for the decisive confrontation. They held off the government forces for four days but the outcome was never in doubt. Gabriel Dumont remained at large in the vicinity of Batoche for several days. After only two days in custody both were released on orders from Washington.
Efforts to raise money for a raid on Regina to rescue Riel came to nothing.
Although he was interested, he made no immediate commitment. Madeleine joined him at Fort Benton in the fall. Although the Canadian government included him in an amnesty later in the year, he had no desire at that time to return. Until the end of the season in September he toured the eastern United States, performing as a trick-shot artist with Annie Oakley and others.
He returned for brief stints with the show in andbut only as an extra. Living near the headquarters of the show on Staten Island, N.
He began speaking before groups of them about his experiences in the rebellion. These contacts led him to others with French Canadian nationalists in Quebec who had come to consider the crushing of the rebellion as symbolic of the fate of their own aspirations and as a means of furthering their political ambitions. After a trip west to Montana, Dakota, and Red River, he returned in December to Quebec City where he dictated his account of the rebellion.
From the time he left the city in the spring of until his death 17 years later, the details of his life are sketchy. He later claimed to have gone to Paris in this period but it seems extremely unlikely.
In he was in Winnipeg to apply for land-scrip and after that returned to his old homestead near Batoche; he subsequently acquired the adjoining quarter-section by pre-emption. In this final stage of his life he let relatives farm his land. He built a small cabin on the farm of a favourite nephew, Alexis Dumont, and lived there. From the end of the rebellion to the present, historians writing in French have attached much less importance to Dumont than have those working in English. Contemporary accounts in French pay little attention to him, perhaps because of his open hostility to the church.
But Dumont had no vision of the political future of his people remotely comparable to the dream of Louis Riel, and his military reputation depends largely upon conjecture about what might have happened had Riel not allegedly restrained him. Macleod [Gabriel Dumont lived most of his life in a largely non-literate society and was illiterate himself.
Very little is known about his early life and his later years. Only the decade of the s is reasonably well documented and even there sizeable gaps remain. GA, M; M, files 4—5. Board ReginaR Guillaume Charette, Vanishing spaces: Ray Ellenwood Winnipeg, Flanagan, Riel and the rebellion: Desmond Morton, The last war drum: George Woodcock, Gabriel Dumont: