FEBRUARY 24, 1875


In the 1874 Canadian general election, Métis leader Louis Riel was elected for the Manitoba constituency of Provencher.  He was then summoned to appear before Parliament after an arrest warrant was issued by Manitoba’s chief judge against him for murder in the 1870 execution of Orangeman Thomas Scott.  Sentenced to death, he failed to appear and was expelled, but 5 months later was re-elected from Provencher.  On February 24, 1875, Prime Minister Alexander McKenzie asked the House to declare Riel an outlaw.  The motion carried and his seat was vacated.  McKenzie, however, sought clemency for Riel’s part in thwarting a suspected Fenian invasion.  Eventually, Governor-General Lord Dufferin intervened and exiled Riel for five years.  Riel lived in Montana until 1879 when he returned to Canada to help in efforts to create a Métis homeland in Saskatchewan.  The result was the North-West Rebellion of 1885 for which Riel was hung in Regina on November 16 of that year.  

Source:  Adam Shortt and Arthur G. Dought (ed.) “Canada and Its Provinces:  A History of the Canadian People and Their Institutions, Vol. VI, Edinburgh University Press, 1914.  Retrieved 12/28/2019, Canada and Its Provinces: A History of the Canadian People and Their ... - Sir Arthur George Doughty - Google Books
Photo/Engraving:  Photographer: I. Bennetto & Co. (Israel Bennetto, 1860-1946); Engraver: Octave-Henri Julien (1852-1908), circa 1884.  Public Domain.

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