Chronology of Riels Life
The chronology of RielÕs life, up to the time of the rebellion, is as follows:
1847 - Born at St. Boniface
1853 - First attends school at St. Boniface town hall
1856 - Goes to Montreal and attends the Jesuit college
1866 - Returns to his home in Manitoba
1867 - Clerk in a store in St. Paul, Minnesota
1868 - Returns home and becomes a farmer in St. Vital
1869 - July 29 - First meeting of half-breeds and others at court house, St. Boniface to demand a portion of the money the Hudsons Bay Company was to receive from Canada
Oct 19 - Hon. William Macdougall warned not to enter the Northwest
Oct 20 - Riels followers assemble on the banks of the River Salle to oppose McDougalls advance
Oct 20 - McDougall retreats across the lines to Pembina
Nov 3 - The insurgents take possession of Fort Garry
Nov 16, 17 - Meeting of 24 deputies at St. Boniface to arrange a programme in Riels interest
Dec 1 - Mr. McDougall issues a proclamation against the rebels
Dec 6 - A Government proclamation of amnesty granted
Dec 7 - Dr. Schultz and forty-four Canadians captured and imprisoned by Riels force.
Dec 8 - Riels Provisional Government formed
Jan 7 - Archbishop Tache asked to mediate by the Government of Canada
Jan 11 - The Archbishop agrees to do so
Feb 14 to 16 - Major Boulton attempts to organize a force to march against Riel. Sir John Macdonald authorizes Archbishop Tache to proclaim a general amnesty, and to assure the insurgents the Canadian Government would stand between them and all harm
Feb 17 - Major Boulton and 47 others captured and imprisoned by Riel
Mar 4 - Archbishop Tache arrives at Red River and in a letter written June 9, states that he promised, in the name of Imperial and Canadian Governments, both to the insurgents generally and to Riel and Lepine in particular, a full amnesty for every breach of the law of which they had been guilty, including the murder of Scott.
Mar 11 - Archbishop Tache meets Riel and Lepine and others, and promises them an amnesty in the name of the Governor-General
Mar 24 - Father Ritchot, Judge Black, and Mr. A. Scott start for Ottawa as delegates to present the claims of the Provisional Government to the Dominion authorities
April 11 - They arrive at Ottawa
June 17 - They return to Fort Garry, and Father Ritchot assures Archbishop Tache that a full and complete amnesty was promised by the Governor-General and Sir Clinton Murdoch in the name of the Queen
June 24 - The Red River delegates make their report to the representatives of the river settlement and the Provisional Government notifies the Secretary of State that the people of the settlement agree to enter into the Canadian Confederation
July 12 - Sir George E. Cartier, in a letter to Archbishop Tache, corroborates Father Ritchots statements regarding the amnesty promised
Aug 24 - Arrival of WolseleyÕs force at Fort Garry
Oct 3 - Proclamation issued by Lieutenant-Governor Archibald asking for volunteers to serve against the Fenians
Oct 4 - Meeting at St. Vital, at which Riel urges his friends to aid the Government against the Fenians
Oct 7 - Lieutenant-Governor Archibald receives a letter from Riel and Lepine and Parenteau announcing the organization of several companies of Metis for service against the Fenians, and containing assurances of loyalty
Oct 8 - The Lieutenant-Governor accepts the proffered assistance, and, through his Secretary of State, addresses Riel and Lepine an official reply, complimenting them on the loyalty they had shown and the assistance they had rendered. He also reviewed the troops under Riel and Lepine and their companions, and publicly shook hands with them. In his communication to Sir John Macdonald on the subject, he said, If the Dominion has at this moment a province to defend and not one to conquer, they owe it to the policy of forbearance. If I had driven the French half-breeds into the hands of the enemy, O Donohue would have been joined by all the population between the Assiniboine and the frontier. Fort Garry would have passed into the hands of an armed mob, and the English settlers to the north of the Assiniboine would have suffered horrors it makes me shudder to contemplate.
Dec 27 - Sir John Macdonald, sends a private and confidential communication to Archbishop Tache, announcing that her has made an arrangement regarding Riel, and enclosing a sight draft on the Bank of Montreal for $1,000 to aid him in leaving the country.
Jan 1 - Archbishop Tache consults with Riel and Lepine, and they are finally prevailed upon to leave the country on condition that they are furnished with $1,600 each.
Jan 1 - At the suggestion of Lieutenant-Governor Archibald, Donald A. Smith advanced 600 pounds to be added to the $1,000 provided by Sir John Macdonald, the understanding being, that Mr. Smith was to be reimbursed by the Dominion Government.
Feb - Riel and Lepine leave the Northwest by private conveyance, Mr. Plainval, chief police, sending several of his men with them to protect them in case of danger.
Sept 14 - Riel declines the nomination for the House of Commons for Provencher in favor of Sir George Cartier.
June 4 - the Imperial Government is asked by order-in-council, approved by Lord Dufferin, to deal with the question of amnesty for Riel and his associates.
July 24 - Lord Kimberly, Secretary of State for the Colonies, reports the Imperial authorities willing to do so.
Oct - Riel is returned for Provencher by acclamation
Jan 22 - Riel is again returned for Provencher
Mar 28, 29 or 30 - He signs the roll in the Clerks room, House of Commons.
April 16 - He is expelled from the House by a vote of 124 to 68
Sept 3 - He is again elected for Provencher
Oct 10 - Lepine is capitally convicted of the murder of Scott at the Winnipeg assizes
Oct 15 - A warrant of outlawry is issued by the Court of QueenÕs Bench of Manitoba against Riel
Dec 10 - Lord Dufferin sends a dispatch to Earl Carnavon, Secretary of State for the Colonies, reviewing at length the circumstances which were urged as entitling Riel and Lepine to clemency, placing special stress upon Lieutenant-Governor Archibalds acceptance of their services on the occasion of the threatened Fenian invasion, and the public expression of confidence and thanks tendered them by the representative of the Crown in Manitoba. In reference to the commutation of LepineÕs sentence he said: This commutation, when the proper time arrives, I propose to order on my own responsibility, under the powers accorded to me by my instruments.
Jan 14 - Earl Carnarvon, in a dispatch to Lord Dufferin, states that in LepineÕs case neither amnesty nor entire pardon is possible, but that his sentence should be commuted, that Riel should have similar punishment, and that both should be politically disqualified.
Jan 15 - LepineÕs sentence is commuted to two years imprisonment and forfeiture of his political rights.
Jan 26 - Lord Carnarvon cables Lord Dufferin: I fully approve the course taken by you in LepineÕs case.
Feb 12 - Amnesty granted to Riel and Lepine on condition of five years banishment and forfeiture of political rights, and in fulfilment of pledges made by Sir John Macdonald and his Cabinet to Archbishop Tache and the Red River delegates, and of those of Lieutenant-Governor Archibald to Riel, Lepine and his associates.
1877 - Riel spends several months in Beauport Asylum, Quebec
1878 - Riel engages at farming at St. Joe, Minn.
1879 - He removes to the Sun River settlement, Montana, and takes a situation as teacher in an industrial school.
1981 - He marries a half-breed named Marguerite Bellimeure, daughter of Jean Baptiste Bellimeure, of Fort Ellice.
1884 - Returns to Saskatchewan
1885 - Engages in the resistance in Saskatchewan
Return toLouis Riel
Return toThe Metis Man
Copyright Michael J. Durocher, 1997