Reply to Riel letters


I am certain nobody wishes to prolong this discussion about Mr. Riel but the Letendres and Mr. Milne have challenged my comments and I claim the right to a response. While I respect their right to disagree with me, I presume they would allow me the same opportunity.

I have numerous written references that support my comments: books by G.M. Adam, Maggie Siggins, C.P. Mulvaney, and Major Boulton (commander of Boulton’s Scouts from Manitoba). I have never looked at any encyclopedia references. The men who went to this war were all “volunteer militia,” because the army was out of the country. So they left their homes and families as non-professional soldiers to do what they thought was needed.

They came from almost every province, including B.C. Present were the St. Albert Mounted Rifles, the RC Artillery, Winnipeg Field Battery, Boulton’s Scouts, French’s Scouts, 10th Royal Grenadiers, 90th Winnipeg Rifles, Midland Battalion (Ont.), RC Artillery, Mounted Police, Queen’s Own Rifles, GG Foot Guard, 92 Winnipeg Light Infantry, York & Simcoe Rangers, Quebec Cavalry, 9th Voltigeurs of Quebec, and many other units. I cite these to show that people from all parts of Canada were determined to end this rebellion.

I also note that Bishop Grandin was aware of Riel’s claim to be the Pope of North America and I sense from his response “Poor Louis …” that he was concerned for his mental health. At the time of his execution, Riel was a U.S. citizen and had the right to appeal to the President. I understand that the note he prepared urged the U.S. to invade Canada; not a sign of stability. Nevertheless, Riel should not have been executed, that much is clear.

Truthfully, my final word.

Robert K. Lane, St. Albert


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