Louis Riel

Section 1 includes records relating to Louis Riel, such as case files, correspondence and records on his mental health and his trial.

Selected Government Records

Privy Council Office fonds (1867–1997) (RG2) (R165-0-5-E)

Privy Council Office Despatches

  • Privy Council Office despatches, 1873–1874
    RG2-A-2-a, part C, vol. 5370-5377, finding aid 2-7 (R165-88–1-E)
    • Manitoba/Morris, encloses document -, 3 Jan, 73, signed Louis Riel and Lepine ... on Red River... 1869-70
      RG2-A-2-a, part C, vol. 5371, file 66, finding aid 2-7 (R165-88–1-E)
  • Privy Council Office despatches, 1875–1878
    RG2-A-2-a, part D, vol. 5378-5386, finding aid 2-7 (R165-88–1-E)
    • Steps for expulsion of Louis Riel, April 6, 1875
      RG2-A-2-a, part D, vol. 5378, file 108, finding aid 2-7 (R165-88–1-E)
    • Amnesty Proclamation, Red River, 1869–1870, August 23, 1875
      RG2-A-2-a, part D, vol. 5379, file 254/75/227, finding aid 2-7 (R165-88–1-E)
    • Gabriel Dumont, Blake Report, December 28, 1875
      RG2-A-2-a, part D, vols. 5379 and 5380, file 276/332/835/75, finding aid 2-7 (R165-88–1-E)
    • Murderer of Thomas Scott, Manitoba, July 15, 1876 and July 27, 1876
      RG2-A-2-a, part D, vol. 5381, file 517/528, finding aid 2-7 (R165-88–1-E)
    • Rebellion in N.W.T.; arms from U.S.A., April 2, 1885
      RG2-A-2-a, part F, vols. 5413 and 5414, file 796/806, finding aid 2-7 (R165-88–1-E)
    • Louis Riel's appeal; report of Judicial Committee of the Privy Council Office, October 28, 1885
      RG2-A-2-a, part F, vol. 5419, file 1038/2035/2050, finding aid 2-7 (R165-88–1-E)
  • Privy Council Office despatches, 1883–1885
    RG2-A-2-a, part F, vols. 5398-5420, finding aid 2-7 (R165-88–1-E)
Orders in Council, Privy Council Office (R165-82-0-E)

Orders in Council

  • Privy Council Office 1314, Riel, Louis; defence of application for aid, Riel Defence Committee, confirmed July 20, 1885
    RG2-A–1-6, vol. 3102, finding aid 2-3
  • Privy Council Office 1743, F. X. Lemieux and Chas. Fitzpatrick with petition for leave to appeal case of L. Riel to the Privy Council, confirmed September 26, 1885
    RG2-A–1-6, vol. 3106, finding aid 2-3
  • Privy Council Office 2158, Capital Case; Sheriff Chapleau's telegram regarding execution of L. Riel; sentence of death carried out; receipt: November 16, 1885
    RG2-A–1-6, vol. 3109, finding aid 2-3
  • Privy Council Office 1587, petitions regarding the case of Louis Riel, International Arbitration and Peace Association, London, August 15, suggesting remission of death sentence against Riel et al; receipt: August 21, 1885
    RG2-A–1-6, vol. 3104, finding aid 2-3
Department of the Secretary of State of Canada fonds (RG6) (R169-0-4-E)
Office of the Governor General of Canada fonds (RG7) (R178-0-5-E)
  • Incoming Correspondence
    • Archbishop of St. Boniface to the Minister of Justice, petition for the pardon of Ambroise Lépine, October 25, 1875
      RG7-G-20, vol. 134, file no. 4235 (R178–151-4-E)
Miscellaneous Government Documents Linked to Riel
Department of Justice fonds (1796-2001) (RG13) (R188-0-3-E)

Series B1, Capital Case Files for Louis Riel, 1941 and 1959

  • Louis Riel, 1885
    RG13-B–1, vol. 1421, file 202A, parts 1-2, 1885, finding aid 13-54 (R188-53-2-E)
    Correspondence, petitions, transcript of evidence (trial and appeal), scrapbook of newspaper clippings, surgeon's reports and other information.
  • Louis Riel, 1885
    RG13-B–1, vol. 1422, file 202A, part 3, 1885, finding aid 13-54 (R188-53-2-E)
    Correspondence, petitions, transcript of evidence (trial and appeal), scrapbook of newspaper clippings, surgeon's reports and other information.

Series F2, records relating to Louis Riel and the North-West Uprising, 1873–1886 (R188-61–1-E)

  • Records relating to Louis Riel and the North-West Uprising
    RG13-F-2, series F2, vols. 804-825 and 2132, microfilm reels C–1228 to C–1231 for vols. 804 and 805, 2132 is original only and is not on microfilm, finding aid 13-22 (R188-61–1-E)
    Material consists of correspondence, memoranda, notes, various drafts of poems, prayers and other Riel papers; also notes, warrants, charges, statements and briefs of evidence, magistrate's reports, and an account book of witness expenditures (1885). Many of the documents in this series were among Riel's private papers seized at Batoche on May 11, 1885.
    Other documents and Riel documents in vol. 2132 were part of the Department of Justice records containing Riel material for the period May 1885-December 1886.

Series A2: Central Registry, 1845–1959 (R188-39-8-E)

Correspondence Directly Linked to Riel (letters to or from Louis Riel)

  • Records relating to Louis Riel and the North-West Uprising
    • Correspondence of 1885: C. Fitzpatrick, L. Riel, F. X. Lemieux, G. W. Burbidge, Henry Howard, T. C. Johnstone, D. L. Scott, R. B. Deane and J. N. Greenshields
      RG13-F-2, vol. 807, files 955, 956, 962-964, 1034, 1035, 1128, 1229, 1491, 1556, 1643, 1644 and 1671A microfilm reel C–1228, finding aid 13-22 (R188-61–1-E)
    • Riel letter
      RG13-F-2, vol. 814, finding aid 13-22 (R188-61–1-E)

Riel's Mental Health

Department of the Interior fonds (1632–1936) (RGs 15, 48M 912031, and 92M 90132) (R190-0-3-E)

The Department of the Interior (1873–1936) was the federal agency responsible for the administration of western land settlement.

Miscellaneous Government Documents Linked to Riel

Selected Private Records

Prime Ministers
Military and Government Officials
  • Hudson's Bay Company Archives (Red River Settlement—Rebellion and miscellaneous papers)
    MG20-E9, microfilm reel HBC 4M17 (R13977-0–1-E)
    Papers relating to the Red River Resistance of 1869–1870, including a letter to Governor William Mactavish from Louis Riel concerning the establishment of a provisional government, dated 28 March 1870; an outline for the establishment of the provisional government; minutes of a convention which drew up a bill of rights, 27 January to 9 February 1870; documents relating to resistance losses and the status of the Hudson's Bay Company in relation to Canada; and a copy of the report of the Select Committee of the House of Commons inquiring into the Riel Resistance, 1874.
  • Edgar Dewdney fonds (1884–1885)
    MG27-IC4, vols. 1-7, finding aid 56 (R4505-0-2E)
    As Lieutenant-Governor and Indian Commissioner, Dewdney was kept informed of the activities from 1884 which led to the North-West Resistance and military operations. He was responsible for the custody of Riel until his execution.
    Includes correspondence of Louis Riel, including English translations of letters to and from Riel, reports of scouts and minutes of Riel's council.
  • William McDougall fonds (1844–1892)
    MG27-IC6, vol. 1, finding aid 197 (R4506-0-X-E)
    Documents related to his activities as one of the leaders of the purchase of Rupert's Land and the Northwest Territories. It contains documents regarding his nomination as first Lieutenant Governor of Rupert's Land and the Northwest Territories and the difficulties he faced during the Red River Resistance.
  • Fonds Adolphe-Philippe Caron (French fonds) [ca. 1841]–1908
    MG27-ID3, vols. 2164-2166, 2192 and 2193, microfilm reel C–1654, finding aid 742 (R6169-0-4-F)
    Sir Adolphe-Philippe Caron, Conservative Member of the House of Commons from 1873 to 1900, was Minister of Militia and Defence from 1880-1893.
  • Correspondance sur la Rébellion du Nord-Ouest (1885–1886) Telegrams by Minister A.-P. Caron concerning Riel (French fonds)
    MG27-ID3, vol. 199, pp. 421-432 and 460, microfilm reel C–1654
    The series consists of a typewritten copy of correspondence relating to the North-West Resistance, arranged chronologically because of a House of Commons order in 1886.
  • Correspondance: Dossiers numérotés
    • Copy of a letter by Adolphe–Philippe Caron defending his stand regarding Riel trial (French fonds)
      MG27-ID3, A.-P Caron Papers, vol. 91, file 7681 (R6169-0-4-F)
    • The letters published in Sessional Papers
      MG27-ID3, A.-P. Caron Papers, vol. 94, file 9475 (R6169-0-4-F)
    • Offer by John Fennessy (and partner) to capture Riel under certain conditions (French fonds)
      MG27-ID3, A.-P. Caron Papers, vol. 83, file 5971 (R6169-0-4-F)
  • Fonds Joseph-Adolphe Chapleau (French fonds) (1861–1897)
    MG27-IC3, vols. 1-3, finding aid 491 (R6167-0-X-F)
  • Hudson's Bay Company Archives (1667–1956), William Mactavish—Correspondence inward (1866–1870)
    MG20-D10, microfilm reel HBC 3M128 (R13977-4-9-E)
    Overview of Red River Settlement, 1866–1870.
  • George Brown fonds (1837–1880)
    MG24-B40, pp. 2239-2254, finding aid 21 (R2634-0-9-E)
  • Collection Louis Riel (French fonds) [ca. 1860–1970]
    MG27-IF3, microfilm reels C-4596, M-2170 and M-2171, finding aid 535 (R5768-0–1-F)
    Letters written or received by Riel; drafts of poems, prayers and handwritten instructions by Riel; printed copies of proclamations, minutes and bills concerning the political events in the Red River Settlement in 1869–1870 and in the Northwest Territories in 1885.
  • James Wickes Taylor fonds (1842–1916)
    MG27-IH2, microfilm reels M–115 to M–117, M–120 to M–122 and M-273 (R4559-0-2-E)
    Correspondence, 1859–1893, letterbooks, 1869–1892, diary, 1842–1844 and newspaper clippings, 1856–1870, reports received by the State Department from Taylor as special agent of the Red River Settlement, 1867–1870, and miscellaneous material in transcript form, 1869–1916. Subjects include annexation, Red River Resistance, Fenian Raids and North-West Resistance.
  • John McIntyre fonds (1855–1896)
    MG29-A21, vol. 1 (R7406-0-0-E)
    Correspondence with Colonel Garnet Wolseley, George Stephen, Donald Smith, Sir George Simpson, Sandford Fleming, and Edward Hopkins, subjects covered include Hudson's Bay Company affairs in the Fort William District and the assistance given by the company to the Red River expedition of 1870.
  • Red River journal of Alexander Begg, 1869–1870
    MG29-C1, vols. 1-3, microfilm reel C-400 (R7427-0-4-E)
  • Fonds Jean Riel (1858–1911)
    MG29-C124 (R5839-0-3-E) (French fonds)
    The fonds includes newspaper clippings, a pamphlet and a scrapbook of newspaper clippings relating to Jean and Louis Riel. Also included is a Minister of Justice Report on the trial of Louis Riel, who was found guilty of high treason and was executed on this ground.
  • Thomas Spence fonds (1866–1868, 1890)
    MG29-E2, vol. 1, microfilm reel C–1343 (R7770-01-0–1-E)
    Sixteen pages of correspondence, memorials and petitions from the inhabitants of Portage La Prairie in New Caledonia, or "Manitobah." These documents address local, Dominion, and Imperial officials on the subject of union between Rupert's Land and Canada, 1866–1868. Also contains an account by Thomas Spence entitled, "The True story of the Red River troubles of 1869–1879," 1890.
  • William Dease fonds (1870)
    MG29–E118, vol. 1 (R6651-0-3-E)
    The fonds consists of two letters from Louis Riel at Fort Garry to William Dease inviting him to join Riel and his forces, January to February 1870.
Miscellaneous Documents Linked to Riel
  • CO 42. Canada, formerly British North America, Original Correspondence
    MG11-CO42, vols. 662-714 and 777-789, microfilm reels B-481 to B-525 and B-612 to B-622, finding aid MSS0090
    CO 42 consists of correspondence and enclosures from the governors, lieutenant-governors, and administrators of Quebec, Lower Canada, Upper Canada, the Province of Canada and the Dominion of Canada, 1700–1922.
  • Canada, Registers of Correspondence
    MG11-CO335, vols. 7-9, microfilm reels B–1629, B–1630, B–1633 and B–1634, finding aid MSS0090
    Colonial Office 335 consists of colony registers for correspondence kept in the Colonial Office registry system.
  • Supplementary, Original Correspondence
    MG11-CO537, vols. 7, 43 and 44, microfilm reels B–1561 and B–1562, finding aid MSS0090
    Information relating to colonial defence, including memoranda on the distribution of troops, military matters connected with Louis Riel and the Red River and North-West disturbances.
  • Colonial Office confidential prints
    MG11-CO880, vols. 7, 43 and 44, microfilm reels B–1561 and B–1562, finding aid MSS0090
    Colonial Office 880 series consists of despatches and other correspondence, reports of various Royal Commissions and other investigative bodies, minutes and memoranda, maps, sketches, various statistics, copies of treaties and conventions, and other documents. They include the surrender of Hudson's Bay Company territories, Confederation, and the Red River and North-West disturbances.
  • Letter from Colonel Garnet Wolseley to Lieutenant-Colonel Casault
    MG29-E11, vol. 1 (R7763-0-5-E)
    A letter, dated Camp Wards Landing, 22 July 1870, from Colonel Garnet Wolseley to Lieutenant-Colonel Casault giving instructions for Casault to embark his troops for Fort Francis enroute to Fort Garry.
Riel's Mental Health
Riel's Trial

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