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People-JohnChristianSchultz1870





If ever Louis Riel had a Moriarity, it surely would have been John Christian Schultz.

"During the Red River Rebellion of 1869 – 1870, Schultz emerged as one of the leading opponents of Louis Riel's provisional government (which was supported by most of the area's population). Schultz's followers engaged in a number of military skirmishes with the Riel government, and Schultz was forced to leave the region in February 1870.

Schultz made several speeches against the Riel government during his time in Toronto, and played a significant role in swaying Protestant opinion against the Métis leader. He frequently referred to Thomas Scott (an Ontario Orangeman executed by the Riel government for treason) as a Protestant hero, and called upon Ontario's Orangemen to avenge his death (both Schultz and Macdonald were also Orangemen, as were most of the Ontairio militiamen)." John Christian Schultz

"The Canadian Party continued as a parliamentary force after this defeat. At one stage, Archibald warned Prime Minister John A. Macdonald that they were promoting the "extermination" of the Métis. John Christian Schultz, Canadian Party founder, became a leading member of the Canadian Party and was a chief opponent of Louis Riel.[2][3] The movement's chief accomplishment was to turn the Ontario public against the Métis of Red River by arousing sentiment over the execution of Thomas Scott. Canada First's nationalism was, in several senses, racist. Nova Scotian Robert G. Haliburton was one of the earliest exponents of the notion that Canadians were the heirs of Aryan northmen of the Old World. They looked down on Aboriginals and Métis and they saw the French as a "bar to progress, and to the extension of a great Anglo-Saxon Dominion across the Continent." "Canada First

"After months of agitation the Métis under Louis Riel took command of the situation, armed their fighting men, seized Fort Garry, put a number of prominent white residents under arrest, and formed a provisional government. They sent word to the new governor not to enter the country; and when he advanced, with his official party, a short distance over the frontier, he was forcibly compelled by the insurgents to retreat into the United States. The rebels at Fort Garry became extremely menacing. Louis Riel, the central figure in this drama, was a young French half-breed, vain, ambitious, with some ability and the qualities of a demagogue. He had received his education in Lower Canada, and was on intimate terms with the French priests of the settlement. His conduct fifteen years later, when he returned to head another Métis rebellion farther west and paid the penalty on the scaffold, indicates that once embarked on a dangerous course he would be restrained by no one. That he was half, or wholly, insane on either occasion is not credible.

Efforts were now made to negotiate with {165} the rebels and quiet the disturbance. Delegates went to the West from Canada consisting of Grand Vicar Thibault, Colonel de Salaberry, and Donald A. Smith (afterwards Lord Strathcona). There were exciting scenes; but the negotiations bore no immediate fruit. It was the depth of winter. The delegates had not come to threaten because they had no force to employ. The rebels had the game in their own hands. Bishop Taché, who was unhappily absent in Rome, was summoned home to arrange a peace on terms which might have left Riel and his associates some of the high stakes for which they were playing, had they not spoiled their own chances by a cruel, vindictive murder.

After the departure of the Canadian delegates and the announcement of Bishop Taché's return, Riel felt his power ebbing away. His provisional government became a thing of shreds and patches, in spite of its large assumptions and its temporary control during the winter when the country was inaccessible. Among the imprisoned whites was Thomas Scott, a young man from Ontario who had been employed in surveying work and who was prominent in resistance to the usurpers. Riel is credited with a threat to shed some {166} blood to prove the reality of his power and to quell opposition. He rearrested a number of whites who had been released under promise of safety. One of them was Scott, charged with insubordination and breaking his parole. He was brought before a revolutionary tribunal resembling a court-martial, and was sentenced to be shot. Even if Riel's lawless tribunal had possessed judicial authority, Scott's conduct in no respect justified a death sentence. He had not been under arms when captured, and he was given no fair opportunity of defending himself. Efforts were made to save him, but Riel refused to show mercy. On March 4, a few days before Bishop Taché arrived at the settlement, Scott was shot by six men, several of them intoxicated, one refusing to prime his rifle, and one discharging a pistol at the victim as he lay moaning on the ground.

When the news of this barbarous murder reached the East, a political crisis was imminent. Scott was an Orangeman; and Catholic priests, it was said, had been closely identified with the rising. This was enough to start an agitation and to give it the character of a race and creed struggle. There existed also a suspicion that a miniature Quebec was to {167} be set up on the Red River, thus creating a sort of buffer French state between Ontario and the plains. Another cause of discontent was the belief that the government proposed to connive at the assassination of Scott and to allow his murderers to escape punishment. McDougall returned home, mortified by his want of success, and soon resigned his position. He blamed the government for what had occurred, and associated himself with the agitation in Ontario. The organization known as the Canada First party took a hand in the fray. It was composed of a few patriotic and able young men, including W. A. Foster, a Toronto barrister; Charles Mair, the well-known poet; John Schultz, who many years later, as Sir John Schultz, became governor of Manitoba, and who with Mair had been imprisoned by Riel and threatened with death; and Colonel George T. Denison, whose distinguished career as the promoter of Imperial unity has since made him famous in Canada and far beyond it.

The circumstances of the time, the distrust between the races and the vacillation of a sorely pressed government, combined to make an awkward situation. The evidence does not show that the Ontario agitators let slip any {168} of their opportunities. The government was compelled to send under Colonel Wolseley an expeditionary force of Imperial troops and Canadian volunteers to nip in the bud the supposed attempt to establish French ascendancy on the Red River. This expedition was completely successful without the firing of a shot. Riel, at the sight of the troops, fled to the United States, and the British flag was raised over Fort Garry. So, in 1870, Manitoba entered the Dominion as a new province, and the adjacent territories were organized under a lieutenant-governor and council directly under federal jurisdiction. Out of them, thirty-five years later, came the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan.

But the fruits of the rebellion were evident for years. One result was the defeat in Ontario of Sandfield Macdonald's ministry in 1871. 'I find the country in a sound state,' wrote Sir John Macdonald during the general elections of 1872, 'the only rock ahead being that infernal Scott murder case, about which the Orangemen have quite lost their heads.' " --The Fathers of Confederation, by A. H. U. Colquhoun (Primary source documents / Timeline)



Métis Nation History

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