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Manitoba
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No. 86


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Events in Manitoba History: Louis Riel and his Councillors (circa 1869)

It is alleged that, in late 1869 or early 1870, a photographer entered the Red Saloon, a bar near the intersection of Portage Avenue and Main Street in Winnipeg (the site now buried under a widened Portage Avenue), and took a photograph of Louis Riel surrounded by several other men, said to be his “councillors.” Some sources have drawn the conclusion that the men were members of Riel’s Provisional Government.

Riel and his Councillors

Louis Riel and his Councillors (circa 1869)
Source: University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections, A13-5.

Back row (L-R): Bonnet Tromage, Pierre Delorme, Thomas Bunn, Xavier Pagé, Andre Beauchemin, Baptiste Tourond, Thomas Spence. Middle row (L-R): Pierre Poitras, John Bruce, Louis Riel, William O’Donoghue, François Dauphinais. Front row (L-R): Hugh (or Bob) O’Lone, Paul Proulx.

The identity of the photographer for the photograph is, as yet, unknown but speculation falls on two men known to have been working in the Red River Settlement around this time: Joseph Langevin or Ryder Larsen.

See also:

Memorable Manitobans: Louis “David” Riel (1844-1885)

Memorable Manitobans: Provisional Government of Manitoba, 1870

Sources:

“A ghastly find. Are they the remains of Thomas Scott?,” Manitoba Free Press, 18 September 1896, page 1.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Profile revised: 29 March 2013

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