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Council Minutes - Red River Settlement, District of Assiniboia, June 16, 1837

Manitoba Pageant, Winter 1979, Volume 24, Number 2

This article was published originally in Manitoba Pageant by the Manitoba Historical Society on the above date. We make this online version available as a free, public service. As an historical document, the article may contain language and views that are no longer in common use and may be culturally sensitive in nature.

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Minutes of a Council held at Fort Garry, Red River Settlement, this sixteenth day of June, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-seven, at which were present: George Simpson, Governor in Chief, Alex. Christie, Chief Factor, and councillors Rt. Revd. The Bishop of Juliopolis, Revd. D. T. Jones, Revd. Wm. Cockran, James Bird, Robert Logan, James Sutherland, John Pritchard, Willm. H. Cook, Alexr. Ross, John Bunn, George Cary, John Macallum.

The Governor commenced proceedings of the Council by reading certain Extracts from the Dispatch of the Governor and Committee of 15th February, 1837, respecting the affairs of Red River Settlement and then proceeded to swear in the Right Revd. Bishop of Juliopolis [1] & Captn. Cary as Members of Council.

Resolved 1st. That the 9th Resolution of the Council of 13th February, 1835, should be rescinded; and in order to remedy certain difficulties that are found to exist from the present mode of administering justice, it is

Resolved 2nd. That the Settlement shall be divided into three Districts, - the lower District to extend from the Frog Plain [2] downwards, the middle District from the Frog plain upwards on the main, and as far as Sturgeon Creek on the Assiniboine Rivers, - and the upper District upwards from Sturgeon Creek on the Assiniboine River; That for each of these Districts two Magistrates be appointed, and that any three of those Magistrates shall hold Courts, on the first Monday of every quarter for the lower District, - on the second Monday of every quarter for the middle District, and on the third Monday of every quarter for the upper District, to hear and decide all cases of petty offence and of debts not exceeding £5, and that all other Cases of offence and of debt exceeding £5 be heard and decided upon by a general Court to be held at Fort Garry on the last Thursday of every quarter; and that such Court shall consist of the Governor or the Hudson's Bay Company's principal representative for the time being in the District, together with not less than four Magistrates.

Resolved 3rd. That James Bird and John Bunn, Esquires, be appointed Magistrates for the lower District, Robert Logan and Alex. Ross, Esquires, Magistrates for the middle District, and Cuthbert Grant and George Cary, Esquire, Magistrates for the upper District. James Bird, John Bunn, Robert Logan, Alex. Ross and George Cary were sworn as Magistrates accordingly.

Resolved 4th. That Alexander Christie, Esquire, be authorized to call a meeting of the Council, independent of the regular and formal sittings, when he may consider such necessary. The Governor and Committee having authorized the erection of a distillery, which is likely to be attended with important advantages, in the Settlement; it is

Resolved 5th. That a vote of thanks be returned to the Governor and Committee for such privilege. In order to check the abuse of Spirituous liquors in the Settlement, it is

Resolved 6th. That an excise duty of two shillings p. gallon be levied on all proof spirits, consumed in the Settlement, the produce of the distillery, and that all such spirits exported from the Settlement shall be free of duty, and that the revenue arising from such tax shall be made applicable in like manner as the duties on Imports and Exports, to defraying the expenses connected with the maintenance of the police Corps, Gaol, Court House, and other public works or institutions that may be considered necessary for the good government of the Settlement.

Resolved 7th. That the duty on Exports & Imports to Red River Settlement be reduced to 4 p. cent, and that farther reduction be made when the funds arising from the Excise tax become available. The arms now used by the Police of the Settlement being unfit for the purpose for which they were intended; it is

Resolved 8th. That Governor Simpson be requested to purchase and forward for the use of the Police Corps 25 well finished guns, 2 feet, 9 inches barrel, 28 ball to the lb. bore, with 15 inch bayonets and wooden ramrods, to cost not exceeding thirty-five shilling each; likewise three copies of Burn's Justice and three copies of the Magistrates Manual, the amount of which, freight and charges, to be debited the Red River Export and Import duty account.

Resolved 9th. That this Council do now adjourn.

Fort Garry, Red River Settlement, 16th June, 1837.


1. Bishop Provencher was known as Bishop of Juliopolis, then of the North West, and finally of St. Boniface.

2. i.e., at Kildonan.

Page revised: 20 July 2009

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