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Manitoba Photographers: Joseph Langevin (1830s-1882)

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Born in Quebec in the 1830s, son of Adrian Langevin and a cousin of Adelard Langevin and Hector Langevin, he traded furs and was a merchant based at St. Paul, Minnesota. During the US Civil War, he served as an intelligence officer, supplying the Union with information about Indigenous activities in the region. He opened a photography studio in the Red River Settlement in late 1864. It is believed that he was the photographer who, in June 1870, took the famous photograph alleged to show Louis Riel with his councillors. His whereabouts over the next dozen years are unknown until, in 1882, he was found dead at Willmar, Minnesota.

See also:

Events in Manitoba History: Louis Riel and his Councillors (June 1870)

A Misleading Portrait: The Provisional Government of Assiniboia and the Creation of Manitoba by Derrick M. Nault
Prairie History, Number 3, Fall 2020


“Joseph Langevin photographed Louis Riel” by Richard Huyda, Canadian Photography, June 1976, page 30.

We thank Elizabeth Blight for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 16 January 2021

Manitoba Photographers: 1858 to Present

A list of professional photographers who have worked in Manitoba, from 1858 to the present, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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