Hon. Alfred H. Scott, Town of Winnipeg

Links to Existing Biographies:

Dictionary of Canadian Biography http://www.biographi.ca/009004-119.01-e.php?&id_nbr=5254

Manitoba Historical Society http://www.mhs.mb.ca/docs/people/scott_ah.shtml

Library and Archives Canada http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/confederation/023001-4000.68-e.html

Member of the Provisional Government of Assiniboia; Position in the Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia:

  • Hon. Member for the Town of Winnipeg
  • Delegate to Ottawa

A Not So Simple Man of Mystery

Alfred H. Scott is a man of mystery in Red River Settlement history. Next to no biographical details are known. Given his position as a delegate of the Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia appointed to negotiate a confederation agreement with Ottawa on behalf of the people of Red River Settlement, the lack of historical detail is odd.

The following takes account of points of mystery surrounding Scott that have been neglected in histories that recount the Red River Resistance.

Mystery 1: The Birth of Scott

Alexander Begg included the text of the letter below in his history, The Creation of Manitoba (pages 320-321). The letter, apparently penned by Scott and purportedly printed in the 18 March issue of Red River Settlement’s New Nation newspaper, suggests that Scott held dual British and American allegiances.

Winnipeg, March 17th, 1870.

Editors ‘New Nation,’

An article has been of late going the rounds of the papers, in which I am represented as an American citizen. Of course, there is always an uncertainty concerning matters of which you have no remembrance; and although personally present at the period of my birth, I retain upon the pages of my memory not even the faintest imprint of the locality in which it occurred, or the circumstances attendant upon that eventful epoch. Nothing being certain in this life but mortality and taxation, I could not state as an indisputable fact that I am not a citizen of the United States, but content myself with saying that the family tree – which is painted in water colors, and framed in walnut, and hangs in the paternal mansion – devotes an entire branch to my origin and antecedents. It states as a fact – which I have as yet no reason to doubt – that the place of my birth is the city of London, England. What particular star in the ascendant at my natal hour, the tree doesn’t say, but proceeds to run off into numerous little branches and twigs, which represent Scotts of a future generation. Having early had an explicit faith in the correctness of the family events chronicled instilled into my mind, I have always entertained the belief that I am a British subject, and owe my allegiance to the British Crown, although sincerely grateful for the compliment contained in the supposition of my being among the members of the thriving American citizens.

A.H. Scott

According to historian W.L. Morton, who edited the journal on which Begg based the Creation of Manitoba, Scott’s letter was printed in the New Nation pages that were datelined 18 March. The letter is not visible, however, in the online version of the issue for that date, which is indexed at the Manitobia site under the issue listed for 16 March 1870, and which consists of a single page – the other pages carrying a dateline of 2 April 1870. An original, printed version of the letter appears to be as elusive as all other details connected to Scott (to online searchers at any rate).

Without offering any reasons for arriving at his conclusion, W.L. Morton, in a biographical note, concluded that Scott was born “c. 1840.”

Mystery 2: Scott’s arrival at Red River

W.L. Morton states Scott arrived in Red River Settlement in 1869, though precisely when, or in whose company is not clear.[1] Once at the settlement Scott appears to have become politically active: Morton remarks that Scott signed a ‘Catholic’ petition in 1869 — what petition, or where it might be found, however, is not indicated.[2]

Given Scott’s reputation as a American sympathizer, perhaps he arrived in the company of one or another of the politically active individuals representing United States’ interests:

  • Scott might, for example, have travelled with the American consul, Oscar Malmros, formerly Adjutant General of Minnesota during the Civil War and the  Dakota conflict (a.k.a. ‘The Sioux War’) of 1862.[3] Malmros was appointed consul for Winnipeg on 1 July 1869. He arrived at the town on 13 August 1869. Malmros subsequently informed his superiors in Washington that annexation of the territory was a real possibility and “offered to organize a local force to help seize the region.” [4]

Enos Stutsman

  • Or, Scott might have travelled in company with ‘Col.’ Enos Stutsman, the resident United States treasury agent at Pembina. Stutsman has been described as a “blatant annexationist” who was “constantly commuting” between Fort Garry and Pembina (though born without legs), and who was a confidant of Louis Riel.[5] Notably, Stutsman arrived at the settlement on 22 November, the date of an important French and English council, during which he apparently “set up shop in the bar of Emmerling’s Hotel,” regaling its patrons with tales of the frustrated would-be governor sent from Canada, William McDougall. [6]

James Wickes Taylor

  • Or, perhaps Scott was associated with James Wickes Taylor, a “special” and “secret agent” tasked with providing full details on the Red River Resistance to Hamilton Fish, the United States Secretary of State from 17 March 1869 under President Ulysses S. Grant.[7]

Taylor was also an intimate of “some of the great railroad magnates of the day,” including George Stephen and his cousin, Donald Alexander Smith.[8] The former had entered the railroad business by purchasing a major share position in the Montreal Rolling Stock Company in the 1860s, and, from 1868, was a business partner with the latter, who was sent to Red River as a Canadian emissary in 1869, arrived in late December, and was instrumental in arranging the Convention of Forty in January 1870.[9]

For his part, in 1869 James Wickes Taylor was set on ensuring that American railroads extend “into the lower valley” of the Red River – as far, it seems, as Red River Settlement.[10] To promote that end, he was “informant and publicist” for Jay Cooke and for George Loomis Becker.

“Jay Cooke, having committed his company to the sale of Northern Pacific bonds … was prepared to undertake the promotional work and to use his political influence in Washington. To supplement these plans he demanded in return the assistance of the people of the North West, particularly Minnesota which stood to gain most from the projected railway line. He desired Minnesota to ‘understand, appreciate and cooperate’ in his efforts to make it one of the ‘most powerful & prosperous States in the Union’, and he expected the Minnesota representatives in Congress to exert their influence in support of his Duluth and Northern Pacific programmes.”[11]

Cooke owned a bank, Jay Cooke & Company, which had financed the Union’s war effort during the American Civil War and which afterwards had turned to the financing of railroads. By 1869, Cooke was intent on seeing the building of a northern railroad from Duluth, Minnesota, to Puget Sound, Washington.[12] It would be called the Northern Pacific and its promise was promoted, and debated, in the columns of the Nor’-Wester newspaper at Red River (see example below).

See Nor’-Wester (26 October 1869), 1 [13]

George Loomis Becker was a former mayor of St. Paul, a state senator, brigadier general, and the St. Paul and Pacific Railroad general manager and land commissioner – with oversight of its projected extension, the Manitoba Road.[14]

Officials and families of the St. Paul and Pacific Railroad c. 1870

By way of collecting numerous such contacts, James Wickes Taylor came to know “all of the groups of [American] expansionists, commuted between centers of agitation, and became liaison man for the movement.”[15] He was likely connected, therefore, to the American group that reputedly bought out William Coldwell’s newspaper, the Red River Pioneer“for £550 … rechristened it the New Nation, and placed it in the hands of Major Henry [Martin] Robinson, an American-born annexationist” (and author).[16] As Canadian historians, including Donald Creighton and Adam Shortt have noted, “It was the money and influence of [railroad builders] that made this one of the few annexation movements directed at British North America which had organization and important material resources.”[17]

Mystery 3: Scott’s means of remuneration at Red River Settlement

Scott is assumed to have found employment with American business proprietors – “shopkeepers, hoteliers, and tavern owners” — at the Town of Winnipeg.[18] The assumption rests on Alexander Begg’s observation that Scott was a bartender at Hugh F. Olone’s saloon. Begg, however seems to have been confused about Scott’s identity, at one point stating that Scott had been arrested and jailed when in fact the incarcerated individual was Thomas Scott.

By whatever means Alfred H. Scott supported himself financially once at Red River, it is apparent that by January 1870 he devoted no small amount of effort to entering the local political arena.

Mystery 4: Scott’s political advancement

Without obvious personal connections, and with his talents a historical mystery, Scott managed to attain pivotal political positions in the Settlement. To the apparent dismay of at least some settlers of longstanding, who went to the trouble of contesting his election, Scott was nonetheless selected as the Town of Winnipeg’s representative for the Convention of Forty. His chief rival, Andrew G.B. Bannatyne, was somehow convinced to let the matter drop and step aside.[19]

At only 26 years old and a relative stranger to the settlement, Scott must have possessed some considerable qualities: in the course of the Convention, Louis Riel nominated Scott to be one of three commissioners charged with negotiating terms with Canada – the only recorded grounds for the nomination being that Scott was “intelligent.”[20] Scott secured the appointment, even though some representatives raised the objection “that a Half-breed ought to be elected.”[21]

In addition to acting as commissioner to Canada, Scott was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia as a member for the Town of Winnipeg – along with Hugh F. Olone. Attaining that position took some maneuvering and actually altered the original stipulation for the representative composition of the assembly.

Originally, the elected representation was set at twenty-four councillors, “twelve from the English and twelve from the French speaking population.” Prior to the close of the Convention of Forty, debate among the English participants had not resolved the question of electoral boundaries to the satisfaction of Scott. He objected to the opinion — apparently held by a majority of English delegates — that henceforth the constituency of the Town of Winnipeg should fall within the bounds of the parish of St. John’s. A.G.B. Bannatyne’s remonstrations over Scott’s previous win perhaps indicated that although Bannatyne had been outmaneuvered once, Scott would not likely succeed a second time.

In any event, on 12 February, Scott, in company with Olone, circulated a petition asking for separate representation for Winnipeg. The petition was presented to President Louis Riel, who subsequently honoured it. It is unknown whether Scott’s arguments played any part in elevating Winnipeg’s status within the settlement, but by 5 March the town had been designated the capital of the North-West. Riel, in his capacity as president, then modified the plan for the new Assembly, allowing for two additional councillors to represent the capital.

Increasing the number of ridings by one and bringing the total number of representatives up to twenty-six would have meant the Assembly had fourteen nominally English councillors and only twelve who were nominally French. Balance was maintained, therefore, by allowing for two additional French councillors, thus finalizing the number of members required for the Assembly at a total of twenty-eight.[22]

From statements made in the debates of the Convention of Forty and the Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia, Scott’s initial interest in Red River appears to have been railroads (though he spoke on other issues – principally relating to the franchise).[23] At one point during the Convention of Forty, he asserted “If I got the contract [to construct a line to Pembina] I would guarantee to build the road in ten weeks.”[24]

Mystery 5: Scott’s contacts with American interests prior to arriving at Ottawa

Scott left Red River for Ottawa early on the morning of Thursday, 24 March 1870. At St. Norbert he met up with one of his fellow delegates to Canada, Rev. N.J. Ritchot, along with one of the emissaries from Canada who was departing the settlement, Colonel de Salaberry. At about 9 pm. the following day, they arrived at Pembina where they stayed at the house of Joseph Rolette Sr. On Saturday, 26 March, they set out again. Judge John Black, the third delegate to Ottawa, caught up to Scott’s party on Monday, 28 March, after which they all caught up to ‘Mr. Provencher’ at Grand Forks.[25]

The expanded party next reached Georgetown at about noon, Thursday, 31 March. They made an early start the next morning, leaving at 3 am. for Fort Abercrombie. Some members of the party, including Black, lagged behind, but on Saturday, 2 April, Scott and Ritchot caught the stage coach to St. Cloud. They arrived at their destination on Wednesday, then boarded a train to St. Paul, Minnesota, which they reached at 2 pm. the same day.[26]

Once at St. Paul, Scott appears to have wasted no time making contact, however indirectly, with American officials.

It is not known whether Scott met up with Oscar Malmros, who had recently resigned his position as Consul at Winnipeg, was at St. Paul at about the same time, but who was on his way to Washington via Philadelphia.

It is known, however, that while in town, Scott had more than one “mysterious meeting” with Joseph Albert Wheelock, an ardent expansionist, and editor of the St. Paul Daily Press.[27] Scott communicated to Wheelock the contents of the list of rights (the demands to be met by Canada) devised for negotiation in Ottawa.[28] Wheelock wrote of the meeting to United States Senator Alexander Ramsey of Minnesota, avowing that the annexationist movement was strong, that a promise of armed American support ought to be made to Riel, and that Wheelock had made arrangements for Scott to meet with Cooke and George Sheppard (at the time a reporter for the New York Tribune, but formerly with Toronto’s Globe) in New York – the meetings presumably to take place after Scott’s mission to Ottawa.[29]

It is also known that on 7 April 1870, William Marshall, former Governor of Minnesota, was slated to leave St. Paul on a mission to Fort Garry. Marshall had arrived in St. Paul from Washington, where he had been lobbying on behalf of Jay Cooke in March 1870. Cooke had directed Marshall to make the journey to Red River, on the basis of intelligence received from “our friends in Winnipeg.” Marshall seems to have delayed leaving St. Paul for one week, “to await the President’s instructions” (President Grant being a close friend of both Jay Cooke and his brother, Henry Cooke).[27] Marshall had time, therefore, to learn the details of Scott’s interview with Wheelock.

Scott, apparently unaware of either Marshall’s presence or plans, took a train out of St. Paul at 8 am. on Thursday, 7 April 1870, and headed with Ritchot for Buffalo, Rome, and Ogdensburg, New York. They arrived in New York on the 11 April and were met at the station by Canada’s Dominion Police Commisioner, Gilbert McMicken (a.k.a. John A. Macdonald’s “spy master”), who escorted them to Ottawa. They arrived at that destination at 5 pm. the same day.[30]

Mystery 6: Scott’s state of mind while in Ottawa

Mystery 6.a. Scott’s state of mind while a prisoner:

In the early hours of 12 April, Scott was arrested and jailed, on a warrant issued in Toronto, for aiding and abetting the “murder of Thomas Scott.”[31]

Alfred H. Scott was joined briefly by Ritchot on 13 April when the latter was also brought in under arrest. The two were then sent to separate lodgings.

On 14 April both Red River delegates to Ottawa were brought before Justice Thomas Galt. Barrister John Hillyard Cameron (Conservative member of the House of Commons for the constituency of Peel), argued on behalf of the prisoners for their immediate release, on the grounds of that the arrest was illegal– the magistrate in Toronto having no jurisdiction over people ‘temporarily resident’ in Ottawa.[32]

The Newspapers reported on the proceedings:


Theiprisonersiwere returned to their quarters for the night to await Galt’s verdict.

On 15 April in the morning, Judge Galt found in agreement with Cameron’s argument – that proceeding was reported in the press as well:


PrisonersiScottiandiRichotiwere discharged, only to be immediately re-arrested, on a warrant issued by Police Magistrate Martin O’Gara of Ottawa — again on the charge that they “did advise, aid, and abet” a “murder and felony.” By Ritchot’s account, they were “led to the court house where after having waited as long as nine o’clock in the evening [apparently for Justice Galt to grant an application for a writ of Habeas Corpus] and after a thousand difficulties we were entrusted to some policemen who conducted us each to our place of residence with orders to guard us until the next day at nine o’clock am.”[33]

A lawyer was engaged – Daniel O’Connor[34] – and he arranged to have the delegates’ case put off to 9 am. on Monday, 18 April, at the court house. There were delays however: the case was first put over to 1 pm. 19 April to suit barrister J.H. Cameron’s schedule, and then to 9 am. 20 April. At some point, for reasons that are unclear (John A. Macdonald implied it was by the prisoner’s own request) Scott was returned to the Police Station and “placed in close custody … in charge of the officer to whose custody he had been committed.”

Telegrams had begun to fly:

Source: http://books.google.ca/books?id=PypcAAAAQAAJ&dq=O’Connor%20lawyer%20Ottawa%201870&pg=RA1-PA117#v=onepage&q&f=false

The [im]propriety of placing ‘foreign diplomats’ in extended custody, especially when they were in Ottawa at the express invitation of the Dominion government, was debated in the press – though there was nowhere visible much in the way of an attempt to extend any apology to Scott or Ritchot personally.

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmToronto Globe 20 April

On 20 April, Scott and Ritchot were again brought before Justice Galt. Their solicitor J.H. Cameron argued “that the points upon which the second writ of Habeas Corpus had been moved, in his absence, were not tenable.”  Finally, at 1 pm., Judge Galt “replied that the question of jurisdiction being raised, the court had nothing to do in this case. The affair was referred to the police magistrate, to come up at 3 pm. [the next day].”[35]

Scott, in company with Ritchot, duly appeared before Judge O’Gara a 3 pm. 21 April 1870.

Transcribed text of Article printed in the Toronto Globe 21 April 1870. Source: http://books.google.ca/books?id=PypcAAAAQAAJ&dq=from%20the%20toronto%20’globe’%20of%20April%2015th%2C%201870&pg=RA1-PA118#v=onepage&q&f=false

O’Gara issued warnings, the two arrested Red River delegates to Ottawa were admitted to bail, and remanded until 3 pm. Saturday, 23 April 1870.

Source: http://books.google.ca/books?id=PypcAAAAQAAJ&dq=O’Connor%20lawyer%20Ottawa%201870&pg=RA1-PA117#v=onepage&q&f=false

On Friday, 22 April, Ritchot visited with Jean Etienne Cartier and John A. Macdonald. The next day, prior to the scheduled court hearing, all three Red River delegates met with the two Canadian representatives.[36] At 3 pm. Scott and Ritchot were back in court before Judge O’Gara, J.H. Cameron acting as the prisoners’ counsel and D. O’Connor as their solicitor.


With the consent of the prosecuting lawyer, a Mr. Boulton, the Crown Attorney Robert Lees[37] withdrew the case. It turned out that the principle witnesses  – Sir John Young and Donald A. Smith – who, the prosecution had imagined, would make the case against the accused on arrival in Ottawa, in fact had nothing to say.  The case was dismissed. Scott and Ritchot were declared ‘at liberty.’ To this point, Scott had spent some eleven days in confinement.

Mystery 6.a.1 Had Scott communicated anything about his travail to anyone else?

It is not clear who Scott had contact with while incarcerated. James Wickes Taylor was in Ottawa at the time.[38] He appears to have arrived prior to Scott: on 11 April 1870, Taylor wrote to Hamilton Fish, Secretary of State in Washington, informing that:

A dispatch from Ottawa April 9 announces that the Government of Canada has determined to receive Rev. Mr. Richot [sic] and Mr. Alfred H. Scott as delegates from Red River, and will make propositions based on the Bill of Rights lately adopted by the Convention of the Winnipeg people.

A large public meeting held at Toronto on the 6th of April adopted a resolution denouncing the reception of these delegates, both of whom are known to be warm supporters of President Louis Riel, on account of the recent military execution of a Canadian, Thomas Scott, who is charged with having violated his parole not to bear arms against the Provisional Government, and who was taken prisoner in the recent attempt of Major Boulton and the Canadian party to depose Riel. Great excitement prevails in Canada in regard to this event: it is denounced by the press and public assemblies as a wanton murder: and an opposition member of Parliament on the 6th inst. called on the head of the Government, Sir J. A. Macdonald, to repulse the Red River deputation. In reply, the Premier referred to the facts, that the Convention which accredits Messrs. Richot and Scott was called and elected, at the instance of the Canadian Commissioner, Mr. Donald Smith: that its proceedings were deliberate, and the Bill of Rights adopted was entitled to respectful consideration. It is probable that the Home Government has insisted upon this course as a condition precedent to preparations for the dispatch of a military expedition to Red River.”[39]

In a postscript, Taylor added that “A large public meeting was held at Montreal on the 7th inst., which is reported to have ‘howled at the idea of the Canadian Government receiving otherwise than as petitioners those parties now on their way from Red River to Ottawa, who should not for a moment be recognized as holding any official position’.”

In 1885 Taylor testified to the State Department in Washington that while in Ottawa in 1870 he was aware that “a pledge of unqualified amnesty, distinctly including Louis Riel was given and communicated,” not only to the “delegations from Red River appointed by  Convention of the people” but as well to “the Provisional Government at Fort Garry.”[40] He did not indicate the source of his information and there do not appear to be any documents attesting to meetings with Scott.

Conceivably, Scott, or someone acting on his behalf, could have made use of the telegraph services that were available to communicate with Red River. There is evidence that Ritchot used the North-western Telegraph Company to let Thomas Bunn, Secretary of State for the Provisional Government of Assiniboia, know of the delegates progress in Ottawa.[41] However, only four telegraphs are known to have been sent, or to have survived (at the Archives of Manitoba), and the earliest of Ritchot’s communications is dated 27 April.[42]

  • In the Meantime, Back at Red River: three days prior to Ritchot’s first known telegram being sent, William Marshall arrived at Red River Settlement on 24 April, with an entourage that included Nathaniel Pitt Langford, the brother-in-law of James Wickes Taylor. They remained at the settlement for five days. During that time, Marshall and members of his party met with a number of residents, including the former editor of the New Nation, Henry M. Robinson who was now the American Vice-Consul, and William B. O’Donoghue, honorable member for St. Boniface in the Legislative Assembly and Treasurer of the Provisional Government of Assiniboia. Marshall also enjoyed “a long interview” with Riel — for which no minutes survive. [43] There has been speculation that the possibility of American armed support was discussed, given that …
  • Meanwhile, back in Washington: On 22 April Zachariah Chandler (who was working with United States Senator Alexander Ramsey of Minnesota), “introduced a resolution into the Senate … requesting the President to appoint two commissioners to negotiate with the people of Winnipeg for annexation to the United States.” Chandler argued for his resolution with the assertion that “This continent is ours, and we may as well notify the world … that we will fight for our own if we must.”[44]

There is no indication in the New Nation that the arrest of delegates to Ottawa was known about in Red River any time before their release.[45] There is likewise no indication in the newspaper that anything was known of the debate of the American Senate.

Through April the matter of the arrest of the delegates was not mentioned in the recorded debates of the Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia, although on the 27th of that month (the date that Ritchot telegraphed to inform Bunn that “Negotiations going on. We are doing our best. Some points are settled. The rest under discussion”), President Riel apparently addressed the house “briefly” (about what is unknown).

Mystery 6.2. Scott’s state of mind during Negotiations

On their release from confinement the delegates from Red River signaled their willingness to proceed with negotiations:

Ottawa, April 23, 1870

To the Honorable Secretary of State, etc, Joseph Howe,


The undersigned, delegates of the Northwest, desirous of delaying as little as possible the affairs of their mission, have the honor of asking you to please inform His Excellency’s government that they wish to be heard as soon as possible.

Alfred H. Scott
John Black
J.N. Ritchot[46]

They received in reply:

Ottawa, April 26, 1870


I acknowledge receipt of your letter of the 22nd of this month, announcing that as delegates of the Northwest to the government of the Dominion of Canada you wish to have a audience with the government as soon as possible. In response I inform you that the Hon. Sir John A. MacDonald and the Hon. Sir George Etienne Cartier have been authorized to negotiate with you on the subject of your mission and will be ready to receive you at 11:00.

I have the honor of being, sirs

Your obedient servant,

Joseph Howe

To Rev. J.N. Ritchot, John Black, Esq., A.H. Scott, Esq.[47]

According to A.A. Taché’s recounting of events, subsequently, up until the 18th of May, Scott took part in ten of the negotiation meetings, of which there were at least fifteen.[48] Macdonald was present at nine, Cartier attended twelve, while Black and Ritchot attended all.[49] It appears Scott acted more as observer that negotiator, though supplying unwavering  support for Black and Ritchot.

  • Meanwhile, back in Red River: By 6 May, news of the arrests of Scott and Ritchot had reached Red River. According to American Vice Consul, H.M. Robinson, on that date Riel “gave notice, in consequence of the Canadian action against the Delegates from this Colony, of his intention to place before the Legislature, for their approval, the Bill of Rights as it was sent to Canada. This was to be accompanied by a Protest – also subject to the approval of the Legislature – against the sending of British troops into the Territory, also protesting against the idea, prevalent in Canada, of this people being divided in their allegiance to the Provisional Government, declaring them a unit in its support.”[50]

Scott is known to have left the negotiations and Ottawa before matters were completely settled, but after the principal negotiating work had been completed.[51] Perhaps he departed early in order to keep appointments with Jay Cooke and George Sheppard in New York. It is tempting to speculate further that Scott may also have had occasion to visit nearby Washington D.C., the Annexationist movement’s eastern headquarters. He apparently had time to do so, given that he is not reported as having returned to Red River until some time in July of 1870.[52]

Mystery 7: What did Scott do once back at Red River?

Nothing is known of Scott’s activities once returned to Red River other than that, at least for a time, he worked for Henry McKenney.

Mystery 8: Of what did Scott die?

Scott’s death was announced in the Manitoban and Northwest Herald on 1 June 1872 as follows: “Died” “SCOTT.—On the 28th May, at the Hospital General (Sisters of Mercy), St. Boniface, Alfred H. Scott, Esq., aged 28 years.”[53]

To return to Mystery 1: Scott’s date of birth would therefore appear to be c. 1844.

Although so little is known about Scott, it is clear from the sparse details that are available that his story is one that deserves more consideration than has been granted in the historiography about the creation of Manitoba. Indications are that Alfred H. Scott was more than “A simple saloon employee and salesman in a Winnipeg store.”[54]

[1] W.L. Morton, ed., Alexander Begg’s Red River Journal: And other Papers Relative to the Red River Resistance of 1869-70 (Toronto: Champlain Society, 1956), 278 n.1.

[2] Ibid. See “Our Farewell to McDougall,” New Nation (2 July 1870), 2, for a reference alleging Scott was an American “Yankee loafer.”

[3] See  Charles E. Flandrau, “The Indian War of 1862-1864 and following Campaigns in Minnesota,” in Minnesota in the Civil and Indian Wars, 1861-1865, vol. 1 (Pioneer Press for the Minnesota Board of Commissioners on Publication of History, 1890), http://books.google.ca/books?id=00kBAAAAYAAJ&lpg=PA727&ots=MeKEP9BnzR&dq=Oscar%20Malmros%20adjutant%20general%20minnesota%20civil%20war&pg=PA727#v=onepage&q&f=false. Malmros had also previously been appointed Consul at Galatza, Moldavia (1865), see http://www.archive.org/stream/officialregister41unit#page/n27/mode/2up/search/Malmros . He went on to become the United States Consul in Pictou. Nova Scotia from 1870 to1881, and Consul at Colón, Panama, from 1903 to 1905, see http://politicalgraveyard.com/bio/malloy-malone.html#11W028X9B. A death notice appeared in the New York Times (20 August 1909), indicating that by that time Malmros had been appointed the American Consul at Rouen, France, see http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=F00A10FE3F5C15738DDDA90A94D0405B898CF1D3.

[4] J.M. Bumsted, “Louis Riel and the United States,” American Review of Canadian Studies 29, no. 1 (1999): 18.

[5] Donald F. Warner, “Drang Nach Nordern: The United States and the Riel Rebellion,” The Mississippi Valley Historical Review 39, no. 4 (March 1953): 701; see also R.C. Macleod, review, Attorney for the Frontier: Enos Stutsman, by Dale Gibson, The American Historical Review 89, no. 5 (December 1984): 1415.

[6] Bumsted, “Louis Riel and the United States,” 18-19.

[7] Theodore C. Blegen, “James Wickes Taylor: A Biographical Sketch,” Minnesota History Bulletin 1, no. 4 (November 1915): 171-172, 187, 188, 193-194; see also http://www.mhs.mb.ca/docs/people/taylor_jw.shtml ; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Wickes_Taylor.

[8] George Stephen was created a Baronet, of Montreal in the Province of Quebec in the Dominion of Canada, in 1886, and raised to the peerage as Baron Mount Stephen, of Mount Stephen in the Province of British Columbia and Dominion of Canada, and of Dufftown in the County of Banff, in 1891. David Alexander Smith was created Baron Strathcona and Mount Royal, of Glencoe in the County of Argyll and of Mount Royal in the Province of Quebec and Dominion of Canada, in the Peerage of the United Kingdom as of 1897.

[9] Grace Lee Nute, “New Light on Red River Valley History,” Minnesota History Bulletin 5, no, 8 (November 1924): 568.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Hartwell Bowsfield, “The United States and Red River Settlement,” MHS Transactions, ser. 3, no. 23 (1966-1967 season) http://www.mhs.mb.ca/docs/transactions/3/unitedstatesredriver.shtml. See also “Product Description,” Scripophily.com http://www.scripophily.net/noparaco181.html.

[12] Bowsfield, “The United States and Red River Settlement.”

[13] James Wickes Taylor, report, Northwest British America and Its Relations to the State of Minnesota, 5 (St. Paul, 1860), 2, reported that in Red River it was remarked: “In 1851, the Governor of Minnesota visited us; in 1859 comes a steamboat, and ten years more will bring the Railroad!”

[14] See Warren Upham,“Willmar Township,” Minnesota Place Names: A Geographical Encyclopedia (St. Paul MN: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2001), 285,  http://books.google.ca/books?id=ho23eS5qjNgC&lpg=PA285&ots=7UgCPsBX8M&dq=George%20L.%20Becker%20railroad%201869&pg=PA285#v=onepage&q&f=false; see also Harold F. Peterson, “Early Minnestoa Railroads and the Quest for Settlers,” Minnesota Historical Society History Magazine (March 1932): 32, 33, the Manitoba Road was ready by 1879; See also “The St. Paul and Pacific Railroad,” New York Times (13 February 1878), on the purchase of the railroad the previous year by “St. Paul and Canadian capitalists” – including Norman Wolfred Kittson.

[15] Warner, “Drang Nach Nordern,” 669. Nute, “New Light on Red River Valley History,” 568, notes that as of September 1870, Taylor served as consul at Winnipeg.

[16] Warner, “Drang Nach Nordern,” 703. Jim Blanchard, and Manitoba Historical Society, A thousand miles of prairie:the Manitoba Historical Society and the history of Western Canada (Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2002), 225,notes Robinson apparently “had some connection by marriage with a family at Fort Garry,” http://books.google.ca/books?id=EldJSIImRXMC&lpg=PA225&dq=h.%20m.%20robinson%20red%20river%201869&pg=PA225#v=onepage&q&f=false.

[17] Ibid., 711; see also Brian J. Young, “Railway Politics in Montreal, 1867-1878,” Historical Papers 7, no. 1 (1972): 89-107, érudit.org http://www.erudit.org/revue/hp/1972/v7/n1/030744ar.pdf; Donald Creighton, John A. Macdonald: The Young Politician, the Old Chieftain (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1952), 286, http://books.google.ca/books?id=lJTx3BMuGRYC&lpg=RA1-PA286&ots=8y3Wf6cDjF&dq=donald%20creighton%20railroad&pg=RA1-PA286#v=onepage&q&f=false ; Adam Shortt, “Railroad Construction and National Prosperity: An Historical Parallel,” Transactions of the Royal Society of Canada, 3d series, vol. 8, sec. 2 (1914): 295-308.

[18] Bumsted, “Louis Riel and the United States,” 18.

[19] Norma Hall, transcript, “Convention of Forty, Second Day. Court House, Upper Fort Garry, Wednesday, 26 January 1870”; “Convention at Fort Garry, English and French Delegates in Council. Mr. Smith’s Commission, Bill of Rights,” New Nation (28 January 1870), 2; Hudson’s Bay Company Archives [HBCA], E.9/1, 5.

[20] Norma Hall, transcript, “Convention of Forty,Thirteenth Day. Council Chamber, Upper Fort Garry, Tuesday, 8 February 1870”; “Convention at Fort Garry,” New Nation (18 February 1870), 1.See also Louis Riel, quoted in The Queen vs. Louis Riel:accused and convicted of the crime of high treason. Report of trial at Regina.–Appeal to the Court of Queen’s bench, Manitoba.–Appeal to the Privy council, England.–Petition for medical examination of the convict.–List of petitions for commutation of sentence, Ottawa (Ottawa: Queen’s Printer, 1886), 157, http://books.google.ca/books?id=jLANAAAAQAAJ&dq=Alfred%20H.%20Scott&pg=PA157#v=onepage&q=Alfred%20H.%20Scott&f=false.

[21]Norma Hall, transcript, “Convention of Forty, Fifteenth Day.Council Chamber, Upper Fort Garry, Thursday, 10 February 1870”; “Convention at Fort Garry,” New Nation (18 February 1870), 2; HBCA, E.9/1, 17.

[22] Norma Hall with Clifford P. Hall, and Erin Verrier, A History of the Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia/le Conseil du Governement Provisoire (Winnipeg: Government of Manitoba, 2010), 6, http://www.gov.mb.ca/ana/pdf/mbmetispolicy/laa_en.pdf.

[23] Norma Hall, transcript, “Convention of Forty, Fifth Day.Council Chamber, Upper Fort Garry, Saturday, 29 January 1870”; “Convention at Fort Garry, English and French Delegates in Council. Mr. Smith’s Commission, Bill of Rights,” New Nation (4 February 1870), 1–2; HBCA, E.9/1, 6–8; Norma Hall, transcript, “Convention of Forty, Sixth Day.”Council Chamber, Upper Fort Garry, Monday, 31 January 1870”; “Convention at Fort Garry,” New Nation (4 February 1870), 2; HBCA, E.9/1, 8–10.

[24] Norma Hall, transcript, “Convention of Forty, Sixth Day.Council Chamber, Upper Fort Garry, Monday, 31 January 1870”; “Convention at Fort Garry,” New Nation (4 February 1870), 2; HBCA, E.9/1, 8–10.

[25] N.J. Ritchot, translation quoted in, “The Journal of Reverend N.-J. Ritchot, March 24 to May 28, 1870,” Manitoba, Birth of a Province, ed. W.L. Morton (Winnipeg: Manitoba Record Society, 1965), 132-133, http://www.mhs.mb.ca/docs/books/mrs01.pdf. See also  “Arrival, News of the Delegates,” New Nation (2 April 1870 [linked at Manitobia index under 16 March 1870]), 2, http://manitobia.ca/cocoon/launch/en/newspapers/NNT/1870/03/16/2/Ar00207.html/Olive.

[26] Ritchot, “The Journal of Reverend N.-J. Ritchot,” trans. W.L. Morton, 133.

[27] Hartwell Bowsfield, “The United States and Red River Settlement,” Manitoba Historical Society Transactions ser.3, no. 23 (1966-1967 season), http://www.mhs.mb.ca/docs/transactions/3/unitedstatesredriver.shtml.

[28] Ibid. notes “[N.P.] Langford’s letter of July 10, 1870 to James Wickes Taylor (his brother-in-law) is the only record of Marshall’s mission to the Red River Settlement known to exist. Unfortunately, details of Jay Cooke’s plan and what Marshall may have suggested or offered to Riel are not documented”; Warner, “Drang Nach Nordern,” 708, notes “Marshall’s trip smacks strongly of a secret mission, for it was not mentioned in the press, which was printing every scrap of news and rumor which concerned Red River. Over a month later his journey was casually and inconspicuously referred to [in the] St. Paul Daily Press, May 14, 1870.”

[29] Warner, “Drang Nach Nordern,” 709.

[30] Ritchot, “The Journal of Reverend N.-J. Ritchot,” trans. W.L. Morton, 133.

[31] John A. Macdonald, “Department of Justice, Ottawa, April 21st, 1870,” http://books.google.ca/books?id=PypcAAAAQAAJ&dq=from%20the%20toronto%20’globe’%20of%20April%2015th%2C%201870&pg=RA1-PA117#v=onepage&q=arrest&f=false, states they were arrested on the morning of the 14th; Ritchot, “The Journal of Reverend N.-J. Ritchot,” trans. W.L. Morton, 134,  contends Scott was arrested on the 12th; the Globe seems to indicate that Scott was arrested near midnight of the 13th.

[32] Ritchot, “The Journal of Reverend N.-J. Ritchot,” trans. W.L. Morton, 134.

[33] Ibid., 135.

[34] For brief references to Daniel O’Connor, solicitor in Ottawa, see Henry McEvoy, The Province of Ontario gazetteer and directory containing concise descriptions of cities, towns and villages in the province, with the names of professional and business men and principal inhabitants, together with a full list of members of the executive governments, senators, members of the commons and local legislatures, and officials of the Dominion, and a large amount of other general, varied and useful information, carefully compiled from the most recent and authentic data (Toronto: Robertson & Cook, 1869), 361, http://books.google.ca/books?id=z6wOAAAAYAAJ&lpg=PA361&ots=WJtfcpOh44&dq=daniel%20%22o’connor%22%20magistrate%20ottawa&pg=PA361#v=onepage&q&f=false ; The Ontario Law List and Solicitors Agency Book (Toronto: Rordans and Nicholls, 1876), http://www.archive.org/stream/ontariolawlistso00torouoft#page/n1/mode/2up; and “The Ottawa Times, 1860’s and 1870’s, The Ottawa Free Press, 1870’s and 1880’s, Transcriptions of Births, Marriages and Deaths,” Bytown or Bust, http://www.bytown.net/timesott.htm.

[35] Ritchot, “The Journal of Reverend N.-J. Ritchot,” trans. W.L. Morton, 135.

[36] Ibid.

[37] See The Ontario Law List and Solicitors Agency Book (Toronto: Rordans and Nicholls, 1876), http://www.archive.org/stream/ontariolawlistso00torouoft/ontariolawlistso00torouoft_djvu.txt

[38] “James Wickes Taylor: A Biographical Sketch,” Minnesota History Bulletin 1, no. 4 (November 1915): 194.

[39] Hartwell Bowsfield, The James Wickes Taylor Correspondence, 1859-1870, (Winnipeg: Manitoba Record Society Publications, 1968), 149-150.

[40] Blegen, “James Wickes Taylor,” 195.

[41] Zalmon Gilbert Simmons, of Kenosha Wisconsen, who began by manufacturing insulators then turned to making mattresses, was president. O.S. Wood of Montreal was director and general manager.

[42] MG3 B1-7 Telegram from Rev. J.N. Ritchot to Thomas Bunn. 1870. Negotiations progressing in Ottawa. Encl. 4 1870; N.W. Kittson to Bunn; note saying he is Forwarding telegram (2 pp). 27 Apr. 1870.

[43] Warner, “Drang Nach Nordern,” 708; Ex-Governor William Marshall of Minnesota had been in Washington assisting the Cooke lobby in support of a subsidy for the Northern Pacific, see Bowsfield, “The United States and Red River Settlement,” http://www.mhs.mb.ca/docs/transactions/3/unitedstatesredriver.shtml, Bowsfields descriptions suggests a topic of discussion may have been the possibility of troops being sent from Canada. Bowsfield notes that, on the basis of “rumors of preparations,” by early May 1870, “the State Department had sent instructions to Governor Baldwin of Michigan that no military expedition or material was to pass through the [Sault Ste. Marie] canal without permission from Washington.”

[44] Warner, “Drang Nach Nordern,” 709, 710.

[45] See “News from the Delegates,” New Nation (3 May 1870), 1, the earliest reference I have found (to date). http://manitobia.ca/cocoon/launch/en/newspapers/NNT/1870/05/03/1/Ar00111.html/Olive

[46] Louis Riel, The Amnesty: Memoir on the causes of the troubles in the Northwest and the negotiations that brought about their amicable settlement (Montreal, 1874), translated from the original French by Meir Avidor http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Amnesty.

[47] Ibid.

[48] A.A. Taché, The Amnesty again: or, Charges refuted, 3.

[49] Taché, “That Bill of Rights, Archbishop Tache’s [sic] Answer to Mr. Hay,” The amnesty again: or, Charges refuted, 5.

[50] H. M. Robinson, Vice Consul, to J. C. B. Davis, May 10, 1870. No.35. in Taylor, 159.

[51] W.L. Morton, “Scott, Alfred Henry,” DCB http://www.biographi.ca/009004-119.01-e.php?&id_nbr=5254.

[52] Scott perhaps arrived in Red River on about 29 July 1870? See “The Way the Money Goes [?],”Manitoba News-Letter (19 October 1870), 3, which seems to list Scott’s expenses as a delegate to Ottawa up to that date (though much of the text is illegible).

[53] “Died” Manitoban and Northwest Herald (1 June 1872), 3, http://manitobia.ca/cocoon/launch/en/newspapers/TWM/1872/06/01/3/Ar00316.html/Olive.

[54] “Alfred H. Scott – People – Canadian Confederation,” Library and Archives Canada,http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/confederation/023001-4000.68-e.html.


[Credit: The original research on which this page is based was commissioned for the Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia Project, by Aboriginal and Northern Affairs Manitoba. The current page is presented gratis — I have no funding from any agency.]


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