The Trial of Louis Riel: 
A Chronology

The king of England grants Rupert's Land, including present-day Manitoba and Saskatchewan, to the Hudson's Bay Company.
March 1869
Of the 12,000 settlers in the Red River area of Rupert's Land, near present-day Winnipeg, over 80% are Metis, persons of mixed white (usually French) and Indian ancestry. The Hudson Bay Company agree to sell Rupert's Land to the Canadian government for 300,000 pounds, with the transfer effective on December 1.. 
October 11, 1869
The presence of a Canadian survey team in the Red River area angers local residents, and Louis Riel is chosen to confront the team.  He takes up the cause of protecting the interest of Metis settlers.
October 30, 1869
William McDougall, chosen by Ottawa as the Lt. Governor to manage the new land, arrives at Pembina, near the Canadian border, after travelling through the United States (there are no roads or raillines through Canadian territory to the area.)  McDougall receives a letter from Riel notifying him that he is not welcome in the North-West Territory.
November 2, 1869
Riel and an army of a few hundred Metis capture Fort Garry without meeting resistance.
December 10, 1869
Riel announces the formation of a provisional government, headed by himself.
February 10, 1870
A convention of forty delegates, twenty French/Metis and twenty English, formally elects Riel as president of the provisional government.
March 4, 1870
Thomas Scott, a hot-headed Orangeman imprisoned at Fort Garry, is executed by order of a Metis court-martial after assaulting and threatening Riel.  As a result of the execution, the Province of Ontario becomes outraged at Riel and his supporters.  Scott and Riel become symbols to English and French-speaking Canadians.
June 1870
After weeks of discussion in Ottawa, Father Noel-Joseph Ritchot (representing Riel's government) and the Canadian government reach agreement on a plan for the Red River settlement becoming part of Canada.  The region will be added as a new province, Manitoba, and guarantees are made for a future Metis land reservation and amnesty for participants in the Metis uprising.
August 1870
As 12,000 Canadian troops arrive in Manitoba and the promised amnesty has not been confirmed in writing, Riel crosses the border to the Dakota Territory.
June 1873
Riel leaves St. Paul, Minnesota, where he had been living and returns to the Red River settlement to seek election as a member of Parliament.
November 1873
Riel is elected to the House of Commons, but goes into hiding in New York, faced with an outstanding $5,000 reward for his capture, offered by the Ontario provincial goverment..  (The reward is based on Riel's participation in the execution of Thomas Scott, an Englishman, during the tenure of his provisional government in 1870.)
April 1874
After Riel wins re-election to the House of Commons, the House votes to expel him.
February 1875
The Canadian government grants an amnesty to all Metis, except Riel, who participated in the 1869-70 turmoil.  A grant of amnesty to Riel is conditioned on him accepting a five-year banishment from Canada.
December 1875
Riel meets with President Ulysses S. Grant.  He complains of Canadian treatment of the Metis and asks for money and a promise that the United States will not let Canadian troops cross over U. S. land.  Grant, not wanting to aggravate relations with Canada, refuses and suggests that Riel seek U. S. citizenship. A few days later, while attending mass in Washington, D. C., Riel feels the Holy Spirit speaks to him and he begans seeing himself as the "Prophet of the New World."
March 1876
After friends report Riel's strange behavior (e.g., crying in public, imagining himself to be King David, taking off all his clothes and tearing them up), Riel is admitted to an asylum near Montreal.
January 1878
After spending two years in Quebec asylums, Riel is released.  He soon heads west, spending time in St. Paul before eventually settling in Montana.
February 1, 1878
By now, thousands of Metis, unhappy with the situation in Ontario, have moved west to the south branch of the Saskatchewan River.  In a meeting of Metis in St. Laurant, a list of grievances is prepared.  Gabriel Dumont, in a letter to the lt.-governor of the North-West Territories asks for subsidization of local schools, assistance for Metis farmers, appointment of a French-speaking magistrate and a Metis member of the Territorial Council, and a land grant to extinguish the Metis aboriginal title.
Spring of 1880
Riel tries to organize local Metis and Indians for an invasion of Canada, but his plan fails.  Riel begins earning a living trading goods bought on assignment for buffalo robes.
March 9, 1882
The marriage of Riel and Marguerite Bellehumeur, a Cree-speaking Metis woman, is blessed at Carroll.  (Riel reported that the marriage took place without clergy in April 1881).
Riel becomes an American citizen.  He settles at a Jesuit mission on Montana's sun river and begins work as a schoolteacher.
June 4, 1884
A list of Metis grievances is taken by Gabriel Dumont and three others to Riel, living at the time in Montana.  Riel decides to become directly involved in the movement of the Saskatchewan Metis.  Six days later he begins his trek to Canada.
July 5, 1884
Riel arrives in Batoche.  Working with William Henry Jackson, he tries to shape a grievance petition that meets the concerns of all settlers in the area.
December 1884
Riel begins negotiations to receive money for the Metis from the prime minister, but the effort proves fruitless.
March 18, 1885
Riel joins the Metis resistance.  He proposes the establishment of a provisional government ("the Exovedate").  He tells supporters that the Pope no longer has authority over them and that he is God's prophet for the New World.
March 26, 1885
Open rebellion breaks out when Metis fight and win a battle with North-West Mounted Police at Duck Lake.  Twelve mounties are killed in the fighting.
Mid-April 1885
Thousands of Canadian soldiers arrive in Qu'appelle, about 175 miles southeast of Batoche.
April 24, 1885
The Metis ambush advancing Canadian forces at Fish Creek.  Four Metis and six soldiers die in the action.
May 9-12, 1885
Four days of fighting at Batoche ends with Canadian forces triumphant.
May 15, 1885 
Riel surrenders to General Middleton and is transported to Regina.
June 12, 1885
F.X. Lemieux and Charles Fitzpatrick begin service as Riel's counsel.
July 6, 1885
Riel is charged with treason.
July 16, 1885
Counsel meet with Riel for the first time.
July 20, 1885
Trial of Louis Riel begins.
July 21, 1885
Judge Richardson grants a one-week delay to allow the defense time to prepare.
July 28, 1885
Trial resumes.
August 1, 1885
Jury convicts Riel of treason and he is sentenced to hang on September 18.
September 9, 1885
Manitoba's Court of Queen Bench rejects Riel's appeal.
October 22, 1885
The Judicial Committee of the Privy Counsel in London refuses to hear Riel's appeal.
November 3, 1885
James Wickes Taylor asks the State Department in Washington to intervene in an attempt to save Riel's life, but the Department refuses to act.
November 9, 1885
The prime minister receives a report on Riel's sanity from a medical commission.
November 16, 1885
Riel is hanged in Regina.

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