Testimony of Philip Garnot
July 30, 1885


Examined by MR. FITZPATRICK:

Q. What is your name? A. Philip Garnot.
Q. Where do you live when you are at home? A. At Batoche.
Q. Where are you living at the present time? A. In Regina jail.
Q. Do you know Riel, the prisoner at the bar? A. I do.
Q. You have known him for how long? A. I saw him for the first time in Helena, Montana, about seven years ago.
Q. Did you see him at Batoche during the course of last summer or in the Saskatchewan district? A. I saw him last fall.
Q. What time last fall? A. In October.
Q. From that time up to the month of March last did you have occasion to see him frequently? A. No, I did not see much of him. I only saw him once or twice.
Q. During that time did you have any conversation with him? A. Not that I remember.
Q. No conversation whatever with him? A. I had some small conversation, but none that I can remember well.
Q. Do you remember during the course of last autumn and last winter up to the month of March - do you remember having any conversation with him on religious matters or on political matters? A. No, I never had.
Q. No conversation whatever up to that time? A. I had some conversation, but not on religion or politics.
Q. Did you at any time talk to him on religion previous to his arrest? A. I did. After the trouble, after the 18th March.
Q. Was he living at your house? A. No, but he came there occasionally and slept there sometimes.
Q. When he spoke to you of religion do you remember what he said to you? A. I know he was talking to me about changing the Pope, or something of that kind; wanting to name Bishop Bourget, of Montreal, Pope of the new world, as he named it. He spoke to me several things about religion that I cannot remember.
Q. Did he say anything to you about the Holy Ghost or the Spirit of God? A. Yes, he said in my presence, not to me exactly, at a meeting, that the spirit of Elias was with him.
Q. Did he say he had any of the divine attributes that are generally attributed to Elias? A. That is what I think he meant by that.
Q. What did he say about it as far as you can recollect? A. He wanted the people in the meeting to acknowledge him as a prophet, and he gave them to understand he had the spirit of Elias in him and that he was prophesying.
Q. Do you remember any of his numerous prophesies? A. I don't remember them all.
Q. Do you remember any of them? A. I know every morning, almost every morning, he would come in front of the people and say such and such a thing would happen. I don't remember any of them in particular.
Q. You said a moment ago he spent some nights at your house? A. Yes, he slept once or twice at my house.
Q. During the nights he spent there did you notice anything remarkable about him? A. I know he was praying loud all night and kept me awake sometimes.
Q. Everyone else was asleep in the house at the time? A. I was the only other one in the house with him.
Q. Can you remember now the kind of prayers he delivered himself of? A. It was prayers he was making up himself. I never heard them before.
Q. You are a Roman Catholic? A. Yes.
Q. You are a French-Canadian? A. Yes.
Q. Had you ever heard any of these prayers before? A. I never heard them, except some of them. He would say the prayer 'Our Father,' but all the rest of the prayers I never heard before, except by him.
Q. During the time you saw him when he delivered himself of these prophesies you alluded to, what was his temper; how did he act when contradicted? A. He would not stand contradiction by anyone. He had to have his own way in everything.
Q. Was he very smooth tempered? A. No he was not smooth tempered.
Q. Irritable? A. Yes.
Q. Did he make any declarations to you as to what he thought himself to be in the way of power or authority? A. No, he did not make any statement to me, but in my presence he made the declaration that he was representing St. Peter.
Q. Did he aspire to any particular gifts, or pretend he was endowed with the abilities of a poet, musician or orator? A. No.
Q. You did not hear him boast of his great intellectual qualities? A. No.
Q. Did he at any time communicate to you his views with reference to the way in which the country was to be divided in the event of his success? A. He did in my presence.
Q. Tell us what he said to you about that as far as you can remember? A. He was talking about the country being divided into several provinces; one for the French, Germans, Irish, and I don't know what else. There was to be seven different nationalities.
Q. Do you remember anything else besides this you have mentioned? What other foreigners? A. Italians.
Q. Hungarians? A. I can't remember particularly very well. I know it was seven different provinces and seven different nationalities.
Q. Did the plan he then stated appear to you a very feasible one? A. I did not believe he could succeed in that.
Q. Did he say he expected any assistance from these people? A. Yes, he respected assistance from them. He mentioned he expected the assistance of an army of several nationalities, and I remember he mentioned the Jews. He expected their assistance and money. He was going to give them a province as a reward for their help. That is what I understood him to say.
Q. Did he tell you how he had arranged that, or if he had made any arrangement with the people? A. He might, but I don't remember.
Q. In his conversation with you, or with others in your presence on these subjects, did he at any time give you any intimation that he had any doubt of his success or that any obstacle could prevent him from succeeding? A. No, he always mentioned he was going to succeed. That it was a divine mission he had, and that he was only an instrument in the hand of God.
Q. When he talked of other matters than religion and the success of his plans, how did he act and talk generally? A. I never noticed any difference in his talk on other matters, because I never had much intercourse with him only during the time of the trouble. I met him once before that.
Q. Did he appear to be actuated by any friendship for other people, or did he appear to be wrapped up in himself? Did he appear to have any sympathy for anyone except himself, or did he appear to think of anyone but himself, I mean during these times you had conversations with him? A. I could not answer that question because I don't understand rightly.
Q. When he spoke of religion and about the country in the different interviews he had with you or others, did you understand that he had any idea of thinking of the welfare of anyone at all except himself; that he was the sole person to be considered? A. It seemed as if he was working in the interest of the half-breed population, and the settlers generally; he mentioned that.
Q. Did you communicate to anyone your impression of this man what you thought of him? A. I did.
Q. What did you think of him? A. I thought the man was crazy, because he acted very foolish.

Cross-examined by MR. ROBINSON:

Q. He had great influence over the half-breed population there, hadn't he? A. Yes, he could do almost what he wanted with them.
Q. And you were one of those who followed him? A. No, I followed him, but against my will.
Q. What do you mean? A. When a man has a stronger force than I have, I have to follow him. He came to me with an armed force and I had to go.
Q. Do you say you were forced to follow him by violence, is that what you mean? A. I don't mean to say that I was forced exactly by violence, he came and brought me from my house, he came with armed men, and I saw there was no use resisting.
Q. Do you mean to say you followed him because of the armed men, and that that was an that influenced you? A. Yes.
Q. He had great influence over all the French half-breed population? A. I always thought he had lots of influence amongst the half-breeds.
Q. I believe they all looked to him as a leader and followed him? A. Yes they did.
Q. They relied upon his judgment and advice? A. They did.

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