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250 MILITARY HISTORY OF CANADA

 

sentative of the Canadian Government, to Fort Garry, and treated with scant courtesy the representative of the once all-powerful Hudson's Bay Company. Once in-trenched in the fort, his position was secure. He con-trolled unlimited supplies of provisions and other stores, and, most important of all, arms and ammunition for his men, together with several cannon. The loyal settlers were now entirely at his mercy, as they could muster but a handful of armed men and had very little ammunition. Riel detailed a garrison for the fort, paying his men with orders on the Company's stores. And, as if to fill the Lieutenant-Governor's cup of humiliation to the brim, he seized the luxurious furniture which that misguided official had sent ahead of him to Fort Garry, and appropriated it to his own use.

Meanwhile, McDougall was busily engaged writing acrimonious letters to McTavish, and keeping in communication, through the agency of Colonel Stoughton Dennis, with members of the small but aggressive Canadian party in the disturbed district, who urged upon him one mad scheme after another. Before he left Ottawa, there had been some kind of an understanding that the Queen was formally to sanction the transfer of the territory on December 1st, 1869. The end of November approached, but he had had no official confirmation. He "gathered from the newspapers," as he wrote Joseph Howe, the Secretary of State, that the Imperial Order-in-Council had been passed, but, as a matter of fact, the transfer was not finally authorized until the 23rd of the following June. McDougall, how-ever, prepared and issued a proclamation in the Queen's name, announcing that the Hudson's Bay Company had surrendered the territory, that Her Majesty had accepted it, and that it had been transferred to Canada as of date December 1st, 1869. Not content with this singular act of folly, the Lieutenant-Governor issued two other proclamations, one, officially decapitating his poor old rival, McTavish, and the other appointing Colonel


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