was called in January, 1870, at which Smith read his credentials, and carefully explained the intentions of the Government. A List of Rights was drawn up, and submitted to the commissioner for his answers on behalf of the Dominion Government. Smith was able to convince the majority that all their rights and privileges would be respected. Finally he captured the delegates by inviting them, on behalf of the Dominion Government, to send a delegation to Ottawa to meet and confer with the members of the Cabinet.
What Smith had accomplished seriously conflicted with Riel's plans, but, for the moment, he had to bow to the inevitable. A number of the English-speaking settlers were still prisoners in Fort Garry, and he promised to have them released. He set a few at liberty, but held the rest. A rescue was planned, but miscarried; and the old bitter feeling between French and English was revived. Riel again carried things with a high hand, and finally, with some mad idea that he might thereby commit his own followers to a reckless course and put terror into the hearts of the loyal party, ordered the execution of one of the prisoners, Thomas Scott, a man of quarrelsome disposition who had treated Riel with contempt and had been a source of great trouble to his guards.
When news of the cold-blooded murder of Scott reached Ontario, a wave of indignation swept over the province, and indeed over the country. The people insisted that the time for peaceful negotiations had gone by; that an expeditionary force must be sent out to the Red river to restore law and order. The Federal Government had already been in communication with the Imperial authorities, and it was finally arranged that a combined force of regulars and Canadian militia should be sent out, under the command of Colonel (after-wards Viscount) Wolseley.
No time was lost. Two battalions of militia were quickly recruited, one in Ontario and the other in Quebec,