Unexpected Opposition.—Canada at once made preparations for the government of the new territory when the transfer should take place. Early in 1869 an Act was passed providing for the appointment of a lieutenant-governor and a small council to administer the affairs of the territory until a more permanent form of government could be arranged. Until that time, also, all laws in the territory were to continue in force, and all officers, other than the Hudson's Bay Company's governor, were to retain their positions. The Hon. William Macdougall was appointed lieutenant-governor under this Act, and in the autumn of 1869 he started for Fort Garry, intending to enter upon his duties on December 1st, to which day the formal transfer had been postponed. On October 30th he reached Pembina. There a startling surprise awaited him. A French half-breed served upon him a formal notice forbidding his entry into the territory. To understand how this came about we must go on to the Red River settlements.
Feeling in the Settlements.—Although the Hudson's Bay Company in London had agreed to the transfer, their officers on this side of the Atlantic were entirely opposed to the proceeding. Some time before this the company had been reorganized. The resident officials (factors and traders) had been made, in a sense, partners in the company, their income depending on the amount of business done. When the bargain was made in London, they were not consulted. They were to receive no part of the purchase money, and the giving up of the company's monopoly meant, of course, a serious loss to them. It has been freely charged that they secretly encouraged the French half-breeds in their lawless proceedings. Certain it is that although, until the transfer should take effect, the Hudson's Bay Company could alone exercise lawful authority, their officers took no steps whatever to restore order. The settlers, too, thought that Canada should have consulted them in reference to the nature of the government to be established in the colony ; and that, in particular, the claims of the half-breeds, both French and English, to the lands over which they hunted should have been settled before the transfer took place. All would be glad to escape from the yoke of the Hudson's Bay Company, but at the same time there was a strong desire to be admitted to a share in the new government. Therefore when the half-breeds, becoming alarmed about the title to their lands, stopped the work of a