MAJOR BOULTON is one of the few men to whose lot it fell to take part in quelling the two successive insurrections which Riel got up. The personal narrative of his adventures will remove some erroneous impressions which sympathizers and enemies had unconsciously united in creating; and although the book is not a complete record of the events to which it relates, it adds to our knowledge on some points, and corrects some errors which have been propagated with diligent assiduity. When the first insurrection broke out, all regular authority had disappeared from the North-West. The Hudson Bay Company had sold its rights to Canada, and its power of government was treated as having lapsed. But the country had not been transferred to Canada, though a Governor of Manitoba had been sent to the frontier, in the person of Mr. Macdougall. He, however, had gone in advance of his authority, and was powerless. During this interregnum, Riel captured Fort Garry, formed a Provisional Government, on the authority of a Convention got up in the absence of influential persons whom he held as prisoners, and who might, if at liberty, have given it a different complexion. As a condition of being allowed to form the Provisional Government, of which he got himself made President, Riel promised to release the prisoners; but he failed to keep his word, and only released some of them: it was then that Major Boulton was induced to take command of a force, raised at Portage la Prairie and other places, to set the prisoners free. He had some doubts about the propriety of this movement, and only consented to take charge of it when he found that a force had been raised, and that the men were determined to go. His reason for consenting to accompany the little expedition was founded on the fear that, if he refused, some "rash act might bring trouble upon the country." Acting as moderator, he fell under the suspicion of the rasher part of the force that he was not in earnest. Once, feeling that he had lost the confidence of the men, he resigned. Being re-nominated for formal election to the command, Mr. Boulton was asked before the motion was put, "If he meant fight?” He replied that “if by fighting was meant leading the men on to any rash act or undertaking, irrespective of consequences, he did not mean fighting; but that, if re-elected, he would do his utmost to accomplish the object of the expedition.” Mr. Boulton does not take the credit of having raised the force. He placed himself at the head of a number of men who had united with the determination of releasing their friends from unjust and illegal confinement; but he was wisely anxious to prevent an outbreak of hostilities. Negotiations were opened with Riel at Fort Garry, and the prisoners were released; then the force under Major Boulton, having accomplished its object, resolved to return.

But the men, contrary to the Major's advice, resolved to return in a body,-- “like brave men,” as an old sergeant who was among them said. When opposite the Fort, marching in single file, up to their waists in snow, a number of men came out, headed by O'Donohoe and Lepine, some mounted and some on foot. O'Donohoe informed Major Boulton that Riel desired to hold a parley with him at the Fort. Lepine tried to wrest a revolver from one of Boulton's men, and if he had succeeded in provoking hostilities the whole of the retiring party, ill-armed and floundering in the snow, and surrounded by horsemen, would have been massacred. Boulton ordered the man to give up the revolver; and though there was reason to suspect bad faith, it was impossible to refuse the invitation of O'Donohoe to visit Riel at the Fort. No sooner had Boulton arrived with his men than the gates were closed on them; they were disarmed, their valuables taken from them. Boulton, who was put in a room alone, was shortly after told by Riel to prepare to die next day at twelve o'clock. The rest of the prisoners, about forty in number, were placed under a guard of twenty men, armed with rifles and fixed bayonets. In Boulton's room there was no fire, though the temperature was many degrees below zero, and the prisoner had to lie on the bare floor, with chains on his hands and feet, and a guard over him. Before morning the sentry went mad. Another, who took his place, died in the room next day. In vain Riel offered Boulton his liberty if he would induce Dr. Shultz and Mr. Mair to give themselves up. Expecting to die, Boulton received the last sacrament at the hands of Archdeacon Maclean, but his life was finally spared on condition that Donald A. Smith would induce the English-speaking settlers to elect representatives to meet Riel in council. Riel now showed his craft in asking Boulton to join his Government; but it was labour in vain. Scott had in the interval been murdered; and the rest of the prisoners were now released, through the intervention of Arch-bishop Taché, on taking an oath not to take up arms against the Provisional Government.

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