A new view of frontier justice in western Canada’s first major settlement through the eyes of its courts and witnesses.
Inhabited by a diverse population of First Nations peoples, Métis, Scots, Upper and Lower Canadians, and Americans, and dominated by the commercial and governmental activities of the Hudson’s Bay Company, Red River - now Winnipeg - was a challenging settlement to oversee. This illuminating account presents the story of the unique legal and governmental system that attempted to do so and the mixed success it encountered, culminating in the 1869-70 Red River Rebellion and confederation with Canada in 1870.
In Law, Life, and Government at Red River, Dale Gibson provides rich, revealing glimpses into the community, and its complex relations with the Hudson’s Bay: the colony’s owner, and primary employer. Volume 2 provides a complete annotated, and never-before-published transcription of testimony from Red River’s courts, presenting hundreds of vignettes of frontier life, the cases that were brought before the courts, and the ways in which the courts resolved conflicts.
A vivid look into early settler life, Law, Life, and Government at Red River offers insights into the political, commercial, and legal circumstances that unfolded during western expansion.