Red River Settlement - Encyclopedia


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RED RIVER SETTLEMENT, a Scottish colony founded in 1811 near the present city of Winnipeg by a philanthropic Scottish nobleman, Lord Selkirk, who at that time controlled the Hudson's Bay Company. Quarrels soon arose with the French and half-breed employes of the North-West Fur Company, and were fostered by its officials. On June 19, 1816, in a fight between the rivals, Governor Semple of the Hudson's Bay Company and twenty of his twenty-seven attendants were killed, an affair known as the Battle of Seven Oaks. New settlers were sent by Selkirk, and founded the village of Kildonan, now part of Winnipeg. In 1821 the rival companies united, and in 1836 repurchased from Selkirk's heirs all rights to the territory. In 1821 and in 1835 two forts, known as Lower and Upper Fort Garry, were built to command the junction of the Red and Assiniboine rivers, and around them grew up a mixed population of Scots, French and Indians. The purchase in 1869 of the territorial rights of the Company by the Dominion of Canada led to a rebellion, and the setting up of a provisional government under Louis Riel, which was dispersed by a force of British regulars under Colonel (later Lord) Wolseley.

See Canada (History); also George Bryce, Remarkable History of the Hudson's Bay Company (1900).

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