2 responses to “New Item on Open Collections: House book of the wife of Archibald McDonald, Chief Factor, Hudson’s Bay Company, Fort Qu’Apelle”

  1. Jo Anne Lauder

    It was me who requested this book. I live in Archibald, HBC Factor and Ellen McDonald’s house in Fort Qu’Appelle.

    I also believe that Archibald and Ellen’s daughter, Mary was the keeper of this book. She was the right age to be given this sort of social responsibility and to test her skills as a proper young lady.

    Regarding Louis Riel’s note and signature – I have also compared the book’s signature with verified signatures and this one appears to be real.

    If you read further into the book, there is a page with signatures of all the members of the jury who served at Riel’s trial. With some research I learned that Archibald McDonald attended Riel’s trial and would most likely have taken this book with him to visit Riel who was a prisoner at the NWMP barracks in Regina.

    During Riel’s time in prison there was a Catholic mass held for him and the other prisoners. It is believed that his note in this book was comparing the evening prayer at the private mass, with the NWMP and their military bands.

    Also note that most of the soldiers listed in this book reported to General Middleton, the officer who planned and led forces to the Battle of Fish Creek and the Battle of Batoche during the North West Rebellion. Middleton planned the attacks from Archibald McDonald’s HBC store, located next door to Archie’s family home within the stockade of what was Fort Qu’Appelle. During that period, Mary would have seen troops of soldiers on a daily basis.

    Thanks so much for the extra effort it took to digitize this very special book.

    1. mmlam

      Hi Jo Anne,
      Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment and for the additional information!
      Best regards,
      Digitization Centre Team

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