Fenian raids

Between 1866 and 1871, the Fenian raids of the Fenian Brotherhood, an Irish Republican organization based in the United States, on British army forts, customs posts and other targets in Canada, were fought to bring pressure on Britain to withdraw from Ireland. They divided Catholic Irish-Canadians, many of whom were torn between loyalty to their new home and sympathy for the aims of the Fenians. The Protestant Irish were generally loyal to Britain and fought with the Orange Order against the Fenians. While the U.S. authorities arrested the men and confiscated their arms, there is speculation that some in the U.S. government had turned a blind eye to the preparations for the invasion, angered at actions that could have been construed as British assistance to the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War. There were five Fenian raids of note and all of them ended in failure.


Early raids (1866)

New Brunswick

John O'Mahony, a former colonel of the 69th Regiment of New York State Militia led the first raid into British North America, in April 1866.

Led by John O'Mahony, this Fenian raid occurred in April 1866, at Campobello Island, New Brunswick. A Fenian Brotherhood war party of over 700 members arrived at the Maine shore opposite the island intending to seize Campobello from the British. British commander Charles Hastings Doyle, stationed at Halifax, Nova Scotia responded decisively. On 17 April 1866 he left Halifax with Royal Navy warships carrying over 700 British regulars and proceeded to Passamaquoddy Bay, where the Fenian force was concentrated. This show of British might discouraged the Fenians, and they dispersed.[2] The invasion reinforced the idea of protection for New Brunswick by joining with the British North American colonies of Nova Scotia, and the United Province of Canada, formerly Upper Canada (now Ontario) and Lower Canada (Quebec), to form the Dominion of Canada.[3]

Canada West

After the Campobello raid, the "Presidential faction" led by Fenian founders James Stephens and John O'Mahony focused more on fundraising for rebels in Ireland. The more militant "Senate Faction" led by William R. Roberts believed that even a marginally successful invasion of the Province of Canada or other parts of British North America would provide them with leverage in their efforts. After the failure of the April attempt to raid New Brunswick, which had been blessed by O'Mahony, the Senate Faction implemented their own plan for invading Canada. Drafted by the senate "Secretary for War" General T. W. Sweeny, a distinguished former Union Army officer, the plan called for multiple invasions at points in Canada West (now southern Ontario) and Canada East (now southern Quebec) intended to cut Canada West off from Canada East and possible British reinforcements from there. Key to the plan was a diversionary attack at Fort Erie from Buffalo, New York, meant to draw troops away from Toronto in a feigned strike at the nearby Welland Canal system. This would be the only Fenian attack, other than the Quebec raid several days later, that would be launched in June 1866.

Approximately 1000 to 1300 Fenians crossed the Niagara River in the first 14 hours of June 1 under Colonel John O'Neill.[4] Sabotaged by Fenians in its crew, the U.S. Navy's side-wheel gunboat USS Michigan did not begin intercepting Fenian reinforcements until 2:15 p.m. — 14 hours after Owen Starr's advance party had crossed the river ahead of O'Neill's main force.[5][6] Once the USS Michigan was deployed, O'Neill's force in the Niagara Region was cut off from further supplies and reinforcements.

The battle of Ridgeway, C.W. June 2nd 1866 LCCN2004669162
Members of the Canadian Militia were ambushed by the Fenians at the Battle of Ridgeway in June 1866.

After assembling with other units from Canada and travelling all night, Canadian troops advanced into a well-laid ambush by approximately 600–700 Fenians the next morning north of Ridgeway, a small hamlet west of Fort Erie. (The Fenian strength at Ridgeway had been reduced by desertions and deployments of Fenians in other locations in the area overnight.)[7][8]

The Canadian militia at the Battle of Ridgeway consisted of inexperienced volunteers with no more than basic drill training but armed with Enfield rifled muskets equal to the armaments of the Fenians. A single company of the Queen's Own Rifles of Toronto had been armed the day before on their ferry crossing from Toronto with state-of-the-art seven-shot Spencer repeating rifles, but had not had an opportunity to practise with them and were issued with only 28 rounds per man. The Fenians were mostly battle-hardened American Civil War veterans, armed with weapons procured from leftover war supplies, either Enfield rifled muskets or the comparable Springfield.[9]

The fifth company of The Queen's Own Rifles - during the Battle of Ridgeway it was the only Company to use modern Spencer Repeating Rifles (cropped)
5th Company of the Queen's Own Rifles of Canada. It was the only company in the Canadian Militia armed with Spencer repeating rifles.

The opposing forces exchanged volleys for about two hours, before a series of command errors threw the Canadians into confusion. The Fenians took advantage of it by launching a bayonet charge that broke the inexperienced Canadian ranks. Seven Canadians were killed on the battlefield, two died shortly afterwards from wounds, and four would later die of wounds or disease while on service; ninety-four more were wounded or disabled by disease.[10] Two Fenians were killed and sixteen wounded.

After the battle, the Canadians retreated to Port Colborne, at the Lake Erie end of the Welland Canal. The Fenians rested briefly at Ridgeway, before returning to Fort Erie. Another encounter, the Battle of Fort Erie, followed that saw several Canadians severely wounded and the surrender of a large group of local Canadian militia who had moved into the Fenian rear. After considering the inability of reinforcements to cross the river and the approach of large numbers of both militia and British regulars, the remaining Fenians released the Canadian prisoners and returned to Buffalo early in the morning of June 3. They were intercepted by the gunboat Michigan and surrendered to the American navy.

The traditional historical narrative alleges that the turning point in the Battle of Ridgeway was when Fenian cavalry was erroneously reported and the Canadian militia ordered to form square, the standard tactic for infantry to repel cavalry. When the mistake was recognized, an attempt was made to reform in column; being too close to the Fenian lines, it failed. In his 2011 history of Ridgeway, however, historian Peter Vronsky argues the explanation was not as simple as that. Prior to the formation of the square, confusion had already broken out when a unit of the Queen's Own Rifles mistook three arriving companies of redcoat Hamilton 13th Battalion for British troops. When the Queen's Own Rifles began retiring to give the field to what they thought were British units, the 13th Battalion mistook this for a retreat, and began withdrawing themselves. At this moment that the infamous "form square" order was given, completing the debacle that was unfolding on the field.[11]

Funeral of Canadian volunteers killed at Ridgeway in the Fenian Invasion (St. James cemetery, Toronto) Pictures-r-1310
A funeral for soldiers killed during the Fenian attacks in Canada East, 30 June 1866.

A board of inquiry determined that allegations over the alleged misconduct of Lieutenant-Colonel Alfred Booker (13th Battalion), on whom command of Canadian volunteers had devolved, had "not the slightest foundation for the unfavourable imputations cast upon him in the public prints". Nevertheless, the charges dogged Booker for the rest of his life.

A second board of inquiry into the battle at Fort Erie exonerated Lieutenant-Colonel J. Stoughton Dennis, Brigade Major of the Fifth Military District, although the President of the Board of Inquiry, Colonel George T. Denison, differed from his colleagues on several key points.

Five days after the start of the invasion, U. S. President Andrew Johnson issued a proclamation requiring enforcement of the neutrality laws, guaranteeing the Fenian invasion could not continue. Generals Ulysses S. Grant and General George Meade went to Buffalo, New York to inspect the situation. Following instructions from Grant, Meade issued strict orders to prevent anyone from violating the border. Grant then proceeded to St. Louis. Meade, finding that the battles were over and the Fenian army interned in Buffalo, went to Ogdensburg, New York, to oversee the situation in the St. Lawrence River area. The U.S. Army was then instructed to seize all Fenian weapons and ammunition and prevent more border crossings. Further instructions on 7 June 1866 were to arrest anyone who appeared to be a Fenian.

A Fenian commander was Brigadier General Thomas William Sweeny, who was arrested by the United States government for violating American neutrality. Nevertheless, he was soon released and served in the American Regular Army until he retired in 1870.[12]

Canada East

Champ-de-Mars Montreal 1866
Crowds celebrate the return of militiamen in Montreal, 1866.

After the invasion of Canada West failed, the Fenians decided to concentrate their efforts on Canada East; however, the U.S. government had begun to impede Fenian activities, and arrested many Fenian leaders. The Fenians soon saw their plans begin to fade. General Samuel Spear of the Fenians managed to escape arrest, and, on June 7, Spear and his 1000 men marched into Canadian territory, achieving occupancy of Pigeon Hill, Frelighsburg, St. Armand and Stanbridge. At this point the Canadian government had done little to defend the border, but on June 8 Canadian forces arrived at Pigeon Hill and the Fenians, who were low on arms, ammunition and supplies, promptly surrendered, ending the raid on Canada East.[13]

Timothy O'Hea was awarded the Victoria Cross for actions he took at Danville, Canada East, on June 9, 1866, at about the time of the Pigeon Hill Raid. Although only about 23 years old, O'Hea, a private in the 1st Battalion, Rifle Brigade (The Prince Consort's Own), British Army, stationed in Canada, saw the threat posed by a burning railway car containing ammunition and fought the blaze single-handedly for an hour, saving the lives of many in the area.

Later raids (1870–71)


Battle of Eccles Hill
In 1870, a Fenian raid at Eccles Hill was repulsed by the Canadian Militia.

Another raid by the Fenians occurred on 25 May 1870. The Canadians, acting on information supplied by Thomas Billis Beach, were able to wait for and turn back the attack at Eccles Hill.

The Battle of Trout River was a military conflict that occurred on 27 May 1870. It was a part of the Fenian raids. This battle occurred outside of Huntingdon, Quebec near the international border about 20 kilometres (12 mi) north of Malone, New York. The location of this battle should not be confused with Trout River in the Northwest Territories.


Fenian John O'Neill, after the failed 1870 Fenian invasion of Canada, had resigned the Senate Wing then joined the Savage Wing. In return he was given a seat on the Savage Wing governing council. In 1871 O'Neill and an odd character named W. B. O’Donoghue asked the Savage Wing Council to undertake another invasion of Canada across the Dakota Territory border. The Council, weary of Canadian adventures in general and O’Neill in particular, would have none of it. O'Neill's idea was turned down, but the Council promised to loan him arms and agreed they would not publicly denounce him and his raid.

O'Neill resigned from the Fenians to lead the invasion, which was planned in Saint Paul, Minnesota, to invade Manitoba near Winnipeg. About 35 men, led by John O'Neill, William B. O'Donoghue, and John J. Donnelly, hoped to join forces with Louis Riel's French-Indian Métis. On October 5, O'Neill's force managed to capture a Hudson's Bay Company post and a Canadian customs house which they believed to be just north of the international border. A U.S. survey team had determined the border was two miles further north, placing the Hudson's Bay post and the customs house both inside U.S. territory.[14] O'Neill, J. J. Donnelly and ten others were taken prisoner near Pembina, Dakota Territory, by U.S. soldiers led Captain Loyd Wheaton.

The farcical raid was doomed from the very start. It actually took place inside the United States, and the Métis under Riel had signed a pact with the British just as the invasion began. Riel and his Métis captured O'Donoghue and gave him to U.S. authorities. In a somewhat muddled federal response, O'Neill was arrested twice – once in Dakota and once in Minnesota- but was released and never charged for "invading" U.S. territory. The men captured with him were released by the court as simply "dupes" of O'Neill and Donnelly.[15][16]

British Columbia

The Fenian Brotherhood organized openly in the Pacific Northwest states during the 1870s, agitating to invade British Columbia. Although no raids were ever launched, tensions were sufficient that Britain sent several large warships to the new railhead at Vancouver, British Columbia for the celebrations opening the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1886.


The Canadian Volunteer Monument was erected to honour Canadian militiamen who fell during the Battle of Ridgeway.

Support for the Fenian Brotherhood's invasion of Canada quickly disappeared and there was no real threat after the 1890s. Nevertheless, the raids had an important effect on all Canadians. Ironically, though they did nothing to advance the cause of Irish independence, the 1866 Fenian raids and the inept efforts of the Canadian militia to repulse them helped to galvanize support for the Confederation of Canada in 1867. Some historians have argued that the affair tipped the final votes of reluctant Maritime provinces in favour of the collective security of nationhood, making Ridgeway the "battle that made Canada."[17] Alexander Muir, a Scottish immigrant, author of "The Maple Leaf Forever" and member of the Orange Order, fought at Ridgeway with the Queen's Own Rifles.

The raids also aroused a martial spirit among Canadians by testing the militia's strength. Because of their poor performance, the militia took efforts to improve themselves. This was achieved without the huge cost of a real war.[18] The greatest impact of the Fenian raids was in the developing a sense of Canadian nationalism and leading the provinces into a Confederation. This was seen as necessary for survival and self-defense; the raids showed Canadians that safety lay in unity and were an important factor in creating the modern nation-state of Canada.[13]

The Fenian raids caused an increased anti-American feeling in Canada and the Maritimes because of the U.S. government's perceived tolerance of the Fenians when they were meeting openly and preparing for the raids.[13]

The total casualty figures for the Fenian Raids into Canada 1866, including deaths from disease while on service in both Canada West (Ontario) and Canada East (Quebec), were calculated by the Militia Department in 1868 as 31 dead and 103 wounded or struck by disease (including a female civilian accidentally shot by the militia.)[19]


Several memorials were erected throughout Canada, commemorating those that volunteered with the Canadian militia fought during the raids. These include monuments include the Canadian Volunteers Monument in Queen's Park, Toronto, and the Battle of Eccles Hill Monument in Frelighsburg, Quebec.

In June 2006 Ontario’s heritage agency dedicated a plaque at Ridgeway on the commemoration of the 140th anniversary of the battle. Many members of today's Canadian army regiment, The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada, return to the Ridgeway battle site each year on the weekend closest to the June 2 anniversary for a bicycle tour of the battle sites.

See also


  1. ^ Province of Canada (1866–67)
    New Brunswick (1866)


  1. ^ Senior p. 191
  2. ^ "Fenian raids". Dictionary of Canadian Biography (online ed.). University of Toronto Press. 1979–2016.
  3. ^ Dallsion, Robert L. Turning back the Fenians: New Brunswick's Last Colonial Campaign Goose Lane Edition. 2006.
  4. ^ The Fenian raid at Fort Erie, June the first and second, 1866: with a map of the Niagara Peninsula, shewing the route of the troops, and a plan of the Lime Ridge battle ground. Toronto: W.C. Chewett & Co., 1866.
  5. ^ Log Entry, Friday June 1, 1866, USS Michigan Logbook No. 16, July 24, 1864, to August 30, 1866: Logbooks of U.S. Navy Ships, 1801–1940, Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel, 1798–2003, RG24.(National Archives Building, Washington, DC) NARA.
  6. ^ E. A. Cruickshank, "The Fenian Raid of 1866",Welland County Historical Society Papers and Records, Vol 2, Welland Canada: 1926. p. 21; John O’Neill, Official Report of the Battle of Ridgeway, Canada West, Fought on June 2, 1866 (June 27, 1866), New York: John A. Foster, 1870. pp. 37–38
  7. ^ O'Neill's strength in the Fenian camp at Frenchmen's Creek was estimated at 250 by a Canada West Frontier Police detective who infiltrated the camp. He also reported that later in the night an additional 200 Fenians joined the column from the camp, bringing the total to at least 450. See: Detective Charles Clarke to McMicken, telegram, June 2, 1866, MG26 A, Volume 237, p. 103878 [Reel C1663] Canada Archives.
  8. ^ Peter Vronsky, Ridgeway: The American Fenian Invasion and the 1866 Battle That Made Canada, Toronto: Penugin-Allen Lane, 2011. pp. 46–47
  9. ^ Fenian Brotherhood. Proceedings of the second National Congress of the Fenian Brotherhood, held in Cincinnati, Ohio, January 1865. Philadelphia: J. Gibbons, 1865.
  10. ^ Abstract of Names of Claimants for Pensions and Gratuities, Fenian Raid Service Records, Adjutant General’s Office, United Canada, Pensions and Land Grants, RG9-I-C-5; Compensation of Injuries, Wounds, etc, Received on Active Service Fenian Raids 1866–1868 Volume 32, page 13, National Archives of Canada
  11. ^ Peter Vronsky, Ridgeway: The American Fenian Invasion and the 1866 Battle That Made Canada, Toronto: Penguin-Allen Lane, 2011. pp. 141–145.
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-05-11. Retrieved 2008-12-15.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ a b c Neidhardt, W.S. Fenianism in North America The Pennsylvania State University Press. 1975.
  14. ^ General O'Neill's Last Hurrah by Michael Ruddy [webpage with sources see External Links]
  15. ^ Regan, Ann (2002). Irish in Minnesota. Minnesota Historical Society Press. pp. 44–45. ISBN 0-87351-419-X.
  16. ^ John O'Neill's Last Hurrah by Michael Ruddy
  17. ^ Vronsky, Peter (2011). Ridgeway : the American Fenian invasion and the 1866 battle that made Canada. Toronto: Allen Lane Canada. ISBN 9780143182849.
  18. ^ Senior, Hereward. The Last Invasion of Canada: The Fenian Raids of 1866–1870 Dundurn Press. 1991.
  19. ^ Peter Vronsky, Ridgeway: The American Fenian Invasion and the 1866 Battle That Made Canada, Toronto: Penguin-Allen Lane, 2011. p. 261

Further reading

External links

Algernon Frederick Rous de Horsey

Admiral Sir Algernon Frederick Rous de Horsey KCB (25 July 1827 – 22 October 1922) was a Royal Navy officer, appointed ADC to Queen Victoria. He distinguished himself in Canada during the Fenian raids, and was thanked in Parliament for suppressing riots in Jamaica.

Andrew Broder

Andrew Broder (April 16, 1845 – January 4, 1918) was an Ontario farmer, merchant and political figure. He represented Dundas in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1875 to 1886 and in the House of Commons of Canada from 1896 to 1911 as a Conservative member.

He was born in Franklin, Huntingdon County, Canada East in 1845, the son of Irish immigrants. He was educated at academies in Huntingdon and Malone, New York. Broder served in the militia during the time of the Fenian raids. He settled at West Winchester, Ontario in 1868 and set up in business there as a merchant. His election in 1875 was appealed but he was reelected in the by-election that followed and represented Dundas in the provincial assembly for eleven years. Broder was a customs agent at Morrisburg from 1892 to 1896, resigning this post to run for a seat in the House of Commons. He married Caroline Summers and his son Fred later became customs collector at Morrisburg.

Arthur Matheson

Arthur James Matheson (December 1842 – January 25, 1913) was a Canadian lawyer and politician. He served as a Conservative Member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario for Lanark South from 1898 to 1913, and was provincial treasurer from 1905 to 1913.

He was born in Perth, Canada West in 1845, the son of Roderick Matheson, and educated at Upper Canada College and Trinity College, Toronto. Matheson studied law, was called to the bar in 1870 and set up practice in Perth. He was mayor of Perth in 1883 and 1884. Matheson served in the local militia, including service during the Fenian raids, and became lieutenant-colonel in 1886. Other than serving as provincial treasurer, Matheson was member of various house committees, including the Standing Committee on Public Accounts. He died in office in 1913.

The geographical township of Matheson, part of Black River-Matheson Township, was named after Arthur Matheson.

Battle of Eccles Hill

The Battle of Eccles Hill was part of a raid into Canadian territory from the United States led by John O'Neill of the Fenian Brotherhood. The army of the Fenian Brotherhood was defeated by local militia units and armed citizens on May 25, 1870.

Battle of Trout River

The Battle of Trout River was a military conflict that occurred on 27 May 1870. It was a part of the Fenian raids. This battle occurred outside of Huntingdon, Quebec near the international border about 20 kilometres (12 mi) north of Malone, New York. The location of this battle should not be confused with Trout River in the Northwest Territories.

Canada East

Canada East (French: Canada-Est) was the northeastern portion of the United Province of Canada. Lord Durham's Report investigating the causes of the Upper and Lower Canada Rebellions recommended merging those two colonies. The new colony, known as the Province of Canada was created by the Act of Union 1840 passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, having effect in 1841. For administrative purposes, the new Province was subdivided into Canada West and Canada East. The former name of "Lower Canada" came back into official use in 1849, and as of the Canadian Confederation of 1867, it formed the newly created province of Quebec.

An estimated 890,000 people lived in Canada East in 1851.

Canada General Service Medal

The Canada General Service Medal was a campaign medal awarded by the Canadian Government to both Imperial and Canadian forces for duties related to the Fenian raids between 1866 and 1871. The medal was not initially issued until 1899 and had to be applied for. The period for applying for the medal was later extended to 1907, then to 1928.With late applications, 17,623 medals were awarded, including 15,300 to members of Canadian units.The obverse of the medal bears the head of Queen Victoria with the legend VICTORIA REGINA ET IMPERATRIX, while the reverse depicts the red ensign of Canada surrounded by a wreath of maple leaves with the word CANADA above.

Charles Clarke (Canadian politician)

Charles Clarke (November 28, 1826 – April 6, 1909) was speaker of the Legislature of Ontario in 1880-1883 and served as Liberal MLA for Wellington Centre from 1871 to 1886 and for Wellington East from 1886 to 1891.

He was born in Lincoln, England, in 1826, studied there with George Boole, was apprenticed as a draper and came to Canada West in 1844. He joined his mother and stepfather on a farm in the Niagara District and later moved with them to Elora. He opened a store with his stepfather there. He was editor for the Journal and Express newspapers in Hamilton and helped establish the Elora Backwoodsman. He served on the town council for Elora and was reeve from 1859 to 1864 and from 1867 to 1868. He commanded a local militia unit during the Fenian raids, becoming lieutenant-colonel. In 1874, he helped introduce legislation that established the secret ballot for elections in the province. He became clerk of the legislature in January 1892 and served until 1907. He died in Elora in 1909.

David Tisdale

David Tisdale, (September 8, 1835 – March 31, 1911) was a Canadian politician.Born in Charlotteville Township, Upper Canada, the son of Ephraim Tisdale and Hannah Price, he was educated at the Simcoe Grammar School and called to the Ontario bar in 1858. He was made a Queen's Counsel in 1872. He served in the Canadian Militia at the time of the Trent Affair in 1861, was promoted Captain in 1862 and at Niagara in 1865. He also did service during the Fenian raids in 1866. He was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel of the 39th Norfolk Battalion of Infantry on September 28, 1866. He retired, retaining his rank, in 1876. He served on the town council for Simcoe, also serving as reeve and as a member of the council for Norfolk County. Tisdale was president of the Crown Life Insurance Company, the St. Clair and Erie Ship Canal Company and the Wawa Gold Mining Company.He was elected to the House of Commons of Canada in the 1874 federal election in the riding of Norfolk South. Although defeated, he was elected in 1887. A Conservative, he was re-elected in 1891, 1896, 1900, and 1904. In 1896, he was the Minister of Militia and Defence.Tisdale was married to Sarah Araminta Walker in 1858.

Dominion Police

The Dominion Police Force was the federal police force of Canada between 1868 and 1920, and was one of the predecessors of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. It was the first federal police force in Canada, formed the year following the Canadian Confederation to enforce federal laws and perform policing duties for the Federal Government of Canada. On 1 February 1920, the Dominion Police was merged with the North-West Mounted Police to form the Royal Canadian Mounted Police as the new federal police force of Canada.


Fenian () was an umbrella term for the Fenian Brotherhood and Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB), fraternal organisations dedicated to the establishment of an independent Irish Republic in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Originating in Irish mythology with the Fianna, the term derives from groups of legendary warrior bands following Fionn mac Cumhail, with their associated mythological tales, known as the Fenian Cycle. The term Fenian today is seen as a derogatory sectarian term in Ireland to refer to Irish nationalists and/or Catholics, particularly in Northern Ireland. The term has been used similarly in Scotland as a slur to refer to Scottish Catholics or Scots with Irish ancestry.

Gilbert McMicken

Gilbert McMicken (October 13, 1813 – March 7, 1891) was a Canadian businessman and political figure. He served on the Council of Keewatin the governing body of the District of Keewatin from 1876 to 1877.

He was born in England or Scotland in 1813 and came to Upper Canada in 1832. He entered the business of forwarding goods at Chippawa in the Niagara region. He later moved to Queenston where he became a customs collector and a notary public. He formed a forwarding company there in partnership with James Hamilton. He was elected to the council for the Niagara District and then to the council for Niagara Township, where he was chosen to be reeve. He moved to Clifton (later Niagara Falls) in 1851 where he served several terms as postmaster and became the town's first mayor.

In 1857, he was elected to the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada for Welland. He was appointed excise officer in Windsor in 1864. Later that year, he was named stipendiary magistrate and justice of the peace throughout Canada West. McMicken was charged with collecting intelligence for the government during the period leading up to the Fenian raids. His injection of spies into the Fenian organization helped defuse this threat. In 1869, he was named commissioner for the Dominion Police, later merged into the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

In 1871, he went to Winnipeg to help establish government offices there. McMicken took on the role of lands agent and had to deal with the thorny problem of distributing land in Manitoba. He later lobbied for the incorporation of Winnipeg as a town and helped keep it on the route chosen for the transcontinental railroad.

McMicken was appointed to the Council of Keewatin serving as one of six members appointed on November 25, 1876. He served on the council until he was asked to resign along with the rest of the council April 16, 1877In 1879, he was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba. He served as speaker for the provincial assembly from 1880 to 1882. He also served on the council for the University of Manitoba. He supplemented his pension income by working as an insurance agent in Winnipeg. He died there in 1891.

James McShane

James McShane (November 7, 1833 – December 14, 1918) was a Canadian businessman and politician. He was mayor of Montreal, a member of the Legislative Assembly of Quebec, and a member of the House of Commons of Canada.

Richard Tyrwhitt

Richard Tyrwhitt (November 29, 1844 – June 22, 1900) was a Canadian politician.Born in Simcoe County, Canada West, the son of William Tyrwhitt, he was educated in Barrie and also privately tutored. Tyrwhitt became a farmer in Bradford. In 1870, he married Emma Whitaker.Tyrwhitt was elected to the House of Commons of Canada for the Ontario electoral district of Simcoe South in an 1882 by-election held after the death of the sitting MP, William Carruthers Little. A Conservative, he was re-elected at the general elections of 1882, 1887, 1891, and 1896. He died while in office in 1900. He was a Lieutenant-Colonel with the 36th Peel Battalion of Infantry, now part of The Lorne Scots. He served during the North-West Rebellion and the Fenian raids.

Thomas MacNutt

Thomas McNutt redirects here. For the American political candidate and businessman Thomas McNutt, see Collin Street Bakery

Thomas MacNutt (August 3, 1850 – February 5, 1927) was a Canadian politician who held national as well as province-wide office, as a former member of the House of Commons of Canada and the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan. He won a number of significant recognized awards and honours in his career. Thomas MacNutt was one of the original eight people who comprised the Independent party, the precursor to the Progressive Party of Canada.

Thomas Miller Beach

Thomas Miller Beach (who used the alias Major Henri Le Caron) (September 26, 1841 – April 1, 1894) was an English spy.

His services enabled the British Government to take measures which led to the fiasco of the Canadian invasion of 1870 and Kiel's surrender in 1871, and he supplied full details concerning the various Irish-American associations, in which he himself was a prominent member. His infiltration of the Fenian Brotherhood and subsequent reports and espionage greatly aided in upholding the British Empire in Canada from the Fenian raids which took place from 1866 - 1871.

For twenty-five years he lived in Detroit, Michigan and other places in the United States, paying occasional visits to Europe, and all the time carrying his life in his hand.

Thomas Scott (Manitoba politician)

Thomas Scott (February 16, 1841 – February 11, 1915) was a Canadian military figure, Manitoba Member of the Legislative Assembly, Member of Parliament and the third Mayor of Winnipeg in the 19th century.

Scott was born in Lanark County, Ontario in what was then Upper Canada to Irish immigrant parents. He was the youngest of four children. His father died when he was an infant, and the family moved to Perth, Ontario where Scott attended school and then apprenticed as a printer. He founded the Perth Expositor newspaper in 1861 and was its editor and proprietor, until 1872.In 1860, Scott signed up for military service, during the Trent Affair. He was in command of the Perth Infantry and served for five months on the frontier during the Fenian Raids crisis on 1866. During the Red River Expedition of 1870, Scott – by this time a colonel – was in command of the Ontario Rifles which arrived at Fort Garry following Louis Riel's escape. He returned to Ontario, in December 1870, but was sent again to Fort Garry, in 1871, as part of the Second Red River Expedition. In 1874, he retired from military service but remained in Manitoba where he entered politics and was elected to Winnipeg's first city council; he became mayor in 1877. In 1878, he was elected to the Manitoba legislature from the district of Winnipeg and, in 1880, he defeated incumbent Donald A. Smith to become the Conservative MP for Selkirk. He was re-elected in the 1882 federal election in the new riding of Winnipeg.Scott returned to military service, in 1885, while still an MP, after the Minister of the Militia Sir Adolphe-Philippe Caron asked Scott to raise a regiment to put down the North-West Rebellion of 1885. Smith raised and equipped the Ninety-fifth Manitoba Grenadiers in thirteen days.Scott retired from politics, in 1887, and became collector of customs at the port of Winnipeg.

Thomas William Sweeny

Thomas William Sweeny (December 25, 1820 – April 10, 1892) was an Irish-American soldier who served in the Mexican–American War and then was a general in the Union Army during the American Civil War.

Victoria Rifles of Canada

Not to be confused with Victoria Rifles (Nova Scotia)

The Victoria Rifles of Canada was an infantry regiment of the Canadian Army that originated in Montreal, Quebec, on 22 January 1862, as The 3rd Battalion Volunteer Militia Rifles Canada. The regiment went through several changes of designation throughout its history. It was redesignated as the 3rd Battalion, The Victoria Volunteer Rifles of Montreal on 18 July 1862; as the 3rd Battalion Victoria Rifles of Canada on 5 December 1879; as the 3rd Regiment Victoria Rifles of Canada on 8 May 1900; as The Victoria Rifles of Canada on 29 March 1920; as Victoria Rifles of Canada on 15 November 1934; as the 2nd (Reserve) Battalion, Victoria Rifles of Canada on 7 November 1941; and finally Victoria Rifles of Canada on 1 June 1945. It was reduced to nil strength and transferred to the Supplementary Order of Battle on 5 March 1965.

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