By Jim Blanchard
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Extra info for A Thousand Miles of Prairie: The Manitoba Historical Society and the History of Western Canada
O'Donoghue [whom McMicken calls "O'Donnabue"], a former member of Riel's Provisional Government, and the same John O'Neill ["O'Neil" in McMicken's account] who had fought at the Battle of Ridgeway. 4 McMicken, however, portrays Riel as a traitor, "haranguing" his followers and offering to help Lieutenant-Governor Archibald only after the Fenians were arrested by the American army. McMicken's colourful language—the Fenians are "green ribbon decorated rapscallions" and a stage driver is a "vile lame lump of 2.
He, we found, was an Irishman Americanized; a full blown Fenian. Ritchie and Fuller pretended to be Americans and in full sympathy with his views. He told them he had been sworn in about two weeks ago, that they would see fun at Garry although he did not know how it would be now, as the leaders had made a big blunder. The raid was planned — 48 — The Abortive Fenian Raid on Manitoba to take place in November when the route by the lakes could not be passed over, and now the raid was ordered for Wednesday.
It is known that for years he has been considering the propriety of establishing in his native land some useful educational institution. At one time this was thought of as a 'Normal School' and the University Act bears traces of an intention to provide for this on the part of the framers of the Act. Since that, the University of Manitoba has shown itself to have the "potency" for future good. Mr. Isbister was greatly delighted with the unsectarian character of the University, so thoroughly uniting all ideas in the country.
A Thousand Miles of Prairie: The Manitoba Historical Society and the History of Western Canada by Jim Blanchard