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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Dale Gibson, Law, Life, and Government at Red River, Volume 1 Settlement and Governance, 1812-1872

Now available from The Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History and McGill-Queen's University Press, Law, Life, and Government at Red River, Volume 1  Settlement and Governance, 1812-1872 by Dale Gibson. (This is also number 13 in the Rupert's Land Record Series.)

Here's the Osgoode Society blurb:

The General Quarterly Court of Assiniboia can justly be called the first ‘British’ court in western Canada. Although there were predecessor institutions and judicial arrangements for hearing criminal and civil cases, the establishment of the Quarterly Court in the 1830s put the administration of justice in the Red River region on a firm and regularised footing.
Professor Gibson’s comprehensive history of the Court weaves together the legal history of Red River with its social, economic, and political history. At the centre piece of this book sits the complete court proceedings of the General Quarterly Court from 1844 until 1872, which are examined in detail and in context to provide a compelling narrative of the administration of substantial rather than formal justice in a Company community.

Here's the MQUP blurb.

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 1 details the history of the settlement’s establishment, development, and ambivalent relationship with the legal and undemocratic, but gradually, grudgingly, slightly, more representitive [sic], governmental institutions forming in the area, and the legal system’s evolving engagement with the Aboriginal population.

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.

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