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Fleeing Flogger Flayed

Manitoba Pageant, January 1963, Volume 8, Number 2

This article was published originally in Manitoba Pageant by the Manitoba Historical Society on the above date. We make it available here as a free, public service.

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An excerpt from History of Manitoba by Gunn and Tuttle:

The 28th day of April, 1836, beheld the first jury impaneled in Assiniboia, when they had to try one Louis St. Dennis for theft. They brought in the verdict of guilty. The unfortunate St. Dennis was sentenced to be there and then publicly whipped. The novelty of a court composed of a bench of magistrates and jury drew large crowds together to witness the proceedings. A strong police force was in attendance, and formed a ring round the executioner while performing his duty; that finished, the police dispersed. The flogger appeared defenceless before the multitude, who viewed with indignation the unusual spectacle of a white man tied to a cart's tail, stripped naked and flogged. One threw a clod or a stone at him, others followed the example, and all began to call at the height of their voices, "Borreau! Borreau!" Stone him! Stone him! The terrified German, for such he was, fled, as he no doubt believed for life, but he had not proceeded many yards before he fell headlong into a pit. On seeing his sad mishap his mischievous pursuers burst into a loud fit of laughter mingled with hisses and execrations. Here the police interfered, dragged the woe-begone official out of the pit, and guarded him in the Fort until the people had gone away.

Public opinion was so strong against the above mode of punishment that, after five years had run their round, when a similar sentence had been passed for a similar offence, not a person could be procured to perform the disagreeable and dangerous duty out doors; therefore, on that second occasion the duty had to be performed in the prison, the official being masked, and for further security locked up until dark where he was.

Page revised: 1 July 2009

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