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Memorable Manitobans: Ambroise Didyme Lépine (1840-1923)

Métis leader.

Born in St. Vital, he was the son of a French-Canadian father and a Métisse, brother of Jean-Baptiste Lépine and Maxime Lépine. From the beginning of the Red River Rebellion, he was Louis Riel’s military lieutenant and chief enforcer. He led the armed party that ordered Governor McDougall out of the settlement in October 1869. He was prominent in the surrenders of the Schultz party in December 1869 and of the Boulton party in February 1870. His appearance in 1870 was described by Roderick MacBeth: “a man of magnificent physique, standing fully six feet three and built in splendid proportion, straight as an arrow, with hair of raven blackness, large aquiline nose and eyes of piercing brilliance; a man of prodigious strength, a skilled roughrider. ...”Lépine was subsequently arrested and tried for the murder of Thomas Scott in 1874. He was found guilty by a jury, but was granted an amnesty by the Governor-General of Canada with the provision that he lose his civil rights. He died at the St. Boniface General Hospital on 8 June 1923. He is commemorated by Lepine Avenue in Winnipeg and a plaque near the Upper Fort Garry Gate.

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Ambroise-Didyme Lépine Plaques (Upper Fort Garry, Winnipeg)

“The Trial of Ambroise Lépine: Murder, Politics, and the Public Memory,” by J. M. Bumsted, The Beaver, 77, no. 2 (April-May, 1997): pages 9-19.

Sources:

“Ambrose Lepine, leader in Riel Rebellion, dies,” Winnipeg Free Press Bulletin, 9 June 1923. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B7]

Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by J. M. Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 5 June 2017

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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