Memorable Manitobans: Thomas Scott (c1842-1870)
Born in Ireland and an Orangeman, he was one of the workmen who threatened John Snow with physical violence at Oak Point in October 1869. Scott was fined £4 at the 19 November 1869 General Quarterly Court. According to Alexander Begg he said on leaving court “it was a pity they had not ducked Snow while they were at it as they had not got their money’s worth.” He was one of a delegation of three sent by those in John Schultz’s house to negotiate with Louis Riel on 7 December 1869; he was held by Riel as a prisoner.
He escaped along with others on 9 January 1870, by digging for nights at the windows of Upper Fort Garry with pocket knives until he had removed the iron bars from one of the windows. He went to Portage la Prairie, where he helped encourage the attempt of February 1870 to free the remaining prisoners. He was captured 17 February 1870 and was tried by a Métis tribunal on 3 March 1870 for insubordination and rebellion against the provisional government. He was condemned to death and executed on 4 March 1870, becoming the martyr of the resistance. The people of Ontario, especially Orangemen, were very angry about his death. His burial place has never been substantiated.
He is commemorated by Scott Street in Winnipeg.
Pioneers and Early Citizens of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Manitoba Library Association, 1971.
Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 21 February 2015