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Wilson, Keith.

Winnipeg, Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba, c1984. 50pp, paper, $4.00, ISBN 0-9691775-0-X. (Canadian Biographical series) Distributed by Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Man., R3T 2N2. CIP

Grades 8 and up
Reviewed by R. Wieler

Volume 13 Number 1
1985 January

This is the first in a continuing series of illustrated biographical sketches of men and women who have made significant contributions to the development of Manitoba and western Canada.

Professor Keith Wilson provides a colourful description of the unusual career of Charles Boulton. Boulton, born into a prominent family in eastern Canada, spent ten years as a soldier before going to Red River as a surveyor in 1869, where he became embroiled in the events of the Riel uprising of 1869-70. In February 1870, Boulton was taken prisoner by Riel's men and narrowly escaped execution by Riel's provisional government. He was later released and went back to Ontario where he married and entered business.

Boulton returned to Manitoba as a settler in 1880 and became a prominent citizen in the newly-created town of Russell, Manitoba. When the second Riel insurrection broke out in Saskatchewan in 1885, he responded to a government call for troops and joined General Middleton's forces in their march to Batoche. Following the 1885 Rebellion, he acted as a spokesman for the west as a member of the Canadian Senate.

According to Wilson, Charles Boulton was one of only two men who actively opposed Riel in both rebellions. Ironically, Boulton was not without sympathy for the grievances of the Metis, and as a senator spoke out for other western causes such as provincial land rights, railway expansion, and free trade. Wilson comments that, with the death of Charles Boulton, "the nation lost a senator, a soldier and a civic leader whose achievements deserve to be more fully remembered." The book is a useful supplement to Canadian studies courses at the junior high level and Canadian history courses in high school.

R. Wieler, Glenlawn C.I., Winnipeg, Man.
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