North America 1870: Rupert’s Land Act

Political map of North America & the Caribbean on 15 Jul 1870 (Closing the Frontier: Rupert’s Land Act), showing the following events: Transfer of Alaska; Treaty of Fort Laramie; Wyoming Territory; Pacific Railroad opens; Red River Rebellion; Battle of Eccles Hill; Manitoba Act; Rupert’s Land Act takes effect.

Canada quickly expanded as Britain began to transfer its other North American possessions to the dominion. First up were Rupert’s Land and the North-Western Territory, which were sold to Canada for £300,000. The Rupert’s Land sale antagonized the mixed ancestry Métis of the Red River Colony, who asserted themselves under Louis Riel but were mostly placated when Canada agreed to their demands and created the province of Manitoba.

Main Events

18 Oct 1867 Transfer of Alaska

In a formal ceremony in Sitka, capital of Alaska, Russian and US soldiers paraded in front of the governor’s house. To the sound of artillery, the Russian flag was lowered and the American flag raised, marking the formal transfer of Alaska from the Russian Empire to the United States of wikipedia

29 Apr 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie

The Treaty of Fort Laramie ended Red Cloud’s War and established the Great Sioux wikipedia

25 Jul 1868 Wyoming Territory

The United States territory of Wyoming was formed from portions of the Dakota, Idaho and Utah wikipedia

10 May 1869 Pacific Railroad opens

The Pacific Railroad, the first transcontinental railroad in North America, opened for through traffic with driving of the last spike at Promontory Summit, wikipedia

16 Oct 1869–29 Aug 1870 Red River Rebellion

In response to the Rupert’s Land Act, the mixed French-Indian Métis of the Red River Colony formed the Métis National Committee under Louis Riel to assert their rights. In November, they declared a provisional government and occupied Fort Garry. A British-Canadian expedition under Colonel Garnet Wolseley set off in May 1870 to suppress the rebellion; on its arrival in August, Riel and his followers fled, ending the wikipedia

25 May 1870 Battle of Eccles Hill

Fenian raiders from United States were defeated by Canadian local militia in wikipedia

15 Jul 1870 Manitoba Act

In response to Métis’ concerns over self-government following the absorption of the British territory of Rupert’s Land into Canada, the Red River Colony became the Canadian province of wikipedia

15 Jul 1870 Rupert’s Land Act takes effect

In accordance with the Rupert’s Land Act of 1868, the sparsely-populated British territories of Rupert’s Land and North-Western Territory were transferred from the control of the Hudson’s Bay Company to the Dominion of Canada. The transfer was consummated by the payment of £300,000 to the Company. The territories were reorganized by Canada to become the North-West Territories and the Province of wikipedia