didntknow didntknow

From Louis Riel’s final statement before the jury, July 31, 1885. As contained in Brian Busby (ed.), Great Canadian Speeches: Words The Shaped A Nation (2008):

Captain Deane, Corporal Prickert, and the corporal of the guard who have been appointed over me have been so gentle while the papers were raging against me shows that nothing but the benediction of God could give me the favour I have had in remaining so respected among these men. Today when I saw the glorious General Middleton bearing testimony that he thought I was not insane, and when Captain Young proved that I am not insane, I felt that God was blessing me, and blotting away from my name the blot resting upon my reputation on account of having been in the lunatic asylum of my good friend Doctor Roy. I have been in an asylum, but I thank the lawyers for the Crown who destroyed the testimony of my good friend Dr. Roy, because I have always believed that I was put in the asylum without reason. Today my pretension is guaranteed, and that is a blessing too in that way. I have also been in the lunatic asylum at Longue Pointe, and I wonder that my friend Doctor Lachapelle, who took care of me charitably, and Doctor Howard are not here. I was there perhaps under my own name.

Even if I was going to be sentenced by you, gentlemen of the jury, I have this satisfaction if I die…that if I die I will not be reputed by all men as insane, as a lunatic…

If I am insane, our course I don’t know it; it is a property of insanity to be unable to know it. But what is the kind of mission that I have?


About brucelarochelle

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