SCOTT, ALFRED HENRY, bartender, clerk, and political delegate; b.c.1840 of English parentage; d. 28 May 1872 in Saint-Boniface, Man.
Alfred Henry Scott was a resident of the Red River Settlement in Winnipeg from 1869 to 1872. He worked as a barkeeper in the saloon of Hugh F. O’Lone, an American, and later he served as a clerk in the store of Henry McKenney, also an American.
When resistance to union with Canada began in Red River in 1869, it found the settlement divided into three camps. Some favoured union with Canada, others would accept union if it came; some wished to negotiate terms with Canada; other settlers wanted to prolong the agitation in the hope of intervention by the United States. Alfred Scott’s association with the Americans, O’Lone and McKenney, gave him some influence with the last group.
A mass meeting held on 19 and 20 Jan. 1870, at Upper Fort Garry (Winnipeg), decided that a convention of delegates should be elected to consider what terms might be asked of Canada. By deft political organization on the part of O’Lone and McKenney, Scott was nominated the Winnipeg delegate at a nominating meeting duly held but attended by the American party only. The moderates led by Alexander Begg* thought it was the only meeting to be held, that they had been excluded, and called none of their own. For want of another nomination, Scott was then declared elected, and, despite protest by the moderates, his election was confirmed in the convention. He was later elected by the convention one of three delegates to go to Ottawa to discuss terms, the other two being the Reverend Noël-Joseph Ritchot* and Judge John Black representing the French and English elements respectively. This election also was criticized, especially by Louis Riel*, who felt that one of the envoys should be a Métis. On 11 Feb. 1870, Scott, Ritchot, and Black were appointed delegates to Ottawa by the provisional government set up by the convention.
Ritchot and Scott travelled to Ottawa at the end of March, where they were arrested by agents of the Ontario government as parties to the murder of Thomas Scott*, an Ontario Orangeman executed by the provisional government. The Canadian government obtained their release and opened negotiations with the envoys. Scott played no recorded part in the discussions, but contented himself with supporting Ritchot’s demands. He is known to have had a conversation with the American special agent in Ottawa, James Wickes Taylor*, but there is nothing to suggest that it was significant. After the main work was over, Scott left Ottawa towards mid-May. He visited New York to see relatives, and perhaps make American or Fenian connections. He then returned to Red River in the steps of Ritchot, who had already reported to the provisional government on the negotiations.
After a six-month illness in 1871–72, during which he was converted to Roman Catholicism, Scott became the first patient of the Hôpital Saint-Boniface. He presumably died in that institution.
Archives des sœurs grises (Saint-Boniface, Man.), Registre de l’hôpital Saint-Boniface, 1872. Archives paroissiales de Saint-Boniface (Man.), Registres des baptêmes, mariages et sépultures. Begg’s Red River journal (Morton), 1–148, 212, 278, 284, 305, 370, 388, 535. “N.-J. Ritchot’s journal,” Manitoba: birth of a province (Morton), 134–35. New Nation (Winnipeg), 18 March 1870. Morice, Critical hist. of the Red River insurrection, 241–42.