Treason in 19th Century Canada

Yes, Amy, I'm here, although I have to tell you that every time you contact me, I fear the worst. Please simply tell me everything is calm in the 19th century. Please tell me everything is okay with you and Charlotte, (the former maid where you used to live) and her wealthy new husband and owner of the mansion, George, in 1868.


Oh, yeah. Things are cool. Charlotte and I have been hanging around with a coupla girls who are still staying here ... George's sister and a friend.

Oh, thank god. I've been worried there might some kind of repercussion since you spoke with that lawyer - I think you said his last name was Graham - the one who questioned you about how you knew British Columbia was soon to become a province in 1871. So, he didn't end up thinking you were some sort of spy at all? Is that right?  Has he simply gone back to the city? ....                    

Oh, that. 

Okay, to be honest with ya, I did see a strange look on George's face yesterday right after the lawyer guy left.

He asked me if I knew what the word "treason" means.

Not sure why he asked me that. *shrug* Maybe it's a corny kind of joke here in the 19th century.

A joke? A joke, Abby? 

Do you not realize the implications of anything even resembling an act of treason in the 19th century?

I feel some sleepless nights coming on.

Treason: The act  of betraying one's country.

In 1868, the year you currently live in, treason is punishable by death. By 1870, jails will be begin to build gallows with a pit beneath for hanging those accused of treason.

In England, specifically before the 1900s, being hanged was the punishment for high treason, and many suffered such a fate.


In Canada, in 1885, Louis Riel, the leader of the resistance movement by the Metis (a group of peoples in Canada who trace their heritage to the First Nation population and and European settlers) will be one of a few Canadians executed for treason, even after appeals from the public, and many protests. He will be 41 years of age when executed for leading the Metis in the north-west rebellion against Canada's expansion into the west. His trial will last only five days.

Treason is considered a crime against all the people in the 19th century. The harsh penalty of hanging is normally reserved for traitors of the country.