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Strange Deaths after 7 Oaks

Sixty-five men accompanied Cuthbert Grant during the Battle at Frog Plain (aka Seven Oaks). Of this number, only one man was killed and one man wounded during the battle. However, in the following years, 26 of the combatants on the Metis and Indian side suffered a variety of strange (often violent) deaths. A list of those combatants who later died includes the following:

  1. A man named Dechamp, who, in crossing the river, near to his own house at Pembina, suddenly dropped down dead on the ice; the dog he had along with him shared the same fate, at the same instant, without any previous illness or warning of his end.

  2. Francois Dechamp, son of the above Dechamp, was stabbed to death by his own comrade, his wife shot, and his children burnt to death, all at the same time, near Fort Union, Missouri River.

  3. La Gross Tete, brother to Francois Dechamp, was shot by an Indian between the pickets of the trading post, on the Missouri.

  4. Coutonahais suddenly dropped down dead while dancing with a party of his comrades at the Grand Forks, beyond Pembina.

  5. Battosh, shot dead by an unknown hand in Red River Colony.

  6. Lavigne, drowned in crossing Red River, near Nettley Creek.

  7. Fraser, run through the body at Paris by a French officer, and killed.

  8. Baptiste Morralle, in a drunken squabble on the Missouri, thrown into the fire and burnt to death by his drunken companions.

  9. [Louis] LeCerte died drunk on the highroad on the Missouri River.

  10. Joseph Trottier, wounded by a gun, and disabled for life, in Red River.

  11. J. Baptiste Latour, died a miserable death by infection.

  12. Duplicis was killed by a wooden [pitch] fork running through his body, in the act of jumping from a hay stack at Carlton, on the Saskatchewan River.

  13. J. Baptiste Parisien, shot dead by an unknown hand, while in the act of running buffalo in the Pembina Plains.

  14. Toussaint Vondre, lost an arm by accident, and disabled for life, in Red River.

  15. Francois Gardupie, the brave, shot and scalped in a sudden rencontre with the Sioux Indians, on the banks of the Missouri, in sight of his comrades.

  16. Bourassa, killed on the Saskatchewan, particulars not known.

  17. Louison Vallee, put to death by a party of Sioux Indians, on the Pembina Plains, and in sight of his companions.

  18. Ignace McKay, found dead on the public road, White Horse Plains, Red River.

  19. Michel Martin, died a miserable death at Montreal, Lower Canada.

  20. Thomas McKay, died of intemperance, Columbia River.

  21. Ka-tee-tea-goose, an Indian, said to be the person who fired the first shot. On returning to his family after fight at Frog Plain, was met by a war party of the Gros Ventres, or Big Belly Tribe, near Brandon House, who, after shooting aid scalping him, cut his body to pieces, carried off his fingers and toes, and strewed the rest of his remains to the wild beasts, to mark the place where he fell.

  22. Cha-ne-eas-tan, another Indian, drowned in a small pool of water, scarcely two feet deep, near the Little Missouri River, Brandon House.

  23. Oku-ma-tan, an Indian, frozen to death on the Pembina Plains.

  24. Ne-de-goose-ojeb-wan, gored to death by a buffalo bull, while in the act of hunting.

  25. Pe-me-can-toss, shot and thrown into a hole by his own people.

  26. Wa-ge-tan-ne, an Indian, his wife and two children, killed by lightning on a hunting excursion.

Of this unfortunate number, two were Canadians, two English, two Scotch, fourteen French half-breeds, four Saulteaux, and two Cree Indians.


Read more:

Hargrave, Joseph James (1871) Red River, John Lovel, Montreal.

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