ADVANTAGES

Riel's vision raised obvious questions about his mental health. So did many of his other actions. Friends observed Riel crying and shouting in public, giving $1000 to a blind beggar, interrupting mass to contradict a priest, and repeatedly tearing up his clothes. In 1876, concerned friends secretly took Riel to Quebec. Within a few months, Riel's uncle decided to place him in a mental institution near Montreal, under the name of Louis R. David. Riel's mental condition continued to deteriorate. He frequently removed all his clothes, citing the example of Adam and Eve. On one occasion, he smashed ornaments and candles in the asylum's chapel. Several times orderlies were forced to place Riel in a strait-jacket.

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