Donald Morrison

Donald Morrison, outlaw (b near Megantic [Lac-Mégantic], Canada E c 1858; d at Montréal 19 June 1894). He was the son of Scottish settlers, grew up near Lake Mégantic and spent several years working as a cowboy in western Canada and the US.

Donald Morrison (Megantic Outlaw), outlaw (b near Megantic [Lac-Mégantic], Canada E c 1858; d at Montréal 19 June 1894). He was the son of Scottish settlers, grew up near Lake Mégantic and spent several years working as a cowboy in western Canada and the US. In 1886 he became involved in a financial dispute which resulted in the loss of the family farm to Maj Malcolm McAulay. Believing he had been cheated by the wealthy and influential McAulay, he harassed the new owners, and a special constable, Lucius (Jack) Warren, was engaged to arrest him. On 22 June 1888 Morrison shot and killed Warren in Megantic. After evading capture for some months, largely through the assistance of sympathetic Scottish farmers, he was apprehended on 21 April 1889, tried and sentenced to 18 years hard labour. Broken by prison life, he refused food and medication, and died of consumption within 5 years. He became a legendary figure in the Scottish settlements of eastern Québec. His story is romanticized in a poem by Oscar Dhu [Angus Mackay], Donald Morrison, the Canadian Outlaw (1892), and is the subject of a fictional account by Bernard Epps, The Outlaw of Megantic (1973).


Further Reading

  • M. Robin, The Bad and the Lonely (1976); C. Wallace, Wanted: Donald Morrison (1977).