We do not know his name: Klatsassin and the Chilcotin War

More Indian Murders!

The British Columbian, June 28, 1864

McDonald and Two of his Party Killed – Several Others Severely Wounded –
The Volunteers, with Indian Allies, on the Track of the Murderers – Marines from the Sutlej to be landed.

By the arrival of Her Majesty's surveying steamer Beaver, we have a full account of the melancholy but not unexpected murder of Alexander McDonald and several of his party, while on their way through from Bentinck Arm to Fort Alexandria. On the 17th of May last, as previously stated in the Colonist, McDonald and his party started from New Aberdeen, at the head of Bentinck Arm, for Fort Alexandria, on the Fraser. The following are the names of the party: Alexander McDonald, the well known packer and farmer; Malcolm McLeod, packer, cousin of Robert McLeod, who was murdered eighteen months ago by the same Indians; Peter McDougall, packer; Barney Johnson, an old Bentinck Arm pioneer; Clifford Higgins, an Englishman; Charles Farquharson (not Ferguson); and John Grant, miners en route to Cariboo; and Fred Harrison. They had 42 pack animals, 28 of which were loaded with goods for the mines, valued at between $4,000 and $5,000.

On arriving at Nancootloon Lake, about 75 miles from the Arm, they met with a party of Indians, composed of part of the Chilcoaten, Tatla, and Sitleece tribes, among the number being two of the murderers of Mr. Waddington's party at Bute. McDougall's squaw, who was the daughter of one of the Chilcoaten chiefs, here learnt from one of her old tillicums that the Indians intended to rob and murder the whole party, and at once informed the packers, who becoming alarmed, began to retrace their steps, when they were attacked by the savages. Two of the number, McDougal and Higgins, fell from their horses at the first fire, the latter shot through the breast; McDonald's horse was shot under him, on which he at once mounted another, which was also shot down; he then took to the bush, and when last seen was standing behind a tree shooting at the Indians with his revolver. Barney Johnson was badly wounded in the face and breast by heavy shot, and a ball passed through his horse's head, killing the animal and tearing open the rider's cheek. Malcolm McLeod was wounded with shot, and his hand badly torn by a ball. Grant got a ball through his arm, and his side filed with shot. Fred Harrison was also considerably cut up.

Farquharson was the only one who escaped unhurt, although his horse was shot under him. He escaped into the bush, where he was four days wandering about without food except berries, not daring to return to the trail for fear of being seen by the Indians. He at last made his way back to the head of the Arm. McDougall's squaw was also shot by the Indians, and all the horses and property carried off. Grant found his way to Mr. Hamilton's ranch, about 25 miles above the settlement at the head of the Arm, and burst in upon the family, his face and body streaming with blood, telling them of the massacre. They at once packed up a few valuables, and, taking their arms and ammunition, hastened down to the river and embarked in a canoe. They had hardly got afloat when the blood-thirsty villains appeared on the high bank above them. They did not fire, however, being intent on plundering the house, and the little party fortunately made their escape unhurt.

Mr. Ramsey of New Westminster, who returned from Bentinck Arm by the Beaver, informs us that a tribe of Indians (probably the Ansanies) residing between the Chilcoaten and Bella Coola Rivers, who have joined the Chilcoatens, came down to Mr. Wallace's store and demanded powder and ball. He refused to give them any, stating that he had none, upon which one of the scoundrels made a blow at him with a knife. Mr. Wallace retreated into a back room and got hold of a sword, with which he made a rush at the Indians who incontinently "left". The houses at the settlement were then barricaded and all business suspended, and a canoe was sent up for Mr. Hamilton and family, twenty-five miles up the river. A small schooner had arrived at Bella Coola and supplied the Indians with powder, to the anger and alarm of the settlers. The inhabitants were firmly of the impression that had not the Sutlej arrived they would all have been murdered. A chief of the Bella Coolas came on board the Sutlej and offered to give up the murderers of Sergeant Fisher, who was killed about eighteen months ago. Mr. Brew did not accept his offer, however, but would do on his return.

The New Westminster volunteers landed at Bentinck Arm on Sunday 19th, and started at once after the murderers. They were accompanied by thirty Bella Coola Indians, who had been supplied with dresses and arms by Governor Seymour. A force of marines, probably sixty or seventy in number, would be despatched by Admiral Kingcome to follow the volunteers and render all the assistance in their power. Governor Seymour started across for Fort Alexandria on the following Monday.

Source: "More Indian Murders!," Daily British Colonist, June 27, 1864.

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