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

Another Massacre!

The British Colonist, June 1, 1864

McDonald and all his Party, nine in number, said to be Murdered by the Chilcoatens!!

The Emily Harris arrived at Esquimalt from Nanaimo last night at nine o'clock, bringing the intelligence of another frightful massacre in the Bute trail. An express rider was at once sent up at full gallop to the Colonist office, and in a very few minutes the horrible tidings had spread throughout the city, creating the most intense excitement. The shocking news was also laid before the Governor at once by Mr. Wilby, who came up at top speed, carrying the Nanaimo mail. His Excellency expressed the most lively concern at the fearful event and his deep regret that his hands were tied in the affair.

Capt. Mackintosh of the Emily Harris has favored us with the following particulars:

The gunboat Forward arrived at Nanaimo Monday morning at daylight with Governor Seymour on board.

She reports that McDonald and all his party, nine in number, had been murdered on the Bentinck Arm trail by the Chilicoaten Indians. The news was received at Bute Inlet by Judge Brew, from two friendly natives who had come down from Bentinck, via Benshee Lake and the Junction. These Indians stated that they had met McDonald and his party somewhere near Benshee Lake, and told them of the murder of the Bute party, warning them not to go on any further or they would assuredly meet with the same fate. Their story was not believed, however, and the party pushed on and met the returning murderers a short distance this side of Benshee Lake, where, according to the statement of the two Indians, they were all brutally murdered. The informants came straight down to Bute, where they arrived two or three days before the Forward. Capt. McIntosh states that Judge Brew expressed his opinion that the statement of the Indians was reliable.

As rumors were prevalent through the city last night that Major Robertson and others of the Bentinck Arm settlers were among the victims of this horrible tragedy, we are glad to be in a position to contradict the report. We last night perused a letter from Major Robertson to a friend in this city, dated May 21st, four days after McDonald started up, in which he indirectly alluded to McDonald having gone up the country, and to the likelihood of either his coming back or sending word back to Bentinck shortly. This joined with the fact that the murder took place about a week's travel inland, shows that the settlers have been so far unmolested.

Major Robertson's letter mentions, however, that he expected the Chilcoatin Indians daily down to the Arm to trade, and this statement gives rise to serious fears for the safety of the unprotected settlers, who will thus be completely at the mercy of these murderous ruffians, now furious with the taste of blood. Capt. Mackintosh understood that the punishment of the murderers would be left in the hands of Judge Cox, who would assume the command of the party at Alexandria, and proceed at once to the headquarters of the Chilicoaten tribe. Nothing was said of the gunboats visiting Bute or Bentinck Arm at an early period.

Source: "Another Massacre!," The British Colonist, June 1, 1864.

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