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

Higgins to Secretary of State

Aden Terrace
[Stolunkitington?] Green N
7th September 1864

To His Excellency
The Secretary for the Colonies

By a private letter I have just received from a gentleman at Brockville Canada West, who is aware of my having a Son in Van Couver Island British Columbia, I am furnished with the following extract from a Toronto newspaper,

By the arrival of HM Surveying Ship Beaver we have a full account of the melancholy but not unexpected murder of Alex McDonald & several of his party, while on their way through from Bentick Arm to Fort Alexandria on the Fraser river, on the 17th May last.

My son's name Clifford Higgins is among the number murdered.

I beg your Excellency may inform me with any particulars you may have relating to this sad massacre, whether the body was recovered & any information that will allow me to believe the above mentioned Clifford Higgins was my son.

I am your Excellency's
Very Humble Servant
John Higgins

Mr. Elliot

We have no information about Clifford Higgins. In a local newspaper (in 6010) the following is said. "About 15 miles above the point where Brewster's party were working Alex McDonald, with 7 or 8 men, was engaged in cutting the trail from Benshee Lake, to meet Brewster's gang, & it is feared that this party too, have fallen victims."

Clifford Higgins is stated by the Father to have been one of Macdonald's gang, & to have been murdered.

We have no Authority for this statement, though it may nevertheless be true.

Abd 7 September

I think that the best answer will be under the circumstances, that Mr. Cardwell has received no official information on the subject. Draft.

TFE 8 Sep


Elliot to Higgins, 13 September 1864, advising that no official word had been received concerning the fate of his son.

Source: Great Britain Public Record Office, Colonial Office Records, CO 60/20, p. 343, 8399, John Higgins, Letter to Secretary of State, sent September 7, 1864, received September 7, 1864.

Return to parent page

Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History