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

Angus McLeod

Angus McLeod and Jim Taylor, packers living in Bella Coola, were accused of deliberately spreading smallpox among interior aboriginal peoples in a letter published by the British Colonist on June 13, 1864. The letter’s author, Alfred Waddington, suggested that following the smallpox epidemic of 1862, the two men had recovered blankets buried with victims of smallpox and sold them back to aboriginal groups, thereby unleashing a second wave of the disease in the winter of 1863-64. This deliberate spread of smallpox, according to Waddington, was the primary cause of the Chilcotin War, not abuse on the part of his road crew.

Information about McLeod is sparse. A British Columbian correspondent using the alias Viator (meaning “traveller” or “messenger” in Latin) stated that McLeod and Taylor were occupying land for men in Victoria. Ironically, it was believed that McLeod died of smallpox, but again, the evidence is sparse.

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Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History