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


Ach-pic-er-mous (or Ach-pee-a-mous) was one of numerous Tsilhqot’ins who became involved in the Chilcotin War following the attack on the road crew. He belonged to Alexis’s tribe residing at Nancootloon and was recruited by war chief Klatsassin three days prior to the attack on the pack train. Klatsassin was attempting to recruit men to participate in the “war” against whites in their territory to prevent the reintroduction of smallpox.

Although Ach-pic-er-mous was present when McDonald’s pack train was attacked, he apparently did not participate in the violence and may have tried to prevent hostilities. Already sensitive to the possibility of being attacked, McDonald ordered the pack train to fortify itself on a hill at a place called Fish Trap in traditional Tsilhqot’in territory. During the trials of Ahan and Lutas, Ach-pic-er-mous testified that after meeting with Klatsassin, he had advised McDonald to not abandon his defensive position until Chief Anaheim returned from Bella Coola but his efforts were in vain. On May 17, 1864, shortly after leaving Fish Trap, the pack train was ambushed and three packers, including McDonald, were killed by Tsilhqot’in warriors.

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Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History