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


Alexis resided about 100 miles away from Alexandria and was one of the principal chiefs of the lower Tsilhqot’in territory. He was well acquainted with whites through his contact with traders at the Hudson Bay Fort on the Fraser River and catholic priests visiting the area.

When Alexis learned of the attack on the road crew, he vowed that his tribe would not protect the murderers, choosing instead to help bring “justice” to his country. Commissioner Cox attempted to employ Alexis as an interpreter and guide but the chief went into hiding. Alexis may have feared that whites would take revenge on all Tsilhqot’ins, not just those directly involved in the attacks. After receiving a message of peace from Mr. Brew, Alexis agreed to meet with the military expedition. He arrived at the military camp on July 20, 1864, where he met with Cox, Inspector Brew, and Governor Seymour and agreed to accompany the military expedition to Bute Inlet Mountain with eight of his men.

Alexis played an important role in convincing Klatsassin and six other warriors to surrender to Cox’s expedition. Although Cox maintained that he acted in good faith, some evidence, as noted by Judge Matthew Begbie, suggests that colonial officials made false promises to lure Klatsassin into surrendering

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Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History