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

John Clarke

John Clarke, an Englishman, owned property and a general store near the Homathco River. During the winter of 1863, an Indian, possibly Chessus, had stolen a quantity of flour from his store. Clarke attempted to “teach him a lesson” by placing gunpowder in the store’s fireplace. When the Indian descended the chimney, the gunpowder was ignited, scorching the intruder and launching him skywards.

In the spring of 1864, Clarke was part of the advance camp that was attacked by the Tslihqot’in warriors. He was the only crew member with a gun but it was not charged. His body was found with bullets in his thigh and groin, and his head had been beaten in.

Secondary Sources

Hewlett, Edward S. “The Chilcotin Uprising: A Study of Indian-European Relations in Nineteenth Century British Columbia.” MA Thesis, UBC, 1972.

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Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History