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


Nancy (or Nanci) was an aboriginal woman, probably a Tsilhqot'in, living with William Manning, the only white settler in Williams Lake.

Some sources suggest that she participated in planning the murder of her husband but her testimony at the Trial of Six Indians suggests otherwise. She testified that two aboriginal women had warned her several times to leave the house because a Tsilhqot'in war party was planning to attack the farm. She allegedly warned Manning of the plot but he refused to leave based on the good relationship he thought he had developed with the Tsilhqot'ins.

On the day of the attack (precise date unknown), Nancy was about to leave when she saw Tahpit, accompanied by Anaheim, shooting at Manning outside the house. She also testified that she returned to the house and noticed aboriginals from Puntzeen and Tatla Lake plundering the house but that no Homathco aboriginals were present.

In a letter written to the Colonial Secretary following the conclusion of the Trial of Six Indians, Commissioner Cox stated that Nancy, like other aboriginal witnesses, was hesitant to return to Tsilhqot'in country for fear of retaliation on the part of Tsilhqot'ins.

Secondary Sources

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

Return to parent page

Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History