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

Peter Petersen

Peter Petersen (or Peterson) was one of three survivors of the attack at Bute Inlet. A native of Denmark, Petersen was working for a second summer at Bute Inlet. He joined Waddington's party on March 23, 1864.

During the attack on Waddington's road crew, Petersen was severely wounded in the left arm, possibly by the Lower Tsilhqot'in chief Telloot. Petersen managed to escape the site of the killings by jumping into the river. On the shores of the river, he met another survivor, Edward Mosely, who helped him reach the ferry station nine miles away.

On the following day, Philip Buckley joined Petersen and Mosely at the ferry where they learned of the death of the ferryman Tim Smith. The three survivors were helped by two French-Canadians and five aboriginals who had heard about the events. The three men were taken to the town site at Bute Inlet and given canoes to travel to Nanaimo. They arrived in Victoria on May 11 aboard the steamer Emily Harris. Petersen was taken to the Royal Hospital in Victoria to recovery.

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