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

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"Small-Pox at Victoria"

The British Columbian, June 25, 1862

We cannot take up a Victoria exchange nowadays without experiencing a sort of involuntary shudder. First comes a small-pox leader, showing how criminally culpable are the authorities for refusing to adopt precautionary measures when urged to do so by the people. Then there are any number of local small-pox items till it would almost seem that one could scarcely walk abroad without stumbling over a putrid mass of defunct humanity. Children cast into the swamp to die, heaps of dead and dying Indians, with none to administer to their wants, witness their last agonies, or give them burial after the immortal spark has taken its departure for the great "hunting-ground." White men are dying in camp and hospital, and altogether the scene presented by our Island sister, as mirrored forth in her press, is truly appaling. That much of the responsibility rests at the door of the Legislative Assembly, there can be no doubt. For had they either adopted suitable measures themselves, or granted the necessary power to the Town to enable the people to do so, the result would doubtless have been very different. Had prompt steps been taken when first the plague broke out amongst the Indians, and proper sanitary measures rigidly enforced throughout the town, the ravages of the disease would, without doubt, have been greatly circumscribed. The idea of keeping Victoria till this time without an incorporation is most scandalous, and must be the result of something more than mere negligence.

Looking nearer home, what do we find? The very same inaction and contemptible vascillation marks the conduct of the authorities in reference to this place. Before the disease showed itself here it was hoped that the case of Victoria would prove a wholesome warning. But, no. The press has thundered, the people complained and besought; but in vain. The dreadful plague is now in full blast amongst our Indians, and to-day we are just where we were at the beginning, so far as any practical action is concerned. The authorities seem to be infatuated the people doomed.

The Rev. Mr. Fouquet, who is well informed upon the subject, gives it as his judgement that as many as 30,000 Indians will fall victims to this terrible disease on our sea coast.

We learn with mingled feelings of pleasure and astonishment that Government have caused the Indians at Lytton, some 1200 in number, to be vaccinated.

Source: "Small-Pox at Victoria," British Columbian, June 25, 1862.

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