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

Executive Council Minutes

[ Government Offices, New Westminster, Claudet, Francis George, 1837-1906, BCA B-03603 ]

Monday, the 10th day of October, 1864

Present: His Excellency the Governor and The Honorables The Attorney General, The Collector of Customs.

The minutes of the previous meetings were read and confirmed.

Mr. Charles W. Franks, Treasurer, and Captain G.W. Holmes, Royal Artillery, acting Surveyor General, were then summoned before the Council, when the usual oaths were administered to them, after which they took their seats at the Council Board.

The Governor stated that the only subject he would bring before the Council was the decision to be taken in the matter of the five Chilicoten Indians condemned to death for participating in the murders of the Bute Inlet Roadmakers, and of Manning, Macdonald and others on the Bentinck Arm Trail.

The attention of the members was particularly drawn by the Governor to some newspaper reports which had reached him that the Chilicoten Indians in surrendering themselves to Mr. Cox, had received from him some kind of promise that their lives would be spared.

That on hearing this His Excellency had ordered the strictest investigation and report on a subject, which if true, might be construed to affect the good faith of the Government, in dealing with native tribes.

The Notes of the assize Court at Quesnel-mouth on the 28th and 29th September, by Mr. Justice Begbie in

Regina v. Telloot
Regina v. Klatsassin
Regina v. Piele
Regina v. Talipit
Regina v. Chessus

were read in extenso and frequently referred to by members.

The Governor, in order that there should be no possible misunderstanding as to the terms upon which the Indians surrendered read to the Council a number of private notes which had passed between Mr. Brew and Mr. Cox in the Chilicoten Country, showing the progress of the negotiations for the submision of the Indian Chiefs.

After a most prolonged and careful enquiry and deliberation the Council were unanimously of opinion that no promise of any sort was made to any of these Indians by Mr. Cox on their surrender and that there was no reason why the justly deserved sentence of death imposed on five of them by the Law should not forthwith be carried out.

And the meeting adjourned.

Read and confirmed.
18th October 1864

(Signed) Frederick Seymour

Source: BCA, , , Executive Council, Colony of British Columbia, Executive Council Minutes, October 31, 1864.

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Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History