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

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Important from the Coast Route - Destitution and Suffering.
The British Colonist, July 22, 1862

July 22, 1862

On the Gov. Douglas yesterday morning several men who had taken the Coast Route to the Fraser came down. They give a woful account of matters there. Pearson and party got through to Alexandria in 15 days from the Big Slide, and, although short of provisions, suffered but little. Forty men, however, who left the Big Slide several days behind Pearson, suffered dreadfully, and out of the entire party only nine had reached Alexandria twenty days after starting. One of this party - a Mr. Poole, geologist and miner, from Staffordshire, England - relates his experience and that of his companions in harrowing terms. At the Slide the Indians refused to pack further, and the provisions were nearly all left there, the miners depending on obtaining supplies of fish and game from the interior Indians. After leaving the Slide, two Canadians (brothers) named Linn, fell sick of the small pox and were left at Noot-lef village to the tender mercy of the savages. At Chilcoaten Lake, two more Canadians - one named Pearce - fell sick of the same complaint and were left with the Chilcoaten Indians. All these cases gave evidence of the disease in its worst or confluent form. The party continued on for five or six days, when neither fish nor game being obtainable, provisions began to fall short and suffering commenced. Soon many were reduced to their last biscuit or piece of bacon, and dropped behind from sheer exhaustion and want of food.

Few of the party had ever undergone privation or suffering in any form, and on these the hardship and privation endured bore most heavily. Several were left on the road apparently in the last stages of starvation, too weak to walk further; and Mr. Poole and seven others, after subsisting on berries, and three snipe and a squirrel for three days, contrived to reach Fort Alexandria at nine o’clock on the night of the 4th inst. Two days after their arrival at Alexandria, an Englishman with money also got through. He was almost famished, but immediately hired Indians to go with him and pack provisions to the starving men on the trail. The people at the Fort did nothing to assist the destitute men; but several packers contributed all in their power to their relief. Mr. Poole is of the opinion that some of the party left behind perished for want of food. The party was about equally divided of Englishmen, Americans, and Canadians. On their road down to this town the necessities of Mr. Pool and party were relieved at several of the way-houses, and particularly by Mr. Layton, an American, at Port Douglas, who not only fed but paid our informant’s passage to this place, although a entire stranger to him.

Mr. Pool, notwithstanding his great sufferings, says the Coast Route is shorter than any other, but does not advise any person to go that way until a proper trail has been constructed. The farming land, so highly spoken of by other travelers, he considers a myth. Had Pearson and party blazed the trail as they agreed to do before starting from Bentinck Arm, the suffering would never have occurred.

Source: "Important from the Coast Route - Destitution and Suffering," The British Colonist, July 22, 1862.

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