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

William Connolly to George Simpson

[4 March 1830]

...I saw nearly the whole of the Inhabitants whom I found greatly reduced in numbers since my visit in 1825, and in a state of the utmost indigence. The information I received from them on this occasion in regard to the resources of their country varied materially from that which they had formerly given. And, indeed, their appearance was sufficient to convince me that I had in that particular been deceived, they now acknowledged that their resources for subsistence were so extremely scanty and precarious that when salmon failed, which happens commonly three years out of four, they were reduced to the necessity of deserting their lands and of flying for relief to some other quarter near the sea coast...it could be but of little advantage to occupy a Country the Inhabitants of which are subject to such frequent migrations. From this view of the case it will appear that the surest plan by which to draw from the Chilcotins all the benefit of which their country is susceptible will be by attending to them by the means of Derouins and by endeavouring to make them resume the intercourse which they formerly held with Alexandria, and which was broken off by the animosities which arose between them and the Indians of the last mentioned place but which now, happily, no longer subsist. A temporary post might also be kept up there when circumstances would permit...Circumstances...being favourable to our intentions a Post was therefore immediately established under the direction of Mr. Geo. McDougall...

Since that period they have done nothing, nor will they resume their Hunts before the commencement of May. And as we would necessarily be obliged to withdraw the post before that time, as I would consider it very unsafe to leave a small establishment amonst a people with whom we are not yet much acquainted and of whose audacity we have sufficient proofs, I in consequence ordered its abandonment in the latter part of February from a firm conviction that no benefit could accrue from its being continued to a later period of the season...

Source: BCA, Manuscript, Fort Chilcotin MM/C43, William Connolly, Letter to George Simpson, March 4, 1830, 5-6.

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