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

Notice from Colonial Secretary's Office

Colonial Secretary’s Office
16th August

[ Site of Fort Chilcotin, John Lutz, Copyright Great Unsolved Canadian Mysteries Project  ]

His Excellency directs the following to be published for general information.


On the 15th instant, at half-past 8 o’clock in the morning, eight of the Chilacooten murderers, among whom are the following Chiefs, Klatsassin, Telloot and Tapitt, surrendered themselves to Mr. Cox in his camp near the old Hudson Bay Fort on Chilko River.

The statement made by Klatsassin was as follows:

“I have brought seven murderers, and I am one myself. I return you one horse, one mule, and twenty dollars for the Governor, as a token of good faith.

The names of the men present are: Myself, Telloot, Chee-loot, Tapitt, Piem, Chessez, Cheddiki, Sanstank.

There are ten more at large, namely: Quot-a-mus-ki, Yel-ten-ly, Ish-an, Ha-chis, Casin, Seitah, Ka-teith, Ka-kus, Ya-hons-las, In-ne-qualth.

These men I know cannot be caught before the early spring, when they must come to the Lakes for subsistence.

Three others are dead; one was killed by McDonald; the other two killed themselves. There were altogether twenty-one Indians implicated in the massacre.

“Anaheim’s” party took the greater share of the plunder, and are now starving and eating the stolen horses, and also took all the stolen money from me, as he said he wished to return all to the whites.

We have not seen or heard of Mr. Brew’s party were we came from. We don’t know where he is.

[Wochess?] hands you a purse of gold dust (about 1 1/2 oz.), and Chessez returnes an additional $5 50, silver.

“Taken before me this 15th August, 1864.

(Signed) W. Cox, J. P.”

“Klatsassin and Chessez on a former occasion sent me $23 50.

W. C.”

The Governor has received despatches from Mr. Brew up to the 4th Instant. He was then in Mr. Cox’s camp, near Chilacooten forks, having transferred to that gentleman the negotiation commenced by himself with the Indians, for the surrender of Klatsassin and his followers.

Mr. Brew was about to accompany a provision train, which had just arrived from Alexandria, and to rejoin his own party at Benshee Lake. He hoped soon to complete the negotiations already entered into for the submission of Anaheim and his followers. An Indian has stated to Mr. Brew that all the Murderers are “short of provisions, they had killed and eaten their horses, they are affraid to approach their fisheries.”

Mr. Brew and all his party were well. The Bella Coola Chief in his camp had behaved admirably, and Alexis, in Mr. Cox’s, had given convincing evidence of his present good faith toward the white man.

The surrender of the Indians is unconditional.

Arrangements were made by the Governor, previous to his departure, for the holding of a Court of Justice in the Chilacooten country.

Source: Government Gazette, "Notice from Colonial Secretary's Office," Government Gazette (The British Columbian), August 27, 1864.

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