Murder and Reprisals

[ Thomas Crosby ]

Thomas Crosby, Unknown, 1874, BCA

Oh, the horrors of the drink traffic! How many awful tragedies may be laid at its door!

The whole village of Nanaimo was aroused and terrified one morning when a canoe came round the point with the bodies of two dead chiefs who had been murdered about thirty miles to the north. Old Chief Quee-es-ton and a number of his party, who had been hunting on the island, were visited by some white men in a sloop laden with grog. Fired by the influence of what he had drunk, the chief demanded more. A quarrel ensued, and the white men shot the chiefs dead, put up their sails and sailed away, and were never heard of after.

The bodies of these poor victims were brought home to their people, which set the whole tribe in an uproar, and they swore vengeance on those who had murdered their friends, or any other white men.

In consequence, not long after this a white man by the name of John Brown, at Cowichan, was murdered, and poor innocent Robinson, a colored man, was shot in his cabin on Salt Spring Island, and about the same time Hamilton, another white man, was killed near Nanaimo.

Source: Thomas Crosby, "Among the An-ko-me-nums" (Toronto: William Briggs, 1907), 137-139

Return to parent page