Salt Spring Murder

The British Colonist, March 24, 1868

Some further particulars of this outrage have come to hand, and prove it to have been one of the most cold-blooded crimes we have yet heard of in the Colony. The murdered man, Robinson, is one of the colored settlers on the island, and a most inoffensive, harmless man. He resided in a rather lonely log-house by himself, which, when Robinson was missed, was found locked and the key removed. Robinson was last seen at church on the preceding Sunday evening. A man who comes to assist him occasionally, and had some goods for him which had just been landed, after several prior applications at the house, peeped in on Saturday by removing some of the packing between the logs, it having no window. Seeing a man's boots he touched them with a stick, and perceiving no motion gave the alarm. Other settlers came, but it was not until Monday that the resident constable was apprised of it, and forced an entrance by removing a log near the door. The poor victim was found on his back upon the floor, with a box on which he was sitting between his knees, still grasping in his hand a knife with which he was in the act of conveying food to his mouth, and had so lain to all appearances probably a week.

He had been shot in the back, the ball passing out at the chest, and so very close must have been the gun that wadding and all had penetrated the body, the clothes being much burned with the powder. The assassin was probably sitting at the man's own hearth. A good double barrel shot gun, some clothes and the man's account books were found to be missing. The last opinion is that the brother or other relatives of the Indian now awaiting his trial for the killing of an Indian woman, if not the murderer, out of revenge, had a large share in it. The whole affair is most mysterious, and it is just one of those cases where a reward offered by Government would probably lead to the arrest of the murderers. A feeling of great insecurity prevails among the settlers, who frequently have valuable cattle shot by unknown hands. Many of the colored settlers have their wives and families there, whom they hardly dare leave for a day alone.

Source: "Salt Spring Murder," British Colonist, March 24, 1868

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