Execution of Three of the Murderers of Brady

The British Colonist
May 25, 1863

On Saturday morning the three Indians, Kaisuc, Swane a hya, and Stalebum, sentenced to death for the murder of William Brady, an American, at Salt Spring Island, on Saturday, 5th April last, underwent the extreme penalty of the law. The sentence of the woman, Thask, was, by order of His Excellency the Governor, commuted to transportation for life. The scaffold had been erected immediately in front of the Police Barracks, and long before the appointed time, groups of Indians were seen wending their way to the spot to witness the solemn and painful spectacle.

By half-past 6 from 300 to 400 persons, the majority of whom were Indians, had collected around the enclosure, and a company of Blue Jackets, sent up from H.M.S. Topase, to preserve order, having arrived, were placed inside the yard.

At about 20 minutes to 7 the three prisoners attended by the Rev. Father Pandosy, were conducted to the platform. They appeared weak and agitated, more especially Swane a hya, or Orlatza, who uttered an ejaculation of some sort, which was supposed to be meant as a farewell to his sorrowing friends, and was immediatelyacknowledged by them.

The women, at this time, by their sobs, showed signs of great grief, and the tearful eyes of relations were observed straining towards the wretched boys in the eager expectation of obtaining a parting glance before life's earthly accue had closed upon them.

The prisoners bore their fate firmly; they were offered some brandy by the officers in attendance, but Orlatza declined to partake of any until he had appealed to the Priest to know if he were right in doing so, and upon receiving the permission of the Rev. gentleman, he asked a blessing and took some.

The three youths having placed themselves in the positions assigned to them without resistance, the hangman, whose face was partially masked, went through the necessary preliminaries of adjusting the ropes, and pinioning their limbs--the Rev. Father occupying the interval by addressing words of comfort to the unhappy creatures. As soon as all was completed, the hoods were drawn over their faces, the good Priest stepped from the drop, the fatal bolt was drawn and the murderers of Brady were launched into eternity.

The lamentations of the Indian women when the drop fell, increased to a painful extent, but there was no emotion visible with the men.

Perfect order was preserved by the spectators throughout the entire proceedings. One white man is said to have been so much overcome by the solemn spectacle that he fainted away.

After hanging the usual time, the three bodies were cut down, placed in coffins, and handed over to the friends of the deceased for interment.

Source: "Execution of Three of the Murderers of Brady," British Colonist, May 25, 1863

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