Tom (Tshuanahusset): Convicted of Robinson's Murder

[ Tom ]

Tom, Livingstone, Lorna, 1997, This Website

Tshuanahusset, also called Ich-yat-ais, Ich-yst-a-tis, Tom at the trial, and Dick in the Colonist of April 13, 1869, was convicted of killing William Robinson. A member of the Halkomelem-speaking Penelekut people, Tshuanahusset lived at their village on the Chemainus River. He sold salmon and deer to the settlers on Salt Spring Island. According to his statement to the magistrate, for about two years before Robinson died, he had had the "fire-sickness" which he caught in New Westminster. He claims that he was made an Indian constable by the Nanaimo magistrate, Mr. Franklyn. Tshuanahusset was hanged on July 24, 1869. He was survived by his wife, parents and brother.


Record of Prisoners in Victoria Gaol

April 8 1869 Name Tom an Indian. Age 26, height 5'5" Eyes Dark Hair Dark, Complexion Dark, Neither reads nor writes, no religion, proportion slight. Where born: Indian. Crime murder. Trade, none. No Peculiar marks.

Tom an Indian in for murder, date arrested 7 Apr 1869 transferred to gaol 8th April, arrested by John Morley, Esq., JP at Cowichan, committed for trial. Executed 24th July 1869."

Source: BCA, GR308 vol. 4, fol . 42; fol. 48; vol. 7, pp. 72-3.

Artist's conception of Tshuanahusset by Lorna Livingstone.

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