No. 84, Miscellaneous
8th October 1864
Sir
1. I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your Despatch No 29 of the 1st August 1864 in reference to former Despatches on the subject of the Bute Inlet and Bentinck Arm massacres, and requesting to know what steps if any were taken by the Government of this Colony or by Mr Waddington or his Agents to provide eitherdirectlyManuscript image directly or through Governor Seymour for the safety of the second party who were murdered on the Bentinck Arm route.
2. I will shortly state the facts as far as I know them.
3. On Wednesday 11th May a coasting steamer arrived from Nanaimo bringing intelligence of the massacre at Bute Inlet, together with the three survivors two of whom were wounded.
4. The wounded men were immediately removed to the Hospital and the particulars of the murderselicitedManuscript image elicited by the Police.
5. On reviewing their Report I immediately directed Mr Wood, a barrister then acting for the Stipendiary Magistrate (who was confined to his bed) to proceed to the Hospital and take the depositions of the wounded men which occupied the remainder of that day (the 11th) and a great part of the night in completing.
6. I enclosed the Depositions so taken without delay to Governor Seymour, and sent them for transmission to New Westminster by a steamer which was advertisedtoManuscript image to sail on the following morning, Thursday 12th May.
7. My letter was returned to me on the same afternoon with an intimation that the sailing of the steamer was unavoidably postponed till Friday morning the 13th May when it was sent.
8. On that day Mr Waddington at my request proceeded in the same steamer to afford Governor Seymour any additional information in his power.
9. I at the same time cordiallytenderedManuscript image tendered my services to Governor Seymour and suggested that parties of volunteers (the only force at my disposal) should be sent simultaneously from New Westminster to Alexandria, and from Vancouver Island to Bute Inlet and Bentinck Arm, and offering to find volunteers for the two latter expeditions.
10. I received a private note from Governor Seymour in reply which I enclose dated the 17th and 18th May which explains itself. YouwillManuscript image will observe from this letter, that Governor Seymour was in communication with Sir James Douglas who was residing here but did not
This appears startling at first sight But I suppose that if any [choice?] would be accounted the [best?] acceptable advisor about managing Indians it must have been Sir J. Douglas with his long experience—the tone of the private note to Mr Kennedy is thoroughly friendly.
communicate with me, and also that Mr Waddington at Governor Seymour's request proceeded to Bute Inlet where his presence was useless to save life instead of proceeding to Bentinck Arm where there were lives still (as far as we then knew) which might by possibility have been saved.
11. You will thus observe that I sent forward the informationIManuscript image I received to Governor Seymour at the earliest moment in my power and sent Mr Waddington also by the same opportunity.
12. The accompanying letter from Mr Waddington in reply to my inquiries explains his own conduct, and is I believe strictly in accordance with truth.
13. I will not conceal from you (what your Despatch confirms) that some unworthy attempts were at the time made to attach blame to me in this matter, and some vituperative articles (attributedtoManuscript image to an officer lately connected with this Government in a double sense) were published in a violent partizan newspaper having that tendency. It will be for you to judge from the foregoing statement how far they were well founded.
14. The statements adverted to being wholly devoid of truth I did not see it expedient to contradict them and thereby raise a discussion which could only result in an increase of the ill-feeling which unhappily existed between the two Colonies.
15. ItManuscript image
15. It was my duty as well as desire to render Governor Seymour and Mr Waddington all the aid in my power and this I did cordially and earnestly as far as my authority and the means at my disposal would permit.
16. With the information now before me I do not believe it would have been possible to avert the unhappy fate of the Bentinck Arm party after the receipt of the intelligence of the Bute Inlet murders. The distance, time, and insufficient means at the disposalofManuscript image of either Government I think prove this. But if such possibility did exist, the case of these unhappy men is only one of the miscarriages which have arisen, and will arise from a divided authority in dealing with Indians who migrate between both Colonies.
17. I enclose herewith two local newspapers of the 12th and 29th May which contain particulars and comments upon these melancholy occurrences. I also enclose a copy of Mr Waddington's depositions which I sent to Governor SeymourtogetherManuscript image together with those of the survivors of the Bute Inlet party, which you will observe discouraged the hope of saving the Bentinck Arm party at the time those depositions were taken, namely, the 11th May.
I have the honor to be,
Sir,
Your most obedient Servant
A.E. Kennedy
Governor
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Mr Cardwell
This will be for Your Consideration.
TFE 29/11
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
Manuscript image
Seymour to Kennedy, 17 and 18 May 1864, expressing thanks for the offer of assistance and reporting in detail on his own plans with regard to investigation of the tragedy.
Manuscript image
Alfred Waddington to Henry Wakeford, Acting Colonial Secretary, 8 October 1864, providing "a correct statement of what I did in respect to the Bute Inlet murders." Transcribed Below.
Manuscript image
Newspaper clippings (two), The Daily Chronicle, 12 May 1864, reporting the Indian massacre at Bute Inlet. Transcribed Below.
Manuscript image
Newspaper clipping, The Daily Chronicle, 29 May 1864, extensive report on the double tragedy at Bute Inlet and Bentinck's Arm. Transcribed Below.
Manuscript image
Deposition of Alfred Waddington, 11 May 1864, describing his past expeditions into Bute Inlet and his relationship with the natives, and including a postscript detailing his concerns for a second party recently sent up Bentinck Arm.
Other documents included in the file
Manuscript image
Draft reply, Cardwell to Kennedy, No. 68, 20 December 1864.
Documents enclosed with the main document (transcribed)
Manuscript image
Original letter
Henry Wakeford
Acting Colonial Secretary
R34
595


October 8th 1864

To the Colonial Secretary
of Vancouver Island
Sir,
In answer to your letter of the 7th Inst. you will find the following to be a correct statement of what I did in respect to the Bute Inlet Murders.
The principal massacre, (for there were four distinct ones,) took place April 30th. just before daylight. I was apprized of it in Victoria early in the morning of May 11th. On the arrival of the steamer Emily Harris, which brought down the only three men who had survived, two of them severely wounded, and one a cripple for life. I attended these two men to the hospital, and there immediately waited on Governor Kennedy to give him what information I could; and at his request decided to go to New Westminster and see Governor Seymour, who alone had power to act. The Hudsons' Bay Co. steamer was to leave next morning, and in the afternoon the sick men and myself made our depositions before the magistrate at the hospital. In my deposition I particularly stated my fears for M.cDonald's party. Owing to some unfortunate circumstance the steamer did not leave the next morning and a day was thus lost; we left however on Saturday, May 13.th at 12 Oclock and reached New Westminster at 9 p.m. I accompanied the despatches, which were delivered the same evening to Governor Seymour, and I received a noteManuscript image requesting me to be with him at 8 Oclock next morning. The Executive Council was to meet at […]
The next morning I took the plans and surveys of the Bute Inlet Route and surrounding country with me, Lord Guilford commander of the Tribunal, (which had just come up to New Westminster,) was present, and His Ex. asked me what were my views as to the best means of capturing the murderers. After some discussion I suggested:
1st. An expedition from Alexandria of not less than 150 men, so as to be able to form detachments capable of scouring the country and hindering the Indians from frequenting their fishing ground until they gave up the murderers.
2d. An observation Corps at Bute Inlet to keep the Indians in awe, proceed to the scene of the massacre, ascertain if there were any survivors, and inter the dead. But I observed that as the trail was not yet opened, it would be next to impossible to proceed further, or establish a line of operations on this route.
3d. An observation corps to be sent forth with to Bentinck Arm, to save M.cDonald's party if it is still time, capture the unpunished Indians who committed the murders these two years before and protect the settlers at the Head of the Inlet for I stated my conviction, contrary to the Governor's opinion, that the rising of the Indians was a […]one, and that they would murder all the white men they could meet with: which the sequel has proved to be true.
Governor Seymour listened quietly to these propositions, but when I came to speak of the Manuscript image expedition to Bentinck Arm, he turned to Lord Guilford and said, "unfortunately there is no vessel disposable," to which Lord Guilford nodded a silent assent and after a short pause I added, "well that is most unfortunate."—It would have been out of place for me to say more, and shortly after I retired.
In the course of the day a company of 25 volunteers was enrolled for Bute Inlet, to leave in the evening by the Gunboat "Forward." I had placed my pack horses and all my stores at Bute Inlet at the Governor’s disposal, and at his request I agreed to escort the expedition, which I did to Bute Inlet and 40 miles up the trail to the scene of the massacre and back. I returned to New Westminster on the “Forward” and again saw His Ex. June 9th, but since then I have never been consulted, and have only learned what has taken place by the public print. The Sutlej was sent up to Bella Coola, Bentinck Arm, soon afterwards and arrived there June 20th. Just in time to save the lives of the settlers, and no more.
To resume: The principal massacre was known in Victoria May 11th and my interview with Govr Seymour was on the 13th. Alex M.cDonald left Bella Coola on the 20th. And he and his party were assailed and massacred 75 miles up the trail May 31st. Now Bella Coola is little more than two days distance per steamer from New Westminster, and as things happened, if the government had immediately chartered a steamer in Victoria, there can be no doubt that the poor men would have been saved, and a fresh insult prevented. Unfortunately the government Manuscript image appeared to be unwilling to have any assistance from Vancouver Island, or to be under any obligation to myself.
As far as I was myself concerned, I did everything in my power to save M.cDonald. I made the government aware of the dangers. I made every suggestion I decently could, and I could do no more.

I have the honor to be
Sir,
Your Obedient humble servant,

8th October 1864
Mr Alfred Waddington
Bute Inlet Massacre and
Bentinck Arm Massacre
Enclosure No2 in Despatch
2084 of 8th October 1864
Documents enclosed with the main document (transcribed)
Manuscript image
DAILY CHRONICLE.
Thursday Morning, May 12, 1864
The Indian Massacre.

A year ago the citizens of Victoria were horrified by the murder of poor Marks and his daughter by some Indians near Plumper Pass. The event which cast a gloom over the town yesterday, and raised the indignation of the inhabitants of the highest pitch, though less harrowing in its details, because no helpless woman are concerned in it, is if possible more serious than any outbreak which the Indians have made, because a greater number of valuable lives have been sacrificed by the blood-thirsty savages. Nor is the whole extent of the catastrophe made known when we announce that fourteen men in one party have been murdered. Eight or nine others, who were further in the interior, have probably fallen victims to the same band of ruthless Indians. The recent accounts from Bute Inlet had informed us that there was reason to believe that a man named Smith, who kept a ferry above the town site, had been murdered by some Chilicooten Indians, who had been employed in packing for the men engaged upon the road. It now appears that after killing Smith and robbing his house, they grew emboldened by their success over one helpless white man, and proceeded in the dead of night, to a spot near the third portage, where a party of seventeen of Mr. Waddington’s road makers were sleeping unsuspiciously in tents. The place where the second massacre took place had previously obtained a bloody reputation, for it was the scene of a wholesale Indian murder twenty years ago. The Chilicooten Indians, the men, or their sons, who have now cut off our own fellow country-men without provocation, fell upon a village of the Homathco tribe, and destroyed nineteen of them, leaving only six alive. The natural result of that former crime will be one of the chief means of bringing these wretches to justice now. The Homathcos are the enemies of the Chilicootens, and have already given up the names of six or seven of the assassins! and if the Government of British Columbia sets with energy and spirit through the friendly aid of the injured Homathcos, they will obtain the name and description of every red skin who participated in this last ontrage. It is a gloomy story to relate how out of seventeen men, sleeping quietly in their tents after a hard day’s labor on the road, some were awakened from their sleep to find themselves wounded by the musket balls, knives and axes of their unexpected enemies, while others of their companions passed without a sign or warning of the change, from sleep to death itself. It was only by a remarkable interposition of Providence that three men escaped to tell the tale. Horrible as are the details of the stealthy attack—of the butchery of the bodies of the dead—the chief dismay after the first consternation has subsided, is in the fact that eight or nine more men are known to be wi hin the reach of these wretches, and there is every reason to believe have shared the fate of their comrades nearer the coast. Of the two men only a mile or two in advance of the others, there can be no hope. It was almost impossible that they should escape from the murderers when they met them, as they were engaged in blazing the very trail by which the Chilicootens would return to their own village. Alexander Mcdonald, the well-known settler of Benshee Lake, at the junction of Bentinck Arm and Bute Inlet roads, was in Victoria a few weeks ago, and having taken a contract for that portion of the road nearest his ranch, had collected a party of five men, who left Victoria with him for Bute Inlet last month. There is every reason to believe that these men also, and his farm laborers who remained at his farm, knowing nothing of what had occured below, would fall an easy prey to their enemies. The only hope of safety for poor Mcdonald lies in the chance that from his intimate knowledge of Indian habits and his long acquaintance with the tribes in his neighbourhood, something might transpire to put him on his guard against these treacherous foes. If he was taken off his guard and attacked when he was unprepared, there would be little probability of the escape of himself or any of his party. On the spread of the news in this city, the first feeling which showed itself was a strong desire for a bloody revenge upon these dangerous races who live around us, but whom we can never trust. Had the people of Victoria had the power , they would gladly have exterminated the whole tribe to which the murderers belong. With returning reason, however, the public are willing to discriminate between the innocent and guilty, but all who imbued their hands in blood, or connived at that horrible dead ought to be hunted down, and either punished on the spot, or brought to account for their crimes, before the regular tribunal of Justice. For the present, little can be done, because though the disaster has fallen upon Island men, and was first made known here, it has occured in a place under the jurisdiction of the Governor of British Columbia. Had Bute Inlet been in our own territory, a word from His Excellency would have called up fifty volunteers accustomed to bush life, and many of them experienced in Indian wars. And though it is Island property and Island lives that have been sacrificed, we believe that the good people of New Westminster will show the same determination. If volunteers are to be used in tracking and capturing the criminals, we have amongst us many friends of the slain, who will cheerfully throw up every engagement and join the party. Amidst all these troubles we must not forget that the sympathy of his fellow-townsmen is due to Mr.Waddington. In the face of difficulties, discouragements, and heavy losses, he has steadily for two years pursued his scheme for reducing the distance to Cariboo by one-half, At the beginning of the third season, when the least sanguine of his friends began to see that the prospect of a happy conclusion to his cheerfully borne troubles was dawning upon him, he has been plunged by an unforeseen occurrence into deep mental affliction and pecuniary loss. We cannot bring back the lives of the men who have been murdered, but we can care for the wounded, and may succor the survivors if there are any left alive of McDonald’s party. We may punish the murderers, and avenge the death of our fellow-countrymen and we can call upon the British Columbian Government to show to Mr. Waddington that it respects his grief, and will mitigate his losses as far as lays in its power.
Manuscript image
Daily Chronicle.
Thursday Morning, May 12th, 1864.
(From our Extra of yesterday.)
Horrible Massacre!!
FOURTEEN MEN MURDERED AT BUTE INLET.

The steamer Emily Harris arrived from Nanaimo this morning. She brings three men as passengers who are the sole survivors of Waddington’s party of seventeen workmen, the remaining 14 having been massacred by Chillecooten Indians who had been hired to pack for them.
The savages commenced the attack by murdering Smith, the ferryman, (as before stated) and robbing the house.
On the same night they started up to the camp where the 17 men were sleeping and commenced an indiscriminate attack on them with knives, pistols, muskets and axes—slaughtering 14 out of the 17.
The wretches, not content with depriving the poor fellows of life, hacked and mutilated the bodies in a most shocking manner.
An Indian from Bute Inlet who was with the party, and the 3 surviving whites, managed to escape in the darkness. Two of the whites are wounded and are on board the Emily Harris.
The news is of a most dreadful character and its promulgation has raised a feeling of alarm among all the settlers in the outlying districts.
The Indian, who escaped, says that he concealed himself in the vicinity of the camp until the next morning, and saw all of the bodies. The heads of some had been hacked off—others were ripped open, and the fiends, in more than one instance, had quartered the bodies of their victims.
The names of the wounded men brought down on the Emily Harris, are: Peterson and Buckley. The uninjured man is named Mosely.
Peterson and Buckley have been sent to the hospital.
We understand that a gunboat will be dispatched to New Westminster to carry the news to Governor Seymour.
Additional Particulars

Mr. Waddington thinks that the trail crossing a portion of the Chilicooten Territory, may have influenced them in some degree in making the attack, but plunder was no doubt the main object they had in view. The hour of the attack was well wall chosen—just before daylight—when the poor victims were in their soundest sleep. The plan of slaughter, to judge from the disconnected accounts furnished us, seems to have been formed with military precision, each Indian selecting his man. The attacking party numbered about 18, all Chilicootens, who were in the employ of the Road Company, and were accompanied by their women and children. The workmen were divided into two camps; one gang, numbering five men, were ahead, with Mr. Brewster, foreman of the work, and the other gang, numbering twelve men, were working at what is known as the third bluff nine miles above the ferry. Of the latter party only three are known to have escaped; and of the former, all are believed to have been destroyed. About fifteen miles above the point where Brewster’s party were working, Alex. McDonald, with seven or eight men, was engaged in cutting the trail from Benshee Lake, to meet Brewster’s gang, and it is feared that this party, too, have fallen victims. The murderers are Chilicooten Indians. The Bute Inlet Indians are friendly, and will no doubt render valuable assistance in bringing the guilty parties to justice, to any force sent up for their punishment.
From Mr. Waddington, the proprietor of the road, we have received the following list of those believed to have been destroyed:

THE KILLED.

  1. William Brewster, foreman, a Cornishman.
  2. Joseph Fielding, Derbyshire, England.
  3. James Openshaw, Lancashire, England.
  4. Chas. Butler, late of Boundary Commission, has been a broker in Victoria.
  5. James Cam, bell, Scotchman.
  6. Timothy Smith, an Englishman.
  7. John Newman, an Englishman.
  8. John Clarke, an Englishman.
  9. Baptiste Demarest, a French Canadian.
  10. James Gaudet, a half-breed; father and brother in Victoria.
  11. John Hoffmeyer, a Bavarian.
  12. Robert Pollock, Scotchman.
  13. Alex. Millan, Scotchman, blacksmith.
  14. George Smith, a Scotchman.
A Survivor’s Account.

We have received the following account of the frightful tragedy from Mr. Edwin Mosely, one of the survivors, and the only member of the party who escaped uninjured: He says that the attack was made on Friday the 30th, April, at daybreak. The party to which he belonged was 12 in number and were sleeping in six tents, about 9 miles above the the ferry where it was subsequently ascertained that Tim Smith had been previously murdered, and near the third bluff. The first intimidation which Mr. Mosely says he had of the attack, was when two Indians came to the tent—in which himself and two others, named Joseph Fielding and James Campbell, were sleeping. The savages were armed with muskets, axes and knives and lifted up the end of the tent, whooped and fired immediately—shooting Fielding and Campbell and pulling the tent down on top of them. They then took their knives and axes and hacked and cut through the canvas at our informant’s two companions, soon despatching them—Mosely, upon whom the tent-pole had fallen, lay perfectly quiet and was not struck. The Indians, thinking that all three were dead, rushed to attack another tent, when our informant crawled from beneath the canvas and plunged into the river, which was only about two steps distant—and ran through the water—which was knee-deep—stooping down beneath the bank and brush to escape observation. He was not seen. After running about 100 yards he turned and looking towards the scene of slaughter saw a large number of Indians, squaws and children, gathered around the tent where the provisions were kept, which was occupied by Chas. Bottle (an ex-sapper and miner) who acted as cook for the party. They had evidently killed Bottle, and were dividing the provisions. Mosely continued his flight down the river for a mile, jumping from boulder to boulder on the bank—when he saw a man ahead of him crawling along. He at first took him to be one of the murderers; but on approaching he saw that he was one of his company—Peter Peterson, a Dane—who had been shot in the left arm and had escaped from the scene of the massacre in a manner similar to Mosely. He was very weak, and suffered much from his wound. The two continued on down the river for a distance of two miles, when the wounded man gave out, and crawled among the rocks to hide, while Mosely went on the ferry to get assistance. On arriving at the ferry, our informant shouted to the ferryman to take him across, but receiving no response, got tired and went into the brush and laid down for half-an-hour, when Peterson, who had partailly recovered his strength arrived, and also hallooed with like ill success. Thinking that the ferryman might be asleep, the two continued to shout at intervals during the day, without success, however. The ferryman, poor fellow! Was deaf to all earthly calls. They remained on the same side until the next day, at noon, when they were joined by Buckley,Manuscript image another survivor of the massacre, who had been struck, while asleep in his tent, on the head with a musket by an Indian; he sprang up and knocked his assailant down with his fist and made fist and made for the door of his tent, where he was met by two Indians, both of whom stabbed him in each side simultaneously. He raised his arm to strike one of them , when he was also cut in the arm, and fell to the ground. They then rushed into the tent and despatched the other occupant—John Hoffmand, an old Puget Sound hunter. Buckley, when he revived, crept into the brush and laid down until noon of the same day; he then crawled along towards where Brewster’s tent had been pitched—about two miles ahead. On nearing the spot after dark he saw fires burning, and heard dogs barking, and as there were no dogs with Brewster’s party he rightly concluded that that party had likewise fallen victims. He laid among the rocks until about daylight when he started towards the ferry, which he reached without encountering any Indians. After Buckley had joined Mosely and Peterson, the three fixed a loop in the guy-rope which is stretched across the river; into this look Buckley got, and worked himself along slowly inch by inch until he was within 12 feet of the opposite bank, when he dropped into the river and swam ashore. The others succeeded in crossing by the same means and found that the ferry skiff had been cut to pieces with axes; and the house plundered of nearly everything. By the side of the fire at where the ferryman usually cooked his meals, there was a great pool of blood, and from thence to the river there was a trail as of some body having been dragged along the ground and thrown into the water.
About an hour afterwards two packers, French Canadians, came up the river from the head of the Inlet. They had heard of the massacre from an In-dian who had worked for Brewster’s party, and who had been saved by the Chilicootens, who told him to leave. This Indian reported that he came through the camp from which Mosely and his companions had escaped, and saw nine dead bodies of white men stripped naked and lying on the bank—the bodies being frightfully mangled. The Chillicootens told him that he had better clattawa and gave him a knife, to defend himself in case he come across any white men. He added that the murderers came on three of Brewster’s party, about seven o’clock on the same morning, and shot them while working. Two of the murderers had started out to kill Mr. Brewster, who was a short distance ahead engaged in blazing the trail, when the friendly Indian left. The packers and friendly Indians were armed to the teeth. The ferry skiff was repaired, and the two wounded men, two Indians, one of the packers and Mr. Mosley, floated down the river to the Half-way House, 15 miles above the head of the Inlet, where they met another friendly Indian with a large canoe who took them all to the town-site. This was on Tuesday at noon They stopped at the town-site until the next day, at noon, when they started in a canoe, manned by two Bute Inlet Indians and one of the packers, for Nanaimo, which place they reached about dusk on Saturday night and received every attention from the inhabitants and medical treatment until Tuesday, when they left for Victoria, the Emily Harris, reaching here about 8 o'clock yesterday morning.
Mr. Mosely says that the Indians had always expressed themselves as friendly towards the whites and that no difficulty had ever occurred between them and any of the men; they were all in the employ of the company. Peterson says that the man who shot him was employed in packing drills from the blacksmith shop. The object of the attack was undoubtedly plunder.

Letter from Bute Inlet.
TOWN SITE—BUTE INLET, MAY 4TH, 1864.

To Mr. Waddington—Sir:—I am sorry that I am under the painful necessity of informing you of the sad affair that took place on the 30th of April at the Third Bluff. The men were attacked by the upper Indians in the morning before daylight and were all killed but three, who escaped by swimming down the river. There are two of them badly wounded, but not dangerously. I was at the town site at the time of the affair, but I was informed of it by one of the Indians that was looking for Mr. Brewster, who came down immediately after the accident. I went to the ferry the same day and found there three men. I was to proceed further, but I could get no one to go with me, so they advised me not to go alone or I would endanger my life for nothing, as I could do no good alone. There is still a little hope for Mr. Brewster as he and Clarke were ahead blazing the trail; he may have escaped, but rather doubtful. These three men can give you a better description as they were present. They have robbed the ferry house of all the provisions and cooking utensils and what they could not pack they threw in the river. They cut the skiff to pieces and cut the scow loose, but there was no water to carry it away so i made it fast again. I presume that the upper camp was also robbed of provisions. I shall remain here with Gage until I hear from you, which I hope will be soon.

I, am your obt. Servant,


MR. WADDINGTON.—This gentleman, whose kindness of heart is proverbial, is greatly distressed at the dreadful news from Bute Inlet, not because of the great pecuniary loss which he has sustained, but because of the fearful sacrifice of life which has attended the outbreak. As an honest, patient, enterprising, self-sacrificing, noble-hearted man, though in the decline of life, yet a model of energy and pluck which men fifty years his junior might well emulate, it is deeply to be regretted that this great misfortune has befallen him; while mourning for those who in the prime of their days and the heydey of health and usefulness have been suddenly cut off by the hands of the red men, who among us but will sympathise with the good old man whose for-tune has been spent in an effort to do good to the country which he has made his home.
Documents enclosed with the main document (transcribed)
Manuscript image
DAILY CHRONICLE
Sunday Morning, May 29, 1864
ARRIVAL OF THE OTTER.

NEWS FROM CARIBOO TO MAY 19
The Bute Inlet Massacre!
FOUR MORE MEN KILLED!!
Full Account of the Massacre of the 30th April, from Mr. Waddington.

The steamer Otter arrived from New Westminster this morning at one o’clock. Among the Passengers was Mr. Waddington.
Mr. Frank Fulford, from William Creek on the 19th inst., came on the Otter this morning. He reports the weather fine. The newest strikes are in the Elliot, Rankin and Cornish claims. The Bed-rock Drain will be completed in nine days. Health on the creek is good; business lively. Wake-up-Jake continue to pay 250 to 300 ounces per day. Nothing exciting from the other creeks.
ANOTHER INDIAN MASSACRE!!
Below will be found an account of the murder of William Manning and others at Benshee Lake, which probably took place on the 17tn inst., the day on which McDonald left Bella Coola, so the Indians would meet him half way. Manning’s party numbered four, Malcolm McLeod was one of the number. Manning had a farm and 60 head of horses.
The fifty men who are on the expedition are to be mounted. It is calculated that this Indian outbreak will cost the Colony $1,000,000.
[From the British Columbian of Yesterday.]

From a letter received by Express last evening from Mr. J.O. Colquhoun and James Wilcox, of Victoria, under date Soda Creek, May 22d, 1864, it would seem that the perpetrators of the Bute Inlet massacre, on their arrival at the junction of that route with the Bentinck Arm route, murdered Manning, McDonald’s partner, and several others, and had started off with the avowed determination of murdering every white man they met. We give the following extract from the letter alluded to:—

A French Canadian, with an Indian guide, started from Fort Alexandria to proceed to Bentinck Arm. When near the Junction [of the Bute and Bentinck Arm trails, at Benshee Lake, EDS. CHRONICLE,] they met two Indians who told them to go back, as the Indians had killed all the white men on the Bute route, and were going down from the Junction to Bentinck Arm to kill all they could find here.

The fifty stand of arms sent up by Mr. Ogilvie, will reach Alexandria about Monday, by which time it is expected Commissioner Cox will have a force recruited ready to start, and this fresh affair will assist them in tracking the blood-thirsty villains.

Thrilling Details by Mr. Waddington.

EDITORS DAILY CHRONICLE: I enclosed you a few details of the massacre at Bute Inlet, which I think may be of interest to you readers. In the principal situation I am placed in, I have felt it a duty, and it has been a melancholy satisfaction to me to consign to paper a few facts which have come to light concerning the deaths of the men who were engaged in carrying through the trail, and who have been ruthlessly murdered whilst honestly doing their duty. Besides, while the cause of their death has been commented upon with unfeeling and unmerited severity, which requires explanation, poor Mr. Brewster has been taxed with being unjust towards the Indians, and the men with being childishly careless and confiding. The first of these imputations I have refuted in the following communication, and as to the second, I send it back to its authors. For the last two years I have been begging and praying the government for at least a show of protection. but in vain; nor did ever a gunboat visit Bute Inlet, though sent in every other direction. Once, when I remonstrated, and said that some days we should all be massacred, Col. Moody told me that he would grant no favor, and that he considered me as an enemy to the Colony; and even the Governor assured me that there was not the slightest danger, and that the Indians would not touch a hair on our heads. This was repeated so often I almost believed it; but now that the men are murdered, it is different, and we are told that they ought to have been well armed. That the men have been too confident is but too true, and I advised Mr. Brewster to take arms with him, but he refused. But if the report of too great confidence be founded, who should be the first to whisper it? Why, those or their friends who lulled us to sleep on the brink of the precipice—who persuaded us that there was no danger, and who stingily refused us that protection which had been paid for, and which we all have a right to.
I remain yours, &c.,


Victoria, May 28, 1864.
ORIGIN OF THE MASSACRE.

The Chilcoaten Indians who committed the crime were chiefly new faces, who had come down in the early spring this year, and were seen at the head of the Inlet for the first time. The intention of Klattasen, the most influential amongst them, and the chief instigator, had been however, to return to Benchee Lake by the Memeya and Bridge Rivers; he was only waiting, as he said, for Mr. Waddington’s arrival, after whom he inquired anxiously every day, and whether he would bring many men and provisional with him. He said he wanted him to get back his daughter for him from Euclataws. In the meanwhile his eldest boy, Pierre, a lad of fifteen, went up with the packers on Wednesday, April 20th, to the Ferry, where he had a long talk with the Chilcoatens of the upper camp, and returned in the morning of Friday the 23d, when his father Klattasen immediately changed his mind, as he told the packers on the Saturday morning. He weuld now give a canoe, six blankets, and two muskets, for his daughter, and started on Tuesday morning; April 26th, for the Ferry, with his young Indians, his two sons and daughters, and three squaws, slept at the half-way ouse or Slough Camp, slept again near Boulder Creek, and reached the Ferry on Thursday morning, about 9 a. m. He probably murdered Smith, the Ferryman, the same evening.
There were about two tons of provisions at the Ferry, all of which were removed, the skiff chopped to pieces, and the scow cast adrift, in order to interrupt the communication. All this was done before 10 on Friday morning, for the murderers were met about 11 by the Clayoosh Indian, Squinteye, a mile higher up on the other side of the Ferry. They proceeded it appears to join the other Indians at the principal camp about seven miles up, where they talked and joked with the workmen after supper, and sang Indian songs during a part of the night. The massacre took place just before the time the men generally rose in the morning, and so simultaneously that it is a wonder that any one escaped to tell the tidings. The first news of the murder at the Ferry was brought down to the town-site at the head of the Inlet by the Indian Squinteye, who arrived very much frightened, at 3 in the morning of Friday, April 29th.
SQUINTEYE’S DECLARATION.

He was coming down to the Ferry from the upper camp on Thursday morning, with the chief Tellot, to fetch up provisions, when they met Klattasan, as before said, with his two boys, three other Indians, and some women, all of whom he would know again; they had two blankets, and some baked bread with them. Klattasen told them they need not go to the Ferry; that they would find nobody there, for he had killed Smith. Tellot got angry, expostulated with Klattasen, and said he would return and inform Mr. Brewster, the foreman, but finally accompanied Klattasen. He then snatched away Squinteye’s gun, giving him, or promising to give im, two blankets (a very small equivalent), and threatening otherwise to stab him. Klattasen then told Squinteye to begone, as quick as he could, down the valley, and say nothing, or he would be murdered also. Klattasen had on Smith’s shirt with red stripes. They were going up the hill at the canon about a mile above the Ferry, when he met them. This was about 11 a. m.. Klattasen said he would see the white men murdered because they did not give them their grub for packing. Squinteye found no boat at the Ferry, and had to wade the river a mile below.
Manuscript image
TENAS GEORGE’S STATEMENT:

The news of the wholesale murder at the two upper camps was brought down by Mr. Brewster’s servant, George, an Indian boy of about fifteen, who waded the river and ran down 40 miles in 10 hours, reaching the Inlet about 4 in the afternoon of Saturday, April 30th. He was washing the plates after breakfast at the upper tent, to which Mr. Brewster had removed from the principal camp the evening before, with Mr. Clark, the settler, Baptiste Demarest and James Gaudet, when six Indians came up, two of them without guns. Saw Gaudet shot about twenty-five yards off. Was shot a first time, then a second, when he dropped down dead. Would know the Indian again who shot him. Saw Clark shot through the bushes. The Indian who shot him had a scar on one cheek. A young Chilcoaten, who had been a slave, (Chrayebanuru, also called Bob, one of the six,) told him then to klatawaw as quickly as possible, and gave him a knife to defend himself. In going to the principal camp, two miles below, he met the other Indians coming up laden with plunder. He saw four dead bodies at the camp.
SUPPOSED MURDERERS.

The Indians who were at the camp the evening before the murder, were:—

Klattasen, the chief instigator, a tall, stout man; no moustache to signify; dark brown hair, or nearly black; big nose; murdered Smith.
Tellot, the Chief the Lower Chilcoatens; about 45; middle sized; struck a severe blow at Petersen with his axe.
Tellot’s son-in-law. George.
Lowwa, a stout young man, 23 or 24 years old.
Cusheu, a stout, good-looking young man, about 25; middle sized.
The Indian slave Chrayebanuru or Bob, had no gun. He had bought Clark’s gun, however, without paying for it, and must have lent it or sold it again. Rather slender; about 20 years old.
Indian with a scar on each cheek, who shot Clark.
Indian of 45 was met, together with Klattasen, by Squint-Eye above the Ferry.
Indian with an exceedingly wide mouth, ring in the nose and black moustache; had a white handled knife and red leggings. He had been sick at the camp. Shot one of the men in Petersen’s tent.
Indian about 20, with a very long, dark face, long dark hair and looked like a priest. Was one of the two who accompanied Klattasen from the town site.
The second Indian was a fine, stout-looking warrior, about 23 or 24. Was said by Tellot’s son-in-law George to have shot a white man near Seechelt’s peninsula some time ago.
Total number 12, of whom 4 were without guns. There had been 16 Chilcoatens in all, but 4 had returned to Benshee Lake by the Memeya and Bridge rivers.
OTHER: MEANS OF DETECTION.

Besides the above description, the Chief, Tellot, has a relation at Tatla Lake.
The tents, which were all cut to pieces and carried away, were marked, “J. W. Keiser,” in a circle.
There was a black terrier at the camp, of middle size, and about three years old; probably followed the other Indian dogs.
The table knives had strong blades, which, when pointed, as some of them had been by the Indians, made good daggers. The bone handles had diagonal ribs, and were fastened with three rivets. A keg of powder was emptied and divided among the Indians late of the camp.
FERRY.

At the station, everything had been plundered and carried away, excepting such tools as could be of no use to the Indians. Five pieces of bacon and a bag of beans were first found hid in the bushes, and after several long explorations, another cache was found about half a mile off, from which, about 500 pounds of bacon, two hundred pounds of sugar, and 120 of dried apples were removed, besides some cooking utensils. At this cache, fully 50 feet square of ground were covered with sugar, of which there were 800 lbs. weight, coffee, tea, dried apples, and beef. Smith, the ferryman, appears to have been shot from behind, while sitting at the fire, with two bullets, one of which was lodged in the tree about three feet off, and the other glanced off. There was a pool of blood close by. The body had been dragged to the river, close at hand, and thrown in.
PRINCIPAL CAMPS.

The scene of dessolation here was distressing beyond expression. All the tents had been cut up and were gone, and the whole camp gutted; or, what was left, was smashed and destroyed—baking pans broken to pieces, cross-saws bent in two, books and papers torn up and scattered to the wind, with torn clothes, and blood besmeared in every direction, but no bodies. It was easy, however, to trace them and find how each had been dragged to the river, by the blood on the stumps and the marks on the ground.

NOTES TAKEN FRIDAY, MAY 20TH.

1st. Tent.—At the place where Oppenshaw’s head law, there was a large pool of blood. His hat was found close by. There was a pool of blood near the head of John Nieuman, who was next found. His shirt and trowers were found, the first with two bullet holes near the right groin, the trowsers untouched. He has evidently been shot in bed when undressed, and probably finished with a blow on the head.
2d Tent.—Blacksmith Scotty, a large pool of blood near the head. George Smith, found in the same manner.
3d. Tent.—Robert Pollock, blankets saturated with blood; the inside of the straw, matting all stained with blood; probably shot or wounded in the body. P. Peterson escaped wounded.
4th Tent.—Peter Buckley. escaped badly wounded.
Hoffman, black jumper saturated, with blood, white blanket the same; black neck-tie covered with blood, hair and brains; towel full of blood. There seems to have been a struggle for life. An empty leather purse found here covered with blood, and a canvas bag for silver.
5th Tent.—Charles Buttler, cook; no blood, the ground of the tent clean and smooth; his dark colored jacket found near the fireplace with two bullet holes in the back; was evidently dressed and had just left the tent; was probably shot in the back while stooping over the fire; is supposed to have been shot first.
6th Tent.—Joseph Fielding. His trowsers, which he was in the habit of putting under his head, steeped in blood.
James Campbell. Straw matting full of blood, blue bed cover, the same; a remnant of the tent stabbed through.
E. Mosely. He was in this tent and escaped unhurt: he had changed tent the evening before, unknown to the Indians.
THIRD OR UPPER CAMP.

About two miles above the preceeding. The ground was covered with debris as at the other camp and strewn with torn papers. It was near this spot that P. Buckley, one of the wounded men, watched the Indians dividing the spoil in the evening; he was his in a hole amongst the rocks above; the men here having just left the camp to go to work when the murderers arrived, were dispersed on the trail; Mr. Brew’s exploring party returned without having found their tracks, but Mr. Waddington with a second party was more successful.
BODIES FOUND.
The first body found was that of James Gaudet, lying against a tree on the hill-side, about 50 yards below the trail. A bullet had passed through the right shoulder and a second through the left temple, the brain protruding through the wound. The body was naked except the socks, and in a shocking state of decomposition.
Body of John Clark, the settler, found about 100 yards further on, and 75 yards from the trail, down the hill-side. Bullet shot in the groin, another inside the right thigh, and the head battered. Body stripped and in a hideous state.
Baptiste Demarest, the third in order, had evidently been chopping a few yards further on; must have seen or heard the first two shoot; left the log he was at and ran for his life down the hill, after stooping under a tree, where his handkerchief was found and recognized. His heel steps clearly traced down the hill to mossy ground near the river, into which he either jumped of his own accord (for he was rather weak-minded) or was driven, and was dashed to pieces; or possibly he was taken prisoner and may still be alive, for he spoke broken Chilcoaten, served as an interpreter, and was looked upon as a sort of tilicum by the Indians.
The body of Mr. Brewster, the foreman of the party, was found about 200 yards further down the hill and near the last tree he had blazed. There was a bullet hole in the right breast and the right temple was traversed by the sharp edge of an axe, which had penetrated to the brain. A large incision in the side showed that the body was empty and that the heart had been removed—to be cut up, probably, and ate, as the greatest mark of Indian vengeance!! The body was naked; a shoe and Mr. Brewster’s pocket and time books, and several letters from Mr. Waddington, were found near the body.
Manuscript image
TREASURE

A receipt from the Bank of British North America for $200, and two $20 bank-notes, belonging to P. Peterson, also, a receipt for $350 from the Bank of British Columbia, belonging to J. Campbell, were found among the stray papers. Peterson had also some coin; Clark had $230, and Joseph Fielding, $50. Hoffman and some of the other men had money, all of which was plundered.
MOTIVES FOR THE MASSACRE

Plunder was certainly one of the chief incentives; there can be little doubt, however, that the main object in view was to put a stop to a road through the Chilcoaten territory. The murder on the Bute Inlet Trail is but the continuation on a larger scale of those committed at Bella Coola, which have remained unpunished, and which prove the aversion of the Chilcoatens to the opening up of their country by the whites. The Bute Trail had lately entered on their territory, and no compensation had been offered them Nor could Mr. Waddington, who had paid $2000 of taxes on the road, be expected to do anything. Two Two years ago he succeeded in pacifying the small tribe below with presents, but when he applied to the Government for reimbursement, was told that he had done it on his own responsibility. As before stated, most of the Chilcoatens who committed the murder had come down to the trail for the first time, and Mr. Brewster and the old workmen were particularly struck with this. There can be no doubt that these men decided the lower Chilcoatens to commit the deed, and that their intention was to include Mr. Waddington, as being the great tyhee and sole promoter of the enterprise (in the abscence of any apparent sanction or protection from the Government during three years) in the general destruction. Nor can anything else explain the wanton destruction of property by the Indians to their own great loss, or the wholesale murder of harmless workmen without provocation, or the murder of Clark, the settler, who (all interested assertions to the contrary notwithstanding) had been charity itself to them in the winter. It is true that Mr. Brewster was less generous in giving the Indians provisions that formerly, and attempt has been wrongfully made on this score to show that he had become an object of hatred to them. But though starving the Indians would never take food in payment for work, and the universal testimony of the Indians themselves goes to prove that he was most just, and that if he was not very much liked for not being lavish, he certainly was not hated on that account. The upper Chilcoatens only hated Mr. Brewster inasmuch as they hated the whole enterprise, and have since murdered Manning and Mr. Waddington’s party on the upper trail. The mutilation of Brewster’s body was a well known act of warlike vengeance and the natural consequence of being at the head of the enterprise in Mr. Waddington’s absence.
A third and last conjecture may be given, which is the removal of Governor Douglas, whom the Indians had known for 30 years and for whom they had a profound respect. Nor can the Indians understand how a chief or governor can be removed except by death. To these the departure of Governor Douglas was a sort of interregnum, which, added to the well known immunity of the murderers at Bella Coola, and the evident untruth, after three years’ persistence, of Mr. Waddington’s assertions that he was protected by the Government, encouraged them in their agression.
Documents enclosed with the main document (transcribed)
Manuscript image
Vancouver Island
May 11th 1864
Alfred Waddington, I have sent up 8 or 9 expeditions to Bute Inlet and am familiar with the Country and many of the Indians — I have surveyed the whole route from the head of Bute Inlet to within 30 or 40 miles of Quesnelle River. There are several tribes of Indians on the route— the Clayoosh and Euclataws Indians claim joint rights on the valley of the Homathco and up the bend of the valley on Salmon Ranch— The next tribe a very small one claim from thence to about a mile beyond the great Canyon. Pellot is their Chief, they are a branch of the Chilacooten Indians— the Chilacooten tribe properManuscript imageproper extend from the above point (a mile beyond the great Canyon) northwards probably 150 miles by 120 from E to West most of them have horses they have 3 main fishing grounds where they congregate in the spring with their wives and families to catch the front viz; Chisi-cut lake on the Chilacooten river, Alexis Lake on the trail to Alexandria, and the northern end of Tatla lake— these three points form a triangle and are about 25 miles apart. The Indians assemble to the number of 2 or 3 hundred at each of these places during the fishing months of May June and July — A deadly feud existed between the lower Indians and the Chilacooten Indians who massacredManuscript imagemassacred 19 of the first some 20 years ago at a spot about a mile above where (cross out) the ferry. I succeeded in making peace between these tribes 2 years ago and they have since been on tolerable terms, though still suspicious of each other—
I have read the statement of Peter A. Peterson which I believe to be correct in all its particulars and can vouch for the accuracy of the list of person employed on the route and the dates when they were sent— the persons whose names are given were all in my employ and picked men, many of them having been up the route before— The massacre of the party took place on the Chilacooten territory which the trail had entered for several miles. The party sent up last yearManuscript imageyear was well armed but so much confidence existed this year, with respect to the Indians that Mr Brewster (Foreman) thought it perfectly useless to provide the party with arms, which I had suggested to him — I can fully corroborate what is said by Peterson about the good understanding with Indians— It was even an amicable feeling, and I never heard of the existence of any dissatisfaction or complaint — Pellot used to call me his best friend. There was originally no Indians on the route from the town site to the forks, save a very small tribe at the ferry but since the expeditions for the construction of the trail have taken place they have congregated from allManuscript imageall quarters amounting sometimes to 200 or 250 and have received repeated presents of food and blankets besides regular earning for packing canoeing and other service — by this unfortunate massacre the whole existing expeditionto open up the trail is frustrated and the whole season will probably be lost, the personal loss to myself will be most considerable—


I wish to add that I have sent up a second party who left about the 24th of April with a view to open the upper trail they went up by the Bentinck Arm and were to commence operation from Benshee Lake near Chiscote Lake and work downwards— Mr Mcdonald who is at the head ofManuscript imageof the party has a Ranch at Benshee Lake and I much afraid the whole party will be murdered by the same Chilcotin Indians who appear to have gone up on their direction where they will meet the others who are proceeding by the Bentinck Arm Trail which crosses the Bute Trail at Benshee Lake
Kennedy, Arthur to Cardwell, Edward 8 October 1864, CO 305:23, no. 10964, 325. The Colonial Despatches of Vancouver Island and British Columbia 1846-1871, Edition 2.2, ed. James Hendrickson and the Colonial Despatches project. Victoria, B.C.: University of Victoria. https://bcgenesis.uvic.ca/V64184.html.

Last modified: 2020-12-02 13:40:34 -0800 (Wed, 02 Dec 2020) (SVN revision: 5008)