No. 16
21 May 1863
My Lord Duke,
A series of Murders committed by Indians having been lately brought to light I have considered it expedient to take very active measures for the punishment of the criminals as a public example indispensable for the prevention of crime.  
2. The victims, in all these cases, have been persons incautiously travelling about the Coast in boats or canoes either alone or in company with a single companion, and in one case, I believe without even the protection of firearms; none of the resident Settlers have been disturbed in any part of the Colony, and there is no evidence tending to show that those outrages have anything of a national
character, on the contrary there is every reason to believe that plunder was the sole object and the victims were made away with, for the purposes of concealment, and to avoid detection by effacing all evidence of the crime.  
3. The first intimation of these outrages was received from John Henly who, some time ago, arrived here from Pender Island, and reported that he and William Brady
his companion, both natives of the United States, had been attacked—Brady killed and himself badly wounded by a party of 3 men and 2 women of the Cowitchin Tribe. The latter had been kindly entertained by Brady the preceeding evening, and continued on the most friendly terms until the moment of the treacherous attack, which took place in the night after the two men had retired to rest
and were asleep. Brady was mortally wounded at the first fire, and unable to move, but Henly rushing from the tent, wounded as he was, succeeded after a fierce struggle in putting the Savages to flight. He remained for three days by his dying friend, and until he breathed his last, and then made his way by boat alone and unaided to Victoria.  
4. Information was, about the same time, received
of the disappearance of a Mr and Miss Marks, Father and Daughter in passing by boat from Waldron to Mayne Island in the Haro Archipelago, and from the fact of the Boat having been found adrift in a mutilated state and other suspicious circumstances it was feared they had come to a violent end.  
5. Warrants were immediately issued and Mr Smith, Inspector of Police, was
dispatched with Her Majesty's Gunboat "Forward" Commander Lascelles to arrest the murderers of Brady and to enquire into the case of Mr and Miss Marks.  
6. The Lamalcha Indians who reside on Kuper Island, and bear a very bad character were accused by the neighbouring Indians of having shot Marks and his poor Daughter, with circumstances of great atrocity, and of having taken possession of their property. Inspector
acting on that information, proceeded to their Village in the "Forward" with the view of hearing what they had to say in defence; but to his suprise they refused to go on board or to communicate with him in any manner; declaring they would not allow the Murderers to be arrested, and would protect them at the hazard of their lives. They moreover seized their arms and assuming an attitude of defiance awaited
the result. Inspector Smith then, very properly, made a demand upon Commander Lascelles for assistance, and that Officer immediately called upon the Indians to give up the criminals or force would be used to compel obedience to the Law. This having no effect, after an interval of 15 minutes, a shot was fired into the Village, and was immediately followed by a volley of
small arms from the Indians, who securely posted amid the rocks and thickets near the anchorage, kept up a sustained and well directed fire upon the "Forward", by which, I regret to say, that one boy Charles F. Gliddon was killed; but no other casualty occurred. The savages were disloged and fled to the woods after a sharp skirmish, and ultimately their village was distroyed, but none of the criminals, accused
of Mark's murder, were at that time captured.  
7. The three Cowitchins and one of the women concerned in the Murder of Brady were arrested without conflict, their friends having made no effort to protect them from Justice. These latter have been since tried at this place, and found guilty of Murder, and the three men will be executed in a few days.  
8. A detachment of Police and a strong Naval force, kindly furnished by Commodore Spencer are now in active search of the Lamalcha Indians who are charged with being concerned in the death of Marks, and I trust they will ere long be apprehended.  
9. These proceedings have produced much excitement among the inhabitants of the Colony, without I conceive, any real cause of alarm, as the
Indian Tribes are, as a body, well disposed, and if disaffected might be speedily reduced to obedience.  
10. A paragraph which appeared yesterday in a local paper, reports a recent conflict with the Lamalcha Indians, and that thirteen of the Seamen and volunteers had been wounded in the affray. This is a mere fabrication, nothing of the kind having occurred, and every man of
the expeditionary force being by late accounts, in perfect health.  
11. I have submitted these details at the risk of being tedious, in order that Your Grace may have correct information and be relieved from anxiety on our account.  
I have the honor to be
My Lord Duke,
Your Grace's most obedient
Humble Servant
James Douglas
Minutes by CO staff
Mr Elliot
Acknowledge and approve proceedings.  
16 July
Other documents included in the file
  • Draft reply, Newcastle to Douglas, No. 31, 27 July 1863.  
Despatch to London:
Douglas to Newcastle, 21 May 1863, National Archives of the UK, 6922, CO 305/20. The Colonial Despatches of Vancouver Island and British Columbia 1846-1871. Ed. James Hendrickson and the Colonial Despatches project. Victoria: University of Victoria. Accessed 21 November 2018. 

Last modified: 12:41:54, 30/4/2015