Qual-a-tutlm (Qual-ah-ilton, Qual-ah-itton, Qualaltaltun)
d. 1863-06-04
Qual-a-tutlm was a member of the Lamalcha Tribe (now known as the Hwlitsum First Nation; their village was located on Kuper Island) who was charged with manslaughter for killing a British serviceman, Charles Gliddon, during the Lamalcha war, when the HMS Forward exchanged fire with Lamalcha villagers while searching for several suspected murderers. Qual-a-tutlm later admitted to firing one shot at the ship.1
Qual-a-tutlm fled capture with Sha-na-sa-luk and Ot-cha-wun. The crew, under Commander Pike, allegedly beat and detained Ot-cha-wun's father-in-law Sha-tu-wish, uncle Klle-sa-luk and wife Salley who then divulged the location of the fugitives. E. Hardinge, Commander of the HMS Chameleon, led a mission to find the men and captured them on Galiano Island.2
Qual-a-tutlm, Sha-na-sa-luk and Ot-cha-wun were tried at the Assizes held on 24 June 1863. Their trial became a large controversy, as the men were provided with no legal council, and the trials were translated using the simple chinook jargon, making it almost impossible to translate complex British legal terms. The jury deliberated for several hours and eventually gave a guilty verdict, recommending mercy. The men were sentenced to death, as a warning to other First Nations people to not rebel.3 One hundred and fifty citizens of Victoria signed a petition to commute the death sentence, due to the unjust way their trial had been conducted.4 The men were hung for the murder of Gliddon on 4 July in front of the Victoria police barracks.5
  • 1. Arnett, Chris. 1999. The Terror of the Coast: Land Alienation and Colonial War on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, 1849-1863. Burnaby, B.C.: Talonbooks, 133-136.
  • 2. Ibid., 244-247.
  • 3. Ibid., 281-287.
  • 4. Ibid., 239-240.
  • 5. Ibid., 303-304.
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