Stalchum (Stalehum)
d. 1863-05-23
Stalchum was a young man from Quamichan Village on Cowichan River. He was charged with the murder of William Brady and shooting at John Henley with the intent to kill him. In early April he joined a canoe expedition to Pender Island, likely to get food. He went with his friend Oalitza, half brother Thalatson and mother Thask.1
The group from Cowichan met Henley and Brady who were camping on the island. The groups shared conversation and were fed by Brady. Later Stalchum said his throat was sore; the group decided Brady had tried to poison them. They shot Brady and Henley while they were sleeping, seriously injuring both men, Brady died the next day from his injuries. Henley fought them off and went to Victoria to inform authorities of the events. It was widely known that Thalatson, Oalitza and Stalchum were guilty, as they had bragged of their deed.2
The HMS Forward led by Captain Lascelles captured the men and took them to Victoria on 5 May.3 Their trial was conducted in chinook, a language too simple to translate complex British legal terms and the men were not provided with legal counsel. Henley testified against the men and all admitted to the crime. The jury declared the three men guilty and they were sentenced to death and were hanged on 23 May 1863.4
  • 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, 114.
  • 2. Ibid., 114-115.
  • 3. Ibid., 163.
  • 4. Ibid., 179-188.
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