Chilcotin War timeline

A timeline of the events surrounding the Chilcotin War of 1864, known as Western Canada's deadliest attack by aboriginals on non-aboriginal settlers:

1844: Hudson's Bay Co. abandons Fort Chilcotin following constant Tsilhqot'in resistance.

April 23, 1858: Six hundred miners arrive in Victoria from San Francisco en route to the Fraser River gold rush. By the end of the summer it's estimated 30,000 miners have congregated along the lower Fraser.

Nov. 19, 1858: The Colony of British Columbia is created.

1860: Gold is discovered in the Cariboo.

March 1862: Alfred Waddington signs an agreement with the Colony of British Columbia to build a toll road to the Cariboo.

March 12, 1862: The steamer ship Brother Jonathan arrives in Victoria from San Francisco and brings smallpox.

April 24, 1863: The steamer ship Enterprise reaches Bute Inlet with 91 road builders and 19 mules. Waddington hires Tsilhqot'in packers, including Chief Tilagued, also known as Tellot, Telloot.

Nov. 15, 1863: Waddington and 70 men return from Bute Inlet where they have built 37 kilometres of trail, including 66 bridges.

April 2, 1864: Frederick Seymour arrives in New Westminster as B.C.'s new governor, replacing James Douglas.

April 28, 1864: Tsilhqot'in Chief Klatsassin and a group of warriors reach the location of the Homathco River ferry where work crews are stationed. Ferry attendant Tim Smith is killed.

April 29, 1864: Warriors of the Tsilhqot'in group paint themselves, sing and dance to give themselves power for the upcoming battle.

April 30, 1864: At daybreak, Klatsassin's war party attacks a sleeping road crew, killing nine of the 12; advances to a road camp where foreman William Brewster and three others are killed.

May 3, 1864: Three wounded survivors arrive at Bute Inlet townsite.

May 15, 1864: The gunboat Forward is dispatched for Bute Inlet, with 28 special constables and Waddington. Farmer William Manning is killed at his Puntzi Lake homestead.

June 8, 1864: Gov. Seymour sends William Cox, 65 men and 37 horses to hunt for killers of the road crew and Manning.

July 20, 1864: Cox party retreats to main camp after Donald McLean leaves main camp to search for Tsilhqot'in and is shot through the heart.

Aug. 15, 1864: Eight Tsilhqot’in warriors including chiefs Klatsassin, Telloot and Tapitt come into Cox’s camp near the old Hudson Bay Fort on Chilko River to meet Gov. Seymour. They are arrested.

Sep 28-29, 1864: The trial of Klatsassin and the eight others takes place.

October 26, 1864: Klatsassin and four others are hanged before an audience of 250 at Quesnellemouth, now Quesnel, B.C.

May 29, 1865: Two Tsilhqot'in chiefs, Ahan and Lutas, are taken to New Westminster after arriving in Bella Coola with load of furs as an offer of compensation.

July 3, 1865: Trial of Lutas and Ahan lasts three hours.

July 18, 1865: Ahan is executed in New Westminster.

Oct. 26, 2014: B.C. Premier Christy Clark and members of the Tsilhqot'in Nation participate in a redress ceremony, the 150th anniversary of the hanging of five of the six chiefs.

SOURCE: Canadian Heritage and University of Victoria.


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