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The Chilcotin War

A Tale of Death and Reprisal

by Rich Mole

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reviews: 2
list price: $9.95
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
category: History
published: 2009
ISBN:9781894974967
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Association of Book Publishers of BC
Librarian review

The Chilcotin War: A Tale of Death and Reprisal

The Chilcotin War presents the core facts of a 19th-century conflict. Colonial society is portrayed and Alfred Waddington’s new route to the Barkerville goldfields, via Bute Inlet and across the Chilcotin Plateau, circumventing the treacherous Fraser Canyon area, is described. The Chilcotin people had been weakened by the smallpox epidemic, and they were hungry. The road builders treated the Aboriginal people disrespect fully. This led to the violent episode that took place in the spring of 1864 when some Chilcotin attacked and killed 19 people. Eventually the perpetrators were captured, tried and executed in the fall of 1864. Going beyond the events that led to violence, the author explores how erroneous assumptions led to escalation from anger to mass murder.

Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. Canadian Aboriginal Books for Schools. 2010-2011.

Association of Book Publishers of BC
Librarian review

The Chilcotin War: A Tale of Death and Reprisal

The Chilcotin War presents the core facts of a 19th-century conflict. Colonial society is portrayed and Waddington’s new route to the Barkerville goldfields, via Bute Inlet and across the Chilcotin Plateau, circumventing the treacherous Fraser Canyon area, is described. The Chilcotin people had been weakened by the smallpox epidemic, and they were hungry. The road builders treated the Aboriginal people disrespectfully. This led to the violent episode that took place in the spring of 1864 when some Chilcotin attacked and killed 19 people. Eventually the perpetrators were captured, tried and executed in the fall of 1864. The author explores the reasons why those actions occurred. He shows where mistakes were made and why erroneous assumptions led to escalation from anger to mass murder.

Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. BC Books for BC Schools. 2010-2011.

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Description

This colourful account of the Chilcotin War is an insightful and absorbing examination of an event that helped to shape the course of British Columbia history. In the spring of 1864, 14 men building a road along the Homathko River in British Columbia were killed by a Tsilhqot’in (Chilcotin) war party. Other violent deaths followed in the conflict that became known as the Chilcotin War. In this true tale of clashing cultures, greed, revenge and betrayal, Rich Mole explores the causes and deadly consequences of a troubling episode in British Columbia history that is still subject to debate almost 150 years later. Using contemporary sources, Mole brings to life the principal players in this tragic drama: Alfred Waddington, the Victoria businessman who decided to build the ill-fated toll road across the territory of the independent Tsilhqot’in, attempting to connect Bute Inlet to the Cariboo goldfields of the interior, and Klatsassin, the fierce Tsilhqot’in war chief whose people had already endured the devastation of smallpox.

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Editorial Review

With every passing year, we seem to gain a greater awareness of the forces that shaped the events of the 19th century, and Mole's work reflects that. He does not simply recite the bare facts of the events; he tries to find the reasons why those events occurred . . . Mole has written a highly accessible account that will appeal to readers of all ages. —Dave Obee, the Times Colonist

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