Wednesday, February 08, 2012

150 years ago today, the execution of Charley in Victoria

Here is the text from the second page of the Daily Colonist of Saturday February 8th 1862:
THE DOOMED MAN - "Charley" the Cowichan Indian convicted of the murder of
Thomas Holmes, will be hanged at daylight this morning, in front of the Police Barracks. We visited him yesterday, and found him in good health and spirits and very communicative. He says that he saw "Tom" kill the man , and complains bitterly that the true murderer is not to die with him. The executioner is one of the convicts, who will receive as a reward for his services a pardon and $50 to re-commence life with. A Catholic priest has been daily in attendance upon the doomed man since the date of his sentence, and will be with him at the last moment. The scaffold - the same on which Allache was hanged a year and a half ago - was erected last night.
He was the fourth person on Vancouver Island to be executed.    In total 13 aboriginal people were executed by the colony of Vancouver Island.   Not a single white, black, Hawaiian or Chinese person was executed.

His last words were that One-eyed Tom was the real murderer.

The spectators were disgusted with the hangman for his actions while the body was hanging; he used his foot to tighten the noose and shook the rope. Charley's father was an inmate in the same jail but did not wish to visit his son.

The man Allache referenced above was a Tsimshian man who killed a Thomas Brown on July 16th 1860 who constantly raped Allache's wife.   Allache had no lawyer and was not even provided with a decent translator.
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