No. 175.
Mr. Frelinghuysen to Mr. West.

Sir: With reference to previous correspondence concerning the alleged lynching of an Indian in British Columbia by American citizens, I now have the honor to inclose herewith, for your information, a copy of a letter in relation to the matter which I have just received from the Secretary of the Interior.

Adding that the Department of Justice is still pursuing its investigations in regard to this subject,

I am, &c.,


Mr. Teller to Mr. Frelinghuysen.

Sir: Referring to previous correspondence upon the subject, and more particularly to your letter of the 16th ultimo, I have the honor to inclose herewith a copy of a letter from the governor of Washington Territory in the matter of the alleged lynching of the Indian boy “Jack,” in British Columbia, by American citizens from Washington Territory.

Very respectfully,


Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication accompanied by papers concerning the lynching of the Indian boy Jack by a mob, upon the soil of British Columbia, on the 25th of February, 1884, and beg leave respectfully to state that I have made every possible effort to ascertain who committed the outrage, but without any satisfactory result. I telegraphed, at my own expense, to the governor-general of British Columbia, that I would make diligent search for the perpetrators, and also dispatched to the Hon. C. M. Bradshaw, the prosecuting attorney for that district. He informed me that he instituted the most vigorous proceedings at his command, but had not been able to make any discoveries. This information I have already transmitted to the Department of the Interior.

It will be apparent that it is well-nigh impossible to make discoveries of a band of disguised people who, with the entire community, are interested in the secrecy which pertains to such illegal and violent transactions. Again, the country is covered by a dense forest, which precludes the possibility of successful search. Furthermore, many of the people ofttimes make but little account of an Indian’s life when any act, which they assume to justify hanging by a mob has been perpetrated, and are ofttimes not fastidious about the guilt of their action. As governor I have acted [Page 253] with all possible zeal and vigor, and can, so far as I know, do nothing more, having no money at my command for that or for any other public purpose.

The prosecuting attorney has exhausted his resources of effort. I respectfully recommend that the district attorney of the United States be instructed to undertake the case, and be provided with means to carry out the investigation, and that he co-operate with the governor of the Territory in this most important matter of international interest.

I have, &c.,


Hon. H. M. Teller,
Secretary of the Interior.