The next day there followed a grisly sequel to this incident.
Mrs. Croat, wife of one of the sappers, had lived in fear of
Indians since her arrival from England. Hearing news of the murders downriver, she became convinced a
native attack was imminent and "in a fit of temporary insanity cut the
throats of 3 of her children and then her own." Two of the children fortunately survived. The incident however demonstrates just how real could be the
emigrantís fear of the wild and unknown.
few excerpts from B.C.ís archives may serve to give the reader some
sense of the drama and turmoil which the Detachment endured. Yet despite it all, their work got done and done well, and the
colony flourished. In the
end, perhaps, a little awe may not be out of order.
The preceding was written by
Simon Sherwood and Timothy Watkins
(presented here by special permission from the authors)
For more detailed information on the men of the Columbia Detachment,
their colleagues of the Boundary Commission, and on the British Army of
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