British Columbia Seeks Apology from Washington State for 1884 Lynching By U.S. Vigilantes

AP, Dec. 24, 2005

VICTORIA, British Columbia—Washington state officials are working on an apology to British Columbia for the 1884 lynching of a 14-year-old member of the Sto:lo tribes by an American mob.

Louie Sam was being held by provincial authorities in February 1884 when the mob crossed the border, abducted the boy and hanged him because he was suspected in the killing of a shopkeeper in Nooksack, in what is now Washington state’s Whatcom County.

The Sto:lo and historians believe the boy was innocent.

British Columbia Lt. Gov. Iona Campagnolo raised the issue in September during a visit by Washington Lt. Gov. Brad Owen.

“We’re still trying to work things out,” Owen spokesman Brian Hatfield said recently. “But there will be a statement . . . an apology.”

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