McLean Clan Haiku

Brutish father killed,

Become men, go on crime spree.

Common progression.

For this installment of BC Week, let’s turn to the glorious city of my birth, Kamloops. And fur trading. And crime. And that Chilcotin War I mentioned. And one family in particular.

It all started in Scotland, with the birth of Donald McLean in 1805. His family then had a stint in the Red River Settlement, then Dad died in the Battle of Seven Oaks. (But it ain’t Saskatchewan Week, so let’s move on.) They went back to Scotland, years passed, he signe up with the HBC. This led to him being Chief Trader of the Thompson’s River Post. (Where Kamloops be now.) He got a rep as a dick, and as such, the HBC made him resign.

Then the Chilcotin War happened, sparked by the road crew abusing Tsilhqot’in workers and women and also being gigantic dicks. Donald joined the hunt for Klatassine, chief and leader of the attackers. Donald got shot (being specifically targeted due to prior dickishness), Klatassine got arrested and hanged by Begbie, time moves on.

Years passed and the eleven members of Donald’s brood grew up, three of them wanting to start shit. Led by Allan, the eldest of the three, they proceeded to get drunk and steal horses and everything else portable of value. After killing Gold Commissioner Ussher via stabbing and shooting when the poor bastard tried to bring them in, they went to the Nicola people for refuge. (Killing an oblivious sheepherder en route who was fool enough to wave at them.) Their chief saw that they were just a bunch of soused punks and was like, “Umm, no.” He lectured them and turned them out.

This led to the gang being laid siege to in a cabin by a 70-member posse. They surrendered, and were tried and hanged by…. Matthew Baillie Begbie!

Fortunately, the McLeod clan got crime out of their systems with that generation. Allan’s son George was decorated after kicking ass at Vimy, another Donald descendent became mayor of Kamloops, and to the best of my knowledge, no member of the family has stolen a horse since 1881.

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