"Murder," Puget Sound Herald. July 23, 1858.

"At an early hour on last Saturday morning, information was conveyed to the garrison of an Indian having been murdered by a soldier. On repairing to the spot indicated, the body of an Indian called Goliah, well known at the garrison and in the town was found horribly cut up with a deep knife wound in the right eye, a large gash on the top of the head, separating the scalp from the skull, a number of smaller cuts on both cheeks, the head nearly severed from the body and one hand almost cut off.

"It would seem that the struggle had been a severe one, judging from the number and nature of the wounds inflicted. Steps were immediately taken to secure the arrest of the guilty party. Friends of the deceased who had last seen him alive, saw him in company with a soldier on Friday night, and soon identified the soldier when presented to them in the morning.

"On being examined a shirt with many blood stains was found bearing his initials; thus with other circumstances leaving little doubt in regard to his guilt. The soldier is closely confined in the guard house awaiting his trial."

The journals of Lieutenant August V. Kautz written at Fort Steilacoom, Washington Territory, July, 1858 (excerpts):

"17th. Saturday. As I was going to breakfast this morning I met the Indian Teneas who informed me that his brother Goliath had been killed b a soldier. He stated that the soldier came to their camp yesterday afternoon and took Goliath with him and this morning Goliath had been found dead in the woods, killed by a knife. They said that the soldier was in the garrison and had a bloody shirt on.

"I went with Teneas who pointed out Crawly of Company G 4th Infantry where he was at work near the quarters. I was surprised at their pointing him out as I had never known him in any trouble before. The Indians pointed to the stains on his shirt. 

"I did not examine them, but ordered him to the guard house. I started to go to breakfast but changed my mind and went to the guard house and examined Crawly's shirt. The room was dark and it looked as though they might be blood or something else. I asked him what they were, he said grease stains.

"I went to breakfast and afterwards went down with Teneas and looked at the dead man. He was found within fifty feet of a foot trail to town by soldiers and Indians. A large pool of blood was to be seen immediately on the trail and the back of the body where it had been dragged out of the way led immediately to the body.

"No sign of a great struggle was apparent. The Indian had a number of severe wounds, one on the scalp, one across the face severing the upper part of the nose, and a deep cut above the eyes, but the wound of which he died was in the neck where on the right side some large blood vessels had been severed and he bled to death.

"The Indians said the blood in the trail had been discovered by an Indian boy going to town from the garrison about daylight by which means he had discovered the body. It was slightly covered with brush and grass and his pockets rifled.

"There was nothing that I could discovered to lead to any clue to the murderer. The Doctor had been down before me and could discover nothing. Teneas was positive about the man Crawly. Said he has been about the post a great deal and knew all the soldiers, that Crawly had come to his camp in the afternoon partly intoxicated, made a trade with Goliath for a large clasp knife for which he gave half a bottle of liquor. He saw Goliath have four dollars and induced him to go with him.. This was all the information I could get from Teneas after many questions.

"I returned to the garrison and went to the office to report to the Colonel as officer of the day. The prisoner was brought in and I saw immediately that the prisoner had changed his shirt. I asked him why he had done so, he denied it.

"The colonel asked him some questions but he denied all knowledge of the affair. I took him to his quarters and stripped him of his clothing, consisting of his pants, undershirt and grey flannel shirt.

"On the edge of the sleeve of the flannel shirt were traces of blood and his pants were quite bloody. I took them over to the Doctor. Shaaff had examined his box but could find no knife that was described by the Indians. He found two large knives but they were very dull, whilst the Indian must have been killed with a sharp knife.

"I afterwards examined the prisoners and found on Murphy's back a grey flannel shirt that I recognized as the one Crawly had on when he was confined. I charged him with having changed shirts but he denied it and said the shirt he had on had not been off his back for a week.

"I asked him how the blood came on it, he said that his nose had been bleeding when he was confined. I required him to take off his shirt and brought it over to my quarters where having compared the shirts found Murphy's name on the shirt I took from Crawly and a rough attempt at "J. Crawly" in the pocket of the bloody shirt that I found on Murphy.

"I went back and questioned Murphy and asked him whether the shirt was his and if there was any name on it. He said that it was his and had no name in it. He said he had sold the shirt to Crawly some three weeks before. He was a little surprised to learn that Crawly's name was on the shirt he claimed and confirmed that he must be a liar.

"I could make no further discoveries today. The Doctor will make tests of the blood spots on the clothing." 

July 18th

"... went to town in the morning to find out more about Goliath's death. I got no proof that Crawly was in town. I questioned the Indians further about the matter but could elicit nothing new. They wished to know if the money had been found. They said that Goliath had sold a blanket to a squaw for five dollars and she had paid him four and one half dollars. I came back to the garrison and took Crawly to the hospital and stripped him and examined his body to see if any marks of violence were upon him but could not find any.

"In his match pocket I found a purse containing nine half dollars. Four had distinct marks of blood upon them. The Doctor was with me. I gave the four pieces to the Doctor to be examined. I then inquired of Crawly where he got that money.

"He said he had got it from the paymaster. I was particular as to whether he obtained the half dollars from the paymaster. He said he did. We found no marks upon him except a little scratch on the forehead where the hair was parted and which might have been done with the finger nails."

"I then examined the last payroll and found that he had been paid $46.80 cents. Alvord in making such a payment would not have made any payment of nine half dollars. Moreover there was one rupee and several fifty cent pieces of 1840. I was present when Major Alvord counted his money. He had all new coin from the San Francisco mint and I assisted him in counting it. The money was in the original bag sealed up and contained about twelve thousand dollars all new money from the San Francisco Mint.

"I then went to Crawly's box to find something more but could find nothing except a small wooden block with Crawly's name rough cut upon it and evidently used for stamping his letters. I compared it with the attempt at his name in the shirt I found on Murphy. It corresponded in all the distinct letters. I went down again in the afternoon and questioned the squaw who bought the blanket of Goliath as to what kind of money she paid him.

"She said she paid him four dollars in half dollars and that all were American half dollars except one. I then showed her the five half dollars I had with me. She picked out the rupee which was dented somewhat as one of the pieces which she had paid Goliath. I could make no further discoveries.

"They brought me an empty bottle labeled "Tennolts Star of the West Ale" which they said they found near where Goliath was found."

20th. July.

"...the Indians are impatient about Goliath and want the matter settled. They want the Indian paid for or want the murdered hung. I have urged the Colonel that the Indians should be paid..."

21st. July.

".... I wrote to the Doctor (Tolmie) for advise about the settlement of Goliath's affairs. He advised me to wait until when Taylor arrive..."

28th. July.

"I made an affidavit before Justice Light yesterday and he came up and commenced the examination of Private John Crawley, Company G, 4th Infantry for the murder of the Indian Goliath. I as the only witness. The doctor was absent all morning and did not return until the afternoon when he was not in condition to give his testimony and the court adjourned over until tomorrow."

29th July.

"Justice Erastus Light came up this morning and commenced the examination of Crawley. He received my testimony. The Doctor was absent in town and when he returned was not in a condition to give his testimony.

30th July.

"Justice Light came up today again and finished the examination of Crawley. It occupied until late in the afternoon. The prisoner had four or five witnesses who gave evidence showing that Crawley was about the garrison from twelve to one, from three until he was confined on the morning of the 17th.

"He accounted for all the time except between one and three which corresponds with the time that Goliah went up towards the garrison according to the Indian version. They could not have anticipated what Crawley would prove. Crawley was committed to appear at the next term of the District Court."


"The Price of an Indian," Puget Sound Herald, September 24, 1858.

The soldier belonging to the garrison at Fort Steilacoom, who was brought before the grand jury at Olympia for the murder of the Indian named Goliah, has been discharged from custody. The only evident against him was that on the morning on which the dead Indian was discovered on the road between Steilacoom and the Fort, there were found on the pants and undershirt of the soldier spots of blood, that he had in his pockets several half dollars, also bloody, and that he had changed a bloody shirt for a clean one with another soldier as shown by their respective names on the articles.

Of course, Indian testimony could not be taken by the grand jury, but the Indians say that on the day before the body was found, the soldier had been seen in company with the Indian starting up to the Fort; that they had a bottle of whiskey with them, such a bottle was found near the dead body and that the Indian was known to have the exact number and kind of half dollars found covered with blood in the pockets of the soldier.

No one saw the murder committed, and even if such had been the case, it would perhaps be impossible in this country to obtain a jury that would find a bill against a white man for killing an Indian.

The friends of the deceased, however, were so dissatisfied with the result of the jury that on Thursday, the 16th instant, a present of one hundred dollars was made them at the garrison to pay for their murdered brother.

("The Price of an Indian," Puget Sound Herald, September 24, 1858.).

Gary Fuller Reese, "A sample of life at Fort Steilacoom," Documentary History of Fort Steilacoom.

One afternoon a half drunk soldier named Crawley went to the Indian camp near the Fort and traded a half bottle of whiskey to Goliah for a clasp knife owned by the Indian. The soldier discovered that the Indian had money and talked him into going into the nearby forest. The next morning the body of Goliah was found near the trail between the Fort and the town of Steilacoom. The Indian had been cut and stabbed with a knife and his pockets had been rifled. 

Other Indians went to the Fort to report the murder and pointed out Crawley. An officer on his way to breakfast was told of the crime and not wanting to interrupt his meal simply ordered Crawley put in the guardhouse. A little later the officer thought better of his casual attitude and went to the guardhouse to interview the soldier. The officer noticed that the man's shirt was covered with blood or grease but in the dim light could not tell. The soldier said that it was grease.

Later the officer and the Post doctor went to inspect the body of of the dead Indian and were shown an empty whiskey bottle of the kind traded the day before. The Indians demanded satisfaction, either by having the accused soldier hanged or Goliah's family recompensed. The officer returned to the guardhouse and found that Crawley had changed his shirt with another man but denied that he did even though the bloody shirt now on the back of the second man was stamped with Crawley's name. The second man swore that the shirt had not been off his back for a week and that he had had a bloody nose when he was confined.

The next day the accused murderer was taken to the post hospital where he was stripped and his body closely inspected to discover any marks of violence. The next day he was again searched and the money known to have belonged to the Indian was found in his pockets.

The coins were covered with dried blood and there was a silver rupee from India that had been given to the dead Indian in trade the week before. Crawley claimed he had received the money from the paymaster, but it was shown that the paymaster had given out only new coins and these were old. The soldier stuck to his story.

Crawley's private box in the barracks was searched yielding only two rusty knives and a wood block used for stamping names on clothing. The block matched the name imprinted on the bloody shirt which Crawley claimed was not his.

Erastus Light, the local justice of the peace came to the Fort to interview all involved but could not take testimony from the Post physician because he was "indisposed" after spending the day in the saloons of Steilacoom on each of three days. Crawley obtained witnesses who gave him an alibi for the day of the murder except for the estimated time of the killing itself.

The questioning of the Indians proved to be most difficult. Much of what was repeated was second or third hand, but finally an Indian woman who had bought a blanket from Goliah identified the money taken from Crawley as the same she had given Goliah.

The soldier was sent to the district court which met later in Olympia. The trial was held over for several days because the court was investigating a case of seduction which was apparently of more interest than the murder of the Indian.

After several trips back and forth to Olympia for all concerned the case was finally tried. Crawley was acquitted "...because of the natural prejudice against white men being punished for killing Indians." The family of the Indian received one hundred dollars.

Gary Fuller Reese, " A Sample of Life at Fort Steilacoom," Documentary History of Fort Steilacoom.

Gary Fuller Reese, "Goliah," It happened on Puget Sound. p. 78-79.

Goliah, an Indian living near Fort Steilacoom, was found murdered on the trail between the village and the fort early one morning in the mid 1850s. John Crawley, a private attached to the Fort was accused of the crime and was confined to the guard house at the fort with little or no hearing.

Later that day Lieutenant August V. Kautz visited Crawley in the guard house and noticed that he had changed shirts with another prisoner who swore that Crawley's shirt now on his back was covered with blood because of a nosebleed and nothing more. Crawley claimed no knowledge of the shirt although his name was stamped in the collar.

The next day Crawley was taken to the post hospital where his body was inspected for any signs of violence. The only mark on Crawley was a scratch on his forehead.

The next day Crawley was once more taken to the hospital and stripped while his clothing was searched. In his pocket was found several fifty cent pieces and an Indian rupee with remnants of blood showing. Crawley claimed to have gotten the fifty cent pieces with his last pay although the coins given were new and these were old. He had no comment to make about the rupee.

An Indian woman was found who said she had traded an Indian rupee and some old fifty cent pieces to Goliah for a blanket he needed and recognized the coins.

Indians also testified that they saw Crawley and Goliah together on the day Goliah was killed, drinking together and leaving the Indian village together. Crawley's messmates gave Crawley an alibi for the entire day Goliah was killed except for the time when Goliah turned up missing.

Crawley denied that he had killed Goliah and the courts eventually agreed with him for no court at the time would have ever convicted a white man for killing an Indian. The Steilacoom newspaper and officers at the Fort took up a collection for Goliah's family who seemed satisfied with the fifty dollars they received.

Gary Fuller Reese, "Goliah," It happened on Puget Sound. p. 78-79.

Herbert Hunt, "The death of Goliath," History of Tacoma p. 79.

In July of '58 an Indian known as "Goliath" was murdered. His body was terribly mutilated. A soldier who bad been seen with the Indian and who, when captured wore bloody clothing and had in his pocket several coins which friends of the dead identified was arrested and taken to Olympia for trial. The testimony was circumstantial. Indian testimony was not taken. It seldom was. 

The soldier went free, but the Indians were so dissatisfied with the verdict and presented the matter to the soldiers at Fort Steilacoom with such disagreeable persistence that they raised and gave to the Indians $100 "to pay for their murdered brother."

Herbert Hunt, "The death of Goliath," History of Tacoma p.79.