The Lynching of Louie Sam

The Lynching of Louie Sam

A Novel

Book - 2012
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Baker & Taylor
After Native American Louie Sam is suspected of killing someone, he is chased into Canada and lynched, but teenager George Gillies, a newcomer to Washington Territory, doesn't think Louie was guilty and sets out to investigate.

Perseus Publishing
Murder, racism, and injustice wreak havoc in a frontier town. The year is 1884, and 15-year-old George Gillies lives in the Washington Territory, near the border with British Columbia. In this newly settled land, white immigrants have an uneasy relationship with the Native Indians. When George and his siblings discover the murdered body of a local white man, suspicion immediately falls on a young Indian named Louie Sam. George and his best friend, Pete, follow a lynch mob north into Canada, where the terrified boy is seized and hung. But even before the deed is done, George begins to have doubts. Louie Sam was a boy, only 14could he really be a vicious murderer? Were the mob leaders motivated by justice, or were they hiding their own guilt? As George uncovers the truth, tensions in the town begin to rise, and he must face his own part in the tragedy. Inspired by the true story of the lynching, recently acknowledged as a historical injustice by Washington State, this powerful novel offers a stark depiction of historical racism and the harshness of settler life.


Firefly Books Ltd

Racism, murder, and injustice wreak havoc in a frontier town.

"Without a word, Father pulled me up behind him into the saddle. I kept my face buried in his back so I wouldn't have to see Louie Sam again. But I saw him in my mind, anyway. I will see him there forever."

Between 1882 and 1968 there were 4,742 lynchings in the United States. In Canada during the same period there was one--the hanging of American Indian Louie Sam.

The year is 1884, and 15-year-old George Gillies lives in the Washington Territory, near the border with British Columbia. In this newly settled land, white immigrants have an uneasy relationship with the Native Indians. When George and his siblings discover the murdered body of a local white man, suspicion immediately falls on a young Indian named Louie Sam. George and his best friend, Pete, follow a lynch mob north into Canada, where the terrified boy is seized and hung.

But even before the deed is done, George begins to have doubts. Louie Sam was a boy, only 14--could he really be a vicious murderer? Were the mob leaders motivated by justice, or were they hiding their own guilt? As George uncovers the truth--implicating Pete's father and other prominent locals--tensions in the town rise, and he must face his own part in the tragedy. But standing up for justice has devastating consequences for George and his family.

Inspired by the true story of the lynching, recently acknowledged as a historical injustice by Washington State, this powerful novel offers a stark depiction of historical racism and the harshness of settler life. The story will provoke readers to reflect on the dangers of mob mentality and the importance of speaking up for what's right.



Publisher: Toronto : Annick Press, c2012
ISBN: 9781554514380
155451438X
9781554514397
1554514398
Branch Call Number: Fiction Stewart TEEN
Characteristics: 288 p. : port. ; 20 cm
Additional Contributors: Robertson, Pam

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gemini07
Mar 06, 2013

Juvenile Fiction~Historical fiction, but key people and events are based on a true story of the lynching of Sto:lo First Nation youth Louie Sam in 1884. American settlers from the Washington Territory go north into British Columbia accuse Louie Sam of murder and seize him. This novel is written from the perspective of 15-year-old George Gillies and "George's redemptive arc and his dawning of awareness of the injustice committed against Louie Sam"

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Liber_vermis
Jan 08, 2013

This book would be a good basis of discussion around the 'lynching' of contemporary youths using social media. Also, how is a "flash mob" different from the vigilante posse that executed Louie Sam? Do we have ways to ostracize people who don't conform to the behaviour of the group? Do some of our precautions in this new age of international terrorism verge on vigilante justice?

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