Death: February 1, 1861 in Cayoosh Creek, Squamish-Lillooet Regional District, B.C.
Burial: Congregation Emanu-El Cemetery, Victoria, Capital Regional District, British Columbia, Canada
Morris Price was born in Keptin Prussia and came to Victoria in 1859.
He was a well established, hard working, highly respected and well liked resident of Cayoosh Flat. He was a quiet shopkeeper who was described as peaceable. On February 1, 1861 he was writing a letter to the Reinhardt Brothers, when 3 Indigenous men entered his store. The next day, Morris Price was discovered dead with multiple stab wounds. About $18.00 of silver dust was stolen, but 14.5 oz of gold dust and $37.50 in gold coins remained in the shop.
At 10 am on Feb 2, 1861, Dr. Featherstone arrived and found Morris Price’s body. There was little evidence. Constable Robert J. Flynn offered a reward at his own expense for information leading to the identity those responsible for the murder. Within a week, three Indigenous men were charged. Judge Matthew Baillie Begbie presided over a trial and found two of the men guilty of murder. They were executed. For his cooperation in giving testimony, the third man, was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 12 months of hard labor.
The closest Jewish Cemetery was in Victoria. On March 28, 1861 the Victoria Lodge #1085, now Victoria-Columbia No. 1, set up a committee to receive Morris Price’s remains. They made arrangements for his funeral. His body arrived in Victoria on May 6, 1861 on the Steamship Otter. It was taken to the Masonic Hall (then at the corner of Yates and Langley) and was prepared for burial.
Morris Price was the first person to be buried in the Jewish Cemetery. His funeral took place on May 7, 1861. At 1 pm a ‘handsome’ coffin containing the body of Morris Price was placed in a hearse and taken from the Freemason’s Lodge to the Jewish Cemetery. It was followed by Freemasons and numerous friends and acquaintances of the deceased. A Masonic ceremony and honors was followed by Jewish funeral rites. The Colonist reported that the whole ceremony was ‘most impressive and charged with considerable emotion’.
Gravesite Details: Row U – Plot 10
In Memory Of
Killed at Cayoosh BC
Buried May 6 1881
First Internment in this Cemetery
Vancouver Island Masonic History Project: Morris Price