In a case remarkably similar to the execution of Kot-Ko-Wat three years earlier, Ka-Ta-Ta was as Alaska Native implicated in the deaths of two white men, in this case two miners.

The story that emerged was that a small party of prospectors sailed north out of Sitka to French Harbor. Once they reached their location, they hired some Alaskan Natives – including Ka-Ta-Ta – to assist them in their explorations of the interior. On that trip, Ka-Ta-Ta is said to have killed Thomas Maloney and Kerin Canby.

Arrested and transported to Portland for trial, Ka-Ta-Ta was tried before Judge Deady in the US District Court for the District of Oregon in March 1882, convicted, and sentenced to hang.

Ka-Ta-Ta was hanged in Portland on March 28, 1882.

As with -Kot-Ko-Wat, this case raises all the same legal questions of how a defendant was transferred from one jurisdiction to another to stand trial; the answers to which are likely related to the absence of an Alaskan court system that could reliably produce the conviction of a Native in cases involving white victims and the deeper racism underlying the treatment of Native populations (see the newspaper item below).

Morning Astorian (Astoria, Oregon), April 20, 1882

Author: Bill Lofquist

I am a sociologist and death penalty scholar at the State University of New York at Geneseo. I am also a Pittsburgh native. My present research focuses on the history of the death penalty in Allegheny County (Pittsburgh), Pa. This website is dedicated to collecting, analyzing, and sharing information about all Allegheny County cases in which a death sentence was imposed. Please share any questions or comments, errors or omissions, or other matters of interest related to these cases or to the broader history of the death penalty in Allegheny County.

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