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Vancouver Coal Company

As part of the Chinese Historical Wrongs Legacy Initiative, we’ve digitized a small selection of inquests and inquiries from 1872 to 1934, found in series GR-0431. These were chosen to reflect the experiences of early Chinese immigrants to B.C. – their living and working conditions, and their unfortunate accidental or unusual deaths.   They range from a woman working in a brothel in Barkerville who died of natural causes to three sawmill workers who died from malnutrition. Learn more.

*All transcriptions are provided by volunteers, and the accuracy of the transcriptions is not guaranteed. Please be sure to verify the information by viewing the image record, or visiting the BC Archives in person. 

BC Archives GR-0431

*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum. Some materials may contain content that is racist, sexist or otherwise offensive. The Royal BC Museum is only the custodian of archival materials; the content does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Royal BC Museum.

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home, and when I returned next day it was [?caring] still. The cross cuts were put through the full height of the coal. I expect it would have improved the safety of the mine if the dust had been watered every day. To the Foreman – My partners on the afternoon shift were Jonathan Bhundell and George Biggs. To Mr Eberts – There was not any one working in the stall below me on the third of May. Jonathan Martin had been working there To the Coronier. The height of the diagonal slope varies. At the upper end it is not more than six feet. In some places if it is twenty feet. There are pockets formed in the roof. Curtains were placed were required for the purpose of dividing the air into the high places Taken upon oath and acknowledged this 25th day of May in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eight seven before me } James Malpass W Wymond Walkem Coronier

To Mr Eberts Joshua Martell Miner Nanaimo being duly sworn south: I am a miner and have been mining as such for twenty two years. I was working in the new slope of the number one shaft of the Vancouver Coal Company’s works. I was working there on the morning of the third of May last. I was working in coal about one hundred yards from the face of the diagonal and I had been working there about six months. We always had plenty of air. A good current. Over

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