Wong Kong Ying et al
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.
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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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.
Q. 75 By a remote chance can you tell us the earnings of these Chinese boys, so as to try and arrive at how much these men earned and whether they had a right to have expected food that would carry them on?
A. With what was lost and what is there now cut, I can give you a rough idea. There is possibly four hundred cord. They should have, at some time or other, from three hundred and fifty to four hundred cord.
Q. 76 That doesn't quite get us to what I had in mind. Had these Chinamen been earning as much as these food bills? How much money have they supposed to have been paying for grocery? How much do they owe?
A. I don't know that.
Q. 77 One of the things Mr.Colquohn might say would be: 'I have paid out for the food more than they have earned'?
A. He couldn't say that
Q. 78 What is the price paid for a cord of shingle bolts?
A. It ranges from $1.75 to $2.00 for a cord, for the cutting and shooting them down to the track.
Q. 79 How long have they been cutting these 400 cords of wood? How much would they be worth?
A. Approximately mean about Seven hundred dollars ($700). When I say four hundred I do not mean four hundred now; reckon about two hundred cords lost.
Q. 80 How was that?
A. Lost a boom one time; a scow another time.
Q. 81 Wouldn't the insurance cover that?
A. The scow wasn't insured.
Q. 82 Are the Chinamen responsible for the handling of the scow?
Q. 83 Then really they should get paid for what they cut? What is the difference between the $1.75 and $2.00?
A. They get $2.00 if they will shoot the bolts 1000 yards to the track. $1.75 for the cutting.
Q. 84 Do you get a commission on that?
A. No, that is their pay.
Q. 85 There has been how many men?
BC Archives GR-0431/Box 13 File 6/BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL./Inquisitions/inquests conducted by coroners in British Columbia.