1866/16 R. vs. Ah Gah, criminal assault against a 5 year old
As part of the Chinese Historical Wrongs Legacy Initiative, the BC Archives has digitized a selection of documents related to criminal prosecutions against the Chinese community from 1866 to 1914, found in GR-0419. These are mainly records created as part of the preliminary hearing held before a judge in order to determine whether there was sufficient evidence to proceed to trial. There are often lengthy witness statements, and cross examinations by both prosecution and defense lawyers. The eventual verdict is sometimes recorded on the outside of the docket. They offer a fascinating glimpse into 19th and early 20th century criminal activity around the province, and ways in which the Chinese community was stereotyped. The records offered for transcription here are a small selection; for additional digitized material from GR-0419 click here.
*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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. In addition, GR-0419 records deal with subjects such as assault, murder and abuse, which may upset some readers. 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.
*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.
COLONY OF VANCOUVER ISLAND And its Dependencies To Wit :}
The Information and Complaint of Rosalie Gowian of Victoria in the Colony aforesaid, taken this twenty fifth day of July in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty six before me Augustus F. Pemberton Esq re one of her Majesty's Justices of the Peace for said Colony of Vancouver Island and its Dependencies, who being sworn upon this Oath, saith through Frederick [illegible] who is duly sworn to interpret truly, the little girl in Court is my daughter her name is Mary Gowian she is five years old, last Saturday I was in my house situate in Humboldt street Victoria in the Colony aforesaid when I missed my daughter Mary and I sent my son Charley to to look after her, her returned and could not find her, I sent him out again and he went lady Chinaman's where he saw Mary, he came and told me she was there and he then returned and brought her home, when she got home, she complained of having been hurt by the Chinaman, last Monday I was [phrase?] and had the child with me, she went to make water, and began to cry and complain that she was sick. I afterward examined the child and found her diseased. I see the Chinaman in Court I hear him call himself Ah Gah I charge the said Ah Gah with
BC Archives GR-0419 Box 5 File 1866/16 / BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL. / Attorney General documents.