1880/20 Ah Jim, non-payment of School Tax*
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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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.
his hand. Mr Shakespeare expostulated with him but he still persisted. and when he failed in getting the bundles away he told me to go and get a policeman. I did so. The said bundles were distrained by Mr Shakespeare for school tax.The bundle consisted of satchel blankets and two canvas tents. I don't know who they belonged to. The warrant produced marked" A" was read. I read it and it was under the authority of said warrant that distraint was made. Mr Shakespeare and myself were present at the time. When Mr Shakespeare was in the act of taking an inventory of the things Ah Jim the prisoner interfered several times by taking things out of the hand of Shakespeare and putting them back. he took a tent out of Shakespeare's hands he also took hold of a red blanket that had been seized by Mr Shakespeare . I don't know whether the blanket or the tent belonged to the prisoner. Then he took the tent he took it from where we had the goods seized and he put it back to the place from which it had been taken. [?]. L P Lewis AJ? Pemberton
BC Archives GR-0419. BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL. Box 19 File 1880/20 Attorney General documents.