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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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.
each individually for their school tax. the answer he got was : too poor" "By the by" "work on the railroad" "no sabbe" He next tried to get the names of the Chinamen and I think he succeeded in getting one or two. I believe Shakespeare asked them the 2nd and 3td time for their names but they refused to give him any satisfactorily answer whatever. He then made out his [?] warrant for the seizure of the goods and chattels, handed it to the bailiff L B Lewis who then took charge. I did nor hear the chinamen protest against the goods being taken . neither did I hear them claim the said goods. I did not see the prisoner present when the above took place