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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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.
I should say that there were 10 or 12 chinamen who attempted to come into the room after I got there. There were probably from 50 to 100 chinamen gathered in the street outside. After the goods were placed in the waggon Mr Shakespeare asked me to take the prisoner Ah Jim into goal. He walked quietly or perhaps I should not have arrested him without a warrant. The goods placed were miscellaneous . Some of them were blankets. I think there was some bedding and some cooking utensils. The above happened between 9 and 10 o'clock in the morning. At the time I saw the above goods they were all rolled up in several packages.