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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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.
General Form of Information or of Complaint on Oath CANADA City of Victoria Province of British Columbia The information of Noah Shakespeare of the said City of Victoria in the said Province of British Columbia taken on this thirty first day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eighty one at Victoria in the Province aforesaid before the undersigned one of her Majesty's Justices of the Peace for the said province who saith that he hath just cause to suspect and believe and doth suspect and believe that Ah Jim a chinaman on the 31th of March did in a house situated on Cormurant Street in the City of Victoria endeavor to prevent Noah Shakespeare from distraining goods and chattels belonging to certain chinamen for payment of school tax at the time and place aforesaid and I charge the said Ah Jim with endeavoring to prevent me from distraining the goods and chattels of certain chinaman for payment of school tax at the time and place aforsaid [contrary?]to law Noah Shakespeare Taken and sworn before me, the day and year and at the place above mentioned. A.F Pemberton
Note. The above alteration was made by mistake, in the information instead of the Committment. AFP
BC Archives GR-0419 BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL. Box 19 File 1880/20 Attorney General documents.