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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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 produce copy of warrant served upon the Chinamen who were in the room above named and I heard Lewis read said warrant to the chinamen. The defendant had paid his tax. I seized upon the goods & cattels found on the premises. Ah Sin has paid his school tax. Ah Jim the defendant and the other Ah Jun were in the said house in bed this morning. I didn't know if they were in the employ of Ah Jim or not. I don't know if the said two men had resided in the said house before this morning . To Court: The 9 dollars named in the warrant is for school tax for Ah Jim and for two other men Ah Jim gave me his name . The others would not. Noah Shakespeare Recalled L Courtney I could not say how long these chinamen had been in the Country N. Shakespeare A.F.Pemberton
BC Archives GR-0419 BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL. Box 19 File 1880/20 Attorney General documents.