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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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.
The "School Tax Act, 1876," as amended by Acts of 1878, 1879, 1880, and 1881, compiled for the information of Collectors. TREASURY DEPARTMENT, VICTORIA, March 26,1881. WHEREAS, it is expedient to provide for the maintenance of Public Schools: Therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of British Columbia, enacts as follows:— Act 1876, sec. 1. For the purposes of this Act, the Province of British Columbia shall be divided into School Tax Districts, the names and boundaries of which shall be the same as the Electoral Districts mentioned in the " Constitution Act, 1871," and Schedule thereunto annexed and amendments thereto existing or hereafter made. Act 1881, see. 1. Every male person in the Province above eighteen years of age shall pay unto the use of Her Majesty, Her heir's and successors an annual tax of three dollars, and such tax shall be due by such person from and after the second day of January in each and every year, and be payable in advance, and whether such person be a resident of the Province during the whole or any fraction of such year. Act 1876, see. 3. The Lieutenant-Governor in Council shall from time to time appoint one or more persona to act, during pleasure, as Collector or Collectors in each School Tax District created under the provisions of this Act, or any portion thereof, and may require from such person or persons such security as he may think fit. Act 1878, chap. 16, sec. 1. Section 4 of the " School Tax Act, 1876," > is hereby repealed, and in lion thereof the following shall be rend;— "Every merchant, farmer, trader or employer of labour shall pay the annual tax of three dollars as the same becomes due by any person or ' parties in their or his employment, and may deduct the amount so paid on account of such person from the amount of salary or wages due or to become due to him from such employer, upon production and delivery of the receipt thereupon to such person. Every such merchant, farmer, trader, or employer of labour shall furnish to the Collector, when requested by him so to do, from time to time, a list of all persons in his employ, or indirectly employed by him, liable to pay the said tax; but no such statement shall bind the Collector, nor shall excuse him from making due enquiry to ascertain it correctness "' Act 1878, chap. 16, sec. 2. In case any person fails to pay the said tax for hia employe's or deliver to the Collector the list mentioned in the preceding section, when required so to do, or knowingly states anything falsely therein, such person shall, on complaint of the Collector, and upon conviction before a Justice of the Peace having jurisdiction within the district wherein the merchant, trader, or employer of labour carries on his business, forfeit and pay a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars, to be recovered by distress of the goods and chattels of the