1895/39 Regina vs. Lee Heng Yum – gaming, Victoria (good description of Fan Tan Alley)
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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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.
table; I was there myself; some were playing fan tan and some were looking on; I played myself; I bet with the accused twice, half a dollar each time and lost both bets; the man who did the work took in the money; I saw last witness there ; I heard the accused ask the last witness to make a bet and the last witness asked who was boss; I heard the accused say" I am the boss and you may bet as big as you like and I will pay ";I saw the last witness bet once and lose; i don't know how much; the largest bet I saw made that day was 6 or 7 dollars at 43 Fisgard St. I know the accused is the boss. Cross examination Mr Grease. I last did any trade two or three years ago; I was working in Eddy's tan house, I think 45 Fisgard St. I never worked for Jackson or McDonell; I deal chuck-luck in only one place in this town at 45 Fisgard St; I play dominoes at other places out of Victoria; it is a gambling game; last witness asked me to come up here and give evidence; I went in to the gambling house that day to bet; I went in a little after one; I did not go in with the last witness; when I went in there i saw him standing there and the accused was there also; there were other men handling tan at the other tables; Chinamen often hire a table to have a game and bring money with them for betting; the man who hires the table hires it from the person who keeps the house; I did not see the accused take away the money on the 28th November; I do not know where he got the money from; I believe the money the accused brought in with him was his own money; the