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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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.
To Mr Grease. I do the ironing; I went into the tan house about half past 1; I went alone; The game was then going on; I have not been working now for the last 2 months; I stay at Mee Wah's; I have been working there but not for the past 2 months; Mee Wah is a relation and charges me nothing for my board; I gamble once in a while; you enter a door from the street ,go down the passage and turn to the left to get into the tan room in question; besides the last two witnesses i know two others who were there; Hock Nye asked me to come up as a witness; there were three tables in the room; I bet a dollar; I went in there to play; other people were running the other tables ; I have had no trouble with the accused. To the Court. I have been many times in the tan house at No43; I was there twice on the 28th; I saw the accused both times handling the tan; every time I went into the tan house this year I saw the accused there; when I went in there last year I did not see him; when I saw him in the tan house this year he was always handling the tan; I never saw him bring in the money bags into the room; I saw him carry the money bags out of the room twice I think; I have seen no other person carry the money bags out of the room.