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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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.
the game has been going on in this house for several months and accused has been boss and I know the money was his; I can't say how often I have been in, perhaps oncein three weeks, once in two weeks or once in one week; I used to work in two tan houses watching the door; only two in this town; I say the money belonged to the accused because he brought it in.
To the Court:
I followed immediately behind the accused in to the tan house on the 28th ult. and heard him order the gas to be lighted.
(Signature in Chinese).
Ah Wing, Interpreter.
(Sd) F. Macrae, P. M.
BC Archives GR-0419 / Box 58 File 1895/39 BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL. Attorney General documents.