Transcription Page

1904-10 Rex vs. Wong On and Wong Gow – murder (at the Chinese theatre)

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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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. 

BC Archives G-0419

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W. C. Carson:-

I am a police constable. On the morning of January 31st, 1904, about one o'clock, I went to the Chinese Theatre. I found a Chinaman lying on the stage apparently badly hurt. There were a number of Chinamen around him. I raised him up and sent for Dr. Robertson and when he arrived he ordered him to the hospital. I was told by the Chinamen that the injured man had been thrown out of the balcony. The deceased was conscious at that time, but could not speak English.

(Sgd.) W. C. Carson.

Hermann M. Robertson:-

I am the City Health Officer, and on Sunday morning, January 31st, I was called to the Chinese theatre. I found a Chinaman on a bunk who was injured. There were a number of other Chinamen about. He was apparently conscious, but was in a collapsed condition, was groaning and complaining of pain in his abdomen. I sent him to the hospital where he died about 6: a.m. The same afternoon I made a post mortem examination of his body. The body was that of a well developed Chinaman. There were two bruises on the left upper am. The right ring finger was swollen and discolored, and on the left side of the abdomen between the ribs and the pelvis there was a bruise three to four inches long and an inch wide and right angled. The organs of the body generally were healthy. The left kidney was torn completely into two parts and there was an extensive hemorrhage from it, and one rib was broken. The seventh.

(Sgd.) Hermann M. Robertson.

BC Archives GR-0419 Box 100 File 1904/10 / BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL. / Attorney General documents.

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