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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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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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I heard some voices shouting "beat him to death!, but the only one I recognized was that of Hong Kan Yuen. I saw Wong Hong and Wong On and some others dragging Man Quann out. I afterwards saw Man Quann at the hospital and he said to me "I believe I am going to die as I feel so bad. "And Man Quann said "Have any of those people been arrested?" I told him that Wong On was the only one and he inquired about Wong Suen, Wong Sam, Wong Hong and Wong Nam Yuen. He also apparently tried to inquire about some more but was unable to do so, and he died in about two hours. Before he died he told me to have all the persons who assaulted him arrested. The reason of the assault was on account of an occurrence in the theatre on Friday night, Jan. 9th. I heard a noise there on that night and was told that the fight was between Man Quann and Wong Nam Yuen.

(Sgd.) Wong Wing Fook. (Sgd.) Yip Wing, Interpreter.

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

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