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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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

Mr. Taylor: Before this witness is sworn your Honor, I would suggest that in regard to this matter, in as much as we will not be able to finish this case today, it will be well to have the evidence of the white witnesses today, and I understand there are two or three, the constable arresting them and the Doctor, and when the evidence of the Chinese is taken I would like to have the witnesses put in a separate room, so that there will he no communication pass between those who have given their evidence and those who have not yet testified, and I will have to ask you to adjourn this case today - I think that the witnesses should be kept in a room before each one testifies and not be allowed to converse with those who have given their evidence.

Court: Can you do that Mr. Powell?

Mr. Powell: No, we cannot do it.

Mr. Taylor: Then I would suggest taking this case in the corning and finish with the Chinese in the morning -

Mr. Powell: The men who testify tomorrow will go out and mingle among themselves. It will be hard for us to prevent that -

Mr. Taylor: The court has power to arrest them if necessary.

Mr. Powell: I think this is an unusual case, and as far as the white witnesses are concerned we have only one white witness here today, as Mr. Robertson in not here, and I would have no objection whatever to Dr. Robertson giving his evidence first. We have to consult his convenience in the matter, but at the same time we have the conducting of this case and I submit we are entitled to present it in our own way.

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

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