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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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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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Mr. Taylor: There is no question about that. My point is this that while there are a number of Chinese witnesses to be examined that the fair thing is to close their testimony while they here in Court and to have the witnesses put in a room separate while the testimony is being given, and thus prevent the chance of their getting together between their various testimonies and talking this matter over, and I would suggest that we adjourn this today, as I understand there are four or five Chinese witnesses to be examined and we cannot finish them today, and we will be able to finish then tomorrow. You see that is the objection of going on with this in the afternoon, we would not be able to finish.

Mr. Powell: I would have been perfectly willing to have taken it this morning.

Court: Well, Mr. Powell, if it was adjourned until the morning we could take the whole of the day tomorrow, as for us the other work of the Police Court is concerned - we could begin it in the morning, and in a serious case like this, it is best to be as fair as possible. So I would therefore suggest that we adjourn until the usual time tomorrow morning. Of course I do not know what may arise during the night, but the chances are that what will arise during the night we can dispose of in a very few minutes in the morning.

Court here adjourned till 10.00 A.M. February 12th, 1904.

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

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