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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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

Victoria, B.C., 12th February,1904

10.00 A.M.

Pursuant to adjournment the Court met at 10:00 A.M. this 12th day of February, 1904, all parties being present as before.

Detective Palmer having been duly called as witness on behalf of the Prosecution, and sworn, testifies as follows,

Examination in chief by Mr. Powell:

Q Mr. Palmer, you are a City Detective? A yes Sir.

Q Mr. Palmer, will you tell us what that is ? (producing plan) A Well, this is a plan of the rear portion of the Chinese Theatre and the stage - and upper story - the first story above the stage.

Mr. Taylor: We do not admit the plan - Q Who drew the plan ? A I drew the plan

Q Did you take the actual measurements? A Yes, I took some measurements of certain points of it.

Q Well, how did you arrive at the rest of it? A Well, I took measurements of the most important points.

Q I see you have got measurements of all the rooms and halls there, did you take the measurements of what is indicated on there? A Yes, I took it all myself.

Q And you believe it to be accurate? A Yes, it is accurate as far as measurements are concerned.

(Witness aside) Plan marked as Exhibit I

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

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