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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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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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6:

Q What did you see? A I saw a Chinaman laying on the floor. You might just describe on the plan - this is supposed to be a plan of the building - A This (indicating) is the stage.

Q This is the stage down here (indicating on plan). This in a little recess or aperture through which you can see from the second landing down to the stage. A (indicating on plan) This is the stage - I saw him laying about there (indicating).

Q In what position? A His head was towards the north - the north-west.

Q Yes. A There were some chairs arid a table - the table stood close by him, and almost immediately under this balcony (indicating on plan).

Q Which side of the table was he on? A He was on the outer side - the East side.

Q Let me put it this way - was he between the table and the wall? A The table was between here (indicating) and the wall.

Q And where were the chairs, having regard to the table? A There was only one chair close - that stood on the south side of the table, on this side as it appears there (indicating on plan). The table stood about there - the Chinaman lay about there (indicating).

Q And what time was this? A About ten minutes past one of the morning of the 31st.

Q You might go on and describe what you did and what you saw? A I saw a Chinaman on the floor of the stage of the Theatre groaning and apparently badly hurt; he was surrounded by a number of other Chinamen. I lifted him up and sat him on this chair, and immediately telephoned for Dr. Robert.

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

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