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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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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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Q You brought the doctor back? A And after some examination the doctor ordered me to take him to the hospital which I did.

Q Do you know anything further? A No, I know nothing further.

(Witness aside) Haw Fat Chung: having been duly called as witness on behalf of the Prosecution -

Court: All the witnesses should be put in one room. Now regarding this witness we should find out first which is the most solemn oath for these witnesses. It may be that one witness would consider the bible the most solemn and another the breaking of the saucer and perhaps the Chicken oath.

Mr. Taylor: We are entitled to have the roost binding form of oath, and in fact we might be entitled to have both administered.

Court: On the other hand Mr. Taylor if the witnesses states one form of oath is the most binding it might be that another form would be a mere mockery to him, and something which would have no particular meaning. I want to take the form that is the most binding.

Mr. Taylor: That is quite true. The court always do but suppose a witness tells a lie about that - then I say -

Court: How are we to know?

Mr. Taylor: Then I say give him the one he says is the most binding and another one too; it will not do any harm to give them too.

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

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