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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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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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have some certificates from there concerning him, and I know he is a very good man, and he will be a great assistance to both sides, as well as the court, and I would like my learned friend to try him, and we could check him.

Discussion then followed, and it was agreed between Counsel that Mr. Lee should act in administering the Chicken Oath, and Yip Wing should be retained as Interpreter, and that the Court should stand adjourned until the necessary documents and forms required in the administering of the King's (or chicken) oath should be prepared.

Mr. Taylor: I should suggest that the Court be adjourned for half an hour until all these documents and forms are forthcoming, and then we can continue.

Court: Mr. Taylor's half hour's adjournment would not do us much good. We might as well adjourn until ten minutes after two, and this room will be clear then.

Mr. Taylor: I will be very pleased to meet the view of the Court in regard to the adjournment. I want to get through all those Chinese witnesses in one day, or else have them retained somewhere. I do not see why my learned friends' course should be in any sense to persecute. They are here on behalf of the prosecution, but that simply means that their desire should be to bring out the truth, and not take an unfair advantage.

Court: We will adjourn till ten Minutes after two.

Mr. Taylor: I will then apply to your Honor to retain the other witnesses.

Court adjourned till 2:10 a.m.

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

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