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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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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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to whether that oath is the most binding on the witness.

Court: Read it in Chinese to the witness. (Oath read by interpreter to witness) What does he say about that form of oath being binding on him?

David Lee: He says yes I tell the truth on that oath.

Court: That form is binding on him?

David Lee: Yes, that oath will make him tell the truth.

Court: Very well, just have him sign it in the right place. See that he puts his name in the right place there. (witness signs as indicated by Interpreter form of oath as handed him for signature)

Court: Now ask him what his name is.

Interpreter (Interrupting): What is the Chinese date ?

Interpreter (for defence): the 28th.

Court: I want to know his name now. Haw Fat Chung

Court: Have you the Joss paper?

Mr. Powell: My learned friend has no doubt got it.

Mr. Taylor: I did not want him sworn at all.

Mr. Powell: I understand the challenger is the man who provides all the ammunition.

Mr. Taylor: This challenger is not going to do it. We do not furnish ammunition for the purpose of swearing. Usually I take it that the prosecution does that.

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

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