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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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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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Mr. Powell: You had the chickens here yesterday.

Mr. Taylor: I don't care whether we have a whole column of chickens we are not going to give them to you to have their heads chopped off.

Argument then followed as to the question of which party should provide the material necessary for administering the King's oath, Mr. Taylor objecting to surrender his chickens unless same were paid for by the prosecution, which the Prosecution declined to do. The Court was of the opinion it had no power to require the Defence to furnish the material necessary herein, and if same were not forthcoming it would be necessary for the Court to adjourn, and naturally supposed if it was necessary that this form of oath should be administered the Crown should furnish the material. Mr.Moresby held in a similar case which had recently come up before the Hon. the Chief Justice the challenger was required to furnish the different essentials. This Mr, Taylor strongly objected to, and Mr. Powell suggested that the Court adjourn until the morning, and the prosecution would come prepared to administer the oath in question. He was not aware that any objection was going to be raised by the Defence, and therefore had not come prepared to meet the objection.

Court here adjourned till 10:00 A.M., 13th February, 1904.

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

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