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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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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. Taylor: My learned friend has said that he had four or five witnesses yesterday, and now he says he has only got one. Now, I want all these witnesses out, and anyone else who is likely to testify; I want them kept out, until they are examined. That is the usual request. It is very unfair that they should be allowed to stay in.

Court: That is as if they are here.

Mr. Powell: There in only one of my witnesses here and the one who has just been sworn. The others are not here.

Mr. Taylor: Why shouldn't they lie here? I object to their being anywhere where there can be any communication between these witnesses until they have each finished their testimony. This is a most important consideration that there should be no communication between them.

Mr. Powell: We will call our witnesses as we require then. We have one here and he will go out (Witness leaves court room).

Mr. Taylor: I must protest against this proceeding, that these witnesses are not kept together somewhere until their testimony is given so that there can be no opportunity afforded them to compare their testimony. I wish to record that objection very strongly. That is what I have been complaining of in the whole proceeding, the opportunity that will be given to those witnesses to compare their testimony.

Mr. Powell: I may tell the Court that they are not in Court, and will not be in Court. My witnesses are within reach -

Mr. Taylor: I understand that they should be in a room.

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

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