1905/9 Rex vs. Soon Ching – keeping a gaming house (Vancouver)
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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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.
16.Q. They were got in room No---? A. No. two. 17.Q. These copper things and the dish were found in room —? A. number two. Pieces of copper marked Ex. C. Chips, dish and dice put in as Ex. D. 18.Q. These books? A. These two books were got in the bar, and these cards and things were got in the bar, and these mats were on the tables. 19.Q,. Where were these mats? A In room No. 3--one on one table and one on another. Table covers marked Ex. E. Cards, books and stuff marked Ex.F.
20.Q. Where were these pieces of lead? A. On the tables. These sticks were found in room No. 3. 21.Q. Who did you see when you first went in, anybody? A. No; I did not. 22.Q Where was the first place you met anybody? A. We went right through to that door and downstairs. 23.Q. Down these stairs in room No. 4?A.Yes; when I got down stairs McDade had held up two Chinamen. 24.Q. Officer McDade was in the raid with you? A. He was ahead of me. 25 Q. Then what did you do? A. He had held up two Chinamen and then I went upstairs and I found four men in room No 5. 26.Q. Were they in bed? A. No; they were lying down. 27.Q. Undressed, or with their clothes on? A. They had their clothes on. 28,Q Where did you go then? A. I went back into the sitting room and looked around. 29.Q. As you go upstairs, how do you get into this bed—room Ho. 5? A. You have to go around and go through the gambling room. BC Archives GR-0419 BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL Box 106 File 1905/9 Attorney General documents.