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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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.
30.Q. There is a trap door in room No. 4? A. Yes, but they did not get it down tight and McDade followed the Chinamen right down. 3I.Q. Did you see the accused? A. I did. 32.Q. When and how? A. He came upstairs from down below. 33.Q. Were you in conversation with him A.Yes. 34.Q. What was the nature of the conversation? A. He told us he was manager of the club and this was his room. 35.Q. Any further statement? A. Nothing particular. Cross-examination by Mr. Russell. 36.Q. How was the downstairs of this building occupied? A. There are two stores, Nos. 41 and 45. 37.Q Do you remember the firms? A.Sanf Lung is one, and the other I don't know the name. 38 Q Kwong Tai Lung is the other? A. I think it is, but I would not be positive. I would not like to swear to it. 39. Q The accused is manager of one of these stores? A. I could not say. 40.Q. Did not he tell you that he was manager for Kwong Tai Lung? A. I don't remember. 41.Q He told you that here in the Police Court? A. I don't remember. 42.Q. He told you on the club premises? A. He might of, but I don't remember. There was so much said I can't remember it all. 43.Q He admitted he was secretary of the club? A. He said he was manager and he said Sewey was secretary. H« said it was Sewey the one that worked at the lawyers. 44 Q. Did not he say Sewey was chairman? A. He said Sewey was secretary and that he was the manager of the club. 45.Q You knew before going there that the club was incorporated? A. I don't know it for a fact. 46.Q. Of your own knowledge you knew that to be the case? A. It has been told to me that it was a club. BC Archives GR-0419 BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL. Box106 File 19099 Attorney General documents.