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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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.
86.Q. A little later you were trying to get into a room and he came up and let you in? A. That was the first time I saw him. 87 .Q. He opened room 6 for you? A. No. 88.Q. Was it broken? A. I can't swear to that. 89.Q. You don't know whether it was opened by him or whether it was broken? A. No. 90 Q He admitted that was his bedroom? A. Yes.
CHARLES MULHERN underoath says:- (Direct examination by Farris) 91.Q. You were present at this raid? A. I was. 98.Q. Who went there first to the place? Tell us the circumstances. A. Sergeant Butler and I were the first ones that went to theplace. We went upstairs to the door at the head of the stairs and tried the door and it was locked. We then came down again and waited at the door until Sergeant Fulton came along. 95.Q. What was the date of this? A. The seventeenth I think. 94.Q. What time of the day or night? A. About 8 o'clock in the evening. 95.Q. What happened then? A. We stayed at the door for a minute or two and Sergeant Fulton and officer McDade came along. Sergeant Fulton had the warrant. So they went up and rapped at the door and then broke the door in and then we went in. When we got into room 2 from room 1, the door leading from room 2 into room 3 was locked and we broke that. 96,Q. What did you see outside of what Sergeant Fulton has said ? A. There was a lot of this stuff scattered all over. 97.Q. Did you see any money? A. I went right on through and I could not say that I seen any. Whoever had been in the room had gone out. We went through the door into room 4 and there was a rush there and McDada run down these stairs in room 4 after the Chinamen, and when I got down these stairs far enough to see into the store below I seen officer McDade with two BC Archives GR-0419 Box 106 File 1905/9 BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL. Attorney General documents.