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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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.
volunteered that on the way to the station.
115.Q. Did he mention any other game that was played there? A. No. 116.Q. There was no mention of Chinese literature? A. No. 117 Q No mention of these dominos? A. No. 118.Q. Did he offer to show you a book of names of the members? A. He showed me a book which he said had the names of the members in. 119.Q. Did you ask him who were the officers of the club? A. No; He volunteered the information that Sewey was secretary of the club. 120.Q Are you sure about that? A Yes. 121.Q. Did not he say Chin Sue? A. He gave me to understand that Sewey was secretary—in fact Sewey came there and made it more distinct. 122.Q. Was it not that Sewey had the papers of the club? A. I asked him if he had the papers and he said the certificate was in Russell & Russell's office and he said Sewey was secretary. 123.Q. Did he use the word secretary? A. I understand that was what he meant. 184.Q. He did not use the word? A. Yes; as well as he could. 125.Q. Did he draw any distinction between their secretary and an English secretary? A. No. 126.Q He may have mentioned that Sewey was running the English part of the club to see that it was conducted in a proper way? A. I took it that Sewey was secretary of the club and kept the books and so on. 127Q. This man (the accused) was perfectly above-board with all his movements? A. Yes. 128.Q. He was not in the club premises proper when the police first came? A. I can't say whether he was or not, but I knew the first time I saw him was in room No. 3, and he had come from room No 2. 129.Q. That was the first you saw of him? A. Yes. 130.Q. That would intimate that he came from below? A. I don't know. 131.Q. You don't know where he came from? A. No. BC Archives GR-0419 BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL. Box 106 File 1905/9 Attorney General documents.