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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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.
144.Q. You were upstairs from 3 to 4 minutes? A From the time we broke into the premises it might possibly be 4 or 5 minutes. 145 (Court) Did he say he was managing the business of the firm or the club? A. He said he was managing the club. 146.Q Did he say there were 41 members who all had an interest in the club7 A- Yes. 147.Q. If he was managing the club, he would be managing it for the 41 members? A. He volunteered about the 41 members. He told me he was managing the club for this Chinese firm. 148.Q. How did he come to do that? A. I asked him if he did not run it and he said he was managing it for this Chinese firm. 149.Q. Is it not possible that he said he was manager for Kwong Tai lung? A I asked him if he was running this place and he said he was managing it. 350.Q. Did he say "I am manager for Kwong Tai Lung"? A. I asked him if he was running this place - - - 151.Q. And the answer was that he was managing the business of Kwong Tai Lung? A. My question was "was he managing this club" and he said "Yes; I am managing it for this company." 152.Q. He speaks broken English? A. He is a pretty intelligent Chinaman; he is away above the average. Re-direct by Farris. 1153.Q. While you ware there who appeared to be in charge? A. This man. The impression that he gave me was the fact of it being a club, guaranteed them a whole lot of privileges and he did not have any hesitation in telling me anything.