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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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.
168.Q Do you know whether or not any convictions have ever been entered against this game? (Russell) That is in the records and it is not for this witness to prove. 169.Q. You found this ten dollar bill ? A. Yes. 170.Q. Ex. I? A. Yes. It was thrown away by the Chinaman that officer McDade had caught among with the other money that Detective Mulhern picked up on the floor. Cross-examination by Russell. 171.Q. You did not mean that you would corroborate all the evidence of officer Fulton and officer Mulhern.? A. Not in regard to the going to the place and the conversation that detective Mulhern with this man;—that,I don't know anything about. 172 Q Officer Fulton and the conversation he had, you did not hear? A Yes. 173.Q. There are lots of little things you can't corroborate? A, Exactly. 174.Q. Have you playes a good deal of fantan? A. I never did play it. I was just showing how it was played to the best of my knowledge. 175.Q Can you and I play a little game of fantan? A.Perhaps. 376.Q Is there any reason why you and I should not? A. No; if you have the money. 177.Q. Is there any reason why this game could not be played with the two of us alone? A. You could be the dealer and I could be the player. 178.Q. Is there any reason why this game could not be played by us two alone? A. No. 179.Q. We may take in police court prosecutor Farris and have a three-handed game? A- Yes. 180.Q. In playing the game alone would I have any advantage over you because I had the implements? A' You would not. 181.Q. If we were playing alone the advantages would be equal? BC Archives GR-0419 BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL. Box 106 File 1905/9 Attorney General documents.