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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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.
210 Q You did not see the faces of Sing and Chim Yung upstairs? A. No. 211.Q- You can't identify them from seeing them from upstairs? A. They never got out of my sight. 212 Q. Either of them? A No. 213 Q One was ahead of the other? A. I was not five feet behind them. 214 Q. As I understand it, Chim Yung went downstairs ahead of this other Chinaman? A. Yes; he was ahead. 215.Q. He was at the head of the stairs when you first seen him? A. He was going through this door when I seen him and I ran and I was not 3 feet away (but I am not sure whether they had to open this trap or not and I stayed close to them until I caught them. 216,Q. Do you say that Chim Yung was in the premises in question upstairs on that evening? A. He was with this other Chinaman going out for the back door. 217.Q. You are prepared to pledge your oath on that? A. Yes. 213.Q. At what hour in the evening? A. About 3:16 when we entered. 219.Q. Did you see him upstairs in the building in question? A. Yes.220 Q. Immediately after entering this door you saw him? A. It would not take more then a minute until I broke the second door. 221.Q. Will you say that Chin Yung was not downstairs when you entered? A. He was not. These two men never got out of my sight, and I think one of them had his hand on the latch to go out when I caught them. 222.Q. You have been watching the club premises in question for some time? A- Not particularly. 223 Q. You had some disagreement? A. No; pnly this man, when I started to go in, shoved me out and told me it was a club house. 224 Q. You persisted in entering? A No , I went out. "25.^. You went back again? A. Yes; I had another officer. BC Archives GR-0419 BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL. Box 106 File 1905/9 Attorney General documents.