1910/58 Rex .vs Lee Sing and Lee Lewis – carrying dangerous weapons
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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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.
rather, by the Police In the City of Vancouver , was it not? A I believe so? I was instructed by the police that such was the case. Q You received your knowledge from what the police told you? A Correct. Q So that so far as your knowledge goes, or information, these Chinamen, the accused, had this opium on Canadian soil, in the City of Vancouver? A Yes. Q Where it came from or how it came to be in their possession, you have no personal knowledge? A No. MR C E WORSROP: I would like to say that when I opened those tins and looked inside, the cans were all wet. The outside tins were very much stained, and had evidently been under water. MR KENNEDY: You say this Opium was held for seizure, on account of having been smuggled. MR RUSSELL: You need not suggest his answer, there Is no necessity for It. A I seized these goods and had reasonable grounds for suspicion that they were smuggled. Q In defiance of what? A In defiance of the Acts respecting Customs. MR KENNEDY: Put those shells in as Exhibit "E". MR RUSSELL: I move for a dismissal of the charge. The charge is laid under Section 117. We have no evidence in this case that the goods were smuggled into Canada at all. We have simply a suspicion, it is the suspicion of the Officer of Customs that they were so smuggled , and acting upon what he presumed was his authority, he complained and had these goods seized. The only Information we have is what he says the police told him. He did not claim that the Police told him anything more than the police have given in evidence, and that evidence is that they fou found these Chinamen in possession of the goods in the City of Vancouver. BC Archives GR-0419 BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL. Box 143 File 1910/58 Attorney General documents.