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1914/195 Rex vs. Lem How – attempted murder

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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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. 

BC Archives G-0419

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Called as a witness, being first sworn testified as follows: (through interpreter)


COURT: Is that oath binding on his soul to tell the truth?

Interpreter: Yes he said he will tell the truth.

COURT: Is that oath binding on his soul to tell the truth?

Interpreter: He said it would bind his conscience.

2 Q Where do you live? A. 313 Canton Alley

3 Q Whre you living there on the 13th of August last? A. No.

4 Q Where you living on the 13th of August last? A. I was put up at Son Ty Chung’s store.

5 Q On what street? A. I don’t know the name and the number of the street – Interpreter) but by the description it is about Carrall Street. He cannot tell the number.

6 Q What is your employment? A. Shingle Mill. I work in a shingle mill.

7 Q Were you working in a mill on the 13th of August? A. No.

8 Q Did you see anything of a row on Shanghia Street on the 13th of august? A. On that very day I was in the store at 540 Shanghia Alley to buy fruit.

9 Q. Well? A. When I came at I saw the row taking place.

80 Q Where was the row taking place? A. At the end of the street; near the end of the street.

1 Q. Near the end of Shangia Street. A. Yes

2 A. By the way is Shanghai Street in the City of Vancouver? A Yes in the City of Vancouver.

3 Q Do you know who was fighting? Do you know the names of the Chinamen who were fighting? A. When I arrived at the spot in the first moment I saw Chow Cum Wing raising his hand. Then I persuade the people who were partaking in the row, I persuaded them not to fight, and asked what the cause of the fighting was.

4 Q You tried to find out what the cause of the trouble was and then what happened? A. Then I saw Lem How.

5 Q Is that the accused? A. Yes, that is the accused Lem How and Lem Ho.

BC Archives GR-0419 Box 193 File 1914/195 / BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL. / Attorney General documents.

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