As part of the Chinese Historical Wrongs Legacy Initiative, we’ve digitized a small selection of inquests and inquiries from 1872 to 1934, found in series GR-0431. These were chosen to reflect the experiences of early Chinese immigrants to B.C. – their living and working conditions, and their unfortunate accidental or unusual deaths. They range from a woman working in a brothel in Barkerville who died of natural causes to three sawmill workers who died from malnutrition. Learn more.
*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.
*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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. 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.
Q: What height is that where the cave is? A: Probably 18 inches more at that time. I didn't hold the lamp 18 inches higher, I held it about 7 feet high. Q: And that would be about 18 inches from the top of the roof? A: No, I said the roof was something over six feet high, and the highest point of the cave was 18 inches above the roof. Q: What action did the gas have on your lamp? A: It first draws the flame. Q: What action did it have on the 15th July? A: One time I lost my light in it. Q: Was that the first examination? A: I believe it was but I am not sure now. Q: What does that indicate? A: It indicates gas there. Q: Does that indicate any quantity of gas there, any marked quantity of gas? A: No, you can't judge the quantity by that. The smallest quantity would do that provided you reach it. Q: Then directly your safety lamp comes in contact with gas it will be put out? A: Not exactly; there is a way of saving your flame if you are careful. Q: Well why was it that in your first examination your light went out? A: I didn't say so. I said that one time I lost my light, but whether it was the first examination or not I don't know. Q: What would be the reason? A: Presence of gas. Q: In considerable quantity? A: The quantity has nothing to do with it. Mr. Morgan:- The quantity has nothing to do with it; if you put the light up to high it will be put out. You have got to be careful, that's all. Mr. Potts:- When you found gas, what course did you adopt? A: I got the men working alongside of it to work close to the good roof, and keep filling the cave up with rock; and they had been doing that for a week previous, every day. Q: Would that force the gas out? A: It would displace the gas; the rock would take the place of the gas. Q: When did you first adopt this course? A: When the cave first took place; probably for a week before. Q: On the 15th when you detected gas, what course did you adopt to dispel it? A: The same as I had done the day before. Instructed the men to fill the cave with rock. Q: Did they do it? A: Yes. Q: Did you report on the safety of the mine that day? A: I reported it in the Journal. Q: It has no reference in this book to safety. Did you tell the miners before they went down to work that the mine was safe? A: Yes, every individual miner. Q: They passed you at the station? A: Yes. Q: Did you consider it safe? A: Yes, perfectly safe. Q: I think you said just now that you found less gas on the 15th than you did on a previous occasion? A: Yes. Q: Did you chalk mark the places you examined? A: Yes. Q: Did you see the body of the chinaman that was buried under the cave in? A: Yes. Q: Was he burnt? A: I couldn't tell.
BC Archives GR-0431 Box 6 File 3
BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL. Inquisitions/inquests conducted by coroners in British Columbia.