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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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: From the position you found the chinaman lying in, what would you infer? A: From the position he was lying in I would say that if anything he must have been knocked down before the cave in; it is possible. Q: You think the cave occurred before the explosion? A: No, I said the other thing just now. I said that probably he was knocked down before the cave. Q: From the position the chinaman was lying in you infer that? A: Yes. Q: Have you found, since the explosion, anything which was a source of danger in the mine? A: Yes. Q: What? A: A large quantity of gas. Q: Anything else which is contrary to the rules to be there? A: I would like you to put that a little clearer. Q: Have you found anything in the second south level contrary to the rules, to be there - any matches or explosives? A: No. Q: Pit lamps? A: No. Q: Were you present when some of these lamps were found? A: This in one, "A". Q: Do you know to whom that lamp belonged? A: No. Q: Have you any means of identifying the chinaman with the lamp? A: No, I haven't. Q: Every chinaman has a lamp, but you don't know which chinaman the lamp belongs to? A: No. Q: Do you know whether a pit lamp was found in the mine? A: I heard there was one. Q: Where? A: At No. 6 switch, No. 2 south level. Q: To whom did it belong? A: I don't know, probably the driver. Q: Isn't that in the same ventilating district as the 2nd south level? A: Yes. Q: Did you examine the miners' safety lamps before they went down? A: Yes. Q: Were they all securely locked? A: All those that had to be locked. Q: Can you give the jury any explanation as to the cause of the explosion with your knowledge from the examinations that you have made? A: No, I can't. There is no doubt it is owing to a break in the roof but how it came to be lit up I couldn't say. Q: Were these Chinese that were in the mine able to understand all the orders that you gave them. A: Yes, those on my shift, but these were not on my shift. Mr. Morgan:- Do yo examine every shot before it is fired, Mr. King? A: Yes. Q: There were no shots fired without your consent that day? A: That day, no. Mr. Pooley:- You stated that the quantity of gas you found was a very small one? A: Yes. Q: If it had been a large quantity of gas, would you have allowed the men to go down? A: It just depends. Upon certain conditions I would. Q: Was this mine in good working order? A: Very good. Exceptionally good that day. Q: Now you have not told us your view as to where the explosion started? A: I have no doubt that it started in No. 6 branch stall. Q: At the head of the branch off No. 6? A: Yes.
BC Archives GR-0431 Box 6 File 3
BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL. Inquisitions/inquests conducted by coroners in British Columbia.