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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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: Could you get in all the way? A: I just got outside the curtain and after I got on my feet I started back to go in when I met the driver coming out with his mule. Q: Was the driver a chimaman? A: Yes. Q: Had he a light with him? A: No, he was in the dark. Q: Was he provided with a safety lamp? A: No, he had an open lamp. Q: He came out from the direction of where the explosion occurred? A: He came right up the level. Q: You acted as shot lighter as well? A: Yes. Q: How long before the explosion had you fired a shot in that locality? A: About an hour and three quarters prior to the explosion. Q: Have you made any examination since the explosion? A: Yes. Q: Have you found anything in the mines which is contrary to the rules to be there, of a dangerous nature, in the second south level? A: No, sir; I seen that lamp "B". Q: Whereabouts was that? A: In No. 5 stall. Q: In what condition was it? A: Just as it is now. Q: There was no top to it? A: No the top was there. Q: What date was that? A: I couldn't be positive; it would be two days after the explosion, I guess. Q: Do you know who exhibit "B" belonged to? A: No. Q: Could you say whether it belonged to one of the miners that were working on the 15th? A: No, I couldn't possibly say who it belonged to. Q: Did you see the lamp the first time you went in after the explosion? A: No, you couldn't see anything then. Q: Did you search for any lamps? or anything immediately after the explosion? A: No. Q: Did you make any examination immediately after the explosion? A: Yes, I went right in 15 or 20 yards from the face of the level. Q: Are you able to from any opinion as to where the explosion occurred? A: I think the explosion occurred in No. 6 branch, off No. 6 stall. Q: Were there any safety lamps found in No. 6 stall? A: Yes, lamp "C". Q: In the condition that it in in now? A: That was under the cave. Q: That was found by the side of a chinaman? A: I don't know. We got the lamp but I don't know where the chinaman was found. Q: Did you find any matches or anything there? A: No. Q: Tobacco or cigarettes? A: Yes, I seen box of cigarettes beside that light. Q: Do you know to whom they belonged? A: No. Q: When did you first find them? A: I seen the lamp two days after. Q: Were they in the stall of any miner that was working? A: Yes. Q: Did you know the miner that was working? A: Yes. Q: Did you know the minder that was working there? A: Yes, but I don't know his name.
BC Archives GR-0431 Box 6 File 3
BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL. Inquisitions/inquests conducted by coroners in British Columbia.