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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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: Was he a chinaman? A: A chinaman. Q: Have you any reason to give the Jury why you think that explosion occurred in No. 6? A: By the indications of the timbers. By the inside of No. 6 where the cogs were blown in the way and on the outside they were blown out of the way. Q: Did you see the chinaman that was taken from under the cave in? A: No, I came out at three o'clock that day. Q: Can you give it as your opinion that the explosion occurred before or after the cave in? A: Well I don't know; I couldn't state that. Q: What course did you adopt to dispel the gas in the second south level when you found gas there? A: Well, I made the Chinaman fill up the hole. Q: What was the condition of the air course in the second south level? A: Exceptionally good. Q: Was the ventilation adequate for the miners? A: Yes. Q: How many Chinese were working on your shift that day? A: There were 21 on the 2nd. south level. Q: Were those Chinese competent miners; those who held miners' certificates? A: Yes, I guess they were; they generally did what they were told. Q: Were they able to understand all the orders you gave them? A: Yes, sir. Q: Do you think they were sufficiently conversant with the coal mine's Regulation Act and the Special Rules to render their employment as miners safe? A: I don't know. Q: Would you think they were? Do you consider the Chinese miners were sufficiently conversant with the English language, and the Rules, to render their employment safe? A: Yes, I consider they were safe. Q: Have you detected them at any time smoking? A: Yes. Q: Lighting matches? A: No. Q: How did they get the light for their pipes, or cigarettes, which was it? A: Cigarette. Q: Had you seen any Chinese smoking on the 15th? A: No, sir. Q: When was the last occasion that you saw any Chinese smoking in the mine? A: About 2 days before. Q: What did you do? A: I sent them home. Q: Was he working again on the 15th? A: No, sir; he never came back? Q: That is the course you adopt? A: Yes. Q: How did they light their cigarettes? A: I never caught them lighting any. By Mr. Morgan:- Did you examine all the lamps that afternoon? A: Mr. King examined them. Q: Did you examine all these shots before they were fired? A: I fired all the shots. Q: How many? A: Five. Q: And you examined them before you fired them? A: Yes.
BC Archives GR-0431 Box 6 File 3
BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL. Inquisitions/inquests conducted by coroners in British Columbia.