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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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.
By Mr. Pooley:- What were the shots charged with? A: Giant powder. Q: You went up to the head of No. 6 shortly before you left that evening? A: Yes. Q: What time was that? A: Probably about five or ten minutes to five o'clock. Q: Was everything in a safe condition when you left? A: In quite safe condition. I stopped about ten minutes in that place. Q: Where did you go then? A: To the north side. Q: And you returned about the time of the explosion? A: Yes. Q: What happened? A: I was knocked over. Q: Not otherwise injured? A: No. Q: In this No. 6 heading, which you had seen clear at ten minutes to five, you found a big "squeeze"? A: Yes. Q: Any gas there? A: Yes; couldn't get into it for gas. Q: And you have stated your belief that it was there the explosion originated? A: Yes, by the appearance of the timbers both sides. By a Juror:- Did you fire any shots in No. 6 place A: Didn't have any shots in it; dug all the coal with a pick. Mr. Hall:- Was there anything in the work which you were doing when you were there last to cause a body of gas to rapidly form in the roof? A: No. Q: What was the last place you fired a shot? A: No. 3. Q: How far was that from the scene of the explosion? A: About 50 yards, I guess or 60. Q: You remember the Chinamen who you think were in the place where the explosion originated? A: Yes. Q: Do you know their names? A: No. Q: They were both killed? A: Yes. Q: How far was that man with the naked light from the place where you fired the last shot? How near did his duty bring him to that place? A: He was about 60 yards from the faces. Q: Is that the nearest at any time that he would be? A: To any of the faces. Q: According to the Rules would that be in the prohibited area? A: You see there is a certain quantity of air comes into that level. Q: But was that light carried in the mine in that area in which the air flows in that district? A: That was in that district. Q: You are acquainted with these rules? A: Yes. Q: How is it that you allowed a man there with a naked light? A: That light was not in the return airway. I said it was in that district, but it was not in the return airway. Q: Are you sure that both the miner and the helper understood what you said to them? A: Yes, perfectly. Q: Do you know the names of both these men? A: No, I don't know one of their names. Q: Will you swear to that, that both the miner and helper knew and understood what you told them? A: Yes, sir.
BC Archives GR-0431 Box 6 File 3
BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL. Inquisitions/inquests conducted by coroners in British Columbia.