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.
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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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.
Walter Wilson, miner. Sworn:- By Mr. Potts:- Did you assist at the rescue of the miners in No. 6 on night of July 15th? A: Yes. Q: What time? A: I could hardly state as to that. It was in the evening sometime anyway. Q: How far were you able to go into the mine? A: Right up in the faces. Q: Were you in the Second South Level? A: I was. Q: What was the condition of that level when you were there? A: There was some coal left on the road, some car turned up there, as far as I can remember. But I was right up at the face. Q: Were you up as far as the cave? A: Not at that time, no. Q: On the same day were you up where the cave was? A: I was right up in the face of the level. Q: What was the condition of that portion? A: Pretty good. Q: Did you notice and marked quantity of gas? A: Yes, I saw a pretty good lot of gas in there. Q: Did you make any search in the Second South Level for anything? A: Yes, I went through the faces. Q: Did you find anything that was a source of danger? A: I didn't see any power? Q: Did you see any pit lamps? A: No. Q: Any explosives, such as gun powder? A: No. Q: Matches? A: Didn't see any. Q: Did you see anything there that was a source of danger, contrary to the rules to be there? A: Not at that time. This was the second time I was down there in my life. Q: In what condition was the ventilation? A: Well, I never saw better air in a mine in my life than there was down there at that time. Q: Did you find any open safety lamps, or any lamps at all? A: No, I did not. Q: Were you able to form an opinion as to the cause of the explosion at all? A: No, I couldn't do that.
Taken upon oath and acknowledged this 14 day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and three, before me,
BC Archives GR-0431 Box 6 File 3
BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL. Inquisitions/inquests conducted by coroners in British Columbia.