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John Marshall et al

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. 

BC Archives GR-0431

*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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.

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of sickness of chronic condition throughout. Cutting into the lung tissue air comes out, no more water than normal. I placed them in a pan of water and they floated perfectly. The pleural sack surround the lungs was normal and it had a normal amount of fluid. I examined the stomach. I could find no evidence to show death from drink or drinks, was nothing abnormal. I took the stomach out and only found a normal amount of stomach contents. I could not make out any sea water in the stomach; if there was any, it must have been very little. In considering Mr Smith's case, the question came up as to whether death might have been before the accident, or whether it had been a case of drowning. The only thing which pointed to any cause of death before the accident was the slight enlargement and the slight softening of the heart. I could find no other evidence. The only thing pointing to any other death aside from drowning was the lack of water in the lungs and the stomach and yet it is more marked in cases where a person is completely submerged and never comes to the top. I therefore feel I would have to give the cause of his death from drowning.

Mr Beck; - This gooseflesh on the body?

A; - It is a very common thing in persons having died from drowning this goose flesh follows. It will also come if you place your hand in water for any length of time.

Coroner; - Have the jury any questions to ask?

Mr Ladner; - Did you find any evidence of bruising or anything on his hand, his head, his face?

A; - No.

Q; - What I mean by that is is that bruise from the fall, would that cause any serious injury?

A; - They were entirely slight bruises.

Q; - You examined the hands at all?

A; - Yes.

Q; - Were they stiff?

A; - Yes.

Q; - They were?

A; - Yes.

BC Archives, GR-0431 Box 10 File 4 / BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL/ Inquisitions/inquests conducted by coroners in British Columbia.

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