Wong Kong Ying 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.
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68 cheques, I will get the cheques. Juryman. We came her to determine who is responsible this beri beri. The evidence seems to have been contradictory right through. One man says one thing and the other denies it. As far as a case of negligence on anybody's part we have no proof, simply a lot a statements. Mr. Leighton. Of course you don't have to try to find any specific negligence against anybody. The fault would appear to me to be people living in a remote, difficult place, were kept far too much from hand to mouth. The men were put, apparently in more or less impossible position, not a single one has been able to make any money; according to Mr. Colquhoun; and they have lived simply on such supplies as were sent, apparently glad to get anything. No provision was made for the possibility of a shipment miscarrying, although men were put in a place where it was impossible for them to get supplies and if they had no money with which to buy it. They were allowed to go there to work, a hand to mouth existence; A shipment miscarries and they are face to face with starvation, and somebody is responsible for a very unsatisfactory state of affairs. It may be the shipment was intercepted at Camp No.1 and did not reach Camp No. 2, but even at that the men's supplies cost about 20 c (twenty cents) a day per man, and that includes coal oil, matches, tobacco and all kinds of things not for food. - Pretty near half in food, Not much over ten cents or cents a day for food. When Mr. Colquhoun was examined and wared by Corporal Dunbar he gets righteously indignant and angry, as he did today, and claims he is doing everything he can to help these men. Yet on the 18th October complaints are made by the Police to the Departments of Labour and resulted in the matter being taken up forcibly,with Colquhoun. The only result, he got ride of the white men and got a gang of Chinese. Poor beggars, no speaking our language and it seems to me they were taken advantage of in an outrageous way, and I suppose these men down there were incapable of making their food. They were ordinary workmen, no
62. BC Archives GR-0431 Box 13 File 6 BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL. Inquisitions/inquests conducted by coroners in British Columbia.