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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69 suggestion as to the laziness or useless. Colquhoun wants us to understand they didn't even earn the price of their food.
Coroner.- In the first place, I want to remind you of your Oath. You are here to find out where, when how and in what circumstances these men died; The dates you have already got. It is pretty well shown to you by medical testimony that beri beri deaths are caused by lack of proper food containing Vitamin B 1. The Provincial Police have gone to all kinds of trouble to find out the exact circumstances between the camps and the operation. How anybody can go to work and hand out a contract like the one we have seen I don't know. As far as I am concerned I think it is a rotten contract; not a chance in the world for the men to get anything. How I don't know, but there is either something radically wrong with Colquhound and his outfit, simply a money making scheme and to the devil with the other fellow, or perhaps there has been some friction. It is pretty hard to understand. It might be up there that the trouble was. You will have to find out. I really think sometimes that King Faun, Camp No. 1 had it in for the other fellow. Chinamen sometimes employ all kinds of subtle means to gain their own ends. At the same time I don't think if they had paid their debts promptly that the Chinese merchants would have delayed sending their goods; seem very delinquent in that quarter. That is about all I can say. It is up to you, no sentiment, simply find out where, when, how and by what means these men came to their death.
Foreman of Jurymen. Everything we have so far been very indefinite; there is no proof of payments and it seems to be a denial from one side to the other regarding these statements. It is very hard to know who to blame. That doesn't satisfy me as all we should do. Mr. Leighton. You have every opportunity of bringing in an open verdict. It isn't necessary to pin the blame of these men's deaths on to any individual. It isn't altogether necessary to blame Colquhoun, or the Chinamen, or the fellow in Vancouver for not sending that stuff. You might
BC Archives GR-0431 Box 13 File 6 BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL Inquisitions/inquests conducted by coroners in British Columbia.