1880/20 Ah Jim, non-payment of School Tax*
As part of the Chinese Historical Wrongs Legacy Initiative, the BC Archives has digitized a selection of documents related to criminal prosecutions against the Chinese community from 1866 to 1914, found in GR-0419. These are mainly records created as part of the preliminary hearing held before a judge in order to determine whether there was sufficient evidence to proceed to trial. There are often lengthy witness statements, and cross examinations by both prosecution and defense lawyers. The eventual verdict is sometimes recorded on the outside of the docket. They offer a fascinating glimpse into 19th and early 20th century criminal activity around the province, and ways in which the Chinese community was stereotyped. The records offered for transcription here are a small selection; for additional digitized material from GR-0419 click here.
*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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. In addition, GR-0419 records deal with subjects such as assault, murder and abuse, which may upset some readers. 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.
*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.
The " School Tax Act, 1876," as amended *by Acts of 1878, 1879. and 1880, compiled for the information of Collectors. TREASURY DEPARTMENT, VICTORIA, May 15, 1880. WHEREAS it is expedient to provide for the maintenance of Public Schools: Therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of British Columbia, enacts as follows: — Act 187(1, sec. I . For the purposes of this Act, the Province of British Columbia shall be divided into School Tax Districts, the names and boundaries of which shall be the same as the Electoral Districts mentioned in the "Constitution Act, 1871," and Schedule thereunto annexed and amendments thereto existing or hereafter made. Every male person above eighteen years of age resident in any district aforesaid, shall pay onto the use of Her Majesty, Her heirs and successors, an annual tax of three dollars. Act 1876, sec. 3. Tho Lieutenant-Governor in Council shall from time to time appoint one or more persons to act, during pleasure, as Collector or Collectors in each School Tax District created under the provisions of this Act, or any portion thereof, and may require from such person or persons such security as he may think fit. Act 1873, chap. 16, sec. 1. Section 4 of tho "School Tax Act, 1876," is hereby repealed, and in lieu thereof tho following shall be read:— "Every merchant, farmer, trader, or employer of labour shall pay the annual tax of three dollars as the same becomes due by any person or parties in their or his employment, and may deduct the amount so paid on account of such person from the amount of salary or wages due or to become due to him from such employer, upon production and delivery of the receipt thereupon to such person. Every such merchant, farmer, trader, or employer of labour shall furnish to tho Collector, when requested by him so to do, from time to time, a list of all persons in his employ, or indirectly employed by him, liable to pay the said tax; but no such statement shall bind the Collector, nor shall excuse him from making due enquiry to ascertain its correctness." Act 1878, chap. 16, see. 2. In case any person fails to pay the said tax for his employes or deliver to the Collector the list mentioned in tho preceding section, when required so to do, or knowingly states anything falsely therein, such person shall, on complaint of the Collector and upon conviction before a Justice of the Peace having jurisdiction within the district wherein tho merchant, trader, or employer of labour carries on his business, forfeit and pay a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars, to be recovered by distress of tho goods and chattels of the see* BC Archives GR-0419 Box 19 File 1880/20 BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL. Attorney General documents.