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1882/17 Ah Ton, assault, on CPR railroad construction crew

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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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

BC Archives G-0419

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he intended to deliver a blow at the complainant.

The complainant wrenched the shovel out of his hand to avoid the blow, they both fell on the ground, when the prisoner Ah Low suddenly reached out and struck the complainant with all his force a tremendous blow on the left arm. The complainant got upon his feet and tried to separate himself from the crowd. I then got down from the car and kept them back as well as I could. The prisoner made use of his own language to the rest of the Chinese to kill the European.

Question Did you see me strike the man with a shovel.

Answer I did.

Question by the court

Do you speak their language Yes I do

BC Archives GR-0419 Box 24 File 1882/17 / BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL. / Attorney General documents.

Thomas Cole

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