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1878/26 Tai Chong et al. vs. Maguire – non-payment of head tax due under Chinese Tax Act of 1878

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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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

Tai Choughton Plaintiff vs John Maquire defendant Upon hearing Mr Robertson and Mr Drake both of counsel for the the plaintiff and upon hearing the Hon. Geo A Walker Attorney General and Mr Harrison of counsel for the defendant and upon reading [?]made herein on the 23td day of September last and the affidavit of S P Mills of the service of the said notice and order refiled 24th September 1878 the writ of summons [?] herein on the 20th Sept 1878 and the affidavit of P Mills of the service thereof filed on the 20th September 1878 and the affidavit of John Maquire filed the 27th September 1878 I do [?] the defendant John Maquire guilty of a contempt in law and I do order that for such contempt he do [?] and pay the sum of $40 and that he be detained in custody until such fine be paid . I do further order that Mr Harrison of counsel for the said defendant do pay into Court the sum nine hundred and fifty dollars the value of the goods seized by the said defendant John Maquire in accordance with the terms of the personal undertaking herein given on the 24th day of September 1878 such said sum of $950 to be dealt with by the further order of this Court.

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