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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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.
and we distrain parts thereof there used as a shop by the plaintiff in their trade and business of merchants and which said gods and chattels [?] stock in trade of the plaintiff in the way of their [?] and of great value to wit $500.- and converted and [?] this to the owner uses to wit under under of also and unfounded claim that the defendant was then entitled to [?] and take [?] of the paid goods to [?] their alleged to the due [?] the plaintiff to her Majesty by virtue of the Chinese Tax Act 1878 by means whereof and of the premises the plaintiff was greatly annoyed for [?] injured and disturbed in carrying and conducting his trade and business and prevented and deprived of the gains and profits which otherwisw might and would have accrued to them and the plaintiff claim $500