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1880/13 Regina vs. Ah Mow – escape

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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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

(N) See s. 31.

Statement of the Accused.

Canada City of Victoria Province of British Columbia

Ah Mow stands charged before the undersigned, one of Her Majesty's Justices of the Peace, in and for the Province aforesaid this twenty third day of March in the year of Our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Eighty, for that the said Ah Mow on the 23rd day of February 1880, did unlawfully and feloniously escape from the Chain Gang whilst at the School Reserve in the said city.

And the said charge being read to the said Ah Mow and the witnesses for the prosecution, being severally examined in his presence, the said Ah Mow is now addressed by me as follows:

Having heard the evidence, do you wish to say anything in answer to the charge? You are not obliged to say anything unless you desire to do so; but whatever you say will be taken down in writing and may be given in evidence against you at your trial.

Whereupon the said Ah Mow saith as follows:

I was sick in my neck and the Cook told me to go out and told me to go to the Chinese Doctor and get some medicine and the he/the cook said if the medicine cured me, I was to come back, and that if I did not come back the Cook would fetch me back.

Through interpreter Ah Sin

Witness Wm. Leigh

Taken before me, at Victoria, the day and year first above mentioned.

A.F. Pemberton S.M.

BC Archives GR-0419 Box 19 File 1880/13 / BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL. / Attorney General documents.

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