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1893/26 Regina vs. Ghee Gow, Lee Quong, and Wong Ping – burglary and entering, River’s Inlet

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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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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and the other two went in after; Lee Quong went in through the window by taking out a piece of stick which held up the window from the inside; he put his finger through a crack and removed the stick; he used a little stick to do this; this was at about 12 o'clock midnight; Lee Quong opened the back door and let the other prisoners inside ; they then looked for the keys of the safe but could not find them; they then carried the safe outside there was a clothes line outside, and finding a difficulty in carrying out the safe, the cut the clothes line and tied it round the safe and carried the safe out on their shoulders; they used a stick from shoulders from which the safe was slung, and one to steady it; the prisoners carried the safe close to the Indian Rancharee which is about the same distance from the store to the Rancharee as the Court House here is distant from the gaol. The safe was left in the bushes; they got an axe from the front of the Rancharee; Chee Cow got the axe and used it in breaking open the safe; the side was broken open; it was an iron safe; I cannot say if it was a strong one; after the safe was opened I saw Chee Cow, Lee Quong and Wong Ping take three sacks of money from the safe; I was present at the time; I was watching all the time; the prisoners went away In the direction of the mountains carrying the bags or money with them I went home to the China House; this was at about 2 o'clock; it was getting day light; I saw the prisoners again in about half an hour; I asked the three men how much money they got and they said: 'We do not know.' After this we went to breakfast, and after this they gave me ten dollars; Chee Cow gave me ten dollars, Wong Ping give me fifteen dollars, and Lee Quong did not give me anything, I got $25.00 in all given me; BC Archives GR-0419 BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL. Box 49 File 1893/26 Attorney General document..

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