1895/39 Regina vs. Lee Heng Yum – gaming, Victoria (good description of Fan Tan Alley)
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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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.
DEPOSITION OF WITNESSES.
Canada, Province of British Columbia, City of Victoria.
The Depositions of Wong Hock Nye, of the City of Victoria aforesaid, Fisguard Street, taken before the under-signed Police Magistrate in and for the said City this 12th day of December in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and ninety-four, at the City of Victoria aforesaid, in the presence and hearing of Lee Heng Yum who stands charged before me for that, etc., etc. (see original infomration).
The deponent, WONG HOCK NYE, on his oath says as follows: my proper name is Hock Nye; I live at Fisguard Street, back of the Ah Sees barber shop; I am a laborer I know Lee Heng Yum; I know 43 Fisguard Street, I was there on Wednesday the 28th November, from the street there is a door to a passage, which enters into a tan room; I went there in the afternoon about 1 p.m.; the street door is always open; the second door was open when I got there; I followed the accused into the tan room; several others, tan handlers, had preceded Lee Heng Yum, the accused, into the room; there were 3 tan tables in the room; the accused carried the money bag in with him to the tan table and handed it over to the man who does the work;