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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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 Chin Toon of the City of Victoria aforesaid, Laundryman, taken before the undersigned Police Magistrate in and for the said City, this 21st 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, on the 28th day of November at be City of Victoria aforesaid, etc., etc. (see original information).
The Deponent, CHIN TOON, on his oath says as follows: I am a laundryman at 108 Yates Street at Mee Wah's; I have known the accused for 2 or 3 years; I know No. 43 Fisguard Street; I was there last on Wednesday the 28th November last; I saw the accused handling a tan and another man named Gip Quong doing the work there; there were over 10 people around the table; some of them were betting there and some were looking on; the betters were betting with the accused; the accused asked me to make a bet; 4 or 5 months ago, the accused told me as I was passing 43 Fisguard Street that he was fixing it for a gaming house; I asked who is boss, he said "I am." I saw Hock Nye at one side of the table and Ah Wah and several others.