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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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.
Province of British Columbia,
City of Victoria.
The Depositions of Ah Wah, of the City of Victoria afore said, taken before the undersigned Police Magistrate in and for the said City this 19th day of December in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and ninety-four, as the City of Victoria aforesaid, in the presence and hearing of Lee Heng Yum, who stands charged, etc., etc. (see original Information).
The Deponent, AH WAH, on his oath says as follows:
I live at Yick Lum, Fisguard Street; I am a peddler out of work; I know the accused; have known him for several years; I know No. 43 Fidguard Street; it is a tan house; I have been there several times; I was there last on a Wednesday about the 28th or 29th of November last; I have myself been served with a summon for gambling; I was served on Saturday the 1st inst.; the Wednesday I was in the tan house was the Wednesday before I was served; I was in the house a little after one o'clock p.m.; I saw the accused there; he brought in the money bags and distributed them around the three tables, then sat down and handled the tan; I have worked in gambling houses and I know what tan is; the boss generally brings in the money sacks. (Mr. Crease objects). There were about 10 people at accused's