1905/9 Rex vs. Soon Ching – keeping a gaming house (Vancouver)
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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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.
Despositions. KEELER FULTON under oath says: - 1.Q. You are sergeant of the police? A. Yes sir? 2.Q. Did you visit the premises No. 43, Dupont street? A. I did. 3. Q. Did you have a warrant?A. I did. (Witness produces warrant)
Warrant put in evidence as Ex. A.
4. Q. What did you do under that warrant? A. I entered the premises at 43 Dupont street and brought this paraphernalia up to the station, this stuff you see here, along with either people. 5. Q. How did you enter the place? A. I went to the door and it was locked and I broke the door. 6. Q. Where did you go after you broke the door? A. We went through the front door and broke another door. 7. Q. What are these premises? A. This is a club. 8. Q. Have you a plan of it here? A. Yes (presents plan.).
Plan put in evidence as Ex. B.
9.Q. How many doors did you break in all? A. Two. 10. Q. What did you find in room No. 3? A. We found this stuff and money, but I can't swear to the money as I went right through. 11. Q. Where was this stuff on the floor or on the tables? / A. Every place. 12.Q. What is this stuff, do you know? A. That is a fantan gambling paraphernalia. 13.Q. What are these tickets (presents small tickets)? A. I can't read Chinese. 14. Q. You did not see this money? A. I seen it as I was going xxxx through the room. 15. Did you see these chips? A. Yes.