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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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.
Chinamen and I went down, and when I got to the foot of the stairs I picked up some money. 98.Q. Was it this money (presents $21.)? A. Yes. I noticed that one of the Chinamen which officer McDade had was standing at the counter and he seemed as if he did not want to move away when I seen a piece of silver under his feet, so I went over and picked it up. 99.Q. Is this the silver? A. Yes. Just as I picked up this money Sergt. Butler came along and he picked up a ten dollar bill. 100.Q. This is the ten dollar bill? A. Yes. (Billpresented.)
Bills picked up at the foot of the stairs marked Ex.G. Silver marked Ex. H. Ten dollar bill marked Ex. I (See [?] Q 170)
101.Q. What else? A. It looked as if the fellow must have fallen at the foot of the stairs. I then went back upstairs and we went from room three out to the passage, and from there into room 4, and there was a lot of this Chinese money (Ex. [?]) scattered around and right about the heard of the stairs there were a lot of sweeping and they had apparently threw the bunch into the sweepings so there was a trail of them from the gabling room. 102.Q. Did you see the accused? A. Yes; The accused was there when I got back upstairs. He came into room 3 and remained a minute and went back through room 2 and I lost sight of him then. In searching these other rooms, room six and seven, we came to this door here and it was locked, so was the door here, but it was not in use. We tried that door but we could not get in so we came around to this door and officer McDade or Edwards broke that door in and when we got in there that door between the corridor and room 7 there was a Chinaman standing in the door. At this time the accused came up and said that room 6 was his room and that he was unlock it, which he did. We went into his room and I asked