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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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.
132 Q He went downstairs afterwards and came up again? A. Yes. He stood in this doorway and something else drew my attention, and when I looked around he was gone, and the next I seen of him was after we had broken the doer going into the bar---and where he had been in the meantime I could not say. 133.Q. You heard his admission to officer Fulton, he made the one admission to both of you about managing the club? A. I don't know if Fulton talked to him in the room there or not, and I am not prepared to swear to it. 134.Q. There is no question that he said he was manager for Kwong Tai Lung? A. He told me that in his bed room, which is apparently the office of the club--in fact he said it was the office of the club. 135.Q. That was before he was arrested or before the question of his arrest was mentioned? A. I intended to a arrest him. 136.Q. You had not told him that he was under arrest then? A. No. 137.Q. It was after that that you told one of the officers to bring him along? A. I did not tell anybody. Sergeant Fulton was conducting the raid. 138 Q. He told them to bring him along? A. I can't say. 339.Q. You might have said that? A. I thought he was to be brought along. I thought in order to keep the matter up we should bring him along, and I might have said that. 140.Q. You did not see anything there to implicate the accused in proceeding in any gambling? A- No. 141.Q Other than being manager of the premises? Personally you did not see any gambling going on? A. No. 142.Q. The only person that you seen there in the early stage of the raid was the accused himself. He was the first Chinaman you say? A. He was the first Chinaman I saw in the premises upstairs with the exception of those in room 5, because I saw them previous to seeing him. 143.Q How long had you been on the premises before you seen him? A. Probably 3 or 4 minutes in all; that would include the time downstairs. BC Archives GR-0419 Box 106 File 1905/9 BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL. Attorney General documents.