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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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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. 

BC Archives G-0419

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A. Yes. 182.Q If we were playing together? A Yes. 183,Q. If we were to take in police court prosecutor Farris to play would not the advantage be equal to all three of us? A. Yes. j 184. Q If I was banker and we were simply playing a square game between the three of us and I would manipulate the implements for ten minutes and Mr. Farris would take it for the second ten minutes and you would have them the next ten minutes, the chances would be all alike? A. If we agreed to play that way. 185.Q. There is no reason why we should not agree to play fair? A. No. 186. Q. If we were members of the club that is the way we should play.? A. I don't know.I am not a member of the club. 187.Q. As a man of the world, is not that the way you would play ? Would you not play fair? A. The only game that I ever play is whist, and I know I play my best to beat my opponents. 188.Q You have no advantage over any whist game? A. No, but whist is not fan tan. 189. Q. Would there be any advantage to anyone in a game of fantan if the players intended to play fairly among themselves? A. If they intended to play fair and turn the deal round, but not many Chinaman do that. 190.Q. You have had no experience among the Chinese privately? A. No. 191. Q. You have had no experience among members of a Cbinesa club? A No 192.Q. You don't know what rules would govern a fantan game played in a private residence? A. No. 193.Q. Or played in a club? A. No. 194.Q. Your evidence as you have given with regard to fantan is as the gambling game is played in gambling rooms? A. Yes. 195.Q. You know the firm of Kwong Tai Lung and Company? A- No. 196.Q. Don't you know the place of business carried on under these club rooms? A. I know the place, but I don't know the people. 197.Q. How long have you known the accused? Don't you know him to be the manager of Kwong Tai Lung and Company? A No; I have BC Archives GR-0419 Box 106 File 1905/9 BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL. Attorney General documents.

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