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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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.
WILLIAM MCRAE: under oath saith:- (Direct examination by Farris.J 251.Q. You were on this raid on the 17th? A. Yes. 232.Q. Did you find any money? A. Yes; $5.50 on one of these tables in the gambling room. $5.50 put in evidence as Ex J. ,1 233. Q Do you know anything about this game of fantan? A. No, not at all. Cross examination by Russell. 234.Q You found some money on which table and in what room? A- Table 9 in room 3. 235.Q. You found £5.50 in silver? A. Yes. Re-direct by Farris: 236.Q. I believe there was one Chinaman brought back upstairs and there was something about a cap that officer Jackson placed on his head? A Yes. 237.Q. You might tell us what it was? A. I know what it was, but I did not see how it happened. McDade was there. (Russell) I will admit that one of these men were upstairs. 238.Q. Which man? A.(Rurssell) The tall man (Sing). BC Archives GR-0419 BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL. Box 106 File 1905/9 Attorney General documents.