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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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.
SOON CHING under oath says:- (direct exam, by Russell.) 239.Q. What is your business, what do you do? A. Kwong Tai Lung and Co. 240, Q. What do you do for them—are you a member of the firm? A. Manager of the firm. 241.Q. How long have you been manager of that company? A. About one year. 242.Q. What is their business? A. Chinese grocers. 243.Q. About what stock of goods do they carry, what value? A. All Chinese goods. 244.Q. What is it worth? A. Four or five thousand dollars. 245.Q. You are a member of the Vancouver Chinese Club? A. Yes. 246.Q. Are you one of the members that sent your name to get the club incorporated? A. Yes. 247.Q,. Can you read any in English? A. I can read my name. 248.Q. Can you read that? (presents Gazette) A. Not very much. B.C. Gazette put in evidence as Ex. K . 249.Q. About when was the club incorporated—about what time did the lawyers tell you it was incorporated? A. I don't renumber the date. 250.Q. Did the trustees hold a meeting when they were told that the club was incorporated? A Yes. 251.Q. Who was appointed chairman of that meeting? A. I don't understand. 252.Q. Who was made chairman of that meeting—who was made president of the club? A. I don't understand you. W.A.Cumyow sworn as interpreter. 253 Q Who are the trustees of that club? A. The names of the trustees are in a book. 254.Q. Were you present at the first meeting of the trustees? A. I was. 255.Q. Who was appointed secretary? A.I was. Attorney General documents.