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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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.
271.Q. These have the names of the members? A.Yes. 272.Q. How many men have signed that? A. About one hundred and fifty or two hundred. 273.Q. Did you see them or most of them, sign it? A. Yes. 274.Q. The night of the raid, were you upstairs when the officers first came there? A I was not. 275. Q Do you know who were upstairs? A There were a few there. 276.Q. Do you know who they were? A. Two men over there that I think were there (points out two man in the audience). 277.Q. Had you been up before the police came? A. No. 273.Q. Is there a caretaker provided for the club? A. Yes. 279.Q. Was he caretaker up there? A- Yes . 280.Q. Have you ever seen any playing with cards, or dice, or dominos, or fantan appliances up there? A- I think they were playing cards, 281.4. You have seen them playing cards up there before at other times? A. Yes. 282.Q Does the club, or do you, get any gain from the games that you have seen played up there that night, or any other night? A. No. 283.Q. How are the games run:on behalf of the club, or among the members themselves? A. Just for the recreation of the members. 284.Q. Is there a banker in any one of the games that has ever been played up there in that club? A. No, each man plays his turn. 285. Q Have you seen fantan played there? A. Yes. 2S6.Q. How many have you seen playing fantan there together, any night? A. Two or three. 287.Q .Have you ever seen fantan played up there? A. Not that night. 288.Q. Did you ever see a game of fantan played any place on the club premises? A.Yes. 289.Q. How many men took part in the game which you say you saw on the club premises? A. Two or three. BC Archives GR-0419 BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL. Box 106 File 1905/9 Attorney General documents.