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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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.
290.Q. Any (of) the games which you saw, were the chances alike favorable to all the players, or did one player have an advantage over the other? A. Equal chances. 291.Q Do you remember having a conversation with the officers that night? A. I do. 292.Q. What information did you give the officers in connexion with the club? A. The officers asked me what my occupation was and I said I was manager of the lower store. 293.Q Did you give the name of the lower store? A- I said "Kwong Tai Lung." Cross exam by Farris. 294.Q. What is the limit when they play fantan? A. A few cents. 295.Q. Did'nt you tell Sergeant Mulhern that they played for 25c? A. The limit is 25c for drinks. 296.Q. What do you mean by that? A.For liquor and wine. 297.Q. Was all that money that was found going to be used for buying wine? A. Where was the money? 298 Q. There was some four or five dollars on the table. A. I don't know where it was found. 299.Q. How often do they buy drinks when they are playing fan-tan? A- Occasionally. 300 Q.What do they do with the rest of the money? A. What money? 301.Q. That they were playing with? A. It belongs to the individual. 302.Q. They keep that? A. It must be that. 303.Q How often do they play black-jack up there? A. They have it once or twice a week, when merchants come up there more for recreation than anything else. 304.Q. (Court] What do they do with the balance of the time, if the most of the time is for recreation? A. Nothing else; they read newspapers and talk to one another. 305.Q. How many play black-Jack at a time? A. Just a few. 306.Q. Don't you know that 4 or 5 play there at a time? BC Archives GR-0419 Box 106 File 1905/9 BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL. Attorney General documents.