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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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.
evening and want to get in, do they all have keys? A. There is the caretaker there and a member has to knock at the door before he is admitted and he can't get in unless he is a member. 321.Q. What are you frightened of that you keep the door locked? A. It is for the purpose of the Members only and outsiders are not admitted. 322.Q. Why do you have this trap door that is at the back fastened down with the hooks? A. Where? 323.Q. At the back of the kitchen that they tried to close down going downstairs? A. That is a private entrance of Sang Lung, and he had it cut a long time ago. 324.Q Why was it open that night? A. It is always open. 325.Q. What for? A. They have a lavatory there and they come up from below and that has been there since they put the building up. 326.Q Is the lavatory down below that(that) they all use? A. There is a very clean lavatory above. 327.Q. They don't need to go down below into that store? A. That door is for the purpose of those below. 328.Q. For the use of those below? Why do you keep the front door locked and not this door locked? A. That must be kept opened because the men, they have to come up. 32 Q. What for? A. To the lavatory. 330.Q. You say the lavatory is upstairs? A. It is on the upper floor. 331 Q You don't need to go downstairs to go to the lavatory? A. They come in from below. 332.Q. Who are they? A. The men in the store. 333.Q Do they provide a private entrance for the man in the store? A. It is only those directly inside the store. 334.Q. They come up there? A.Yes. 335.Q Is the store running this club? A. No; but they are the landlords. 336.Q. Why do they have a private entrance to this place when it is rented? A. They have to use the closet. 337.Q. There is none down on the lower floor? A. They have one BC Archives GR-0419 Box 106 File 1905/9 BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL. Attorney General documents.