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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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.
to the kitchen, do men sleep on the premises? A. Yes.
359.Q. How do they go to sleep on the premises, are there rooms to let? A. Yes; they have one room.
360.Q. To let? A. Yes.
361.Q. Do they smoke opium there? A. No opium smoking permitted.
362.Q. Do they do it? A . . I don't know.
363.Q. Were they smoking that night? A. No; I did not see any; I was not up there that day.
364.Q. Did you open up the door for the officers? A. The policemen broke in the door.
365.Q. Did you not open the door for them? A. I have abed room up there. They were hammering away at the door and I went up and told them that it was my room and I opened it for them.
366.Q. What is it? A. It is my sleeping room.
367.Q. Where is the office of the club? A. We have no office, all the books are down in the store.
368.Q. Were you to be very careful that they were to play for recreation only? A. Yes; they went up there for recreation only.