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1914/195 Rex vs. Lem How – attempted murder

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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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. 

BC Archives G-0419

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6. Q. You had lunch whereabouts? Down Carral Street. Carral Street yards.

7. Q. About what time would you conclude your lunch? A. About twenty after twelve.

8. Q. Now will you relate to His Worship what happened, what you observed of what took place after you had concluded your lunch on that day. Just tell your own story in your own way. A. Well after lunch we sat down having the usual chat when one of the boys came in and said there was a row in Chinatown. So we all went out to see what was going on. While we were out there we saw…

9. Q. An ordinary row? A. Yes.

10. Q. Whereabouts? A. Well, I don’t know what the name of the store is. If you get the pictures here again I could show you on the pictures.

11. Q. It was in Shanghai Alley? A. Just about two or three or four stores up.

12. Q. From the south east? A. From Woods Vallence & Leggatt.

13. Q. In front of a Chinese store there? A. Yes.

14. Q. Do you remember the numbers of any of the stores? A. I just remember one number.

15. Q. What was that. A. 566 1/2 . That is the Alley – the end place there.

16. Q. That is the entrance to the upstairs rooms? A. Yes.

17. Q. How many doors away from that was it this row was taking place? A. It would be two or three doors.

18. Q. Two or three doors north? A. Yes.

19. Q. There was a row taking place there among the Chinamen? A. Yes.

20. Q. Did you see who were engaged in the front row? A. I saw quite a bunch of Chinamen.

21. Q. Did you see the accused in that row? A. I could not swear to him at all. I saw someone like him but I couldn’t swear to him.

22. Q. The chinaman resembled the accused, we will say. Was he armed? A. Yes.

BC Archives GR-0419 Box 193 File 1914/195 / BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL. / Attorney General documents.

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