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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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

COURT: Supposing Mr. Cowan a man struck another man, hit him, and this man said “I saw the blow by a man who looks like that man” and another man comes along and said “I saw the blow, saw the man who did…” Take note of Mr. Cowan’s objection. At the present time I am going to allow it.

24. Q. You say you saw a man with a weapon in his hand, an axe?

A. Yes.

25. Q. And another one with a hammer?

A. Yes.

26. Q. Did you see that axe used?

A. Yes.

27. Q. On whom? A. Oh well I don’t know the name. He is outside. MR. RUSSELL: Well Wing. Let him step inside the door.

28. Q. Who did you say the axe was used on?

A. On that Chinaman.

MR. RUSSELL: On the Chinaman Wing.

9. Q. To what extent was it used, how was it used?

A. Stuck over the nose.

30. Q. He was struck over the nose?

A. Yes.

1. Q. What part if any did you take in the matter? A. I helped one of the Chinaman to take the axe away from the Chinaman who struck the blow.

2. Q. When did you interfere after the blow was received or while it was being administered? A. After the blow was received.

3. Q. How would you regard this axe, as a plaything or a deadly weapon? A. A deadly weapon.

4. Q. How was the blow administered, playfully or otherwise? A. Pretty heavy blow. I believe it would have killed the Chinaman only for another Chinaman catching the axe and stopping the blow. Apparently stopping the blow.

5. Q. You say it would have killed Wing if it had not been for the other Chinaman who assisted you in taking the weapon away? A. Yes.

6. Q. What happened to the Chinaman from whom you took the axe? A. The one that helped me take the axe?

7. Q. No, the one from whom you took the axe? A. He ran up the stairs of 556 ½.

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

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