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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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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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57. Q. Was he knocked down before you got there or after? A. Before I got there, oh it must have been after I got there. There was just a row when I got there, the fight was with sticks as I got there.

8. Q. It must have been after you got there that he was knocked down? A. Yes.

9. Q. So that you kept your position in front of 556 ½? A. Yes . 60. Q. And that was your position when you caught the man with the axe? A. Yes.

1. Q. He had come front the North? A. Yes.

2. Q. You saw him meeting you, you were looking towards him? A. Yes.

3. Q. And he had come from the North? A. Yes.

4. Q. So that it wasn’t any man that came from 556 ½? A. No, not just then, he didn’t come down then, no not at that time.

5. Q. And if the accused had come down from 556 1/2. The restaurant there and gone North then it wasn’t the accused that had the axe? A.

MR. RUSSELL: That is argumentative. It is not a proper question. COURT: What is that again?

MR. COWAN: The witness has said that the man that had the axe came from the North towards him.

COURT: Is that right witness? A. Yes.

MR. COWAN: And that he did not come from this restaurant 556 ½ COURT: Is that correct? A. Yes.

MR. COWAN: So that my next question is: could it be, if the accused came down this stairway of 556 ½ could it be him that had the axe. could it? A. No, not if he came down.

MR. RUSSELL: That man could have come down from 556 ½ a few moments before, gone along the came back again South and met this man.

WITNESS: I didn’t see him come down there at all. I didn’t see him come from 556 ½. I saw him go up there, but I didn’t.

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

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