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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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

Called as a witness being first sworn testified as follows :-

COURT: You understand now that you are bound now to tell the truth. Do you understand that? A. Yes.


150 Q What is your business? A. Merchant

1 Q What is your address? 554 Shanghai Street

2 Q What is the name of your firm? A. Man Yick Company

3 Q How long have you been connected with that business? A. About two years.

4 Q Are you manager of the business? A. I am the manager of the business.

5 Q Where were you about noon-time on the 13th of August last? A. The 13th of July.

6 Q Was it July or August? A. July.

MR. RUSSELL: Well I am off in my date. A. On the 13th of July I returned to my store.

7 Q Where from? A. From the Post Office.

8 Q About what time? A. Oh about twelve o’clock. I don’t know the time.

9 Q Between twelve and one? A. Between twelve and one.

60 Q Well did you see anything of a row on Shanghai Street? A. Yes I saw Chow Cum Wing and Chik Fong quarrelling in front of Quan Yick Chong’s store, tailor’s shop

1 Q What is the number? A. 552

2 Q Any crowd around? Wing.

3 Q Was there any crowd round? A. Yes a crowd round.

4 Q While you saw these two men quarrelling had they weapons or only quarrelling first off with their hands? A. Pushing each other.

5 Q No sticks? A. No sticks

6 Q No weapon of any kind? A. No.

7 Q Then what happened then? A. Then I saw Wing he came to separate them.

8 Q That is the last witness? A. Yes

9 Q Came along and tried to separate them? A. Yes.

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

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