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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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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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170 Q And then what happened? A. So I saw Lem How he got a hatchet and rushed up the alley.

1 Q From what direction, from the north or from the south; from the direction of Pender Street or from the direction of the yards? A. Pender Street.

2 Q Anyone with him, anyone with Lem How? A. Yes his brother

3 Q His brother Lem Ho? A Yes, Lem Ho.

4 Q Any person else? A. A bunch of men followed them.

5 Q Where did they come from? A. Came from 556 ½.

6 Q Where did the bunch of men come from, what direction? A. The bunch of men came from Shanghai Street.

7 Q Came along Shanghai Street? A. Yes.

8 Q Do you know where they came from? A. 556 ½ . They came downstairs.

9 Q They came downstairs from 556 ½? A. Yes.

80 Q And then where did they go to? A. To Ging Lee’s.

1 Q Where is Ging Lee’s place, what is the number of that? A. Nine Canton; and after that they went down to nine Canton

2 Q And then they came back to the row? A. From nine, and went and came back to the row.

COURT: What about Lem How? What happened? A. Lem How he got a hatchet.

3 Q What did he do with it? A. He came into the crowd.

4 Q And then what did he do then? A. He waved the hatched and rushed up the alley.

5 Q What did he do with the hatchet? A. He struck Wing on the nose.

6 Q What became of the hatchet? A. It hurt.

7 Q It hurt Wing? A. Yes.

8 Q Do you know who got hold of the hatchet? A. Lem How

9 Q. He had hold of it, but was the hatchet taken away form him? A. Chow Wah and a white man.

90 Q. Took the hatchet away from him? A. From Lem How.

MR. COWAN: That is not getting at the truth at all; it is just leading.

1 Q By the way, did you see it taken away from him? A. Yes.

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

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