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As part of the Chinese Historical Wrongs Legacy Initiative, we’ve digitized a small selection of inquests and inquiries from 1872 to 1934, found in series GR-0431. These were chosen to reflect the experiences of early Chinese immigrants to B.C. – their living and working conditions, and their unfortunate accidental or unusual deaths.   They range from a woman working in a brothel in Barkerville who died of natural causes to three sawmill workers who died from malnutrition. Learn more.

*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 GR-0431

*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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

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George Brown, Mathew McDowell and Getts, a Chinaman, came by their death on the 15th day of September, 1876 at Newcastle Island, Nanaimo, by the explosion of firedamp in the Fitz William Mine, Newcastle Island, District of Nanaimo, V.I.

And this jury consider that there was gross negligence on the part of the officers and Superintendent of the Mine in not having a duly qualified person to examine the mine before any of the workmen were allowed to go down in the morning.

The Jury would further request the Coroner to draw the attention of the Legislature to the making of a Mining Regulation Act for this Province, and would recommend the British Mining Act as the most applicable.

Warner R. Spalding Coroner

BC Archives, GR-0431 Box 1 File 7 / BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL. / Inquisitions / inquests conducted by coroners in British Columbia.

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