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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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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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of air at the time. I did not think there was any danger so I went to my place to work & had got about five yards from where the curtain hangs when an explosion took place & I was blown right on to the main slope. I fell on my right shoulder and as I did not lose my senses, I called out for assistance & made towards the mouth of the slope. My trousers being on fire I took them off. When I had got up to about 100 yards I met John McCaulay, John McCulloch & William O’Neil who assisted me to my cabin. The canvas door was down which should have been up. I did not look about for it. The door of the pump was open & a pile of wood put to keep it open. I do not think the door of the pump was left open accidentally.

Andrew Miller Taken before me at Newcastle Island this 13th Day of October 1876

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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