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.
*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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.
Charles Thompson labourer being sworn saith
I knew a Chinaman named Louis. I heard Saturday that two Chinamen had been drowned. I was near Wm Bridges yesterday at noon, on the shore, I saw an Indian named Charley in his canoe. He had been out fishing and was going home, he found the two bodies in the water not far from shore, I went up to Bridges and got a Chinaman who lived there and came back with him to where the bodies were. The Chinaman went for more Chinese when he came back with them we got the bodies out of the water. I recognized one of them as the Chinaman who cooked for Mr Nelson. The bodies were put in a canoe and brought up to the MS Mill where they now lie.
Taken on oath and
acknowledged this 8th day of April 1879 before me
Charles his X mark Thompson
BC Archives GR-0431 Box 2 File 5
BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL Inquisitions/inquests conducted by coroners in British Columbia.