November 26, 1872: BC legislation is enacted for Black men to be on the official list of jurors

Although Peter Lester sat as a juror in February 1860, Black men were not on the “official list of jurors maintained by the Sheriff’s office” as had been promised by Governor Douglas.
In March 1872, Black residents presented a petition to the Legislative Assembly requesting that their names be added to the official list. On March 21, 1872 the Daily British Colonist reported “The resolution was lost 5 to 13”. The article reported “Dr. Ash replied that a colored man had never been summoned on a jury in Victoria and the reason seemed to be that white men object to sitting beside colored men.”
A resolution adding Black residents as jurors was finally passed in November 1872.

Image A-01626 Courtesy of Royal BC Museum and Archives