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Nine years ago religious society in Eng- of the world could interfere, they had seland was startled to find that an energetic cured more than 2000 persons, and disattempt was being made in South America posed of them among the planters of to extend the system of slavery: Seven Chili and Peru. The atrocious speculavessels, fitted with all the appliances of tion, however, proved a failure. Loss and the slave-ships of former days, command- damage were suffered on every side. So ed by Spanish officers, and manned by crowded were many of the vessels that the mixed crews, had started from Callao, captives died on the voyage. Even in had visited numerous islands of the South Peru the mortality was excessive. The Pacific, and had carried away hundreds of islanders, who had been born and trained their simple inhabitants to work in the Pe- amid the warm sea breezes of the Pacific, ruvian mines. These vessels were fitted ill-fed and ill-clad, could not bear the cold out by a well-known firm in Lima; and night winds which sweep down from the they had done their work with such suc- Cordilleras; and dysentery and fever carcess that before the humane Governments
3. The Polynesian Labor Traffic and the Mur.
der of Bishop Patteson. Proceedings of a meet1. Further Correspondence relating to the ing in London, Dec. 13, 1871. William Tweedie, importation of South Sea Islanders into Queens- Strand. 1872. land; in continuation of House of Commons Pa- 4. The Slave Trade in the New-Hebrides. pers, Nos. 391 and 496, of 1868; and No. 408 of Papers read at the Annual Meeting of the New. 1869 ; No. 468, House of Commons, August 17, Hebrides Mission, held at the Island of Aniwa, 1871.
July, 1871. Edited by the Rev. John Kay, Coat2. Kidnapping in the South Seas. Narrative bridge. Edinburgh: Edmonston and Douglas. of a Three Months' Cruise in Her Majesty's ship 1872. Rosario. By Captain George Palmer, R. N. 5. In Quest of Coolies. By James L. A.. Edinburgh: Edmonston and Douglas. 1871. Hope. Henry S. King and Co.
NEW SERIES.–VOL. XVI., No. 1.
ried them off in large numbers. And 1867, 984 laborers had been procured, of when the indignation of the humane, and whom 400 were working at the northern the official remonstrances of the French ports, chiefly Bowen ; and of whom no and English Governments, compelled the less than 225 had been brought in the Peruvians to surrender their plunder, not previous August by a single vessel, the forty per cent of whose who had lost their King Oscar. They were no longer proliberty were returned to their former cured for a particular house, which fitted homes.
the vessel, and took entire control. MasAgain has that indignation been arous- ters of vessels went out at their own risk; ed by a new effort to perpetuate these they found it to their interest to go where cruelties. But this time the transgressors they liked, and to manage as best they are Englishmen; the kidnapping vessels could. On their return the planters gladly are owned and manned by Englishmen; divided the living freight; and the price the lands to which the captives are car- paid, called "passage-money," was about ried are settled by Englishmen; and it is £10 sterling. A few sharp-sighted men entirely for English profit that the system in Fiji heard of the plan, and speedily has been defended and carried on. Hap- adopted it. And thus a system, at first pily, therefore, the reproach falls upon the well-intentioned and humane, was set whole empire; and the cure of the evil going, under which rough English sailors, lies in English hands.
under mates and masters perhaps rougher It was in the beginning of 1863 that still, found it a source of gain to fetch Captain Towns, a settler in Queensland, and carry, without inspection and withwho owned an estate of 4000 acres, in out control, the simple and uncivilized the neighborhood of Brisbane, and who natives of the Polynesian groups, and dishad employed South Sea Islanders on his pose of them to the men who would pay little coasting vessels, conceived the plan highest for the trouble involved in proof procuring natives from the islands as curing them. laborers for this estate. He accordingly From the first the Lords of the Admidispatched a vessel to seek for them. The ralty disliked the system. The naval offi. effort was made openly; the vessel was cers on the Australian station knew only properly fitted, fair wages were promised, too well the character and proceedings of and a circular letter was addressed to the English sailors who traded about the such missionaries as the vessel might fall colonial ports and the accessible stations in with, asking their kind coöperation, of the South Seas. The Colonial Office and engaging to give fair treatment to the felt doubtful, and suggested to the Queenspeople who might come. The vicious land Government that it should interfere; element also entered into the system and at length, on March 4, 1868, that from the first. A man named Ross Lewin, Government passed a Labor Act, and who had lived in various places in the placed the employment of the islanders, South Seas for twenty years, and whose if not their importation, under some meaname is now identified with the worst sure of control. scandals of the traffic and is execrated The colony of Queensland, unlike New throughout the islands, was sent in the South-Wales, Victoria, or New Zealand, vessel as second mate and supercargo; has one special reason for desiring an imand he was instructed to “get seventy, if migration of the dark races rather than of you can ;” but “ even fifty will be worth whites. A large portion of the colony while.” No wonder that with such elastic runs up far into the tropics, whence that instructions Ross Lewin obtained sixty- district has received the name of Caprifive laborers, and became superintendent cornia. Though the air is fresh and braon the estate. The islanders were, doubt- cing, and the land is canopied by a sky of less, nearly all volunteers; they were hu- brilliant blue, the climate is hot, the soil is manely treated; they were engaged for rocky, thin, and poor; the sun is powertwo or three years; and at the termina- ful, and it is impossible for the harder protion of their service were duly paid, and cesses of agriculture to be carried on to were assisted to return home.
any extent by the white races of temperate The example spread. Another house, climes. As in Texas and Arizona, Englishand then another, sent for laborers. A men may superintend the herding of sheep, competition sprang up, and by October, cattle, and horses, the general management of estates, or the removal and trans- workmen stupid, and explain their meanport of timber; but all heavy outdoor ing by kicks and blows. Throughout labor is unsuited to their constitution, and Polynesia no Englishmen were ever so fever and sunstroke can be its only result. hard upon the native races as common
With the Fiji Islands the case is dif- sailors and those officers who had raised ferent. There the soil is rich and fertile, themselves from before the mast; and it and cotton and sugar will grow almost was a most unhappy thing that it was prewithout measure. The larger islands, Viti cisely into the hands of this large class of Levu and Vanua Levu, are entirely in men that the entire immigrant traffic fell, possession of the native races; and for until it has ended in piracy, kidnapping, many years were given up to the wars, the and murder, and has brought reproach violence, the utter cruelty and cannibalism, upon the English name throughout the for which the fierce tribes of Fiji have civilized world. been notorious. The victories of the Gos- In one or two localities special circumpel, through the agency of the Wesleyan stances were found to favor the wishes of Mission, have wrought a great change, the English planters in leading the naand have rendered intercourse with Euro- tives to emigrate to a foreign soil. In the peans safe and profitable for both parties. French settlements under the Governor of Five years ago the pretty island of Ovalau, New-Caledonia, especially in the Loyalty with its rich woods and turret-like hills, Islands, the hand of the Government has was found to be a safe as well as attract- pressed very hard upon the people. On ive place of residence, and a considerable many occasions the religious persecution number of whites resorted to the settle- of the Protestants by the priests and local ment. The worst class, as usual, in these authorities, heavy taxation, restrictions on English colonies, came first; happily the personal liberty, and forced labor have irbetter men, with their families and little ritated the people greatly. Was it to be capital, soon followed; and the port of wondered at that the young and active Levuka became quite a thriving town. were anxious to get away; and that on Ere long a "rush” took place from Mel- many occasions they swam after an Engbourne and New-Zealand, and several lish vessel before she could clear the bar. hundred settlers landed in a few months, rier reefs, and felt glad to be taken on all anxious to secure the fruitful cotton board ? Many such wanderers found lands. Finding some difficulty in getting their way to Queensland. The people of the Fiji natives into their employ as labor- Niue, the "Savage Island” of Cook, had ers, the settlers took the hint from the for several generations held no intercourse planters of Peru and Queensland. But with the outside world; but when they befrom the first the majority of these gentle- came Christians, and heard of other lands, men repudiated any resort to violence; a natural reaction from the exclusive systhey determined to treat all native immi- tem laid their young men open to the grants well, and in public meeting asked same desire for travel
, and many of them for the interference of her Majesty's Con- found their way to Samoa and the plantasul, Mr. Thurston, and accepted the regu- tions of Tahiti. But this voluntary emilations which he framed for their coolie gration was limited, and was confined to traffic.
the Christian Islands. In the presence of It is a fact worthy of note that while English missionaries, captains and crews the educated classes in England are in the could only offer various forms of gain to main opposed to slavery, and are found to the natives as inducements to leave home. treat the dark races of the world with kind- The outcry against Peru made them afraid ness and humanity, the common classes to practice violence or fraud in mission of Englishmen deal with them very rough- stations. They therefore steered their vesly. In India none hold the natives in sels to another quarter. such contempt, and are so ready to strike To the west of Fiji and the norththem, as English soldiers and seamen. east of New-Caledonia lies a group of imThe English mechanics who superintend portant islands, peopled by a peculiar med. native workmen in iron foundries, print- ley of races. This is the great group calling offices, and furniture factories, unable ed the New-Hebrides; it consists of eight to explain things in the Mahrati, Tamil, large islands and more than thirty small or Bengali languages, at once call the ones, among which the island of Ambrym is reckoned one of the most lovely in all the ship was then in Sydney he trusted the South Pacific. The group is so un- the Government would prosecute. The healthy that strangers can not live in it vessel was commanded by Captain Ross with comfort. In some strange way un- Howell, and conspicuous among the known to history, the people have been rougher men on board were Robert Lenthrown into this group from many ar- nie, a Frenchman, and Hugh Levinger, ters, and seem to have had no connection the supercargo.
the supercargo. The following statement with one another. No less than twenty is drawn out by David Afu, a Christian in separate languages are spoken in the Fiji, from the lips of the Tanna men, whose group, and the learning of one of those words he interpreted. Below the marks tongues is no help to the attainment of which the men made with the pen he any other. The whole population num- writes : bers about 60,000 people, all belonging to
“ These are their own or true hands the Papuan branch of the Polynesian tribes. with which they made these signs, and To the north-east of this group lies a
when they had made them they said, small cluster of islands of the same kind
• What we have seen and known we tell.' west is the Solomon Archipelago, which The great ship went to Tanna, and we Tan
na natives went on board; then she went curves round westward toward New-Bri- to Erromanga, thence to Sandwich, thence tain and New-Guinea. It was to the New-Hebrides group that when we got there the boat was prepared
to Inea, thence to Api, thence to Pama. the recruiting vessels turned for their sup: to go ashore. Bob, the white man, three ply of laborers, and for a while the halftaught heathen of Tanna, Erromanga, and of Rotumah pulled toward the shore.
natives of Erromanga, and three natives Vate (Sandwich Island) were the object of They met a canoe belonging to the place their special efforts. The Christian pop- with three men on board, one being an elulation of the southern island, Aneityum, derly man, and two young men. The elwould have nothing to do with them.
derly man was a chief. They were seized As the year 1868 passed away, and the by force and thrown into the boat, and area visited by the recruiting vessels wi- taken to the great ship. When on board dened, rumors became numerous that all the ship they wept, and refused to come which had been feared in respect to the to Fiji.' They did not wish to eat or drink, ill-treatment of the heathen islanders had they wept only. Then said the captain of been more than realized. Now a mission- the ship, · Let them be taken down into ary or a missionary's wife described in some the hold till Bob comes back again from letter to an Australian friend some deed the land, and decides concerning them.' of violence witnessed with his
her own When they were in the hold they resisted, eyes; then some cook or sailor on board and threw stones at the black men in the one of the vessels gave details of the visits which he had paid to the islands, and the hold, and shot at them with bows and
Then all the black men fled on seizure of persons which he had seen; or deck, and only the three Pama men were some Queensland newspaper described the left in the hold. Then Bob came and proceedings of the police courts, and show- tried to speak to them, but they threw ed that in not a few instances emigrants stones at him, and he fled on deck. Then preferred to be sent to jail rather than go
was opened a piece of the bulkhead in the back to the masters who flogged and starv- captain's end of the ship, and they fired ed them.
with guns. The old man was first woundEvidence was soon offered which none ed in the thigh, but he bound it up and could gainsay. Mr. Thurston wrote from
went on fighting. Then the two young Fiji to Lord Belmore, the Governor-Gen
men were shot dead. Then the old man eral of the Australian colonies, that he had
was shot again, and died. Then night received undeniable testimony that mur
was over the land, a lamp was put on its der had been committed on board one stand, and taken down into the hold, and vessel, the Young Australian, which had the dead bodies were lifted up and thrown recently visited the northern New-He into the sea." —Returns, 408, P. 58.) brides. The statement had been given in writing. Two men who had witnessed the Happily in this case a conviction was atrocity had appeared before him; and as obtained. The captain was apprehended
in Sydney, with one of his crew, Rangi; forcibly seized by the hair of their head, Levinger was apprehended in Melbourne. dragged on board, and their canoes sunk. They were found guilty of murder, and Three natives that I examined at Ovalau, were sentenced to imprisonment for life Fiji, all made the same statement, namely, with hard labor. Levinger was imprisoned that they had come on board to sell mats, with hard labor for seven years. Owing etc., and get tobacco; that on its getting to the numerous complaints which began late, they were told they could sleep on to be made, Commodore Lambert, who board if they chose, and go on shore in was in command of the Australian station, the morning; they did so, but in the dispatched Captain Palmer, in H.M.S. morning no land was in sight, and they Rosario, to visit the New-Hebrides and were brought to Fiji. Fiji, and report upon the subject. The re- “5. As a further proof of the absurdity sults of his inquiry were startling, and of the so-called engagements between the proved that under the so-called emigra- natives and the Queensland agents, a tion system the worst features of the old Tanna native informed me, that whenever slave trade had reappeared. Captain Pal- the vessels anchored, the natives were put mer quitted Sydney on March 4th, 1869, under hatches, and their arms held while and spent three months in executing his performing the functions of nature, so as commission. He proceeded first to New- to prevent their swimming on shore."Caledonia, where he received the com- (Returns, c. 399, pp. 17, 18.) plaints of Governor Guillain, with details It was a happy circumstance for the inof the way in which his people had been terests of justice and humanity, that ducarried off. He then visited the southern ring Captain Palmer's visit to Fiji, a case islands of the New-Hebrides, and held re- came under his notice, which both illuspeated interviews with the missionaries and trates the worst features of the slave syswith the chiefs, who had many affecting tem, and shows with how much impunity stories to tell of similar wrongs. Thence the kidnappers could do their work. he proceeded eastward to the Fijis, where On April 21st, 1869, the Rosario was he was in constant communication with lying quietly in the harbor of Levuka, Mr. Thurston and the planters. He has when there came in from the westward a given a most interesting account of his ex- small schooner, the Daphne, with a hunpedition in the book cited at the head of dred natives on board. She was seventythis article, which is both well written and three feet long, ten feet deep, and of forwell illustrated. It is full of details as to ty-eight tons burden; and the poor cap, persons, dates, and places, and must prove tives were stowed away in her little hold an important authority on the whole ques- like herrings in a barrel
. Two-thirds of tion of kidnapping from which it sprang. them were stark naked; all were emaciaA large portion of the contents of the book ted and half dead, and one young man occupy a conspicuous place in the Parlia- had lost the use of his limbs. When the mentary returns, as official reports which vessel was boarded, it was found that she he rendered to the officer who had com- was bound for Queensland, and that she missioned him.
held a license to import fifty-eight natives On his return to Sydney, Captain Pal- from Tanna into that colony. Now she mer thus reported on the general ques- was found in Fiji with a hundred on tion:
board, which she had procured somehow “ 2. All the missionaries at Aneiteum, or other from the Banks Islands; her log Tanna, Erromanga, and Vate made the and her papers disagreed, the victualing same complaints as to the kidnapping of scale had been disregarded, all her transthe natives of that group, and the conse- actions were irregular, and it was evident quent undermining of their influence with that she had come to Fiji instead of the people.
Queensland, hoping to make a better mar3. Several chiefs complained to me ket. After consulting the consul, Captain about the way their people had been sto- Palmer seized the Daphne, landed all her len away, oftentimes by violence, but natives, put a prize-crew on board, and more frequently by false promises. sent her down to Sydney.
“4. In several instances natives have By the advice of the Attorney-General been enticed alongside these slavers by of the colony, proceedings were instituted, offers of muskets and tobacco, and then first in the Water Police Court against the