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Copy or Extracts of all Correspondence relating to the Importation of South Sea Islanders into Queensland. London, House of Commons 1868. Foolscap stitched as issued; iv,80pp and leaf with docket title. Au$375

This appears to be the first parliamentary paper on Australian blackbirding. It begins with magnate and politician Robert Towns' 1863 instructions to his agent and the master of his ship Don Juan for the pioneering foray for indentured labour for Queensland - preferably boys of fourteen or fifteen to eighteen - for "light" labour in his cotton fields. Whether or not Towns' explicit instructions for decency and care in dealing with islanders was just for form his use of Ross Lewin (spelt Luin here) as agent was an ugly choice. Despite Towns' plantation continuing as a model for supporters of the trade, by 1867 the whole thing is a mess with charges of kidnapping, slavery and revenge killing by islanders.


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Copy or Extracts of all Correspondence relating to the Importation of South Sea Islanders into Queensland. London, House of Commons 1869. Foolscap stitched as issued; iv,80pp and leaf with docket title. First and last leaves foxed. Au$325

This prints the report from the Queensland Immigration Agent regarding changes since the introduction of the Labourers Act, with a tables of ships and numbers; a petition from the folk of Brisbane protesting against the 'introduction of an inferior and uncivilised race"; declarations relating to the Lyttona; extracts from newspapers; a long account of the public meeting in Sydney of February 9th, 1869; declarations, with translated testimony of islanders, regarding the murder of natives on the Young Australian.


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Inquiry into the 'Jason' Case. [with] Inquiry ... (Further papers and correspondence relating to). [with] John William Coath, Late Master of the Schooner 'Jason.' (Despatches respecting). Brisbane, Govt Printer 1871; 1873; 1874. Three papers foolscap stitched as issued; 11pp; 13pp; 5pp. Au$275

An extraordinary story as well as a turning point in the law relating to the labour trade. Captain Coath of the Jason had been accused of abduction by a missionary but probably nothing would have come of this if he hadn't locked up the government agent, John Meiklejohn, who was completely deranged by the time he was released. Coath was charged with kidnapping nine islanders and the case tested whether common law protected those who were not British or on British territory. Defence attorney Charles Lilley (who later as Chief Justice sentenced crew members of the 'Hopeful' to death) argued that landing naturally unfree natives on British soil as free men was an act of liberation rather than kidnapping but Coath was convicted. The Kidnapping Act was passed soon after. Coath, however, was pardoned in 1873 after protest; a new inquiry and a fair amount of new evidence was introduced. Coath apparently died soon after from a poisoned arrow wound.
As for Meiklejohn, Coath and his crew swore that Meiklejohn was locked up because he went nuts and he did have a history of instability. He could not and would not give any coherent testimony and soon after burnt down his house to punish his children and was bundled off to the lunatic asylum in Sydney.


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Copy or Extracts of Correspondence between the Board of Admiralty and the Commanders on the Australian and South Pacific Stations in regards to the Deportation of South Sea Islanders, subsequent to the 10th day of August 1869. London, House of Commons 1871. Foolscap stitched as issued; 38pp, docket title on the last page. Au$175

Reports from Commodore Lambert containing, in turn, reports from Palmer of the Rosario about the seizure of the Daphne in particular and about recruiting around the islands; copies of Lewin's agreements made with islanders; an indignant letter from the the Governor of Queensland rejecting Palmer's assertions that iniquitous practices have anything to do with the trade to Queensland; correspondence with French and American authorities about co-operation; etc.


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Further Correspondence Respecting the Deportation of South Sea Islanders. London, House of Commons 1871. Foolscap, modern wrapper with printed label; vi,212pp. Au$275

A compendium of outrage, murder, slavery and kidnapping according to the index. Bully Hayes is arrested for kidnapping on page 141 and escaped by p.143.


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Further Correspondence Relating to the Importation of South Sea Islanders into Queensland. (in continuation of House of Commons Papers, no.392 and no. 496 of 1868, and no.408 of 1869). London, House of Commons 1871. Foolscap modern wrapper with printed label; viii,132pp and leaf with docket title. Au$275

Much on Lewin and the Daphne case, the Jason, the Lyttona (or Latonia) and the Spunkie, the accusation of J.G. Paton and the indignant response. One employer of recruits writes that the men were happy to leave Nguna to escape the missionaries and their demands of free labour to build a missionary house. The reports of Palmer of the Rosario on his 'Inquiries into the Kidnapping of Natives ..'; a letter of warning from W.G. Lawes to a fellow missionary that Bully Hayes in the neighbourhood; declarations from the mate and a seaman of the Latonia ...


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Further Correspondence Respecting the Deportation of South Sea Islanders. London, House of Commons 1872. Foolscap publisher's printed blue wrapper; viii, 122pp. Au$275

A busy and gruesome few months: William Henry Meader provides an affidavit testifying to murder by the crew of the barque Anna sailing under the name Hope; there is news on the French schooner sailing under the names Eugenie and Imperatrice; on the murder of Bishop Patteson; charges against Rev Milne for inciting natives to fire on the Jason; Milne's defense; the seizure of the Challenge ...


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Correspondence Between the Governor of New South Wales and the Earl of Kimberley Respecting Certain Statements Made by Capt. Palmer, R.N. in his Book Entitled 'Kidnapping in the South Seas.' London HMSO 1872. Foolscap, stitched as issued; 25pp. Au$275

An indignant defence by Belmore against the "imputations" cast by Palmer regarding the Daphne case in 1869 which includes defensive letters from Williams, the Crown Solicitor, and Robertson, the Colonial Secretary, which, in turn, include letters from Palmer and minutes of Manning, the Attorney-General.


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Pacific Islanders Protection. A Bill for the Prevention and Punishment of Criminal Outrages upon Natives of the Islands in the Pacific Ocean. [with] Amendments to Be Moved in Committee by the Earl of Kimberley. [with] Pacific Islanders Protection Bill. (As amended in committee). [with] Lords Amendments to the Pacific Islanders Protection Bill. [with] Pacific Islanders Protection Bill. Arrangement of Clauses. [with] Pacific Islanders Protection Bill. (As amended in committee.) Arrangement of Clauses. London, 1872 & 1875. Six papers foolscap, stitched as issued; 6pp; 4pp and leaf with docket title; 10pp; ii,6pp; 4pp and leaf with docket title; 6pp and leaf with docket title. Au$150

Progress, I guess, from the original bill presented in February 1872 to the Amendment Act of May 1875.


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Correspondence Relative to the Introduction of Polynesian Labourers into Queensland. London HMSO 1873. Foolscap, stitched as issued; [2],9pp. Au$125

R.H. Codrington of the Melanesian Mission reports on his 'person inquiry' into methods of procuring labour. There follows replies to Codrington, his further letters and some defensive responses from the Governor of Queensland. Much of what Codrington writes is about the behavior of the 'native agent' or interpreter Wenlolo.


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Copy of Correspondence respecting Outrages committed upon Natives of the South Sea Islands. House of Commons 1874. Foolscap stitched as issued; iv,96pp and leaf with docket title. Au$375

A wealth of detail on the barque Chrishna; the pardon - and protests against the pardon - of Captain Coath of the Jason; the cases of Mount and Morris of the brig Carl; and the fate of the islanders.


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Correspondence Respecting the Natives of the Western Pacific and the Labour Traffic. London 1883. Foolscap modern wrapper with printed label; vi,191pp and map. Au$275

Correspondence from 1877 to March 1883. There is a fair bit of concern about natives being supplied with guns and more alarm about outrages and atrocities committed by natives than upon them. Included is Commodore's Wilson's 1882 report, Labour Trade in the Western Pacific, which in turn includes a paper by Miklouho-Maclay, damning reports by Doctors Wray and Thompson on the "excessive mortality" on the Cran & Co. sugar plantation at Maryborough (Queensland), quantities of hard detail and a final paper by Romilly on the sale of guns and liquor in the western Pacific.


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Seizure of the the 'Forest King' by H.M. Gunboat 'Swinger' and Subsequent Proceedings in the Vice-Admiralty Court of Queensland. [with] Seizure of the Schooner 'Forest King.' (Petition). [with] Report from the Select Committee on the Seizure ... together with the minutes of evidence, the proceedings ... and appendices. Brisbane, Govt Printer 1884; 1885; 1885 Three papers foolscap folio, stapled as issued; 64pp; 2pp; 45pp. Au$475

Following the failure of authorities to prosecute blackbirders under the terms of the anti-slavery acts, some conception of protection was afforded to some Pacific islanders with the Kidnapping Act of 1872 & 75; but prosecutions of blackbirders or recruiters were few and successful prosecutions fewer. The 'Forest King' was seized on a recruiting voyage through the Louisiade Archipelago and on the south east coast of New Guinea. Despite the presence of a government agent on the 'Forest King', a police magistrate, Hugh Milman, was convinced that many of the 39 natives on board did not understand the terms of their indenture. The case itself hinged on the testimony of the native interpreters and three of them, Jerry, Harry and Charley, gave evidence. That evidence along with that of the agent, the magistrate, officers of the 'Swinger', the captain, the recruiter and the owner of the 'Forest King' is all reported verbatim.
The Chief Justice found for the defence and ordered the return of the 'Forest King', with costs. This says more about the law than the Chief Justice - Charles Lilley - who sentenced crew members of the blackbirder 'Hopeful' to death or life imprisonment. The owner petitioned for damages and the select committee found in his favour and recommended payment of a little over three thousand pounds.


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Recruiting Polynesian Labourers in New Guinea and Adjacent Islands. Report with Minutes of Evidence Taken Before the Royal Commission Appointed to Inquire into the Circumstances Under Which Labourers have been Introduced into Queensland from New Guinea and Other Islands, etc., together with the proceedings of the commission, etc. Brisbane, Govt Printer 1885. Foolscap, stapled as issued, xliii,147pp and a folding map. First and last page dusty around the very edge. Au$450

One of the most instructive of the condemnatory documents of blackbirding recording, as it does, interviews with hundreds of workers brought into Queensland. Invariably, as far as I can see, they are unhappy, bewildered or angry. Of the eight recruiting voyages of the past year that the commissioners (Buckland, Rose and Milman) investigated, the best they can find to say is that some of the attempts to explain 'the nature of the engagements .. were wholly inadequate'. For the most parts their views are 'forcibly kidnapped .. cruelly deceptive .. deliberate fraud .. altogether illegal .. cruel treachery, deliberate kidnapping, and cold-blooded murder'.
One of these ships, the 'Forest King' had been seized but the Chief Justice handed it back to the owner along with legal costs (cf 'Seizure of the the 'Forest King' by H.M. Gunboat 'Swinger' and Subsequent Proceedings in the Vice-Admiralty Court of Queensland.'; 1884). But that same Chief Justice (Charles Lilley) sentenced crew of another blackbirder investigated in this report - the 'Hopeful' - to death (later commuted) or life imprisonment.


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'Hopeful' Prisoners. (Papers Relating to the Release of the). Brisbane, Govt Printer 1890. Foolscap modern boards; 59pp; drop title. Au$275

Two crew members of the blackbirder 'Hopeful' were sentenced to death in 1884 for the murders of two Polynesians and four others, including the captain and the government agent, got sentences ranging from seven years to life for kidnapping. The two death sentences were commuted to life and by 1888 there was a concerted effort to free them all - the opening document printed here is a petition with some 28,000 signatures. Much evidence given at the trial and brought out afterwards is included and while Charles Lilley, the Chief Justice, who had sentenced the prisoners is unequivocal in his report that his judgment was correct and that the petition is an 'attempt to rule the administration of justice by popular clamour', the Minister of Justice, Thynne, argued his way around Lilley's stand and the prisoners were released.


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Further Correspondence Relating to Polynesian Labour in the Colony of Queensland. (In continuation of [C.-6686] May 1892). London HMSO 1892. Foolscap stitched as issued; iv26pp. Au$150

The fallout over the 1892 Polynesian Labourers Act continues; with a defence against charges made by J.G. Paton, a long letter by Royal Commissioner Kinnaird Rose about improvements in the trade since 1885, submissions by the Anti-Slavery Society and the Aborigines Protection Society etc.


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Correspondence Relating to Polynesian Labour in the Colony of Queensland, with Appendices. London HMSO 1892. Foolscap publisher's printed wrapper (stitching broken); iv,60pp. Au$275

A handy compilation of official stuff in the appendices - the bulk of this - encompassing regulations, facts, figures, and amendments from the 1880 Pacific Island Labourers Act through to the Polynesian Labourers Act of 1892. The correspondence includes Griffith's manifesto of 1892 and a longish letter from Bishop Selwyn.


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Further Correspondence Relating to Polynesian Labour in the Colony of Queensland. (In continuation of [C.-6808] June 1892). London HMSO 1893. Foolscap publisher's printed wrapper; vi,62pp. Au$175

A new and improved form of Blue Book with items grouped by content but the content is familiar: abuse and defence, protest and justification, reports on the voyages of recruiting ships. New here are the regulations for chest measurement of islanders, reports that the regulation is unworkable and rescinded and perhaps another method of testing recruits' age will be devised. There is a lengthy report by Rannie, Government Agent, on the voyage of the Empreza.


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Further Correspondence Relating to Polynesian Labour in the Colony of Queensland. (In continuation of [C.-7000] April 1893). London HMSO 1895. Foolscap modern wrapper with printed label; x,310pp. Au$375

Two busy years despite the supposed notion that the labour trade was pretty much done with. Reports, protests and complaints from all sides regarding a multitude of ships and incidents.


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Correspondence Relating to the Pacific Island Labourers Act, 1901 of the Commonwealth of Australia. London, HMSO 1903. Foolscap, stitched as issued; iv,21pp. Au$125

Ostensibly the end of British interest. This relates to the deportation of Pacific Islanders after the act - those who wish to stay; precautions to make sure that those deported are returned to the right place; forcible removal, and so on.


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