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BLACKBIRDING. - 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. ¶ 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.
AUD 450.00 [Appr.: EURO 300 US$ 335.21 | £UK 258.5 | JP¥ 37534] Book number 8464

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