BLACKBIRDING. - 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. ¶ 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.AUD 475.00 [Appr.: EURO 337 US$ 363.94 | £UK 291 | JP¥ 40475] Book number 8502
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