offers to our view in contrast with this cerned. But in drawing the picture we tremendous sketch of possibilities is less propose of the murder, fraud, outrages, striking and less fine — as, we fear, a Par- and piracy of the South Pacific slave adiso must always be. We do not know trade, we are anxious to do Queensland whether, if Mr. Greg should ever see the justice she is entitled to." Her Govthese pages, he would be interested per-ernment places a paid agent on board . sonally to know the effect produced by each vessel employed between the isthe reading of this article upon a simple lands and the colony, as a check upon soul with no great reason to render for decoying and kidnapping, and has met the faith that is in her. This woman fell the overtures of the Home Government a-crying as she closed the book, and burst | by undertaking the cost of prosecutions forth into a broken prayer (all his argu- brought by imperial cruisers before their ments notwithstanding) that a man so Supreme Court. Apart and distinct from near the kingdom of heaven might have Queensland, another community, in the the Christ in whom she trusted yet re- heart of the Pacific, was crying out for vealed to him. Such a conclusion is not the importation of labour. frequent with such a book.

In 1859, Mr. Pritchard, H. M. Consul in Fiji, came to England to communicate the cession by the King Cacoban (Thakomban, Thakoban) to her Majesty of

the Fiji Islands. What he offered was From Macmillan's Magazine. the actual sovereignty over the whole SOUTH SEA SLAVERY: KIDNAPPING AND group, ratified by all the chiefs assembled MURDER.

in council. The Government thereupon As far back as 1868 the deportation of despatched Col. Smythe, R. A., and Dr. the South Sea Islanders had challenged Berthold Seemann, a name well known the attention of the British Government. to botanists, to investigate on the spot. It was known that one of our Australian Colonel Smythe reported, in opposition colonies, Queensland, was regularly im- to the views of several naval officers who porting labour from the Pacific for planta- had served in those waters, that annexation work; and though there were few tion was not to the interest of Great Britinstances — we believe only one well- | ain, asserting that it was not in the power authenticated — of these natives being of the King to carry out his engagements treated with neglect on a Queensland sta- -an assertion which we can find nothing tion, it was notorious that they were not in the records of the mission to warrant. all there voluntarily, but that many had | The Government acted upon this report, been enticed on board the vessels and and Capt. Jenkins, in H. M. S. Miranda, forcibly deported. In fact, so far as the was ordered to Fiji to communicate the actual procuring of labour, the trade was decision. Fiji was left to follow its own kidnapping. The Queensland Legisla- | devices, and work out its own salvation, ture, to their credit, stepped in and passed with, we may well add, fear and trembling. an act to regulate Polynesian labour. Meanwhile it was gradually attracting to Since then the traffic has been carried on its shores a population, mixed indeed, as free from abuses as may be. We use but mainly drawn from the Australian the qualification advisedly ; for though continent. Some were undoubtedly men we rise from a perusal of the voluminous of genuine enterprise, drawn by the promblue-books on the subject with a convic- ise of successful cotton-planting ; but the tion that Queensland has purged herself majority were the waifs and strays, the from the odium of a slave state, we main- Bohemians of Australia, many of them tain that no regulations can control the bankrupt in name and fortune. On Deprocuring of coolie labour. No one who cember 31st, 1871, the number of white considers the hundreds of islands scat- residents had reached 2,040, scattered tered about the Pacific, the various dia-over several islands, while the native poplects and languages, the powers of the ulation was rated 146,000. There has chiefs over the tribes, and the possibili- | been a steady increase since. ties of agents treating with the chiefs, ' In 1864 the Europeans in Fiji, in need will imagine that the Kanaka always of labour for their cotton-growing, turned comes on board, sua sponte, or under their attention to the New Hebrides as stands the nature of the agreement he a source of supply. In 1867 the New signs.

Hebrides missionaries of the Reformed With the Queensland legal labour traf- Presbyterian Church furnished a statefic, however, we are not at present con- ment to the Synod in Scotland, which

very circumstantially sought to prove the trade was established beyond a doubt. native traffic was simply a slave-trade. The rapid increase of white settlers, and Readers will, according to their bias, at- the demand for black labour, were alike tach more or less credence to the asser- favourable to the “blackbird-catching," tions of missionaries. Where these latter as the term goes, in the South Seas. The encounter traders and settlers on the market was expanding, and the article rissame semi-barbarous soil, jealousies willing in value. It was not to be expected exist and counter-accusations be bandied: that the men who were engaged in this neand the Pacific has proved no exception. farious traffic would be very scrupulous as Admiral Guillain, the Governor of New to the means employed for catching the Caledonia, stated to Captain Palmer, of natives, or squeamish as to their treatment H. M. S. Rosario, that the missionaries at on shipboard. Murder was added to manthe Loyalty Islands connived at the kid- stealing. The horrors of the trade were napping, and engaged in trade with the increased by native reprisals. Massacre natives. Be that as it may, Captain was the only return these savages could Palmer ascertained that between Maymake for the blessings of contact with 1865 and June 1868, a brisk trade in na- the European trader : and on Sept. 28, tives had been carried on by British ves- 1871, at the island of Nukapu, Swallow sels.

group, John Coleridge Patteson, MisBy August 1869 Lord Clarendon had sionary Bishop of Melanesia, paid the grounds to write: “A slave-trade with debt his countrymen had incurred, and the South Sea Islands is gradually being won the crown of martyrdom. established by British speculators for the We cannot here attempt to do justice benefit of British settlers. ... Reports to the memory of that noble man and his of entry are evaded, fictitious sales of ves- noble work. Neither the one nor the sels are made, kidnapping is audaciously other are to be introduced ék Tapépyou. But practised. ... An intolerable responsi- no record of the South Sea slavery would bility will be thrown upon her Majesty's be complete if it did not mention, howGovernment if the present state of things ever briefly, the story of its greatest vicas regards the introduction of immigrants tim. into the Fiji islands is allowed.”

| Great as was the shock caused by the Bishop Patteson, in a letter to the news of the Bishop's murder, and irreBishop of Sydney, writes (1868): “I am parable as seemed the loss, a more fitting very anxious as to what I may find going end could not have been found to close on, for I have conclusive moral (though, such a life. We doubt if his life, if properhaps, not legal) proof of very disgrace-longed, could have wrought so much good ful and cruel proceedings on the part of as his death. No one in the Australian traders kidnapping natives and selling and Pacific Seas affects to question that them to the French in New Caledonia it was the result of kidnapping and murand in Fiji, and, I am informed, in Queens- dering which had been going on unland. Whatever excuses may be (and checked in the Melanesian group. Those have been) made as to the treatment they who know the Pacific, know that revenge receive at the hand of the planters, and is a religious duty binding upon the whole the protection they may have from a con tribe, and threatening every member of sul when landed, it is quite certain that the wrongdoer's tribe. All the circumno supervision is exercised over the trad- stances of the Bishop's murder prove it ers at the islands. All statements of to have been a premeditated, prearranged 'contracts' made with wild native men act, executed for tribal reasons, without are simply false. The parties don't know personal animosity against the, victim. how to speak to each other, and no native | The body was unmutilated save by the could comprehend the (civilized) idea of a death-stroke, and it was placed in a canoe 'contract. One or two friendly men, that it might float back to his own peowho have been on board these vessels ple. (not in command), and were horrified at It now remains to sketch the practices what they saw, have kindly warned me to of the traders in procuring labour, and be on my guard, as they may retaliate the atrocities perpetrated on the voyage. (who can say unjustly or unreasonably, Unfortunately for the credit of our counfrom their point of view ?) upon the first trymen in Australia, fortunately for the white men they see, connecting them case we desire to state, we have no need naturally with the perpetrators of the to cite“ missionary yarns,” nor quote crime.”'

from a volume which contains such unThe existence of a systematic slave-warranted aspersions of the New South

Wales authorities as Captain Palmer's closed the secrets of the voyage to Mr. "Kidnapping in the South Seas." * Nor Marsh, British consul, who admitted him have we very far back to travel in point Queen's evidence, and gave him a certifiof time. On the 19th of November, cate to that effect, to be his protection in 1872, at the Central Criminal Court at Sydney. The New South Wales GovernSydney, Joseph Armstrong, James Clan- ment felt bound to abide by this action of cy, s. M.Carthy, William Turner, George the consul, and Dr. Murray was admitted Woods, John Bennett, Thomas Shields, "approver,” and formed the principal witand Augustus Shiegott were charged with ness in the case. In Victoria, Matthias, having on the 20th February, 1872, on Devescote, one of the crew, who was arboard a British vessel called the Carl, rested on the same charge as Mount and unlawfully assaulted, beaten, wounded, Morris, was accepted as Queen's evidence. and ill-treated a man named Jage, the said We have no need to add to the horrors of prisoners being master and part of the the picture by any heightening of the colcrew of the said vessel. On the follow- ours. No descriptive language based upon ing day Armstrong (the captain) and the evidence could leave half such an imDowden were tried for murder on the pression as the plain, unvarnished disclohigh seas. Clancy, M'Carthy, Turner, sures of the agents who told the tales of Woods, and Shiegott were sentenced to their own deeds. two years' imprisonment, Armstrong and James Patrick Murray deposed: “I Dowden to death. When the news am a medical man. I was part owner of reached Melbourne, the Victorian Govern- | the British ship Carl, sailing under Britment at once put their police in motion ish colours. I was first residing at Melto arrest any persons in Victoria who bourne. We left Melbourne for Leonka, might be implicated. Two men, Messrs. with passengers, on a cotton-plantation H. C. Mount and Morris, were arrested, speculation. ... We tried to get labour brought before the Police-court on De- in a legitimate way, but without success. cember 5th, and committed for trial on the The next island we went to was Palma, capital charge. On the 19th and 20th and there we tried to get labour by that they stood their trial in the Supreme again ; we were however not able to capCourt, before the Chief Justice, a verdictture the natives at that island. One of of manslaughter being returned. From the passengers (Mr. Mount), dressed as a the evidence given in the respective missionary, attempted to lure the natives courts, we shall construct a narrative of ou board, but it failed. .... We went on the case.

to several islands, and captured the On June 8th, 1871, the brig Carl left natives, generally by breaking or upsetMelbourne for Leonka, Fiji. Her owner, ting their canoes and by getting the natives Dr. James Patrick Murray, sailed as su- out of the water into which they were percargo. On arrival, having changed plunged. We broke up the canoes by her captain and crew, she started on her throwing pig iron into them. The pasfirst kidnapping expedition in Western sengers used to pick up the natives, and Polynesia, returning to Fiji to dispose of used sometimes to hit them on the head, her labour. On a second voyage Dr. in the water, with clubs, or with slingMurray was attacked by serious illness, shot when they dived to get out of the way. and brought to death's door. Whether And so on from island to island. In a from genuine repentance, remorse, or short time we had about eighty natives sheer fright at the prospect of death, on on board. .... On the 12th or 13th of the return of the Cari to Leonka, Dr. September there was a disturbance durMurray, the instigator and principal of ing the night. .... On the following the bloody deeds we have to relate, dis- night it commenced again, and the man

on the watch fired a pistol over the * Lord Kimberley, in a despatch to Lord Belmore of hatchvray, and shouted, to frighten them, 8th January, 1872, writes: “I request that your lord as on the previous night. Other methods ship will inform Mr. Robertson that, in my opinion, his statement completely exonerates the Government of the Colony from the charges brought against them by Captain Palmer in the work in question." Captain Paliner,

er: appeared to be breaking down the bunks, in a letter to the Secretary to the Admiralty, 27th January, 1872, vaithdraws all the expressions complained of,

plained of, and with the poles so obtained they "and I have only to add that the paragraph3 alluded to shall be expunged if my book should go through another edition." But the book may not reach a sec

fiercely attacked the main hatchway. ond edition, and many who have taken their impressions from the first will not see the Parliaraentary correspond

The row now ence from which we quote. The best causé is damaged | natchway with their poles. by such intemperate zeal.

appeared to have started in a fight be



tween the quiet natives and the wild ones. However they got two women for the Most of the wild ones were battering at | old man. - February 27. Mem. of Malthe hatch. The attempts to pacify the grave Islanders jumping overboard and men below having failed, the crew com- fired at.- March 5. Cook going to clear menced to fire on them. The firing was out, but brought up quick with a pistol, kept up most of the night. I think every- | after which he went to sleep.” But we one on board was more or less engaged need not multiply these revelations. in firing down the hold. ... During the The evidence given on the trial of night, by way of directing aim, Mr. Wil- Mount and Morris in Melbourne supson, one of the passengers, threw lights plies some particulars not elicited in the down into the hold.” At daylight it ap- Sydney trial, and we shall give such expeared “there were about sixteen badly tracts as appear to us to throw additionwounded and above eight or nine slight- al light on the incidents of this iniquily. In the hold there was a great deal of tous slave-trade. blood with the dead bodies. The dead Matthias Devescote deposed: “We men were at once thrown overboard. The fitted up the hold with saplings. When sixteen badly wounded were also thrown I saw that the poles were taken in, I overboard. ... I saw that the men so thought that the pearl-fishing expedition thrown overboard were alive. We were was cooked then, but it was too late to out of sight of the land. Some were tied back out....I heard Dr. Murray say by the legs and by the hands.

(this was off Palma), “This is a big ship, R. Wilson, a passenger, corroborated and we can make it pass for a missionary Murray's witness in the main.

ship. If we disguise ourselves we can George Heath, a seaman, gave evidence get some of the natives to come on not so favourable to Murray, as that mis- board, and can then put them down becreant had suppressed certain facts. On low.'” Another witness will supplement the night of the disturbance “saw Dr. this :Murray with a musket in his hand sing James Fallon deposed: “The captain ing the song "Marching through Georgia.'| and Wilson went ashore. The former At daylight a party went into the fore-turned a coat inside out and put it on. hatch' and fired in amongst the natives. Wilson dressed himself in an unusual Believed it was Murray and another man way. Mick, a sailor, put on a blue coat, now in Leonka.”

and old Bob, one of the Kanakas, put We must not omit that the poor something round his cap. Mount was wretches who were not butchered, were, dressed in a long red shirt and smokingon their way to Leonka, taught to hold cap, but he did not go ashore. They up their fingers and to say “three yam,” said they would dress like missionaries. meaning three years, as though they had Mount got up on top of the house on agreed to give three years' service. deck and walked about. He held a book

On one of the prisoners, a warder in in his hand. The ship was anchored the Sydney gaol found a log of the cruise. about a couple of hundred yards from the We give some specimens.

shore. .... Wilson commenced singMonday, 15th January (1872). Got ing Marching through Georgia' and five men down in the forecastle threading Wait for the Tide.' Wilson tore out beads, and hauled the ladder up. Five some of the leaves of a book he had with more were laid hold of on deck and him and gave them to the natives, who shoved down in the hold. The ship was fell upon their knees before he commenced then got under way for Santo.- January to sing. They were kneeling down all 22. At night, in the first watch, one of round him.'" the stolen blacks slipped over the rail : Devescote relates when the canoes whether he fetched the land or was were alongside: “I had heard Murray drowned, I don't know.February 4. say to the captain to get all ready, and Got under way, and went closer in shore. he would give the word of command.

This day stole twelve natives — four wo- Murray said, 'Are you ready, Captain ?' men and eight men. One woman came and he said “Yes,' and Murray said off to give them warning and she got When I say one — two — three, let the nailed. - February 9. Stole four men. men jump on the canoes. This was Three swam for the reef. Lowered boats done. . . Dr. Murray would say, 'Are and picked them up. Kept one. The you ready? Look out! one-two other two were old men. Took them on three,' and then the crew would be lowshore, and three came on board to take ered down, the canoes swamped, and the canoe on shore, and were kept on board. men thrown into the water. ... The natives were very bruised when they iger held up three fingers and said, “Three came on board, and the bilge-water of fellow yams. The consul then said the the two boats was mixed with blood. were passed, and that was all the inCanoes were smashed again, as usual.” quiry he had made. Lewis was the interOn the night of the row in the hold he preter. There was no other.” This is saw " Scott, Dr. Murray, Captain Arm- one of the heroes of the auger-hole strong and others firing down into the butchery. Could this farce be exceeded ? hold. . . . At one o'clock in the morning We have selected the latest and bestthe mate raised a cry that the natives had authenticated case of slavery in the South charge of the deck, and Dr. Murray Seas. But these atrocities have been parcalled out, “Shoot them, shoot them; alleled within the last few years, and the shoot every one of them. At four Carl brig is no singular offender. Two o'clock everything was quiet. ... One points, however, are prominently brought of the crew said, “Why, there is not a out by this case — the uselessness of our man dead in the hold,' and Mount said, war-ships for the purpose of regulating

That is well.' Dr. Murray put down the traffic by overhauling and examining his coffee and went forward. He was the labour-vessels, and the farce of conabsent about five minutes, and then re- sular inspection. The Carl was boarded turned and fetched his revolver. The from H. M. S. Rosario, not long after the second mate got an inch auger and bored massacre, and no suspicion excited. The some holes in the bulkheads of the fore-survivors of the massacre were examined cabin, through which Dr. Murray fired. . by Consul March. If the examination . . The first and second mates fired as was as superficial as stated in evidence, well. After a bit Dr. Murray came aft. we need not wonder that such a humbug Lewis, the second mate, said, 'What and sham left the natives where it found would people say to my killing twelve them. The regulation of this traffic is a niggers before breakfast?' Dr. Murray myth. Consul March has swelled the replied, " Aly word, that's the proper way blue-books with the exhaustive and comto pop them off. Lewis said, That's a prehensive system he has planned for fine plan to get at them,' meaning the holes preventing the abuses of the trade ; and bored in the bulkhead." The throwing he has shown us his practical working of over of the wounded is told — the first, a them. boy, wounded in the wrist, being pushed. The only satisfactory regulation is total overboard by Murray. The dead were suppression. Total suppression is the hauled up by a bowline, and thrown over-duty of Great Britain, and there is only board — thirty-five. The hold was washed, one way to do it - viz. to convert the Fiji scrubbed, and cleaned up, and ultimately Islands into a British colony. The situawhitewashed. The vessel was boarded tion at present is full of difficulties awaitsubsequently by an officer from H. M. S. ling solution. King Cacoban has blessed Rosario, but he seems to have left satis- his subjects with a Constitution, and a refied. Murray wanted to procure more sponsible Ministry of seven — five of labour, but after this last butchery pas- whom are whites — a Legislature, and a sengers and crew alike refused to have Chief Justice. A large number of Britany more of such work.

ish subjects have protested against the The consular inspection was as per-establishment of the Government there, functory as the man-of-war's. “We and have announced their determination had about fifty natives when we reached to resist it, on the ground that British Leonka. Consul March then came on subjects, who constitute the majority of board and passed these natives. He the white population, cannot form themasked Lewis, the supercargo, who was selves into a separate nation. Lord Kimalso second mate, how he got the natives. berley has directed Colonial Governors to Of course Lewis swore he got them in a deal with it as a de facto Government. proper manner. The consul asked Lewis The Law Officers of the Crown have adif the natives could answer to their vised that her Majesty's Government may names, and Lewis said “Yes. “Then,' interfere with the acts of British subjects said the consul, ' will you swear you got within Fiji, and that British subjects bethese men by right means ?' 'Yes,' said yond the limits of the new state, not yet Lewis. “How long were they engaged duly recognized, should not be accepted for?' 'Three years,' said Lewis. One as citizens of the new state. Meanwhile, of the niggers was then called, and asked the British consul declines to give any ofby the supercargo, How long? How ficial recognition to this Government, and many yams? The poor innocent nig-'according to the complaint of the leading

« VorigeDoorgaan »