VIII-"The Kanaka Labour Traffic" - J.D. Melvin - The Argus

VIII-"The Kanaka Labour Traffic" - J.D. Melvin - The Argus

"Our Representative on a Recruiting Schooner; Re-engagement of Former Labourers; Two Women Accepted; Death of a Recruit"

by: J. D. Melvin | publication date: December 12, 1892 | Publication: The Argus | pages: 5-6

We had now 16 recruits, and I found for the first time that they had a certain amount of English to learn by rote before they reached Queensland. Perhaps this was not absolutely necessary, but it was evidently regarded as highly desirable. In this matter, too, it was thought that the sooner they commenced their lessons all the better would it be in the end. So when the time came on Sunday for distributing their weekly supply of tobacco and pipes they were put through their facings. 

The seventh article in The Argus' series "The Kanaka Labour Traffic" by J.D. Melvin about his time spent as a crew member on the blackbirding vessel The Helena sent to recruit laborers from the the Solomon Islands.

Public domain.