Skip to main content
  • Home
  • /

  • The Written Truth

The Written Truth

Heritage maps from the John Oxley Library show the world as it was depicted in the early 1860s through the early 1900s when South Sea Islanders arrived by vessel from nearby islands to work as indentured labourers in Queensland.  Over time the maps change, the spelling of names, the addition of islands and more.  Information about the practice of indentured labour can be realised today from the monographs written by missionaries at the time.  These volatile missives extoled the virtues of missionary work in the Melanesian Islands while condemning the practice of indentured servitude in Queensland as “slave labour” to the world.  Further historical truths are revealed with the passage of monumental government policies: the White Australia Act and the Pacific Islanders Labourers Act, both of 1901.  A Royal Commission was formed in 1906 to provide an humane review about the ordered mandatory deportation of Islanders, following the 1901 acts that forbade Islanders to be employed in Queensland.

1798 Part of the great Pacific Ocean shewing the route of the Spanish frigate la Princesa, commanded by D. Franc(isc)o Antonio Maurelle in 1781. Samuel John Neele 1758-1824. London : G.G. and J. Robinson :1798.
1820 Chart of the coast of Queensland, also covering Torres Strait, New Guinea and Pacific Islands east to Fiji. London : J.W. Norie & Co. :1820 - Navigation Warehouse and Naval Academy.
1847 Festland von Australien und benachbarte Inseln. Adolphe Stieler 1775-1836 ; F Stulpnagel 1781-1865. Gotha : Justus Perthes :1847.
1855 Australien und Polynesien. Adolphe Stieler 1775-1836 ; Augustus Petermann 1822-1878.; F Stulpnagel 1781-1865. Gotha, Germany : Justus Perthes :1855 Record no:698901
1857 Karte der Central-Gruppen von Polynesien: Nach den Karten der Britishen Admiralitat. Augustus Petermann 1822-1878. Gotha Germany : Justus Perthes :1857.
1865 Oceanie. Louis Antoine. Paris : Louis Antoine :1865?
1869 Oceanie. Bruxelles : Callewaert freres :1869. Record No. 725434
1872 The Slave Trade in the New Hebrides: being papers read at the annual meeting of the New Hebrides Mission, held at Aniwa, July 1871 . John Kay; Reformed Presbyterian Church of Scotland. New Hebrides Mission. Annual meeting (1871 : Aniwa, New Hebrides). Edinburgh : Edmonston & Douglas :1872. Catalogue record; Digital copy
1884 What I know of the Labour Traffic by A.J. Duffield. Brisbane : Watson, Ferguson & Co. :1884.
1888 Oceania by L.J. Waddington. Catalogue record.
1892 Imperial and colonial Acts relating to the Recruiting, etc., of Pacific Island Labourers, and regulations made thereunder; together with instructions for the guidanceof Government Agents to accompany vessels to carry Pacific Islanders.
1894 A few facts in connection with the Employment of Polynesian Labour in Queensland. 1894. by M. Hume Black. London : Qld. government :1894
1895 The Kanaka, or : how the Queensland planters get and treat their... W. Gray (William ) Adelaide : Wigg :1895 Catalogue record;
Cover: A White Australia: the Kanaka Labor Question…Melbourne 1901,  John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland.
1906 Sugar Industry Labour Commission. Report of the Royal Commission appointed to inquire into and report regarding the number of Pacific Islanders. R. A Ranking (Robert Archibald), 1843-1912. Brisbane : George Arthur Vaughan, Government Printer :1906.
1906 Appendix XVIII: Present Residences of Pacific Islanders and Localities to which they are to be deported. From the Queensland. Royal Commission to Inquire into and Report upon the Deportation and Repatriation of Pacific Islanders, and the Sufficiency of Labour for the Queensland Sugar Industry. ; R. A Ranking (Robert Archibald), 1843-1912. Brisbane : George Arthur Vaughan, Government Printer :1906.