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. Image number: 397440.

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. Image No:696785

1847: Festland von Australien und benachbarte Inseln. Adolphe Stieler 1775-1836 ; F Stulpnagel 1781-1865. Gotha : Justus Perthes :1847.Image No: 725575

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. Record No: 788003

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. Record No: 689191.

1884: What I know of the Labour Traffic by A.J. Duffield. Brisbane : Watson, Ferguson & Co. :1884. Record No: 710299.

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. RBJ 344.0162 QUE

1894: A few facts in connection with the Employment of Polynesian Labour in Queensland. 1894. by M. Hume Black. London : Qld. government :1894. RBJ 301.451994 BLA.

1895: The Kanaka, or : how the Queensland planters get and treat their... W. Gray (William ) Adelaide : Wigg :1895. J 331.629350943 GRA. 

1901: A White Australia. The Kanaka Labour Question. Sugar Growing in Queensland. The Part Played by the Black man. A "Herald" Investigation. By its Special Commissioner. Melbourne: Herald, 1901. RBJ 331.629597 WHI. 

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. Q 338.17361 QUE

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. Q 338.17361 QUE