Unlock the Past Cruises

Colonial Adventures and Experiences

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Published in 1871 and written by 'A University Man' (George Carrington), this book aims, to set forth, in an entertaining way, something of the inner life, the everyday working experience of a colony, taking as my type the latest of the Australian colonies - Queensland.

He describes the hardships and trials of four years endured by an educated man forced to do what he could to earn his living – shovel-work, photographer, shepherd, stripping bark, and on the diggings. There are also chapters covering coolie labour in Queensland, 'blackfellows', the bush and its natural history, and Queensland’s goldfields. There are snapshots and mentions of many Queensland places including Brisbane, Port Denison, Townsville, (Cleveland Bay), Rockingham Bay, Fraser Island, Maryborough, Rockhampton, and Burke Town.

Coolie Labour in Queensland
I had better begin to explain the term 'coolie labour', as understood in some of our colonies, and to tell what I can about it. Few people are, I believe, aware, that there has been carried on for some time, in Queensland and other colonies, an organized system of kidnapping, (immigration they call it,) from the South Sea Islands. That is to say, that large numbers of the islanders have been brought over from the islands to work on the cotton plantation