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Slavers in paradise : the Peruvian labour trade in Polynesia, 1862-1864

CollectionsANU Press Titles (1965-1991)
Title: Slavers in paradise : the Peruvian labour trade in Polynesia, 1862-1864
Author(s): Maude, H. E.
Date published: 1981
Publisher: Canberra : Australian National University Press
Description: 
This is the story of the barques and brigs that sailed out of Callao in Peru, calling at every Pacific island group except Hawaii, kidnapping thousands of men, women and children by violence and treachery and transporting them to slavery and death. It is an absorbing narrative of the conflict between human greed and bewildered innocence, set in the romantic isles of the South Seas. It tells of how the unsuspecting islanders were captured, leaving in many cases only the aged and the children to reconstruct their stricken communities; of what befell them as slaves in Peru; of how, through the efforts of a resolute Frenchman and a courageous Lima newspaper, the horrifying truth was revealed and the trade stopped; and finally of how all but a handful of the pitiful remnant died from smallpox and dysentery during mismanaged attempts at repatriation which led also to the deaths of thousands more on the islands where the repatriation ships called. The book is a rare work of scholarship: not only is it the definitive account of the hitherto untold story of the most traumatic even in Polynesian history, linking for a brief period the fortunes and misfortunes of two utterly dissimilar societies. Above all, sensitively and comassionately, it gives the island peoples of the Pacific part of their own history, their own heritage.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1885/114682

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