"The Kanaka Labor Traffic" - J.D. Melvin - The Argus

Reportage

Description

J.D. Melvin, at the behest of his editors at the Argus, gets a job as a supercargo aboard the Helena on a round-trip journey from Queensland to the Solomon Islands.  He observes and participates in the return of 60 workers at the completion of their work contracts, and the recruitment and transport of 90 new workers from the islands. 

Reporters

Media History

The reporting was intended for these media types: Newspaper

Effects and Outcomes

Running around the same time as Brommage's (wilder) undercover reports on Blackbirding for the San Francisco Examiner, Melvin's investigation offers evidence that conditions on the ships varied widely.  He concluded that the regulations on the practice, put in place since Morrison's earlier expose on blackbirding, were working on the Helena. 

Articles, Books, Video/Film

  • I-"The Kanaka Labour Traffic" - J.D. Melvin - The Argus | "Special Investigation by The Argus; A Representative on a Recruiting Schooner"

    December 3, 1892
    Australian conservative newspaper The Argus sent reporter J.D. Melvin undercover on The Helena, a blackbirding ...
  • II-"The Kanaka Labour Traffic" - J.D. Melvin - The Argus | "Our Representative on a Recruiting Schooner; Natives Homeward Bound; The Voyage to the Solomon Islands"

    December 5, 1892
    The first installment of J.D. Melvin's undercover report from on-board the blackbirding vessel The Helena.
  • III-"The Kanaka Labour Traffic" - J.D. Melvin - The Argus | "Our Representative on a Recruiting Schooner; Reception of Returned Laborers by their Tribes; The First Attempt to Recruit"

    December 6, 1892
    The second article in The Argus' series "The Kanaka Labour Traffic" by J.D. Melvin about his time spent as a crew ...
  • IV-"The Kanaka Labour Traffic" - J.D. Melvin - The Argus | "Our Representative on a Recruiting Schooner;The Natives Shy; Inspection by a Warship"

    December 7, 1892
    The third article in The Argus' series "The Kanaka Labour Traffic" by J.D. Melvin about his time spent as a crew ...
  • V-"The Kanaka Labour Traffic" - J.D.Melvin - The Argus | "Our Representative on a Recruiting Schooner; The Safeguards Against Deception; First Recruits"

    December 8, 1892
    The fourth article in The Argus' series "The Kanaka Labour Traffic" by J.D. Melvin about his time spent as a crew ...
  • VI-"The Kanaka Labour Traffic" - J.D. Melvin - The Argus | "Our Representative on a Recruiting Schooner; Operations in Port Adam; Additional Recruits Obtained; Refusal of Recruits"

    December 9, 1892
    The fifth article in The Argus' series "The Kanaka Labour Traffic" by J.D. Melvin about his time spent as a crew ...
  • VII-"The Kanaka Labour Traffic" - J.D. Melvin - The Argus | "Our Representative on a Recruiting Schooner; Death of a 'Return'; A Large Number of Recruits Obtained"

    December 10, 1892
    The sixth article in The Argus' series "The Kanaka Labour Traffic" by J.D. Melvin about his time spent as a crew ...
  • 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"

    December 12, 1892
    The seventh article in The Argus' series "The Kanaka Labour Traffic" by J.D. Melvin about his time spent as a crew ...
  • IX-"The Kanaka Labour Traffic" - J.D. Melvin - The Argus | "Our Representative on a Recruiting Schooner; The Last of the 'Returns' Landed; Brisk Recruiting"

    December 15, 1892
    The eighth article in The Argus' series "The Kanaka Labour Traffic" by J.D. Melvin about his time spent as a crew ...
  • X-"The Kanaka Labour Traffic" - J.D. Melvin - The Argus | "Our Representative on a Recruiting Schooner; Competition Between Labour Ships; Re-Victualling Necessary"

    December 16, 1892
    The ninth article in The Argus' series "The Kanaka Labour Traffic" by J.D. Melvin about his time spent as a crew ...
  • XI-"The Kanaka Labour Traffic" - J.D. Melvin - The Argus | "Our Representative on a Recruiting Schooner; In Missionary Precincts, Large Accession of Recruits"

    December 17, 1892
    The tenth article in The Argus' series "The Kanaka Labour Traffic" by J.D. Melvin about his time spent as a crew ...
  • XII-"The Kanaka Labour Traffic" - J.D. Melvin - The Argus | "Our Representative on a Recruiting Schooner; A Full Ship; The Nineteenth 'Boy' Obtained"

    December 19, 1892
    The eleventh article in The Argus' series "The Kanaka Labour Traffic" by J.D. Melvin about his time spent as a crew ...
  • XIII-"The Kanaka Labour Traffic" - J.D. Melvin - The Argus | "Our Representative on a Recruiting Schooner; Return to Bundaberg; Safe Landing of the Boys"

    December 20, 1892
    The twelfth article in The Argus' series "The Kanaka Labour Traffic" by J.D. Melvin about his time spent as a crew ...
  • XIV-"The Kanaka Labour Traffic" - J.D. Melvin - The Argus | "Our Representative on a Recruiting Schooner; Concluding Comments; Stringency of the Regulations; The Cost of a Kanaka"

    December 22, 1892
    The thirteenth and final article in The Argus' series "The Kanaka Labour Traffic" by J.D. Melvin about his time ...