Indian indenture ships to Fiji

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Between 1879 and 1916, a total of 42 ships made 87 voyages, carrying Indian indentured labourers to Fiji. Initially the ships brought labourers from Calcutta, but from 1903 all ships except two also brought labourers from Madras. A total of 60,965 passengers left India but only 60,553 (including births at sea) arrived in Fiji. A total of 45,439 boarded ships in Calcutta and 15,114 in Madras. Sailing ships took, on average, seventy-three days for the trip while steamers took 30 days. The shipping companies associated with the labour trade were Nourse Line and British-India Steam Navigation Company.

The most important man on these ships was the Surgeon-Superintendent, who supervised the medical care, ventilation, clothing, cleanliness and exercise of the passengers and his authority extended over the Captain. He inspected the stores before departure and reported on any defects during the trip. The Surgeon-Superintendent also intervened to prevent passengers from being mistreated by the crew. He was paid a bonus for each labourer landed alive.

List of ships[edit]

The table below provides details of the 87 voyages made by the 40 ships that brought Indian Indentured Labourers to Fiji. Of these ships, 27 were sailing ships and 13 were steam ships.

Name of Ship Date of Arrival Registered Numbers Number of Arrivals
LeonidasLeonidas May 15, 1879 000011–463 463
BerarBerar June 29, 1882 00464464–887 424
PoonahPoonah September 17, 1882 00888888–1364 477
PoonahPoonah June 19, 1883 013651365–1860 496
BayardBayard August 20, 1883 018611861–2354 494
SyriaSyria May 14, 1884 023552355–2792 438
HowrahHowrah June 26, 1884 027932793–3287 495
PericlesPericles July 3, 1884 032883288–3748 461
NewnhamSS Newnham July 23, 1884 037493749–4323 575
MainMain April 30, 1885 043244324–5048 725
Ganges IIGanges June 27, 1885 050495049–5571 523
BoyneBoyne April 26, 1886 055725572–6108 537
BruceBruce May 21, 1886 061096109–6566 458
HerefordHereford April 24, 1888 065676567–7105 539
MoyMoy May 3, 1889 071067106–7782 677
RhoneRhone May 15, 1890 077837783–8367 585
Allan ShawAllan Shaw June 17, 1890 083688368–8940 573
DanubeDanube June 15, 1891 089418941–9531 591
JumnaJumna June 27, 1891 095329532–9978 447
British PeerBritish Peer April 23, 1892 099799979–10505 527
AvonAvon May 5, 1892 1050610506–11025 520
HerefordHereford June 15, 1892 1102611026–11504 479
MoyMoy April 14, 1893 1150511505–11971 467
JumnaJumna May 23, 1893 1197211972–12281 310
EmsEms April 20, 1894 1228212282–12851 570
HerefordHereford June 28, 1894 1285212852–13362 511
VadalaSS Vadala March 26, 1895 1336313363–14109 747
VirawaSS Virawa April 26, 1895 1411014110–14786 677
ErneErne April 24, 1896 1478714787–15343 557
ElbeElbe June 13, 1896 1534415344–15958 615
RhoneRhone May 11, 1897 1595915959–16611 653
ClydeClyde June 1, 1897 1661216612–17281 670
MoyMoy June 1, 1898 1728217282–17849 568
AvonAvon July 25, 1899 1785017850–18316 467
Ganges IIGanges September 3, 1899 1831718317–18780 464
Ganges IIGanges June 21, 1900 1878118781–19334 554
ElbeElbe July 26, 1900 1933519335–19938 604
ArnoArno July 23, 1900 1993919939–20565 627
RhineRhine August 30, 1900 2056620566–21056 491
FazilkaSS Fazilka March 28, 1901 2105721057–21860 804
FultalaSS Fultala May 12, 1901 2186121861–22669 809
FazilkaSS Fazilka June 18, 1901 2267022670–23445 776
VirawaSS Virawa April 26, 1902 2344623446–24163 718
FazilkaSS Fazilka June 20, 1902 2416424164–25003 840
MerseyMersey June 13, 1903 2500425004–25588 585
ElbeElbe August 5, 1903 2558925589–26178 590
ArnoArno September 4, 1903 2617926179–26812 634
ArnoArno May 3, 1904 2681326813–27443 631
EmsEms July 30, 1904 2744427444–27969 526
FultalaSS Fultala April 10, 1905 2797027970–28796 827
VirawaSS Virawa July 17, 1905 2879728797–29411 615
WardhaSS Wardha July 28, 1905 2941229412–30303 892
FultalaSS Fultala August 17, 1905 3030430304–31093 790
FazilkaSS Fazilka April 17, 1906 3109431094–31974 881
FultalaSS Fultala April 28, 1906 3197531975–32775 801
WardhaSS Wardha June 28, 1906 3277632776–33609 834
FazilkaSS Fazilka January 28, 1907 3361033610–34484 875
VirawaSS Virawa March 23, 1907 3448534485–35243 759
FazilkaSS Fazilka April 25, 1907 3524435244–36039 796
SangolaSS Sangola March 18, 1908 3604036040–37171 1132
SangolaSS Sangola June 6, 1908 3717237172–38257 1086
SangolaSS Sangola February 1, 1909 3825838258–39409 1152
SangolaSS Sangola April 21, 1909 3941039410–40076 667
SangolaSS Sangola March 7, 1910 4007740077–41002 926
SanthiaSS Santhia April 22, 1910 4100341003–42023 1021
SangolaSS Sangola June 5, 1910 4202442024–42892 869
SanthiaSS Santhia July 8, 1910 4289342893–43922 1030
MutlahSS Mutlah May 22, 1911 4392343923–44756 834
SutlejSS Sutlej June 25, 1911 4475744757–45606 850
GangesSS Ganges July 22, 1911 4560745607–46466 860
MutlahSS Mutlah August 18, 1911 4646746467–47329 863
SutlejSS Sutlej October 4, 1911 4733047330–48140 811
SutlejSS Sutlej April 27, 1912 4814148141–48997 857
IndusSS Indus June 8, 1912 4899848998–49801 804
GangesSS Ganges July 18, 1912 4980249802–50644 843
GangesSS Ganges November 8, 1912 5064550645–51490 846
GangesSS Ganges February 21, 1913 5149151491–52261 771
SutlejSS Sutlej April 11, 1913 5226252262–53069 808
GangesSS Ganges May 29, 1913 5307053070–53917 848
GangesSS Ganges September 9, 1913 5391853918–54701 784
ChenabSS Chenab March 24, 1914 5470254702–55556 855
ChenabSS Chenab June 16, 1914 5555755557–56273 717
MutlahSS Mutlah May 7, 1915 5627456274–57125 852
GangesSS Ganges June 21, 1915 5712657126–57971 846
MutlahSS Mutlah August 1, 1915 5797257972–58783 812
ChenabSS Chenab September 1, 1916 5878458784–59665 882
SutlejSS Sutlej November 11, 1916 5966659666–60553 888

Notes[edit]

  • The number following the name of the ship denotes the voyage number (to Fiji).
  • "SS" in front of the name of the ship denotes that it was a steam ship.
  • From 1905 all ships were steam ships.

See also[edit]