F.R. PRINSEP, secrectary to the government of India, in an official report on the subject, states: "The methods adopted for procuring labourers to engage for service in colonies and places beyond sea, are productive of serious frauds, and have led to much opppression, and," he further observes, "the system is a source of injury and abuse, rather than of benefit to the labourers, in the form in which it is at present carried on." The governor, Sir WILLIAM NICOLAY, in referring to the same subject in a despatch to Lord GLENELG, dated 21st May, 1839, observes, "That very nefarious practices have been resorted to, in many instances, in order to procure labourers for embarkation for this island, is beyond all doubt," and Mr. Special Justice ANDERSON asserts in one of his letters to the governor, that "many of them have actually been KIDNAPPED from their own country, which," he adds, "they have ALL been induced to leave, under circumstances of GROSS FRAUDS." To go into the history of all those "frauds," would be to detail circumstances, second only in atrocity to those connected with the African slave-trade. The fact is established beyond dispute, that multitudes have been kidnapped-- forced into prison-depôts until the Mauritian slavers were ready to receive them-hurried on board-put under hatches and guards-robbed and pillaged of the advances made to them by the Maurtian agents in Calcutta- shipped in large numbers on board vessels, without the requisite accommodation, food, or medical attendance- brought under the most fraudulent contracts to labour for years on scanty wages, and scanty fare-separated from their families and from their homes-compelled to perform the hardest agricultural labour known, at the discretion of their masters-and without the protection of an upright, impartial, and efficient magistracy.
It is difficult to ascertain when the first shipment of Coolies to Mauritius took place, or the exact number of them which has been, at various periods introduced. It