Leela Gujadhur Sarup


Leela Gujadhur Sarup is a historical researcher and author on colonial emigration of indentured workers. Her works are based on hard to find documents as they originally appeared in the records of the British Empire. We reproduce, with permission, an extract of a sermon preached in Cathedral Church of St. Johnís, Antigua by the Right Reverend the Lord Bishop of Antigua on 3rd March, 1861


Dr. Garrow Grant – I am Protector of Emigrants and Superintendent of Labour Transport in Calcutta. I know Mr. Anderson, Emigration Agent General for the Colony of Jamaica. Since I have been Protector of Emigrants, Mr. Anderson has been here as Jamaica Agent. I remember the vessel Salisbury being at Calcutta in the early part of the year. She took emigrants to Jamaica. I knew Captain Clare, the Commander of the vessel. I remember an altercation occurring between Captain Clare of the Salisbury and Mr. Anderson. I must premise by stating that my recollection is not very distinct regarding what occurred.

Colonial Emigration 19th-20th Century Proceedings 1874 Vol. 6

I did not pay particular attention to what happened, not knowing at the time that the matter would form the subject of future enquiry. I remember after leaving the ship an alteration took place on the coolie wharf between Mr. Anderson and the captain. A few words passed between them which convinced me it had nothing to do with the coolies, and I did not therefore take any particular interest in the matter, and was going on towards my carriage which was near at hand. The Captain called out (the precise words I do not recall) saying. “Look here Dr. Grant,” or words to that effect; he then referred to the dispute and stated that he had been ordered by Mr. Anderson to take cases on board. He objected to the manner in which Mr. Anderson had ordered him to put the things on board.

Mr. Anderson offered to pay for the cases; but the captain said, if asked properly, he would have taken them with pleasure, but he would not be ordered to take them. I interfered so far as to suggest to the captain his taking the cases; but as he declined any interference on my part, I did not take any further steps in the matter, but went to my carriage. This took place after dusk, on the evening of the day the coolie embarked on board the Salisbury.

I do not remember any of the language used on either side when first called by the Captain. My impression is that I must have been thirty or forty yards from them. I do not remember any specially coarse or offensive language being used towards the Captain by Mr. Anderson. Such would, I think, have struck me if I had heard it; but a chance oath or swearing spoken in momentary irritation would not possibly have arrested my attention.

It was dark at the time the altercation occurred, and I can remember hearing the voices, but I cannot exactly recall the distance they were from me when this dispute occurred. I cannot recall any threat being used on my hearing by Mr. Anderson towards Captain Clare. I don’t remember his threatening to make Captain Clare repent it. I cannot recall hearing Mr. Anderson use towards Captain Clare any abusive or offensive language.

The impression left on me by the dispute was, that there was a want of good feeling and an exhibition of hasty temper on both sides. I was on board the ship previous to this dispute with Mr. Anderson and Captain Clare. I do not remember any dispute occurring there. At the time the altercation occurred, the voices of both were raised; they were both angry.

I either stopped or turned round and must then have seen the Captain, but I cannot recall whether I saw Mr. Anderson or not. I cannot say from what I heard that Mr. Anderson’s manner was offensive towards Captain Clare.

—To be continued

May 2011

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