Murder Afloat The true story of massacre aboard the brig, Carl
Ships sailing the trading routes of the South Pacific in the 1800's mostly carried general merchandise. Other sailors sought fortunes gathering sandalwood and diving for pearls and pearl shell.But,in the latter half of the century a much more lucrative trade developed - the labour trade.
Plantation owners in Australia and Fiji were desperate for a source of cheap labour. Their dreams were fulfilled when the Australian government approved a scheme to recruit labourers from the South Pacific islands. What started out as a legitimate venture soon degenerated into a slave trade where cruel men used bribery and threats to fill their ship's holds with human cargo. When these methods didn't work they resorted to kidnap and murder.
Of all the blackbirders involved in this sinister trade, a dapper Melbourne doctor was the worst. This is the true story of bloody mass murder on board the brig, Carl,systematically carried out under orders from Dr James Patrick Murray. But this was just the beginning of a bizarre series of terrible events.
- Gordon Plowman, April 2011
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