The full content of this document is only available to subscribing institutions. More information can be found via

Title Entry-Books of Correspondence: Letters to the Colonial Office. Windward and Leeward Islands, Bahamas, 1860-1866
Date 5 Jan 1860 - 12 Dec 1866
Document Type Correspondence; Report
Reference CO 386/101
Library / Archive The National Archives
Collection Name Colonial Office: Land and Emigration Commission, etc.
Description Letters written by T. W. C. Murdoch and Stephen Walcott, referring principally to the transportation, mortality rates and conditions suffered by 'coolies' and 'poor whites' transported to the Leeward Islands, Windward Island and the Bahamas. Letters referring to inquiries into the misconduct and neglect of surgeons on boards these vessels feature frequently. Many letters also refer to amendments made to immigration legislation and the impact this had on indentured labourer emigration. Some letters refer to the immigration arrangements for Africans to the West indies. There is an index at the back, listing the letters by year and colony and detailing the main subject matter and dates of their composition.
Series Description This series contains original correspondence, entry books and registers of the Agent General for Emigration, the South Australian Commissioners and the Land and Emigration Commission. Amongst the miscellaneous contents are registers of births and deaths of emigrants at sea 1854-1869, lists of ships chartered 1847-1875, registers of surgeons appointed 1854-1894, and volumes of The Colonial Gazette 1838-1842.
Biographical Note / History A Colonial Land and Emigration Commission was created in 1840 to undertake the duties of two earlier and overlapping authorities which were both under the supervision of the Secretary of State. These were the Colonisation Commissioners for South Australia, established under an Act of 1834, and the Agent General for Emigration, appointed in 1837. The new commission dealt with grants of land, the outward movement of settlers, the administration of the Passengers' Acts of 1855 and 1863 and, from 1846 to 1859, the scrutiny of colonial legislation. In 1855 it became the Emigration Commission. In 1873 the administration of the Passengers' Acts was transferred to the Board of Trade. The commission's powers were gradually given up to the larger colonies as they obtained self-government, and after 1873 its only duties were the control of the importation of Indian indentured labour into sugar-producing colonies and it was abolished in 1878.
Theme(s) Arrivals: Ports and Early Experiences; Colonisation Companies and Emigration Societies; Religion, Ethnic Identity and Community Relations; Ships and Shipping Lines
Country (from) India; St Helena; United States of America
Country (to) Windward Islands; Leeward Islands; Bahamas; St Lucia; British Guiana; Antigua
Places San Salvador Island; Grenada; St Vincent; Antigua; St Kitts; Guadeloupe; Tortola; South Carolina, United States; Calcutta, India
Ports Madras, India
Nationality Indian; Asian; English; European; African; American
Ships Duke of Newcastle; Victor Emmanuel; Tartar; Francis Ridley; Countess of Ripon
People Murdoch, Thomas William Clinton; Walcott, Stephen; Elliot, Sir Thomas Frederick; Bart, Frederic Rogers; Herbert, R G W
Keywords emigration, administration, government, agent, mortality rate, shipping, emigrant, indentured labour, forced migration, labour, emigration scheme, colony, charter, legislation, return passage, mortality rate, death, poverty, social class, wages, colony conditions, immigrant, food, finance, freight, finance, tax, land sale, application, land, rum, salt, agriculture, labourer
Language English
Copyright Crown Copyright documents © are reproduced by permission of The National Archives London, UK