CELESTIAL VISITORS.–The streets of Launceston were enlivened yesterday by groups of Chinamen who have arrived here in the Louisiana, and are on their way to Melbourne. They were generally dressed in the costume of their country, though one or two wore trowsers of a more civilised sort. They are mostly young men, and are under the guidance of a sort of chief, who determines their disputes. This worthy might be seen yesterday bearing aloft a blue calico umbrella. One of the party, however, carried a fan, and from his self-satisfied air and carefully arranged dress, he was doubtless a Chinese dandy.
The Courier, 8 December 1856
A CARGO OF CELESTIALS.— Launceston has been visited this week by a large number of Chinese, who arrived on Saturday last, in the Louisiana, from Hong Kong, which is now laying at our wharf. The men have been hawking fans, knives, pictures, &c., which have realised good prices, and some of them had indecent pictures for sale. They will leave here in a few days for Melbourne.
People’s Advocate, 11 December 1856
CHINESE HAWKING AND DEPRAVITY.
To the Editor of the Cornwall Chronicle.
Since the arrival of the barque Louisiana with her living cargo of “Celestials” as they call themselves, but who I think deserve rather the appellation of “Infernals,” the streets have exhibited them in the capacity of Hawkers, vending the productions of their country; silks–shawls–fans–feathers,— &c. &c. There does not appear to be a probability of the inhabitants of this town sacrificing these said celestials interest, by tricking or cheating them of then goods, they are wide-awake and evidently know well the value of money. But I have felt not a little astonished at the unconcern of our shopkeepers, who must be losers by the traffic of these gentry. There is a law for the protection of the legitimate trader by which these celestial hawkers are liable to a serious penalty for practising their calling without a licence. This is the look out of the parties interested, not alone the retail dealers, but also the government, which it a sufferer by the loss of duties on the foreign importations. Mr Editor, I am little concerned about the sale of silks and satin,— people buy or not as they are disposed, and no harm is done worthy of consideration on either side probably, at all events, the pocket only suffers by cheating ; but. Sir, I desire to record my strongest feelings of indignation at the temerity and impudence of these foreigners, for exposing to the notice of passengers in the streets, and of the inmates of dwellings, into which they insolently force themselves— the most obscene and brutal and disgustingly offensive prints and paintings which can be conceived by the most depraved even of their own country. Does our law tolerate, and do our conserves [?] the peace permit, in these miserable and [?] pagans and idolaters, the dissemination [?] the disgusting obscenity at which manhood [?] ? God forbid ; yet if so humiliating and [?] should pass unnoticed by the public authorities, I dare hope that the great majority of the inhabitants of Launceston will at once exercise their undoubted right to vindicate the respectability, and protect the moral feelings of the community at large. [?] all vice that of obscenity is the most degrading, the wretched creature who indulges in obscene language, practices, and habits, dishonour the mother who bore him and outrages the susceptibilities of the female sex. In mercy to the moral reputation of our police magistrate, I will believe that he is in ignorance of the facts to which I refer.
I am Mr. Editor, Y
A Father of a Family
Cornwall Chronicle, 13 December 1856
THE CHINAMEN. – Great dismay was caused amongst the Chinese on board the Louisiana on Monday by the announcement on the part of the master of the vessel that he proposed to leave a portion of their number at this port, and that therefore they must leave the ship, as he would supply them with rations no longer. The reason for this was said to be that the ship was under engagement to land the Chinese in Australia, and Tasmania being one of the Australian colonies, the master held that the contract on his part was complete. Our readers are aware that an impost of 10/- is charged on each China man landed at Melbourne, and therefore the ship would gain to that extent by landing the passengers here. Yesterday the Chinese appealed through one of their number to the Police Magistrate, who examined their passage tickets. It appeared, and was admitted by the captain, that the greater portion had expressly contracted to be landed in Melbourne ; but the tickets of sixteen specified Australia only. The Police Magistrate held that none of the passengers could be left here. The office was crowded with “Celestials,” who waited with eager faces to know the result of the dispute.
Launceston Examiner, 18 December 1856
Yesterday (Tuesday) morning a deputation of ten Chinamen from the “Louisiana” waited on the police magistrate, with Er Ing, their interpreter, to complain of a breach of contract on the part of the master of the barque “Louisiana,” who, according to a printed agreement produced, signed by Y. J. Murrow, owner and agent of the “Louisiana,” was bound to convey them to Port Phillip, or if the barque remained at any other port, they were to be conveyed to Port Phillip by a steam vessel, otherwise the master was to refund double passage money. Soon after this Captain Gardner arrived at the police office, bearing another printed agreement, signed also by Y. J. Murrow, undertaking to land the passengers in “Australia,” and he contends that this is a port in Australia ; there was nothing about Port Phillip in the agreement he produced, but he states that fourteen of his passengers did pay their passage to that port, that two of them died on the voyage from Hong Kong, and that the agreement produced by Er Ing is one belonging to one of the deceased men. Captain Gardner, therefore, wishes to turn the one hundred and seven celestials adrift here. The case is to come on for hearing at 10 o’clock today, when we trust if many of the followers of Confucius are to be examined on oath, the police magistrate will have a good supply of saucers at hand. The profit on the oaths of the celestials will be but trifling unless they are charged for the broken saucers, in addition to the usual shilling for performing that ceremony on the Bible. -Cornwall Chronicle.
Colonial Times, 19 December 1856
The Chinamen.—-Last night Akw and Attue, two Celestials of importance, came here, by the Black Swan, in order to see justice done their countrymen, now on board the, Lousiania.
The People’s Advocate, 29 December 1856
The Louisiana.-The Chinese Consul at Melbourne, Ataw, accompanied by his Aide-de-Camp Akair, arrived here by the Black Swan, on Sunday, with a view to arrange with Captain Gardner to land his passengers at Guichen Bay, where guides will be in attendance to pilot them to the diggings. Captain Gardner was at Hobart Town on business but was expected back yesterday. The packages of cargo and heavy luggage belonging to the celestials are to be forwarded to Melbourne by steam.
Courier, 1 January 1857
The Chinese by the ‘Louisiana.’
The barque ‘Louisiana’ arrived here from Hong Kong on the 4th December last, with 119 Chinese passengers on board, and a cargo of teas and sundries. Since then Capt. Gardiner has visited Melbourne and Geelong for the purpose of seeing at one of those places, the agent to whom the vessel and passengers were consigned, in order to make arrangements for the introduction of the latter to Victoria. The 10l. per head poll-tax levied there, on each Chinese passenger, was one great obstacle to this, while the penalty under the ‘Passenger Act, for having so many passengers on board the Louisiana, in proportion to her tonnage, was almost as great. It is probable we shall eventually get a bargain of the 119 celestials ourselves, as the mate and crew appeared at the Police-office yesterday morning, before the Police Magistrate and Captain Drew, the Harbor-master, to request advice how they were to act. The/ mate said that Captain Gardner had left the ship on his return from Melbourne, taking with him his chronometer, clothing, and all his property ; and also, the ship’s articles and papers, stating that he was going to consult the American consul at Hobart Town, and get advice, as to how he ought to act in the dilemma he found himself. The mate had not heard from Captain Gardner since Christmas, and it had been stated, that he had left Hobart Town and gone in Manilla. Mr. Fisher the agent here, to whom the cargo of tea was consigned, believed that captain Gardner was still in Hobart Town, but he had left no provision for the supply of rations to the crew and passengers, and the question now is, what is the remedy for all this? The passengers and crew all lying idle here would soon (in a figurative sense) eat up a larger barque than the ‘Louisiana;’ then she is not British-built—- she is an American. How can she be legally disposed of? After all is settled, we shall no doubt have the Chinese for our share, and a very unprofitable bargain they will be. The Police Magistrate took the Information of one of the crew named Norris, to commence proceedings in the case, which will immediately be submitted to the Attorney-General for his consideration, and that to the other law officers of the Crown. The Police Magistrate wrote to request Mr. Fisher to supply rations to the crew and passengers until he could receive instructions from the Law officers of the Crown, how to act. And thus the case stands at present.
Cornwall Chronicle, 7 January 1857
The case of the Louisiana bas at length been settled. Mr. Fisher has chartered the Vixen and Tamar to carry the Chinese to Guichen Buy, from whence they will proceed overland to Victoria. Their effects will be forwarded to’Melbourne by the Royal Shepherd.
The Courier, 12 January 1857
The Chinese by the ‘Louisiana.’— The Celestials have at last cut the gordian knot respecting their destination, by paying their own fares in the schooners ‘Vixen’ and ‘Tamar,’ to Guichen Bay, from whence they can reach the Victoria diggings overland. The ‘Vixen’ was cleared out yesterday, and the ‘Tamar’ will be ready for sea to-day. The ‘Mercury’ will take their baggage direct to Melbourne, from whence it will be forwarded to meet them at the diggings.
Cornwall Chronicle, 14 January 1857