Sailing the British Empire : The Voyages of The Clarence, 1858-73Main MenuSailing the British Empire: The Voyages of the Clarence, 1858-73IntroductionThe Crew / AcknowledgmentsThe Provenance of Watson's LogAdditional Sources: Logs, Crew Lists, DiariesInside Lloyd's Register"Green's Celebrated Service"Details on owner of the ship at the time of our voyage, Richard Green.The Master Builder: William PileThe Master: Joseph Watson's BiographyA Mate's ProgressThe Career of Henry Berridge, First Mate of the ClarenceThe Crew of the Clarence in 1864An annotated crew listThe 18th HussarsThe Clarence and the Cyclone of 1864Origins of Indian Emigrants Aboard The ClarenceThe Surgeon-SuperintendantWages of indentured labourers in Demerara (1870-1900)The Clarence Sails to AustraliaMutiny! Violence and Resistance Aboard "Coolie Ships"Cholera: The Killer from CalcuttaSTSC 077, Fall 2015 First Year Seminar, University of Pennsylvaniab33a025deaa7595ed0079bfc9b77ea3cb14b8d08STSC 077, The University of Pennsylvania, fall 2015
The Most Powerful Man On Board
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The surgeon was, if not the most, one of the most important individuals on board any ship carrying indentured laborers. The position was one that was taken very seriously; after all they were responsible for delivering the passengers alive. As a result, a very specialized individual would take up the job. Surgeons were commonly either Indians or Eurasians who had been trained in the Calcutta medical school. These individuals more often went on voyages to places like Mauritius and Malaya (these were usually shorter). Sometimes the surgeons were taken from the Indian civil medical service, others were former naval doctors. Other times surgeons who had worked on ships en route to Australia would transfer to the “coolie trade.” A surgeon was only invited back if a certain amount of people arrived alive, therefore these individuals were considered very capable and professional. However, because they were responsible for the health and discipline of the passengers, as well as the upkeep of the actual ship (ensuring that the migrants were keeping their quarters clean), they held much power. As you will read later on, often times this power was unfortunately abused, resulting in acts of misconduct.
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