The Log of the Coolie Master: Introduction
In 1861 the Rockland, Maine ship Forest Eagle set sail from Macao bound for Havana, Cuba, carrying 500 Chinese workers—“cooliesCoolie
An unskilled laborer, working for very poor wages, usually from Asia.”—to the sugar fields. The vessel was commanded by Captain Thomas Pillsbury, of Rockland, and had aboard a Coolie Master, John O. Shaw. Shaw kept a log of the voyage, which is reproduced here with only minor editing. For the complete story and context, see our chapter titled The Coolie Trade.
The log is called “Log Book of Ship Forest Eagle of incidents appertaining to the Emigrants from Macao to Havana, 500 in Number. Rept. by John O. Shaw, Coolie Master.”