"Blackbirding" - The Slave System's Just-as-Evil Twin?

New York Tribune article titled, "The Tahiti Carried No Slaves."

Media History

The reporting was intended for these media types: Newspaper

"Is it a Cargo of Slaves?" - New York Tribune

"A Brig with 300 Gilbert Islanders in her hold near San Francisco"


San Francisco, Sept. 7 (Special). - Much interest is taken here in the brig Tahiti, which is now lying in Drake's Bay, near here, with 300 Gilbert Islanders in the hold. The vessel is American, yet she is engaged in carrying these islanders to San Benito, Mexico, to work on coffee plantations. Captain Fergusen explains that his human cargo was secured by legitimate contract, and that when their period of service is completed the Mexican Government agrees to return them to their homes.

"The Brig was Bottom Up" - The New York Tribune

She had nearly 300 slaves on board; They were being taken to Mexico to work at starvation wages; All supposed to be lost


San Francisco, Nov. 20 - In a brig dispatch from Manzanillo comes news of the wreck of the brig Tahiti, with every soul on her, 270 South Sea slaves, missing. This wreck is a noteworthy one, as it marks the failure of the first extensive attempt at "black-birding" on the Pacific Coast.

"The Tahiti Carried No Slaves" - New York Tribune

H. H. Leavitt Believed to have Perished with the Passengers


In the account published in The Tribune yesterday of the wreck of th brig Tahiti, the dispatch, which of passengers, 270 in number, all of whom are believed to be lost, as "South Sea slaves." Humphrey H, Leavitt, of this city, who was a three-fourths owner of the brig, and Captain C. Erickson, who was in command, are also supposed to have perished.