Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Coolies, from a Hindoo word meaning labourers, is applied generally to Eastern labourers, who are carried to different colonies and countries whose climate is unfitted to European labour, and where native labour is not to be obtained. The coolies are in the majority of cases Chinese, and their employment has given rise to such a rush of Chinese immigrants to various parts as to make their admission to a country one of the most important international and ethnical questions of the day. Many coolies have also been brought from the South Sea Islands under contracts which bind them to a certain number of years' service at a certain rate of pay. Till governments began to look into things, there was much abuse of this coolie-supplying system, and the "blackbirding" of the South Sea Islands was hard to distinguish from the old slave-trade.