Captain Hamilton (1852-1937) was born in Scotland and came to Australia at the age of 10. In 1882 - 1883 he made voyages from Brisbane to the New Hebrides, New Britain and New Ireland in labour recruiting vessels. For a dozen or so years from the late 1890's, he ran the Hamilton Pearling Co. with luggers operating out of Komuli in the Admiralty Islands and Gizo in the Solomons. This company also traded in copra, tortoise shell, black lip and green snail shell. Later, Captain Hamilton had big planting interests in the Solomons, mainly on Choiseul. He died in Sydney in November, 1937.
The papers copied on this microfilm are the most interesting and valuable historically of a large collection (in the Oxley Memorial Library) relating to Captain Hamilton's career. They comprise:
- Diary of a recruiting voyage in the schooner Lochiel from Brisbane to the New Hebrides from September 20, 1882, to December 29, 1882.
- Diary of a recruiting voyage in the schooner Jessie Kelly from Brisbane to the New Hebrides, New Britain and New Ireland from March to September, 1883.
- Two reports on voyages in search of pearl shell in New Guinea and the Solomons in 1899-1900.
- Log of the pearling lugger Nippon from April 20, 1901 to September 24, 1901, kept at the Hamilton Pearling Company's station at Komuli, Admiralty Islands.
- Log of the Hamilton Pearling Company's station at Komuli from September 27 1902 to March 10 1903.
- Logs and diaries kept by William Hamilton in the vessels Canomie, Ysabel, Gazelle and Kambin from January 1 1903 to November 14 1905. These concern the operations of the Hamilton Pearling Company in New Guinea and the Solomons.
For further details of Captain Hamilton's career and of his other papers in the Oxley Memorial Library, see the Bureau's newsletter 'Pambu' October 1968:3, pp.3-6.