Demanding the Governor appropriate a private ship to promptly transport them “home,” indentured Indian labourers grew impatient, repeatedly pressing the colonial authorities for acknowledgement, answers and action. Afraid they would end up stranded and abandoned in British Guiana (BG) as their contracts expired, groups of homesick and concerned workers from six estates in the three counties quickly sought meetings with officials ranging from managers to Magistrates, and even the highest administrator.
A ten-man delegation from the Anna Regina plantation in Essequibo descended on the headquarters of the Essequibo Sheriff, M. L. Fowler on January 30, 1843 as tensions rose. In a sworn statement made before him, they declared: “Our time of service has expired; it expired on the 26th of this month. We want to go back to our own country. Our ‘matties’ (mateys) say all want go (sic). They tell us to say so. We want a passage back to our country, to Calcutta.”
Producing a copy of their 1838 pact, they insisted, “It shows that our time of service has expired, and that it expired on the 26th of this month. We have been to look for the Magistrate of the district; he is not come (sic). We have asked the manager, Mr. Hughes, to send us back. He says we must wait two months. We do not want to wait; we want to be sent immediately to our country, according to our agreement when we left home.”….