SS Ganges Ship: The Last Indian Indentured Servant Ship




This article is about the SS Ganges ship.

On April 18, 1917, the SS Ganges ship was the last ship to carry Indian indentured servants to the Caribbean arrived in Georgetown, Guyana. Then on April 22, 1917, it arrived at Nelson Island, Trinidad. The SS Ganges left India less than two months prior on March 8, 1917.

There were about 400 passengers, and approximately 7 persons died during the voyage. Notable sources have conflicting numbers as to the amount of passengers.

But a couple journeys prior is where we find a gruesome tale of colonial horrors.

Dr. William Holman was a surgeon on the ship in charge of policing the nightly activities of the crew and emigrants. Holman spent 40 years as a surgeon despite his inhumane treatment of emigrants.

He regularly whipped the emigrants. In 1857, 31% of the servants died during his care, and most of the rest had to be sent to the hospital. He was forced off another ship for violating women. His lasting career was due to his family ties and the fact that authorities accepted his position despite overwhelming and continuous evidence to the contrary.

On a 1895 SS Ganges journey, Holman mysteriously died in an apoplectic fit foaming at the mouth.

Originally Written 4/18/22; Updated 4/14/23

This article was about the SS Ganges ship.


By Melissa D. Goolsarran Ramnauth, Esq. | This content is copyright of West Indian Diplomacy, LLC and may not be reproduced without permission.

She runs West Indian Diplomacy, a Caribbean blog aimed at promoting West Indian history and business in the global marketplace. Melissa has been an attorney for over 10 years. She currently focuses on trademark registration, trademark searches, and office actions. She also has extensive legal experience in the areas of trademarks, copyrights, contracts, and business formations. She owns her own Trademark Law Firm that is virtually based out of Fort Lauderdale.

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