The ship Forest Eagle, 1156 tons, was built in Rockland, Maine, in 1856 by Starrett & Kimball. In 1861, under the command of Capt. Thomas Pillsbury, she carried 500 Chinese coolies from Macao to Havana, Cuba, to work in the sugar fields there. Shortly after this voyage, President Lincoln forbade American ships from participating in the coolie trade. The Forest Eagle was reported lost at sea in March of 1881. This image is from a painting owned by the Rockland Public Library.
Chinese tea box, decorated with two horses on front. Bottom reads "Per Mails Steamer, Choicest Specialty Selected First Crop Lap Sang Souchong" on bottom. By the time this tea was exported, the fastest way to get tea from China was by fast steamship, the steamship that carried the mail. The days of racing to England with the fresh tea crop under sail were gone.
Detail of Sunda Strait and its Approaches chart, showing the strait between Sumatra and Japan. This was one of the most important passages on the route to and from China. Note the island of Krakatoa, where the volcano blew up in 1883.