Page I (A-G)
& Mark M. Newell, The Dromedary Hulk, Bermuda
Clare Anderson, Fashioning Identity:
the development of penal dress in the Indian convict settlements
Hispanic and Lusophone Convicts in Australia: Research in
James Bradley, An Engine of Unlimited Power: Phrenology
and the Individuation of Convicts in the 19th Century
Andrea Button, Commodities of the State:
the trade in convict labour to the West Indies during the
Timothy Coates, Exile as a Tool in
Building and Maintaining the Early-Modern Portuguese Empire
Slave, Apprentice and 'Khoisan' Spaces in Colonial Places:
Criminal Transportation from the Cape Colony to Australia
as a Site of Contested Power Relations
Convicts and Tobacco Consumption in Hyde Park Barracks
Lucy Frost, Constraining Foreign Tongues
Farley Grubb, The Trans-Atlantic Market
for British Convict Labour (1767-1775)
Hindmarsh, 'I'll be damned if I don't have some'; Convict
Trangressive Consumption in Van Diemen's Land 1820-40
Ihde, Edward Smith Hall: Colonial Paradox
'The Hermit Convict'
Sara Joynes, The
Australian Joint Copying Project and sources for Convict Studies
Exporting felons from British North America
Convict and Aboriginal Relations in Early Australia
The 19th Century Deportations of Finnish Convicts to Siberia
Ian McLean, Convict
art and cultural capital: the case of Thomas Watling
Matthew P. Mauger,
Criminal History Transported: The Literary Origins of
the Convict Narratives
Between the Lines: Murder and Convict Society at Macquarie
Harbour Penal Station
Page III (Me-Re) (see
Meredith, Tasmanian Convict Workers: Modelling the Convict
Labour Market in Van Diemen's Land, 1848-60
Tim Millet, Leaden Hearts:
convict love tokens
Gwenda Morgan & Peter
Rushton, Criminal Connections: Criminal Transportation
and the Place of the North in the Atlantic World of the Eighteenth
Mark M. Newell & Chriss
Addams, The Dromedary Hulk, Bermuda
O'Connor, Charting New Waters With Old Patterns: The Black
Marketeers, Pirates and Those Who Just Dreamed of the Way
Home. The Penal Station and Port of Newcastle, 1804-1824
Diana Paton, An "Injurious"
Population: Race and Slavery in the Transportation of West
Indian Convicts to Australia
Tina Picton-Phillipps, Frozen
Identities: An Exploration, 1810-1830
Anoma Pieris, Productive
illegalities in the Colonial Straits Settlements
Geraldo Pieroni, The
Portuguese Inquisition and Banishment to Brazil
Cassandra Pybus, "By any available
means": The case of the Canadian Political Prisoners
Kirsty Reid, Gender and
convict culture in Van Diemen's Land
Rosen, 'That Den of Infamy': The No. 2 Stockade, Cox's
Rushton & Gwenda Morgan, Criminal Connections: Criminal
Transportation and the Place of the North in the Atlantic
World of the Eighteenth Century
Abby M. Schrader, Lawless
Vagabonds and Civilizing Wives: The Official Cult of Domesticity
and the Exile Problem in Early Nineteenth-Century Siberia
Heather Shore, From courthouse
to convict-ship to colony: the Euraylus boys in the 1830s
Max Staples, Australian
colonial art: is there a convict aesthetic?
Norma Townsend, An
Alternative View of Female Convicts
Jim Walvin, Atlantic
Slavery and convict slavery: an area for comparison
Kerry Ward, 'Bandieten
and Bannelingen': penal and political transportation in the
Dutch East India Company's Indian Ocean empire, c.1655-1795
Emily Warner, Subjectivity
and the Penal Colony: Convict Narratives and Foucault
Stephen G. Wheatcroft,
The Tsarist Prison System in the Perspective of the Stalinist
and Other Prison Systems
Anand A. Yang, Con(vict)
Tales from Bengkulen: Convict/Laborer/Slave in Early Nineteenth
Century South and Southeast Asia
David Meredith, School of Economics, University
of NSW (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Tasmanian Convict Workers: Modelling the Convict Labour Market
in Van Diemen's Land, 1848-60
This paper is concerned with the operation of the convict labour
market in Van Diemen's Land. The market was comprised of two components:
public employment and private employment. Specifically, the paper
focuses on the private sector. A private labour market was created
by the government assignment of convicts to private employers through
a system known as 'probation'. This system underwent several changes,
but at each stage, the government set broad terms and conditions
for the employment of convict labour, although it did not stipulate
wage rates. This paper uses data from individual labour contracts
made between private employers and the government, for the period
1848 and 1860, to explore the work experiences of 10,137 convict
men and women. Who did they work for? Who did they work with - were
these small or large establishments? For how long were they with
each employer? Did good workers get re-hired? What were they paid?
Were there career paths open to convict workers? How did women fare
compared with men? This information forms the basis for modelling
how the private convict labour market operated in VDL, and to speculate
on the relationship between penal transportation and economic development.
Tim Millet, Baldwin's Coin Dealers
Leaden Hearts: convict love tokens
Between 1814-45, the production of 'love tokens' was common practice.
As convicts awaited transportation, they worked or paid to give
material form to their last words. The love tokens produced have
been described as 'postcards before sailing'. They speak of many
things: artisan craftsmanship; the resources available to the incarcerated;
and, loves, hopes and lives. Through the tokens, convict voices
emerge. They speak of convicts' own understandings of incarceration
and transportation to Australia.
Mark M. Newell, Georgia
Archaeological Project & Chriss Addams, Advocational Marine
Archaeologist, Bermuda, & (email@example.comfirstname.lastname@example.org)
The Dromedary Hulk, Bermuda
This paper presents preliminary data concerning the discovery,
recovery, and preliminary analysis of the first major deposits of
the material culture of the British shipboard penal system of the
Western Hemisphere. The find reveals a distinct pattern of deposition
which enables clear delineation of functional areas of the Prison
Hulk Dromedary, moored in the Naval Dockyard of Bermuda's
Ireland Island in the mid-nineteenth century. Analysis of the artifact
assemblage provides insights into the lifeways of the hulk crew
and inmates, into their subsistence patterns and into their economic
activities. The potential for future research is discussed, revealing
the likelihood that Bermuda offers a unique resource for future
research into the use of shipboard prison systems dating from the
Tamsin O'Connor, Dept of History, University
of Edinburgh (email@example.com)
Charting New Waters With Old Patterns: The Black Marketeers,
Pirates and Those Who Just Dreamed of the Way Home. The Penal Station
and Port of Newcastle, 1804-1824
On the eve of federation, Australia's first wave of republicans
plundered the imagery of colonial bush life to meet the needs of
an emergent national identity and this inward gaze would be held
fast and firm by successive generations. The origins and implications
of the bush legend have been much explored and at its heart we invariably
find the convict, the old lag or the bushranger. This paper aims
to re-examine not the myth, but the contexts of its human sources
- their physical and mental geographies. By using the penal station
of Newcastle as something of a microcosm for the wider colony, it
will be demonstrated that the ocean was as powerful a societal force
as the bush. The men and women of these first coastal settlements,
while not unaware of their colonial predicament, did not turn invariably
inward to construct their communities - they also looked to the
sea with all its currents that coursed the globe and brought the
possibility of comfort, grief, or even knowledge. It was the ports
that allowed the convicts and free sailors and soldiers to replicate
the black trading patterns of the old world. Equally the sea remained
the enduring focus for dreams of freedom, it was the quite simply
the only way in and the only way out. The ports of NSW witnessed
all the brisk comings and goings of a military and imperial power
and home might be any corner of the empire. Further, even when the
convicts looked inward to the centre - it was an ocean or China
they sought not yet Australia. It is hoped that this paper will
contribute to the global understanding of convictism by examining
the convicts' experiential and imagined relationships with the sea
and its promise of worlds beyond - both known and unknown.
Diana Paton, Queen's College, University
of Oxford (firstname.lastname@example.org)
An "Injurious" Population: Race and Slavery in the
Transportation of West Indian Convicts to Australia
"The transportation of Convicts from the West Indies to the
Australian Colonies ... tends to multiply in New South Wales &
Van Diemen's Land, a population injurious to the best interests
of those rising Settlements." This was the official reason
for ending the transportation of convicts from the British Caribbean
to the Australian colonies. The decision to prevent transportation
of Caribbean prisoners was taken in 1837, one year before the complete
abolition of slavery, and fifteen years before the last British
convicts were sent to Van Diemen's Land. This paper explores the
reasons behind that decision, and in particular, attempts to unpack
what was "injurious" about West Indian convicts to the
"rising Settlements" of Australia. It focuses especially
on evidence from Jamaica, but also draws on material from other
British colonies in the Caribbean. The paper suggests that, while
the additional expense involved in transporting convicts the extra
distance from the Caribbean was a factor in the decision, the debate
also involved anxiety about "race." Colonial policy makers
and bureaucrats expressed racialized views with considerable reticence.
James Stephens even crossed out the word "negro" and replaced
it with "this type of person" on one occasion. However,
the response of Jamaican elites to the decision makes it clear that
they understood that Jamaicans were not to be transported because
they were "negroes." If Australia was not considered an
appropriate destination for "negro convicts," asked the
Jamaican House of Assembly in 1839, could not an area on the West
coast of Africa be established as a penal colony?
What kind of theories about race and culture
underlay the development of a conception of colonial whiteness that
would ultimately erase the stigma of convict origins in Australia?
Were black convicts seen as dangerous because they threatened to
blur the line between indigenous people and convict-colonizers?
Was it their status as people just released from enslavement that
meant that West Indians were not "suitable" for transportation?
And why did the Jamaican authorities argue, in contrast, that "negroes"
were especially responsive to the threat of transportation?
This paper will use the records of the debate
about transportation from Jamaica and elsewhere in the Caribbean
to analyze the racialized assumptions underlying colonial policy
at a moment when official policy declared the impermissibility of
racially based decision-making. It will also discuss the implications
for the Jamaican penal regime of the decision to prevent transportation.
One result of the decision was that Jamaican policy makers had to
find ways to deal with "serious" but non-capital offenders
earlier than did those in Britain. As is becoming clear with regard
to a number of other areas, the colony - usually presented both
at the time and historiographically as trailing "behind"
the metropolis - turns out to have been in some respects more "modern"
than the so-called mother country.
As a background to the discussion of the
decision to end transportation from the West Indies, the paper will
describe the development of the system of transportation from Jamaica
during slavery. Although convicts were sent to Australia from Jamaica
for the first time only in 1831, the island had been transporting
individuals convicted of serious crimes since the seventeenth century.
These "criminals" were enslaved, and the arrangements
for their transportation were largely integrated into the slave
trade, with private purchasers, usually slave traders, buying convicts
and selling them in the Spanish American colonies. The newly independent
Latin American republics' refusal in the 1820s to accept enslaved
convicts led to the initial pressure on the Colonial Office to allow
West Indian convicts to be transported to Australia.
Tina Picton-Phillipps, Dept of History, University of Edinburgh
Frozen Identities: An Exploration, 1810-1830
Convict identities, as constructed by the home and colonial administrations,
have provided a vast database for historians. These identities were
collected in what were known as the "Convict Indents".
The extension of fields of information gathered together as it related
to each transportee has been the basis of several important academic
works. The prosopographic information, when collected and collated
through modern research methods could and does result in demonstrating
"typical" and "a-typical" categories of convicts.
Such an approach affirms the essentialisation of the individual
as a member of an inclusive social group - "the convicts".
Additionally these indents along with the annual Musters have provided
a rich source for those searching their ancestors in Britain. These
identities along with the accompanying "Ship of Arrival"
which each convict had to name in official correspondence to the
colonial administration is suggestive of a "new identity"
with the transport ship taking an almost baptismal role in this
figurative birth. The relative neglect by historians of correspondence
from and to convicts as well as their petitions to the home and
colonial administrations has privileged the identities imposed through
the official surveillance and control records. This paper explores
and interrogates these "Ego Documents" thereby disclosing
an alternative identity for the individual. Through these documents
we learn some of the aspirations and fears of transportation before
embarking on a ship to New South Wales. Additionally we learn something
of the sense of abandonment expressed by families and friends of
those who were to be, or had been transported.
Each of these apparently opposing identities
was created by the penal transportation system. Neither one nor
the other identity is more "authentic" than the other.
Each was socially constructed in the context of transportation.
The ego documents demonstrate an alternative identity to that physical
one collected by the administration for the purposes of labour.
The indents demonstrate one "identity" and ego documents
another. Neither identity invalidates the other. What is disclosed
is the complex humanity of transported men and women.
Anoma Pieris, Dept of Architecture, University of California at
Productive illegalities in the Colonial Straits Settlements
The illegal practices that were operative within the urban 'native
quarters' of the 19th century Colonial Straits Settlements were
perpetuated with the complicity of the colonial government. The
bodily discourses surrounding the convict, the prostitute and the
opium addict for example while emphasizing the perceived degeneracy
of the native population produced a stigmatized labor pool that
ensured a source of steady revenue for the colonial government.
Illegality was thus colonized, administered and exploited by the
Colonial bureaucracy and remained a productive but contentious bedfellow
of its ethical self-projections. This essay takes the bodily discourse
that surrounds the employment of Indian convict labor in the colonial
building industry and examines the extent to which these subject
categories are able to operate in contradiction to their subjugated
status. To what extent does the production of the individual body
within Colonial categories enable Indian immigrants to mobilize
themselves within an alien social environment? How do they deploy
the bodily discourses on illegality to their advantage and create
a cohesive and alternate subculture to that prescribed to them by
their European masters? To what extent is the Colonial government
compelled to rewrite the notions of subjugation in order to accommodate
immigrant culture? Taking the body as the starting point this essay
argues that the subjugated body is a productive body that problematizes
the application of centralized power.
On Wednesday 10 September 1856 the night
of the Mohorrum festival in Singapore a few hundred Indian convicts
forced their way out of their lines and lighting their way by torches
carried their taboot in procession through the public streets to
the house of the Resident Councilor and to the Government offices.
This public rioting was their collective response to a government
order that prevented them from carrying their taboot through the
streets as in former years. They vented their displeasure by noisy
cries and excited gestures protesting the curtailment of their freedom.
In former years we are told "they were allowed to indulge in
their Saturnalia without restraint, their taboot was the gayest
and their processions the noisiest to be seen on public streets".
Once they had vented their grievances they were persuaded to return
quietly to the prison. A year later in August 1857 in view of the
previous years protests the local government decided to repeal this
order and allow the convicts the liberty of parading the streets
during this same festival. The Governor stated that permission was
granted under the conviction that "to refuse it would have
the effect of needlessly exasperating the convict body , and of
driving them to acts of desperation more dangerous to the peace
and good order of the town than those that occurred the previous
year". The convicts however are said to have refused to avail
themselves of the permission given them. (from CB Buckley in An
Anecdotal history of old Times in Singapore 1819-1867, p. 531).
The dialogue generated between the residents
of the Colonial settlement and the Government regarding the issue
of the convicts typically took two directions. The direction of
the first disciplinary dialogue was to question those privileges
awarded to the convicts which seemed in contradiction to their penal
status. The direction of the second disciplinary dialogue was regarding
control over the caliber of the convicts sent to the settlement.
The convicts in Singapore armed with a peculiar coercive mobility
deftly maneuvered the liminal space between freedom and incarceration
complicating the social dialogue in an unprecedented manner. The
position of the convict in Singapore was a frequent cause for debate
largely because the degree of mobility across penal boundaries was
kept conveniently ambivalent by an opportunistic colonial government.
Laws instituted in favor of stricter regulation were constantly
being revoked by the government using arguments which may be perceived
as being in the convicts' favor. The objective of the punitive model
was to create an industrious body of men operating in large gangs
that required little control or supervision. In fact unlike the
19th Century European prisoner who had retreated into a concealed
cellular environment the Indian convict in Singapore had become
a common public figure.
My interest in this paper is not so much
in the dividing practices or the scientific classification that
no doubt will be referenced throughout this discussion but how those
practices and classifications were containers for processes of subjectification
through which the individual initiated an active self formation.
My intention therefore is not to attempt a critique of the penal
model put forward by Michel Foucault in Discipline and Punish
but to suggest that a different set of colonial priorities allowed
prisoners in the Straits settlements a greater degree of extra penal
interaction. My objective is to take a conventionally centralized
authority such as the penal institution and to explore it as a fertile
environment for the dissemination of a capillary form of power.
My investigation is primarily concerned with the way in which the
Colonial government's efforts to create a productive penal subject
contributed albeit within a punitive framework to the subject's
own self mobilization.
Geraldo Pieroni, Universidade de Brasília (email@example.com)
The Portuguese Inquisition and Banishment to Brazil
Public authorities have always fought against the criminal word
and, in order to achieve a harmonious society (at least theoretically),
have organized judiciary systems that were strong and coercive.
These were considered by magistrates as essentially necessary for
the defense of community. The practice of excluding undesirables
from a community by arresting and condemning them to banishment
has always existed in human society. The history of banishment in
Portugal acquired new angles with the maritime expansion of the
15th and 16th centuries and the Inquisition's establishment in Portugal.
Who were these condemneds? The exclusion of undesirable elements
from the community was used by the Holy-Office both as a means of
achieving social normalization and of populating recently discovered
lands. By studying the royal laws and inquisitory regulations, one
perceives that the majority of the banished was punished by crimes
against morality and religion. These were new Christians, witches,
blasphemers, visionaries, sodomites, bigamists, immoral and false
priests. For the Inquisition, banishment functioned as a necessary
religious and social defense against heterodox infection, while
at the same time, serving as a mystical procedure for the purification
of sins. Ministers of the Holy-Office used as many castigations
and banishments as possible to insure proper purification. Social
normalization and the expiation of sins fit perfectly into the colonizing
Cassandra Pybus, International Centre for Convict Studies, University
of Tasmania (firstname.lastname@example.org)
"By any available means": The case of the Canadian
In September 1839 the warship HMS Buffalo took delivery of 137 Canadian
political prisoners in Quebec to be delivered directly to the antipodean
penal colonies of VDL and NSW. These men, known as the Canadian
exiles, had been sentenced to death by hasty courts martial in the
provinces of Lower and Upper Canada (present day Quebec and Ontario
respectively) for fomenting rebellion but had received pardons conditional
on transportation for life.
Examination of the documentation around the
voyage of the Buffalo reveals this highly dubious manoeuvre was
almost certainly illegal and undertaken by the Colonial Office in
concert with the Admiralty, without the intervention of the Superintendent
of Convicts in the Home Office. As such it was designed to short-circuit
legal challenges from radical reformers in England which would have
seen these men set at liberty.
My paper will consider this micro transportation
in the context of political unrest in the British colonies in the
age of reform and consider the political and legal issues it throws
up in the use of inter-colonial transportation as a tool for political
repression and control.
Kirsty Reid, School of Historical Studies, University of Bristol
Gender and convict culture in Van Diemen's Land
Historians have repeatedly characterised working-class culture in
the Australian penal colonies as deeply misogynistic. Gender relations
between the convicts have been particularly represented as antagonistic,
brutal and exploitative. Convict women, we are told, bore the brunt
of this, and were thus transformed into the 'victims of victims'.
As a result, numerous historians have argued that convict women,
seeking the protection of the state, saw the Female Houses of Correction
as much as welcome asylums from male brutality as for the punitive
and oppressive institutions of the penal state that they were. Others
sought out individual protectors but apparently fared little better.
Intimate relationships between convicts, and convict marriages in
particular, have been depicted in almost wholly negative terms.
Allegedly motivated by little more than instrumental considerations
such partnerships are depicted as, at best emotionally unfulfilling,
and at worst as abusively and violently patriarchal. Convict women,
as one recent account argues, were 'consigned to domestic patriarchy
- hidden, unregulated, often brutal but still the(ir) most likely
chance of happiness and opportunity'.
Such representations draw upon two, perhaps
ironically, interlocking discourses. The first of these belonged
to the colonial ruling class which drew upon and adapted well-established
metropolitan discourses of plebeian gender conflict and brutality
in order to construct and reinforce an ideology of convict 'savagery'.
The second belongs to feminist historians who have imposed a teleological
framework upon the convict past in an attempt to explain the intensity
and enduring nature of modern gender oppression in Australia. Such
agendas have led historians to focus rather too exclusively upon
evidence of male convict violence and female convict oppression
at the cost of other, more conflicting, accounts that suggest the
need for a more complex and nuanced understanding of convict culture.
A key problem with the convict misogyny approach
is that it fails either to appreciate or to explain the extent to
which male and female convicts sought each other out. If male convicts
were really so unremittingly brutal and unpleasant then we can only
assume that convict women were either their powerless and rather
dim-witted victims or that they simply had appallingly bad taste
in men. Moreover, rather than acting, as has been alleged by some
historians, in patriarchal collusion with male convicts the colonial
state and colonial employers generally sought either to prevent
convict liaisons or at least to dictate their terms. Thus while
the state encouraged convict marriage, it also sought a tight control
over the institution. Convict women were only permitted to marry
after a designated period of good conduct, and only if their marriage
partners had been approved by the Governor. The family was perceived
as a powerful disciplinary institution, central to the transformation
of the convicts into a well-ordered, domesticated colonial working
class. Attempts by convicts to establish and maintain proscribed
relationships, often at high personal cost, therefore directly undermined
Employers likewise struggled to keep male
and female convicts apart. Partly they did so because they resented
the loss of female convict labour which marriage or pregnancy all
too often entailed. But they also did so because they recognised
that the attempts by male and female convicts to socialise together
were bound up with, and thus fed into, wider patterns of convict
resistance. Shared leisure time was a powerful incentive for absenteeism
and a frequent cause of drunkenness and disorderly conduct. Absentees
of both sexes congregated in public houses, theatres and 'disorderly
houses' and at card games, dances and the racecourses. On rural
properties, male and female convicts together transformed sites
such as huts, stables, barns and other outhouses into forums for
their entertainment. On a more serious level a network of brothels,
stretching throughout the colony, doubled as houses of assignation.
These not only enabled convicts to maintain romantic and sexual
affiliations despite employer and state opposition but also served
as refuges and hideaways for women on the run.
These activities and the presence of large
numbers of women on the streets testifies to the tenacity of a disorderly
female culture in the colony. The material and lifestyle gains which
women made from this culture were substantial. Sexual favours were
exchanged for a range of items, including cash, alcohol, clothing
and shelter for absentees. These enabled convict women to make the
most of their absences from work and so in turn contributed to their
ability to construct and maintain a semi-independent cultural space.
Women subsequently sent to the House of Correction fed their earnings
from prostitution into the informal economy trading for privileges
that substantially lessened the severity of their punishment.
Rather than a culture of misogyny this paper will argue that convict
culture was a culture of conflict. At its heart was the attempt
by convicts, male and female, to reclaim from the state a measure
of control over their intimate lives. The result was a gender order
based as much upon convict solidarity as upon antagonism between