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Eighteenth-Century Criminal Transportation
 
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Eighteenth-Century Criminal Transportation
 
 
Palgrave Macmillan
 
 
 
 
 
19 Dec 2003
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£89.00
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9780333793381
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DescriptionContentsAuthors

The transportation of English convicts to the American colonies in the eighteenth century was a judicial, cultural and social phenomenon. This study examines the way that thousands of convicts were sent from the regions when circuit judges and county authorities adopted the penalty after 1718. As transportation became more common, so did the necessity of organizing regular shipments to America. Every region developed a transatlantic traffic in convicts, thus creating a criminal Atlantic alongside that of slaves and servants. The print culture of the eighteenth century, particularly the exchange of news stories about crime, produced a common knowledge of convicts on both sides of the Atlantic. As some convicts escaped from the colonies and returned, so the myths and narratives of the failure of transportation grew. At the end of the colonial period, Americans railed against the British, their criminals, and the criminal behaviour of their politicians, while the British showed their contempt for the American 'race of convicts'.


Description

The transportation of English convicts to the American colonies in the eighteenth century was a judicial, cultural and social phenomenon. This study examines the way that thousands of convicts were sent from the regions when circuit judges and county authorities adopted the penalty after 1718. As transportation became more common, so did the necessity of organizing regular shipments to America. Every region developed a transatlantic traffic in convicts, thus creating a criminal Atlantic alongside that of slaves and servants. The print culture of the eighteenth century, particularly the exchange of news stories about crime, produced a common knowledge of convicts on both sides of the Atlantic. As some convicts escaped from the colonies and returned, so the myths and narratives of the failure of transportation grew. At the end of the colonial period, Americans railed against the British, their criminals, and the criminal behaviour of their politicians, while the British showed their contempt for the American 'race of convicts'.


Contents

Introduction - - the Formation of the Criminal Atlantic
Pedlars in the Outports: Transportation, the Locality and the Atlantic
Cities, Regions and their Criminals
Gangs, Gentlemen and Gypsies: Narratives of Transportation
Flight, Escape and Return
Panics and Recriminations: Convergence and Divergence and the Criminal Atlantic
Conclusion


Authors

GWENDA MORGAN is Reader in American History and American Studies at the University of Sunderland. She has published a number of articles and essays on law and society in early America, penal reform in the young republic, as well as a monograph on Richmond County, Virginia.

PETER RUSHTON is Reader in Historical Sociology at the University of Sunderland. He has published widely on aspects of the personal and social relations of early modern England, as revealed in legal and administrative records of north-east English countries. He has written on witchcraft, problems of marriage and family life, the poor law and the care of the mentally disabled.

More recently Gwenda Morgan and Peter Rushton have worked on a number of joint projects in the area of crime and punishment in the eighteenth century. The have published Rogues, thieves and the rule of law: the problem of law enforcement in north-east England, 1718-1800 (UCL Press, 1998)