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Category Archives: 5. In the New World

Transported Convicts in the New World: Samuel Ellard’s Return to England

Note: This post is part of a series on Convict Transportation to the American colonies. Samuel Ellard grew up in Spitalfields and was apprenticed to a butcher. He completed his time as an apprentice and worked in the Spitalfields Market for various people until he was arrested on March 9, 1741 for robbing a cheese […]

Transported Convicts in the New World: Convicts Who Returned to England

Note: This post is part of a series on Convict Transportation to the American colonies. Most of the convicts who were sent to America from Great Britain stayed in America, but some made it back to their home country, legally or illegally. Convicts who escaped, ran away, or purchased their freedom soon after landing in […]

Transported Convicts in the New World: Runaways

Note: This post is part of a series on Convict Transportation to the American colonies. Lots of convict servants tried to run away from their owners in an attempt to escape harsh treatment from them or to regain their freedom and possibly return to Great Britain, or both. Almost as soon as the practice of […]

Transported Convicts in the New World: Committing Crime in America

Note: This post is part of a series on Convict Transportation to the American colonies. On July 15, 1751 the New-York Gazette, or Weekly Post-Boy reported that Onesiphorus Lucas was executed in Annapolis in a follow-up to a newspaper story that appeared two weeks earlier about how Lucas was found guilty of burglary and sentenced […]

Transported Convicts in the New World: Treatment by Their Owners

Note: This post is part of a series on Convict Transportation to the American colonies. Plantation owners who purchased the labor of convict servants also acquired complete legal control over them. They could rent the service of the convicts out to another plantation owner. They could transfer ownership of the convict servants to someone else […]

Transported Convicts in the New World: On the Plantations

Note: This post is part of a series on Convict Transportation to the American colonies. Convict transportation raised important issues of identity and freedom for the convict, the plantation owner, and the other servants. Once on the plantation, convicts had to renegotiate their social position. They suddenly found themselves bound to a fellow Englishman who […]

Transported Convicts in the New World: Adjusting to America

Note: This post is part of a series on Convict Transportation to the American colonies. Most of the transported convicts who ended up in Virginia lived north of the York River, mainly in the Northern Neck between the Rappahannock and the Potomac Rivers. About three quarters of Maryland’s convict population lived in four of the […]

Transported Convicts in the New World: Moll Flanders and Moll King

Note: This post is part of a series on Convict Transportation to the American colonies. While the American press criticized the practice of British convict transportation, Daniel Defoe enthusiastically supported it in his novel The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders. Moll Flanders is the most well-known character in literature to have been […]

Transported Convicts in the New World: The Reaction of the American Colonies

Note: This post is part of a series on Convict Transportation to the American colonies. That the British policy of transporting convicts to America was not well received by colonists should come as no surprise to anyone. American colonists complained that Britain was using their land as a dumping ground for their undesirables in the […]

Transported Convicts in the New World: The Buyers of Convicts

Note: This post is part of a series on Convict Transportation to the American colonies. Convicts from Great Britain made up the largest number of forced immigrants from Europe to America in the eighteenth century, with kidnapping victims and forced political exiles trailing far behind. One of the ideas behind the creation of convict transportation […]