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Tag Archives: Nova Scotia

Early American Criminals: Stephen Smith on the Common

Stephen Smith was born a slave in 1769 in Virginia. His last name was originally Allen, but he changed it to Smith in order to escape from the master who owned him, William Allen. Smith’s father was a religious man, but his mother encouraged him to steal. With her prompting, Smith committed several small […]

Early American Criminals: The Canadian Burglars

On Friday, December 4, 1789, William Mooney Fitzgerald and John Clark were scheduled to appear before the court in St. John, New Brunswick. They were to learn their sentence after being tried and found guilty of burglary the day before. That morning, Rev. Charles William Milton entered their prison cell and later wrote that […]

The End of Convict Transportation: One Last Gasp and the Australian Solution

Note: This post is part of a series on Convict Transportation to the American colonies. The American Revolution brought an abrupt end to the British practice of transporting convicts to America. Back in England, the supposedly temporary solution of housing convicts on prison hulks in the River Thames to relieve prison overcrowding only had a […]

Convict Voyages: Rebellion

Note: This post is part of a series on Convict Transportation to the American colonies. Knowing the volatile nature of their cargo, captains of convict ships were careful not to allow convicts much freedom during their voyage to America for fear they could take over the ship. Still, insurrection did occur. In 1751, The Virginia […]