American Citizens, British Slaves: Yankee Political Prisoners in an Australian Penal Colony 1839-1850
Cassandra Pybus, Hamish Maxwell-Stewart
Michigan State University Press, 2002 - History - 270 pages
This book tells the strange story of almost a hundred United States citizens who were transported to Van Diemen's Land in 1839-40.
As members of the Patriot Army that had conducted border raids into the colony of Upper Canada in 1838, they saw themselves as courageous republican activists, impelled by a moral duty to liberate their northern neighbours from British oppression. Instead of heroic liberators, they became political prisoners of Her Majesty's government.
Sent to Van Diemen's Land by Lieutenant-Governor Arthur - in the hope of deterring any more Yankees from exporting their abhorrent ideology to the Queen's domain - the Patriot exiles endured years of harsh treatment before they were eventually pardoned. Not being British subjects, their transportation was almost certainly illegal.
Eleven of the Patriots wrote narratives about their time in Van Diemen's Land. From these interlocking accounts, Cassandra Pybus and Hamish Maxwell-Stewart have constructed a compelling story of the Patriots' experiences as convicts, drawing also on unpublished letters, newspaper reports and government archives.
This story of political exile and punishment provides a window into the everyday life of the many thousands of forgotten men and women who endured the calculated cruelties of penal transportation. Virtually unknown until brought to life in this remarkable book, the story of the Patriots also considers the political and legal issues of penal transportation as a tool of political repression.
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absconders aged Aitchison American arms arrived B P K SB LB Barracks Beemer British Brown's River Buffalo bushrangers Campbell Town Canadian Captain Chandler charged constable convict Cooley death December Derwent River Diemen's Land Elijah Woodman escape February feet fellow Patriots flogged Franklin free pardon gang Gates Gemmell Glenelg governor GP A native Green Ponds Gunn hard labour Heustis Hobart Town huts inches tall January Jefferson County John July June LB GP Born left Van Diemen's Lieutenant-Governor Linus Miller Lord Lord John Russell Lovely Banks Lower Canada magistrate March Marquis of Hastings misconduct narratives Oatlands offence Office Onondaga County overseer pardon was received petition Port Arthur prisoners Probation Station punishment record reported resident roads Sandy Bay SB LB GP sent sentence ship Short Hills Snow solitary confinement Steiglitz superintendent ticket-of-leave was issued told transportation trial Upper Canada Wait whaler William Windmill Woodman Papers UWO Wright York