Bound with an Iron Chain: The Untold Story of how the British Transported 50,000 Convicts to Colonial America

Front Cover
Pickpocket Publishing, 2011 - History - 336 pages
0 Reviews
In 1723, James Bell grabbed a book from a London bookstall and started to run, but he was chased by several witnesses and was discovered hiding in a dog kennel. As punishment for his crime, Bell was loaded on a ship and sent to colonial America, where he was sold at auction as an indentured servant for a seven-year term. 

Most people know that England shipped thousands of convicts to Australia, but few are aware that colonial America was the original destination for Britain's unwanted criminals. In the 18th century, thousands of British convicts like Bell were separated from their families, chained together in the hold of a ship, and carried off to America. What happened to these convicts once they arrived? Did they eventually prosper in an environment of unlimited opportunity, or were they ostracized by other colonists and doomed to live in poverty? 

Anthony Vaver tells the stories of the petty thieves and professional criminals who were subjected to this unique punishment, and in bringing to life this forgotten chapter in American history, he challenges the way we think about immigration to early America. The book also includes an appendix with tips on researching individual convicts who were transported to America.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Englands Criminal
10
Mary Young a k a Jenny Diver
24
The Private Face of Jonathan Wild
37
William Thomson and Jonathan Wild
57
The Preferred Destination for Convicts
70
Bristol and Other Firms
80
Convict Attitudes toward Transportation
97
Passengers on the Jonathan
110
On the Plantation
169
The Ironworks
183
The Reaction of American Colonists
202
The End of Convict
220
Convict Hulks
235
Successes and Failures
250
Notes
265
Sources
309

Diet and Health
123
James Dalton and the Escape to Vigo
138
The Buyers of Convicts
153

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2011)

Anthony Vaver is the author and publisher of EarlyAmericanCrime.com, a website that explores crime, criminals, and punishments from America's past. He has a Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and an M.L.S. from Rutgers University. He is currently working on a new book about early American criminals. He has never spent a night in jail, but he was once falsely accused of shoplifting.

Bibliographic information