Further Papers on the Subject of Convict Discipline and Transportation..
PARLIAMENT OF GREAT BRITAIN
Price: 700.00 AUD
London: Eyre and Spottiswoode for HMSO, 1863, 1864. Tall quarto volume containing two above-titled publications relating to convict transportation; bound with other material related to Scottish prisons, Poor Relief and other legal matters; all in fine condition, green cloth with red leather spine label. A fascinating selection of documents relating to the last years of convict life in Australia. This collection of bound parliamentary papers contains two publications titled 'Further Papers on the Subject of Convict Discipline and Transportation' dated July 1863 and February 1864 respectively. Both print a selection of correspondence between Australian Governors and the Secretary of State regarding the convict system. At this stage transportation had ceased to all colonies excepting Western Australia where it continued on a limited scale until 1867. Accordingly, these two publications form a detailed record of the final years of the convict system in Western Australia. Aside from discussion of finance and logistics, several of Governor Hampton's dispatches concern the selection of men best suited to the conditions of his colony. Much of the success of transportation to Western Australia lay with the selection of men suitable for assigned labour and the relatively lenient ticket-of-leave system here practised (in contrast to the indiscriminate transportation of large numbers of felons to Van Diemen's Land in the 1840s that caused widespread social upheaval and disruption). Of additional interest is a dispatch titled 'Breaking up of the convict establishment at Bermuda, and transfer of Prisoners to Western Australia' that includes correspondence between the Governor of Bermuda and the Secretary of State on the subject. Dispatches from Tasmania include a report of three pages on the convict establishment at Port Arthur followed by a breakdown of the number and description of convicts for the year 1862. Overall, correspondence from the Governors of other Australian colonies report widespread public hostility to any possibility of a return to the convict system. Fuelled by rumours that transportation was once again before British parliament for consideration, these 'Memorials against Transportation' played an important part in forming a confident and distinct Australian national identity.