This is the first major study of the convict in the Atlantic world of the eighteenth century. It concentrates on the diverse characters of the transported men, women and children, and their fate in the colonies, exploring at the local level the contrasts in sentencing, shipping and settlement of convicts in America. The central myths about transportation prevalent in the eighteenth century, particularly that most felons returned, are examined in the context of the burgeoning print culture of criminal biographies and newspaper stories. In addition, the exchange of representations between the two sides of the Atlantic, and the changing American reaction to convicts, are placed within the growing transatlantic debate on transportation before the American Revolution. Above all, the realities of escape, of convicts running away and returning to England, are subject to systematic investigation for the first time.
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(216mm x 140mm x 17mm)
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
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Author Biography - Gwenda Morgan
GWENDA MORGAN is Reader in American History and American Studies at the University of Sunderland. She has published a number of articles and essays on law and society in early America, penal reform in the young republic, as well as a monograph on Richmond County, Virginia. PETER RUSHTON is Reader in Historical Sociology at the University of Sunderland. He has published widely on aspects of the personal and social relations of early modern England, as revealed in legal and administrative records of north-east English countries. He has written on witchcraft, problems of marriage and family life, the poor law and the care of the mentally disabled. More recently Gwenda Morgan and Peter Rushton have worked on a number of joint projects in the area of crime and punishment in the eighteenth century. The have published Rogues, thieves and the rule of law: the problem of law enforcement in north-east England, 1718-1800 (UCL Press, 1998)