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March 25, 2010
Time:3-4:45 p.m.
Description:"To Fill Dishonoured Graves?: Death and Convict Transportation to Colonial Australia," will be presented by Dr. Hamish Maxwell-Stewart, University of Tasmania.

According to the 19th-century convict ballad "Jim Jones at Botany Bay," the prisoners exiled to Australia toiled "day and night in irons clad like poor galley slaves" - a cycle only terminated by death, whereupon their bodies were used "to fill dishonored graves." In all, some 139,000 male and 26,000 female convicts were transported to the Australian penal colonies between 1787 and 1868. Importantly, their lives were peculiarly well documented, making it possible to reconstruct their experiences in some detail. Despite the conditions in which they lived, and the extremely long voyage they were forced to undertake to reach Australia, many of them lived long lives.

In this paper, Professor Maxwell-Stewart will outline some attempts to use the records for those convicts transported to the colony of Van Diemen's Land (later renamed Tasmania) to explore ways of explaining how a coercive and exploitative system produced, at least in terms of health impacts, such benign outcomes.
Location:GAR 4.100
URL:More about this event...
Contact:Cameron B Strang
Sponsor:Institute for Historical Studies (IHS), Dept. of History
Admission:Free; RSVP required
Categories:Everyone, Lecture/talk
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