British Colonial Developments, 1774-1834

By Vincent Harlow; Frederick Madden | Go to book overview

within 60 miles of the island, where they were to be left, with such a proportion of provisions as might be necessary for their use till they could raise stock for themselves.--He added that these persons were to be supplied with framing for their habitations, with proper tools to construct them, as also for cultivating the land; with merchandize to provide stock, and grain for sowing; and likewise with a medicine chest--And he had heard that among the convicts there were some medical persons--But he added, that after the stock had been purchased for them, and they were established on the island, the settlers were to be left to themselves. . . .

[Unsuccessful attempts had been made to land convicts in the American States and in Honduras.]

Mr. Nepean, being asked whether there is any plan for sending convicts to Cape Breton, or any of the British settlements in America? he said that there have been strong representations made against it from Nova Scotia--that he believes there are very few settlers in Cape Breton, and that he has heard of no plan for sending them to Canada.


25
REPORT FROM A SELECT COMMITTEE OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS ON TRANSPORTATION 28 July 17851

The Lord Beauchamp reported . . . : That it appears to the Committee, that the extraordinary fullness of the gaols makes a separation of offenders impracticable, and that by constant intercourse they corrupt and confirm each other in every practice of villainy. . . .

The Committee further observe that these mischiefs are in great measure to be attributed to the want of a proper place for the transportation of criminals--That the old system of transporting to America, answered every good purpose which could be expected from it--That it tended directly to reclaim the objects on which it was inflicted, and to render them good citizens--That the climate being temperate, and the means of gaining a livelihood easy, it was safe to entrust country magistrates with the discretionary power of inflicting it--That the operation of it was thus universally diffused over the whole island, as well as this metropolis--That it tended to break, in their infancy, those gangs and combinations which have since proved so injurious to the community--That it was not attended with much expense to the public, the convicts being carried out in vessels employed in the Jamaica or tobacco trade. . . .

Your Committee further observe that if a settlement be made for

____________________
1
Journals of the House of Commons, vol. xl, pp. 1161-4.

-432-

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