We hardly had our feet on the soil, when almost the first objects that greeted our vision were gibbets, and men toiling in the most abject misery, looking more degraded even than so many dumb beasts. Such sights, and the supposition that such might be our fate, served to sink the iron still deeper in our souls. American Citizens, British Slaves tells the strange story of almost a hundred United States citizens who were transported to Van Diemen's Land in 1839-40. As members of the Patriot Army that had conducted border raids into the colony of Upper Canada in 1838, they saw themselves as courageous republican activists. Instead of heroic liberators, they became political prisoners of Her Majesty's government. Sent to Van Diemen's Land by Lieutenant-Governor Arthur, the Patriot exiles endured years of harsh treatment before they were eventually pardoned. Not being British subjects, their transportation was almost certainly illegal. This vivid and intimate story of political exile and punishment provides a window into the everyday life of the many thousands of forgotten men and women who endured the calculated cruelties of penal transportation.
Publisher: Melbourne University Press
Number of pages: 300
Weight: 440 g
Dimensions: 241 x 159 x 17 mm
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