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Revisiting Linus Miller's 'dark picture of Van Diemen's Land'


Maxwell-Stewart, H, Revisiting Linus Miller's 'dark picture of Van Diemen's Land', Australasian Canadian Studies, 29, (1-2) pp. 101-116. ISSN 1832-5408 (2012) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2012 Australasian Canadian Studies

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One of the most evocative accounts of convict life in Van Diemen's Land was provided by the young Patriot Exile Linus Miller who was transported on the Canton in 1840. While Miller had praise for some of the British officials that he encountered during his service as a convict he was generally critical of the British transportation system which he compared to slavery. Miller's description of the probation system was particularly vitriolic and he had little doubt that overwork and poor rations shortened many convict lives. This article tests these claims by using comparative data for convists, slaves and prisoners. In particular it seeks to critically assess Miller's assertion that incarceration in the American or British penitentiary system had more humane outcomes than transportation to the Australian penal colonies.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:History, Heritage and Archaeology
Research Group:Historical studies
Research Field:Australian history
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Understanding past societies
Objective Field:Understanding Australia's past
UTAS Author:Maxwell-Stewart, H (Professor Hamish Maxwell-Stewart)
ID Code:83199
Year Published:2012
Deposited By:Riawunna
Deposited On:2013-03-05
Last Modified:2016-10-25
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