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1-022 (Raw)

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author,female,Convict Woman,un addressee,family
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Plaint Text :
Private Written
Private Correspondence
Clarke, 1992
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1-022-raw.txt — 3 KB

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We arrived here safe after a long voyage, in very good health, thanks to our good agent, on board, and the gentleman in England who sent us out, as we had everything that we could expect from them, and all our provisions were good. We landed here 223 women and twelve children; only three women died, and one child. Five or six were born on board the ship; they had great care taken of them, and baby linnen and every necessary fro them were ready made to be out on.
The greatest part of the women were immediately sent to Norfolk Island, a place about 100 miles from here, but very bad for shipping; there is no place to land but in fine weather. The Sirius, man-of-war, was lost at this place about six or seven months ago, when she carried some men and women from here. She landed them all safe, but lost almost all their provisions.
This place was in a very starving condition, before we arrived, and on allowance of only 2lb. of flour and 2lb. of pork for each man for a week, and these were almost starved, and could not work but three hours in the day; they had no heart, and the ground won't grow anything, only in spots here and there. There is a place called Rose Hill, about twenty miles from this, where, they say, there are four cornfields, but it does not grow much wheat; we are now much in want of almost everything; we have hardly any cloaths; but since the Scarborough, Neptune, and Surprize arrived we have had a blanket and a rug given us, and we hope to have some cloaths, as the Justinian, a ship that came from London with provisions, [is] bringing some cloth and linen, and we are to make the cloaths.
Oh! if you had but seen the shocking sight of the poor creatures that came out in the three ships it would make your heart bleed; they were almost dead, very few could stand, and they were obliged to fling them as you would goods, and hoist them out of the ships, they were so feeble; and they died ten or twelve of a day when they first landed; but some of them are getting better. [6] There died in their [this] way on board the Neptune, 183 men and 12 women, and in the Scarborough, 67 men, and in the Surprize, 85. They were not so long as we were in coming here, but they were confined, and had bad victuals and stinking water. The Governor was very angry, and scolded the captains a great deal, and, I heard, intended to write to London about it, for I heard him say it was murdering them. It, to be sure, was a melancholy sight. What a difference between us and them. God bless our good agent (I don't mean the captain). We had no reason to complain against him for anything; all our provisions and cloaths were good.
I don't think I ever shall get away from this place to come again to see you without an order from England, for some of the men's times were out, and they went and spoke to the Governor of it, and told him that they would not work. He told them he could not send them home without orders from London, and if they would not work they should have nothing to eat, so they almost all went again to work, except ten, who were saucy, and the Governor ordered then a good flogging; but all that came from London in the First Fleet time will be out in less than two years' time. I hope that you will try to get an order for me, that I may once more see you all.