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2-124 (Raw)

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author,male,Broadside,un addressee
Newspaper Article
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Public Written
Newspapers & Broadsides
Ingleton, 1988
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In New South Wales, 1835.
THE true nature of the Punishment of TRANSPORTATION is not sufficiently known, or it is too slightly thought of by those who are living in a state of continual crime. To such persons this Paper is addressed, with the hope that it may induce them to reflect, and check their guilty practices before they bring down upon themselves the infliction of the violated Laws of their Country.
Extract from a LETTER written by a Convict, in the 9th. year of his banishment, to a Gentleman in London, dated Montpelier, New South Wales.
As regards the State of the Prison Population I have much to say. The Discipline of this Colony has become dreadfully severe; every year has increased its severity since I have been here. - Disobedience or insolence is fifty lashes - first offence not less than twenty-five; second offence seventy-five or a hundred lashes; third offence twelve months to an Iron Gang. Absconding - or Taking-the-Bush, as we term it - is fifty lashes first offence; second time TWELVE Months to an IRON GANG, and increased each offence.
"Nothing is more dreaded by the men than Iron Gangs; as when their sentence is expired they have all that time spent in irons to serve again, as every sentence is now in addition to the original sentence. If a man is nearly due for his ticket of leave, and is flogged, he is put back for a certain time, unless for theft, and then he forfeits every indulgence. If an iron-gang man has served any number of years in the country, he must begin again; he is the same as a new hand; he has to wait the whole term of years before he receives any indulgence. Now to judge properly of the Punishment I have mentioned, you may ask, - What is the Punishment adopted in Iron Gangs? It Is this. The delinquents are employed in forming new roads, by cutting through mountains, blasting rocks, cutting the trees up by the roots, felling and burning off. They are attended by a Military Guard, night and day, to prevent escape; wear Irons upon both legs, and at night are locked up in small wooden houses, containing about a dozen sleeping places; escape is impossible; otherwise they live in huts surrounded by high paling, called stockades; they are never allowed after labour to come without the stockade under penalty of being shot; so complete is the confinement, that not half-a-dozen have escaped within the last two or three years; they labour from one hour after sunrise until eleven o'clock, then two hours to dinner and work until night; no supper. The triangles are constantly at hand to tie up any man neglecting work, or insolent. Iron-Gang Men not allowed to be hut keepers, cooks, or other occupation, as such is considered an indulgence; nothing but hard labour. Not one day of liberty will he ever enjoy; he will have all his sentences in addition to his original sentence to again. Picture to yourself this hot climate, the labour and the ration, and judge for yourself if there is laxity of discipline. It is to places such as I have described, that the Judges now sentence men from the English bar - poor wretches! did they know their fate, be assured, respected Sir, it had been well for them had they never been born." "H. W. D.