Back in the day when England had a lot of colonies, one of their favorite things to do was to send their prisoners to them. This was a convenient arrangement for all involved. Steal a horse and you get a boat ticket to America or Australia. America received only 50,000 of these ne’er do wells whereas Australia was presented with over 166,000 of them. The only reason I can think of that America received so few of them is because we started acting up around 1776, and we all know how that turned out.
I know this because I went to a museum today that was built for the sole purpose of housing these “visitors.” It was quite interesting. You learned about the life they lived, how they dressed, the kind of work they were assigned to, etc. It as basically slave labor, and England used it to build their colonies. You know, ahem, slavery was illegal in England.
One of the more interesting aspects of the museum was an interactive computer terminal where you could look up convicts that were provided “transportation” (that’s what they called it…no kidding) to Sydney. It listed the name, date of arrival, and the ship they were on. Wouldn’t you know it, I only type in “PA” into the search window there pops up William Pack, a carpenter, arrived on the ship Isabella on September 14, 1818. I have cousins here I would bet! Seems Billy was quite the rebel rouser. His record indicates that he escaped twice from the barracks, and they had to keep hauling him back.