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Bound with an Iron Chain: The Untold Story of How the British Transported 50,000 Convicts to Colonial America Paperback – June 30, 2011


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Frequently Bought Together

Bound with an Iron Chain: The Untold Story of How the British Transported 50,000 Convicts to Colonial America + Emigrants in Chains. a Social History of the Forced Emigration to the Americas of Felons, Destitute Children, Political and Religious Non-Conformists, + White Cargo: The Forgotten History of Britain's White Slaves in America
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 358 pages
  • Publisher: Pickpocket Publishing (June 30, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 098367440X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0983674405
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,011,358 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"A fascinating, detailed, and eye-opening look at a little-discussed historical phenomenon."
-Devoney Looser, Professor of English and 18th-Century Studies, University of Missouri

"A skillful blend of historical accuracy and engaging narrative."
-Robert Wilhelm, MurderByGaslight.com

"This is a great book. . . . Vaver recalls to life the 50,000 colonists you were supposed to forget all about."
-Jason Zanon, ExecutedToday.com

"Read it and be absorbed by the dark side of early America."
-Lucy Inglis, GeorgianLondon.com

About the Author

Anthony Vaver is the author and publisher of EarlyAmericanCrime.com, a website that explores crime, criminals, and punishments from America's past. He has a Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and an M.L.S. from Rutgers University, and he is currently working on a new book about early American criminals. He has never spent a night in jail, but he was once falsely accused of shoplifting.

More About the Author

Anthony Vaver has broad expertise in the social and cultural history of crime and punishment. He is the author and publisher of EarlyAmericanCrime.com and holds a Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and an M.L.S. from Rutgers University. Currently, he is working on a new book about early American criminals. He has never spent a night in jail, but he was once falsely accused of shoplifting.

Photo 1: At Blackfriars in London, where transported convicts began their journey to America.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 18 customer reviews
The book is exceptionally well written and researched.
stephanie clayton
This book isn't just a wonderful read for history or genealogy buffs it's also a surprising treat for those who enjoy a good true crime story.
Ball-Family
I was extremely interested in the contents of the book.
Loraine Benjamin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Ball-Family on August 30, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book isn't just a wonderful read for history or genealogy buffs it's also a surprising treat for those who enjoy a good true crime story. I also highly recommend this for anyone who simply wants to read GOOD writing and learn about one of America and England's dark little secrets.

Anthony Vaver keeps this book moving at a quick, enjoyable and organized pace. There was never a moment that I felt annoyed with useless, dry, or boring content; I wanted to keep reading and find out what happened next. Each historical fact was effortlessly intertwined with the real life stories of death-pardoned convicts transported to England's dumping ground - the shores of America.

Finally, as a genealogist myself, I must give kudos to Mr. Vaver for doing such a find job with his Acknowledgements.

Thank you for a most excellent read Mr. Vaver.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Joanne Wejwer on September 25, 2011
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It was interesting to discover this segment of American history that I had never heard of before. The author did a good job of making the narrative come alive by interspersing the factual information with the personal histories of individuals who actually were convicted in England and were sentenced to transportation to the colonies. Because each chapter is complete in itself, I think that this book could be a good "hook" for the reluctant high school history student. Some of these true stories are better than any fiction!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Key Largo on September 20, 2012
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I recently found out that my great great great great grandfather was sent to America in 1771 for a crime of stealing ribbon, in London. He arrived on a convict ship later that year.. This book was an eyeopener as to what some of our ancestors went through in the early Colonial America. Those arriving on prison ships and being sold as slaves as their punishment. It is a very readable book. Informative and well written. I would recommend to anyone that is interested in white slavery in early America.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Fran on August 18, 2013
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Several years ago I researched in London and found court records on a man with my maiden name who was transported in 1723. Believing my ancestors are from Cornwall, I talked with researchers in Cornwall, and they had no knowledge of felons being transported to the Colonies, only to Australia. I have looked for some one with knowledge of these transportations ever since. My ancestor (direct or collateral, I do not know) was transported, but I cannot find what happened to him after arriving in Maryland (I know he arrived from the passenger list of his ship, The Alexander). This book gives an excellent background on the transportation to the Colonies but still hasn't given me specific clues to research. However, I enjoyed gaining the knowledge of the times in Great Britain and the US and its a great read...I am still looking for my ancestor.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By stephanie clayton on March 30, 2012
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This book is a must have for anyone interested in American history. This book has given me a more definite portrait of my convict ancestor and what his life must have been like. The book is exceptionally well written and researched. Well done Mr. Vaver and THANK YOU!
S.Clayton
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Anthony Vaver immediately engages the reader with gripping tales that, through their telling help provide valuable insight into detail about the lives of the poor in England in the 18th Century, while simultaneously adding rich detail into a critical part of early American Colonial economic structures. This book is an easy read, ending with a wonderful collection of research resources...
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The best way to know who you are,in this case as a nation, is to know where you have been. I would recommend this book to anyone who has a thorough fascination with the time period, and would like to expand their knowledge of who we are as a country by flushing out some of the lesser discussed aspects of it's beginnings. America being the colonial,capital venture it was in the beginning was starving for cheap manual labor, funny how fundamentals don't change. At the same time crime in England was rampant and prisons and gallows for that matter where overburdened. The author does a wonderful job of bringing these aspects of that time together and elucidating an otherwise dark corner of American history. A thoroughly enjoyable read.
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If your ancestors were criminals who were sentenced to transportation to America then this a must read book.
It was very well researched.
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