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Emigrants in Chains. a Social History of the Forced Emigration to the Americas of Felons, Destitute Children, Political and Religious Non-Conformists, 2007th Edition

4.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0806317786
ISBN-10: 0806317787
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 198 pages
  • Publisher: Genealogical Publishing Company; 2007 edition (January 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0806317787
  • ISBN-13: 978-0806317786
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,174,942 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Few colonizing powers can have relied so heavily and consistently on the wholesale deportation of their prison population as did England through two-and-a-half centuries of imperial expansion. By the time America made her Declaration of Independence in 1776, the prisons of England had disgorged some 50,000 of their inmates to the colonies, most of them destined to survive and, with their descendants, to populate the land of their exile.

In a story largely untold until now--certainly never told as well--Coldham's groundbreaking study demonstrates once and for all that the recruitment of labor for the American colonies was achieved in large measure through the emptying of English jails, workhouses, brothels, and houses of correction. Supported by a massive array of documentary evidence and first-hand testimony, the book focuses on the emergence and use of transportation as a means of dealing with an unwanted population, dwelling at length on the processes involved, the men charged with the administration of the system of transportation or engaged in transportation as a business, then proceeding with a fascinating look at the transportees themselves, their lives and hapless careers, and their reception in the colonies. The whole unhappy saga of enforced transportation is here recounted with such force and eloquence that it is bound to set some popular notions about the peopling of the American colonies on their head.
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Well written, fascinating depiction of the forced emigration and the facts srrounding it. My ancestor was transported as a prisoner for a very minor crime; the trial transcript looks like a fixed trial. This book details the attitudes and circumstances these people faced. Excellent book.
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This book has been very useful to me as I research the genealogy of my family. It tells the story of the circumstances that brought these emigrants to America and the conditions that they endured on their voyages. The convicts were transported in many of the same ships used in the African slave trade and they were often treated the same way. The book is well organized and easy to use. The facts are riveting. It is well researched and Mr. Coldham used many diaries and letters. A chapter in our history that my family never knew existed.
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This book was purchased to better understand the forced emigration of early American colonists. Many were prisioners in England for crimes both major and minor. I used this book as a reference source for a thesis I am writing on early emigrants of Virginia relating to a family history.
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