Page:A lecture on the evils of emigration and transportation.djvu/17

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lars)—that misery awaits the single able bodied emigrant as well as those I have referred to; for this reason, independent of others I have adduced, namely, they have to compete with convict labour; and under the head of transportation, I shall prove that they (the convicts) are compelled to work from sun rise to sun set for a bare subsistence, consequently the emigrants cannot, if they reflect on the subject, imagine that the settlers will give them the wages mentioned in England, when they can have the same work performed by convicts, and at the same time gratify their malignant feelings by having the convicts' backs lacerated if the work is not to their mind. No, emigration is a cruel and abominable scheme of pounds, shillings, and pence, to the supporters of the measure on this side, and of domineering insolence, oppression, and lustful gratification on the other, with misery, despair, and death to the unfortunate victims.

Transportation is the next subject to which I am desirous of drawing your attention. My object is twofold;—first, to show that convicts have not the comfortable life many imagine, by doing which I hope to effect in some degree the second—namely, to induce many to pause, ere they commit offences, as some have done, to get transported, under the idea that they cannot be worse off as convicts than as labouring men in their own country.

I shall pass over in silence the dreadful situation of the convicts at the Hulks in England, and the fearful apprehension of a long and tedious voyage, with all its horrors, and go at once to the convict's safe arrival at the destined port. The following scene from Loveless's pamphlet is sufficient to excite the pity of the most hardened.—

"When the ship struck on the rock, the prisoners were all locked below immediately. The bottom of the ship was fast filling with water; they called aloud to have the hatches opened, but to no purpose; and when they were up to their middles in water, they rushed forward and burst open the hatches, and endeavoured to ascend the ladder; the soldiers, however, at the top fired on them and killed many; others had their throats cut with cutlasses. 'The man' said he, 'who was going up the ladder by my side, was shot, but I escaped. When the soldiers with their wives got into the boat, two boys (convicts) jumped from the ship into the boat; one of the boys was thrown overboard by the soldiers, the other, a soldier's wife hid under her petticoats, and he was carried safe on shore. Only eighty-one of the whole