Page:Transportation and colonization.djvu/29

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.



by filling the African forts with inhabitants of this nature, great danger might accrue to the settlements; as the neighbouring negroes, always ready to destroy the forts, and joined by these desperadoes, might seize them."

Transportation to the American colonies was consequently continued for a few years longer; but the issue of the war of American independence having rendered all further debate on that subject unnecessary, the British government ultimately felt themselves obliged, from sheer necessity, either to fix upon some new place for the transportation of criminals forthwith, or to discontinue the practice altogether; the unprecedented accumulation of criminals in the common gaols of the kingdom during the war, and for some time after its termination, being an evil of such enormous magnitude as to require an immediate and effectual remedy. In this conjuncture various expedients were proposed. A plan for the establishment of penitentiaries, strongly recommended by judge Blackstone, the honourable Mr. Eden, (afterwards Lord Auckland,) and the philanthropist Howard, was for some time under favourable consideration, but was afterwards found inexpedient, and ultimately rejected. Confinement in the hulks, however, with hard labour at public works, which was intended as a modification of this plan, was ordered