Page:Transportation and colonization.djvu/55

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AND COLONIZATION.

41

colonists, on the subject of the importation of convicts, demonstrate that society was constituted from the first on a right basis in America, notwithstanding the prevalence and operation of the transportation system for upwards of a century and a half; that the number of the free and untainted portion of the population was uniformly beyond all comparison greater than that of the transported criminals and their immediate descendants; and that, consequently, it could only have been through skilfully counterfeiting, if not really possessing, the character and habits of the reputable free man, that the liberated convict could ever hope to insinuate himself into society, on any thing like equal terms with his fellow-citizens, on the American soil.

It cannot be denied, therefore, that in so far as it actually prevailed, transportation to the American colonies proved highly efficient in securing the attainment of the great ends of punishment,—the prevention of crime and the reformation of criminals. That a somewhat similar system has proved by no means equally efficient in the Australian colonies, is, I believe, universally acknowledged: but when we contrast the state of thing's in these colonies, in reference to the gross amount of their convict population, as compared with the free emigrants of all classes, with the state of things