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Title: 'Bold, Manly-Minded men' and 'Sly, Cunning Base convicts': The Double Standard of Escape
Contributor(s): Ihde, E  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2005
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Abstract: The double standard regarding perceptions of male and female convicts by contemporaries in colonial New South Wales is well known. To one person at least, though, this double standard even extended to the motivation behind escape attempts.Edward Smith Hall, editor of the Sydney Monitor from 1826 to 1840, was an ardent advocate of transportation and supporter of the convict system. Yet he was also an extremely strong advocate of convict rights. His support was noticeably stronger, however, for male convicts rather than female, although notions of moral economy prevented him condoning any blatant injustices against women.Where male convicts were concerned, Hall understood that mistreatment, oppression or injustice could drive them to retaliate, whether by reacting against their oppressor or by attempting to escape. Such attempts were, he said, motivated by perceptions of the rights and liberties of Englishmen. To retaliate physically against a bad master, or to attempt to escape either to sea or into the bush, was the act of a noble, bold, freedom-loving Englishman. It was, he declared, a gentleman's crime.Yet he did not extend the same understanding to female convicts. Like many other contemporaries, he believed that their favourite method of escaping the drudgery of the domestic service most female assigned servants experienced was to get themselves sent to the Female Factory. There they escaped as much work as they could, in effect enjoying a pleasant holiday.Hall, then, represents two very different perceptions of escape.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Journal of Australian Colonial History, 7(1), p. 123-138
Publisher: University of New England
Place of Publication: Armidale
ISSN: 1441-0370
Field of Research (FOR): 210303 Australian History (excl Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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