An evocative narrative of the many tragedies that fell upon those who were forced to serve time in Port Arthur, one of the most remote and feared convict locations in Australia.
Detailing the development of the prison and its outlying stations, including its dreaded coal mines and providing an account of the changing views to convict rehabilitation, Convict-era Port Arthur focuses in on a number of individuals, telling the story through their eyes. Charles O’Hara Booth, a significant commandant of Port Arthur; Mark Jeffrey, a convict who became the grave digger on the Island of the Dead; and William Thompson, who arrived just as the new probation system started and who was forced to work in the treacherous coal mines.
Convict-era Port Arthur will for the first time provide a comprehensive history of Port Arthur, its horrors and its changing role over a fifty-year period. In gripping detail, using the experiences and words of the convicts, soldiers and administrators who spent time there, David W. Cameron brings to life these deeply miserable days.
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