Convicts in the New Colony

Write a letter or journal entry from the viewpoint of a convict who was transported to New South Wales.  Keep in mind that most people living in the late 1700s had never been more than a few miles from their own homes and that the voyage alone lasted about eight months.

new south wales

5 thoughts on “Convicts in the New Colony

  1. Hello, Friends.
          How is it faring there? I really envy you guys. After our daring exploit of murdering the Queen of England, I am now on this ship which is headed for New South Wales. It is very frightening on this ship. I mean, as I lived on the River Thames, I been on boats before, but this is just too much for me. This is like full scale, man. All these times on the big ocean when we are forced to work on deck while a storm is brewing – this is just too much. One day, I almost threw up on deck, and I had to rush all the way to starboard to throw up.
          The captain of this ship is very kind to me, but he turns angry at the sight of a little smudge on his shirt. And I’m the one who cleans his clothes. I mean, how am I supposed to clean his shirt thoroughly in the middle of a sea? Wash it in the sea? Well, that’s what he exactly wants me to do. But I gotta have soap. I am going to voice my complaints.
          You know what? I am really scared of this New South Wales place. I heard that all these mean people live there looking for a fight. I mean, I am mean, but still, I killed the Queen because I needed the money to save my family. My family could have died out. But these people, they did bad things for fun. I hope they don’t pick on me.
          I am also afraid of what they will do to me when I get there. I hope it is not worse than my voyage to the New South Wales. This voyage had been continued for more than 6 monthes and we have no sign of land.  We sailed around a small bit of odd islands, but they don’t cound. I can’t wait to get my foot on solid ground once again.
          I hope that you live well in your homes, safely hiding from the police. Let’s hope that you continue that all the time until they stop looking for you or you live until you die at a ripe old age. Say hello to my other friends.
    So long,
    Joseph Kim

  2. Dear mom and dad,
    I am reallly in a bad situation and i am just 11. i have been treated really badly since i have commited robbery. I am really scared. I am going to this really strange place called New South Wales.It sounds really scary. I get beaten up everyday and locked in chains. I get spoiled food. I dont want to eat it, but they force me to. What am I supposed to do? They also give me dirty water and dont give me clean clothes. I made friends with a guy called David. He was really nice, but he kept on not eating his food and pretending to eat it. The sad news is he died. Only a few didnt survive. I am really sad. I can’t stand people dying. I heard i hav to work the ones who have commited the most biggest crime had to work for 20 years in the feilds. I wish i could see you guys soon, but i don’t know if i would survive.
    Be safe and pray,
    your son,

  3. Dear family,
    How are you spending your time? I miss you so much! This ship is traveling to the New South Wales. I never heard this place before, and environment is so different from our country! As this ship travels to that strange place, I am getting scared. Also I think I am having a sea sick! Everyday I feel like throwing up!
    This captain is driving me crazy! He is giving me spoiled food and disgusting water, while he is eating such a wonderful meal everyday.  He does nothing, just playing around and throwing up everyday. The most annoying thing is that he is a fastidious person. If he see one piece of hair in his room, he tries to kill me!
    I am really having a difficult time satisfying my hunger, washing clothes and washing my self. It is embarrasing to say this, but I think a stench is coming out from my body. I am scared what will happen in the future, and what will happen in that strange new place called New South Wales! I hope I won’t be dead in the middle of the sea. I hope I could go back and meet you again! Always take care of yourselves!
    Your daughter,
    Su Bin Kim

  4. -Tina-
    Dear dad,
        I am having a hard time here. I’m in the boat to New South Whales. Everything is different from what I am used to. I am regreting for what I did. I wish I didn’t steal the vase. The condition here is awful. I have to wash and work for the captain. He is so strict and rough. He hits and even slap me if I made a mistake of cleaning his stuff. The food is discusting here. The water is so dirty too. I am not sure what the people will do to me when we get there. Others say that they are going to force us to work the whold day. I am tired of this. I often get seasick and throw up during midnight. Some of the people like me are dying. Even a 8 years old boy is getting hit. Once, the boy spilled water in front of the captain and the captain hit him hard. It was very hard to watch. Some of the men tried to stop it but they got hit even worse. I miss everything I am used to I miss you too.
    Your son,

  5. Dear Daddy,    I am really sorrowful that I committed this crime. I was only at the place where murder occured and they think that’s what I did. I have proved that I didn’t committed murder, but as you know, they did not trust me.     This place just horrible. There’s a lot of mouse in this ship and a lot of ‘scary people’ who can actually committed murder or robbery. The ‘overseers’ treat me like them. I am child and I am more delicate than them. As you this sheep is headed to New South Wales I heard that there’s a lot of mean people who actually eat human beings! According to what Jack said. He said he have been there of several times and if there’s no food, they eat child like me. They always fight and kick. I wish I am home now. I can’t handle this anymore    In this ship, I am the dish washer. As you expected, I broke several dishes and bitten by the top ‘chef’. I am telling to only you. The ‘chef’ food is horrible. He call himself a great chef but, no one thinks he even learned how to cook. It tastes like a burned poop. Anyways I am pretty sure that the New South Wales is much worse than this ‘voyage’. I wish I wasn’t at the scene of murder.                                                                                                                         Bye Bye                                                                                                                        Your son ,                                                                                                                                       Sang MIn

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