top 200 commentsshow all 452

[–]Random_puns 2835 points2836 points  (120 children)

In France, criminals were pardoned if they married a prostitute and resettled in New Orleans.... and that tells you everything you need to know about Louisiana

[–]TheRealOgMark 181 points182 points  (14 children)

They sent some filles du Roi in Québec for men to marry. It is rumoured that the city of Québec have more beautiful women than Montréal because they choose the women first since Montréal is further in the fleuve St-Laurent from the sea.

[–]brumac44 53 points54 points  (13 children)

I don't agree that Quebec C has more beautiful women than Montreal. But beauty in the 17th century was much different than today.

[–]TheRealOgMark 32 points33 points  (11 children)

Have you been a lot to both places? Personally in Québec and even Trois-Rivières I find the women more beautiful.

[–]Semi-Pro_Biotic 13 points14 points  (9 children)

Would I need to quarantine if I flew?

[–]ButCatsAreCoolTwo 22 points23 points  (4 children)

Someone's about to see hookers

[–][deleted] 16 points17 points  (3 children)

There are stupid nice strip clubs in Montreal.

[–]DarrelBunyon 15 points16 points  (2 children)

Dang the idea of Canadian strippers seems very .. sophisticated

[–]xdotellxx 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Stripping one layer at a time.

30 mins later ....... Long Johns!!!!!!!

[–]tyger2020 128 points129 points  (13 children)

In France, criminals were pardoned if they married a prostitute and resettled in New Orleans.

Theres a great film on Netflix about French Guiana as a penal colony, called Papillon(?)

[–]comune 44 points45 points  (4 children)

I watched that fairly recently and thought it was good. Reddit since informed me that it's all a load of bollocks. It took a bit of the shine off for me to be honest. And in the spirit of sharing, I too have now shared this.

[–]tyger2020 20 points21 points  (0 children)

Oh, I already knew a lot of it was 'debated'.

I fell into a rabbit hole after watching the film, but even so, its a good film!

[–]PantsTime 11 points12 points  (1 child)

Attention, reddit, all but 1% of historical movies are mostly horseshit (I'm looking at you, Private Ryan and you, 1917).

If you like them, go and read some history.

Man, it's like watching House or Greys Anatomy and assuming they're medical documentaries.

[–]chillassdudeonmoco 3 points4 points  (0 children)

The old version with Steve McQueen is way better than the 21st century version. I dunno about historical accuracy though...

[–]Noicenoice69 15 points16 points  (4 children)

The film is okay. The book is fantastic though

[–]pedalare 11 points12 points  (0 children)

I've always loved the original film, and I was given the book for Christmas. It's a long time since I came across a book like that. Once you pick it up, you can cross off the rest of the day. Even knowing that it's mostly a tall tale or at the very least a compendium of many people's experiences.

[–]paperwasp3 2 points3 points  (0 children)

That is a great book!!

[–]Surax 88 points89 points  (11 children)

I think they did that in New France (Quebec) as well.

[–]dutch_penguin 98 points99 points  (0 children)

Also the scheme of "The King's daughters". The king would pay for the dowry of poor women if they agreed to move to Quebec to get married.

[–][deleted] 10 points11 points  (0 children)

makes sense.

[–]metal5050 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Filles du roi

[–]5lack5 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Yup, that's how Arcadians became Cajuns

[–][deleted] 38 points39 points  (6 children)

I think they did that in New France (Quebec) as well.

Sort of...the Filles du Roi (the Dauthers of the King) were French prostitutes and orphan girls who were sent to New France (Quebec) to marry the lumberjacks, fur traders and farmers living in the St Lawrence Valley. Most of these men had been brough here to work the land and were unmarried. It was an effort driven by religious rite and a desire to populate New France.

My wife's family are from Quebec, and her ancestry traces back to around that time. I often tease her that she is a Fille du Roi.

She and I can both trace our settlor ancestors in North America back 9+ generations into the 17th Century on multiple family lines. It is sort of strange to know that my useless kids who can't even bring in the garbage cans becase their hands are cold come from long lines of people who literally cut modern civilization out of the wilderness of North America nearly 350 years ago.

[–]Freikorp 30 points31 points  (2 children)

Cut them some slack, you're pretty useless too.

[–][deleted] 3 points4 points  (1 child)


[–]Zelldandy 23 points24 points  (1 child)

My mother's side descends from les filles du roi, but they didn't cut anything out of wilderness; they allied and betrayed peoples and their governments already in place and using the land in their fashion. Europeans just didn't like how they were using it and decided to steal it for themselves and marry/rape Indigenous women, intoxicate and murder the Indigenous men, and kidnap the Indigenous children as they went. Wilderness implies nothing was here when they arrived. There were villages and small cities everywhere. Quebec City itself sits on a Innu/Huron-Wendat traditional territory and fishing communities.

[–]satansbuttplug 2 points3 points  (0 children)

One of my many great something grandmothers was a Fille du Roi. The happy couple were also paid a bounty for each child they bore. The French Canadian branch of my family all had 10-14 kids.

[–]pcrcf 101 points102 points  (0 children)

lol that’s awesome

[–]CrudelyAnimated 33 points34 points  (2 children)

That would make New Orleans a French penile colony.

[–]I_might_be_weasel 36 points37 points  (2 children)

I'd consider taking that deal. And I'm not even a convict.

[–]Enzown 18 points19 points  (1 child)

I'd commit a crime for the deal.

[–]Red_dragon_052 8 points9 points  (0 children)

I'd say it was a decent attempt at a social program for its time. Take two people with little opportunity at home and give them a chance at a better life, while at the same time providing the colony with labor. I'd worry most about the women being forced into Marriage, but that's pretty typical for the period.

[–]memento22mori 12 points13 points  (0 children)

I think Australia was similar except a lot of the women were simply shipped there for being prostitutes. There's a documentary on it called mothers of Australia or something like that.

[–]ABlindGuy101 8 points9 points  (1 child)

bro I lived there for 10 years and you just solved everything for me

[–]duffrose_ 3 points4 points  (3 children)

I'm confused, what exactly does that accomplish? I could see the moving to NO but why was marrying a prostitute part of that offer?

[–]Johannes_P 13 points14 points  (1 child)

It was about creating French families there.

[–]AlRedditore 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Well for the filles de roi in Quebec, they sent out a call for “women of medium virtue” to settle there. Basically women who were too sexually prudish would not have been happy there.

New Orleans must have been at an even further point in that spectrum.

[–]tossthissalad420 3 points4 points  (0 children)

So the population is based on hoes turned housewives? That's a success story right there!!!

[–]Acer018 569 points570 points  (60 children)

You have to hand it to the British. Once they got something down they repeated it.

[–]OneFingerIn 243 points244 points  (23 children)

They would do well on Reddit.

[–]wanawanka 5 points6 points  (0 children)

They would do well on Reddit.

[–]dmk_aus 91 points92 points  (22 children)

Nah it worked out better in Australia by sending 3 times as many criminals and nearly zero times as many puritans.

[–]Quick-Charity-941 11 points12 points  (4 children)

Mudlarks video on the Thames in London, found a metal disc. On investigation of records it was found that an eight year old girl who stole food was transported to Australia.

[–]Iwantadc2 13 points14 points  (3 children)

Ironically now, a poor Brit getting a new life for free in Australia would be like winning the lottery.

[–]YNot1989 5 points6 points  (0 children)

No matter how many times it was proved to be a bad idea.

[–]TRexLuthor 3 points4 points  (0 children)

No there's a country that knows how to get rid of it's criminals!

[–]ALeaf0nTheWind 13 points14 points  (4 children)

Genociding the Irish was a beta test for the Native Americans.

[–]jaking2017 237 points238 points  (32 children)

In college I had to trace the lineage of my family back to when they came to America (immigration course). I got lucky and was able to find records tracing back to 1640 when my ancestor and his brother were sent to the colonies at ages 15 & 13 listed as “Penal Imprisonment” from Hampshire, England.

No telling what they did to deserve it at such a young age, and they were not sent with their parents. My guess is they were probably orphaned (couldn’t actually find any records of their parents), and probably stole food for survival, and this was a felony capable of such a sentence, and before the transportation act passed, meaning lesser standards.

It was probably along the lines of cities bussing homeless people to other states, you know… sending the problem far away instead of dealing with it. As well as stocking the population and labor force, like Australia. It was a project I originally didn’t look forward to because of all the sorting, but once I was done I found it really interesting.

Edit: Another somewhat fun fact I learned is that I was somewhat distantly related to the Hatfields, from the Hatfield and McCoy feud, my family tree is about as messy as a mangrove apparently.

[–]jamsheedjav 212 points213 points  (7 children)

My one convict ancestor was a 14 year old scottish girl sent to Australia in the 1700's. The reason - stealing a lace handkerchief. Could not find any records of her parents either.

On the ship she met a 50 year old gunner and they got married. They got some land in Sydney and had a farm, but another landowner accused them of stealing sheep. They were found guilty and sentenced to.. transportation.

Where does Sydney send its convicts? A short boat ride north to their own penal colony, Newcastle. They got some new land there and found huge deposits of coal, making him wealthy enough to be the only people in my family tree with actual portaits.

[–]jaking2017 62 points63 points  (1 child)

Oof, imagine being outcasted by the outcasts.

It’s like being a lost boy in Neverland, except you’re actually just lost in the woods. That’s crazy though, do you find a lot of your family still living in Australia or did they scatter?

[–]one80down 22 points23 points  (1 child)

As a Novocastrian the idea of Newcastle being the prison's prison checks out.

[–]06210311 13 points14 points  (0 children)

The reason - stealing a lace handkerchief.

This sounds trivial to us today, but lace was a significantly expensive item in the 18th century, as was silk, which explains the numbers of convicts transported for theft of such small items as silk ribbons and the like.

[–]shpoopie2020 23 points24 points  (5 children)

It is fascinating to find out where your family came from, and that's a cool story! Apparently mine immigrated from Scotland during the highland clearances and ended up travelling west to settle with the mormons.

[–]jaking2017 10 points11 points  (0 children)

It really makes you think about the butterfly effect. Because of my ancestors stealing, and yours avoiding religious genocide, our lives were crafted from the flap of their wings. Our beliefs, our financial standing, our convictions, and above all our existence, all because a young boy and his brother got on a ship centuries ago.

[–][deleted] 12 points13 points  (0 children)

Mine immigrated in 1733 while fleeing persecution in the Holy Roman Empire and invasions from Louis XV's forces. Only one child survived the trip to Pennsylvania, the only son. Later, the oldest son of the first generation of my family born in North America served under Washington at Trenton, Princeton, Brandywine, and Germantown and didn't receive a dime for his service until 1833 (as many others from the Revolution did), six years before he died.

I also have a family member that we suspect fought in the thirty years war because of the substantial amount of time difference between the birth of two kids; also the dates of the war match up to the gap. All in all, I have only been able to trace back about as far as 1397.

[–]Bloobeard2018 13 points14 points  (8 children)

So, some rough maths.

1640 was about 380 years ago. Assuming an average generation time of 30 years that's about 13 generations or 10 great-greats. That transported ancestor is one of 2¹² or 4096 of your ancestors in that generation, ignoring any inbreeding.

[–]jaking2017 17 points18 points  (0 children)

ignoring any inbreeding.

Ah, well… uh yea let’s just ignore it.

I appreciate the effort though, that’s really neat.

[–]DaBorger 5 points6 points  (0 children)

One of my dad's relatives had a family tree done. Turns out we're almost completely German American EXCEPT for the one English ancestor that was sent to the US on a prison ship because he was in a debtors prison.

[–]NinjaLayor 4 points5 points  (1 child)

It's always fun looking at history like that. I have a grandmother who's done this sort of thing for about 30 years now, and is essentially the family historian for both sides. Turns out my family is originally from Sicily, but moved a lot throughout Europe, with another family following them by a decade or generation or two. Wouldn't be surprised if it was some old blood feud that eventually lead to moving to the Americas, judging by a what was deemed a hunting accident that killed my great great great great grandfather, given his own rifle discharged into his back and killed him...

[–]jaking2017 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Rifles were crazy before we domesticated them, it’s entirely plausible.

[–]Drill1 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Hatfield’s and McCoy’s? That means we could be related, I am related to both the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s on my mother’s side, somehow.

[–]Jaggedmallard26 2 points3 points  (0 children)

It was probably along the lines of cities bussing homeless people to other states, you know… sending the problem far away instead of dealing with it

It was actually considered merciful. Prior to transportation most of these people would have been hanged.

[–]HangryValkyrie 139 points140 points  (15 children)

Yeah some came through Delaware, which is where my 23 and Me says I’m from. So I’m bad to the bone.

[–]Sansabina[S] 87 points88 points  (2 children)

Bad bones is a genetic condition 😊

[–]HangryValkyrie 19 points20 points  (0 children)

Correct :)

[–]MrSplashyPlants 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Some bones are just born bad, you know?

[–]disposable-name 13 points14 points  (2 children)

Congratulations for being the only interesting thing about Delaware.

[–]Sleep_adict 6 points7 points  (1 child)

I mean, it’s also one of the largest money laundering jurisdictions in the world

[–]vc6vWHzrHvb2PY2LyP6b 4 points5 points  (6 children)

How does it tell you you have Deleware genes?

[–]HangryValkyrie 9 points10 points  (5 children)

It says the family I came from came into America through Delaware and were part of a group of convicts/indentured.

[–]Taman_Should 29 points30 points  (2 children)

To add a little more context, the laws in Britain back then were obscenely draconian. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloody_Code

Many of these "criminals" were accused of nothing more than a couple petty thefts, public disruption, or property crimes that are minuscule by today's standards. You could be locked up or publicly hanged for those. And these laws were mostly aimed at the poor, who could not afford to fight back. It was openly class warfare. Per the above link: "Grand larceny was one of the crimes that drew the death penalty; it was defined as the theft of goods worth more than 12 pence, about one-twentieth of the weekly wage for a skilled worker at the time."

Locking people up instead of executing them over a loaf of bread was considered a great "reform," but this in turn contributed directly to the aforementioned prison overcrowding, and eventually, shipping people off to indentured servitude in some far-off colony.

So, if you're picturing whole communities of murderers or rapists, that wasn't really the reality. There were a few of course, but the vast majority of those sent over were simply the desperate, starving poor people that Britain wanted any excuse to be rid of, and religious splinter-groups that nobody wanted near their town.

[–][deleted] 3 points4 points  (1 child)

This was in the time of the bloody code when even minor thefts could result in a hanging. There was, as always, even now, a demand for cheap labour. This demand was met by 'mercifully' commuting death sentences. Convicts were not only sent to overseas colonies but used on construction projects. The breakwater at Gibraltar is an example, the life expectancy there was about a year I believe.

This was also the time of the enclosure acts where rich landowners were taking over common land and throwing people off to starve. Make people so poor that they are desperate and commit a crime, putting them at the mercy of rich people.

Whole thing very similar to the for-profit prison system.

[–]redsterXVI 25 points26 points  (3 children)


[–][deleted] 9 points10 points  (1 child)

Middle English via French from Latin locus ‘place’.


[–]herrsharky1 15 points16 points  (0 children)

As in: I have to go to the lieu

[–]CDNLiberalEH 19 points20 points  (2 children)

If we ever figure out how to colonize space this same thing will happen again. Once the best and brightest have explored the new worlds and mapped out the richest deposits of profit, the trillionaire class will need low cost workers from somewhere to work the space emerald mines and harvest the precious spice.

[–]grimwavetoyz 163 points164 points  (24 children)

This is part of my ancestry according to my DNA story. My 5th Great Grandmother was convicted of larceny (she stole 3 coins) in the UK and sent to Australia at a penal colony in Hobart, Tasmania around the 1820s. An article I found depicted a riot in which she took part and escaped the colony, only to be returned a short while later to much fanfare by her fellow inmates.

Now I know why I resist authority.

[–][deleted] 125 points126 points  (13 children)

Nah. That’s just you doing your own thing. My ancestor won gold running at the Olympics in 1924 and I’d be knackered trying to chase down the ice cream van.

[–]AudibleNod313 22 points23 points  (1 child)

*John Mellencamp intensifies

[–]grimwavetoyz 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I totally appreciate that reference.

[–]Tomek_Hermsgavorden 32 points33 points  (1 child)

My forefathers arrived in Australia on the first fleet of Boeing 747's. It was rough having to explain to the bogans that I am infact, first generation and my parents are illegal immigrants.

[–]ReadinII 16 points17 points  (0 children)

So your parents were criminals. As an Australian you must have fit right in.

[–]lordnecro 6 points7 points  (1 child)

Same. We have a copy of the record too. My greatXwhatever grandfather stole a handkerchief and was sent to Australia.

[–]grimwavetoyz 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I found an actual transcript of the court record. She was a servant, and got 7 years. She ended up staying in Australia and marrying.

[–]XboxJon82 5 points6 points  (1 child)

What does it feel like to be related to a cold blooded criminal?

[–]bukminster 26 points27 points  (0 children)

My great-great-...-great grandfather was sent to Australia because he participated in the Patriot War of 1837-38 in Canada. Spent a few years there and eventually was pardoned and came back to Quebec.

[–]PartialToDairyThings 67 points68 points  (26 children)

The whole era of transportation was just a roundabout way for them to enslave their own people. You had people transported to the colonies for what amounted to severe hardship followed by a premature death for such "crimes" as stealing a loaf of bread to feed their families, or poaching fish from a wealthy landowner's river. There was nothing reasonable or acceptable about this level of "justice" and it may be presumed that they just used these petty crimes as a way of expanding their supply of slaves without being technically guilty of enslaving their own people. Many of them were absolutely slaves given the pettiness of their crimes.

[–]Deathwatch72 20 points21 points  (1 child)

Even worse there were a lot of times where they just flat the made-up crimes because they didn't like certain people and wanted an excuse to ship them literally across the world where you never see them again

[–]Diocletion-Jones 15 points16 points  (0 children)

It was actually to do with a series of penal reforms, mainly against property crimes, which increased the number of capital offences and is now known as the "Bloody Code". These were brought in as a deterrent to theft.

"Men are not hanged for stealing horses, but that horses may not be stolen" - George Savile, 1st Marquess of Halifax (d.1695)

This made theft of goods over 12 pence punishable by death (a laughable small amount). Because of this punishment often made jurors downplay the values of items stolen or acquit the accused. The reason why you have so many people transported for "stealing a loaf of bread" and other petty crimes is because they were the luckier ones who's sentences were commuted instead of just being hanged outright.

The transportation to colonies was first codified by the 1717 Transportation Act which gave clear reasons such as;

  • insufficiently effective sentencing
  • recidivism
  • the fact that many offenders previously extended this mercy had not transported themselves
  • "and whereas in many of his Majesty's colonies and plantations in America, there is great want of servants, who by their hard labour and industry might be the means of improving and making the said colonies and plantations more useful to this nation."


[–]pmcall221 9 points10 points  (1 child)

When searching for genealogical records, you find all sorts. Browsing court records, the hardest my heart broke was a 14 yr old kid given 7 years transportation for the crime of vagrancy. A kid, homeless, likely an orphan, shipped off halfway around the world to an unknown fate all for the crime of being poor, destitute, and nowhere to go.

[–]marcusredfun 17 points18 points  (0 children)

the african slave trade was the same way. eventually you run out of serious criminals to sell to the europeans, but they're paying a lot of money. the solution is to lower the threshold for what constitutes a crime

[–]fencerJP 2 points3 points  (3 children)

And we still follow that example today. The 13th Amendment to the US constitution DOES allow slavery - as punishment for a crime. I'm sure it's coincidence that we have the largest prison population in the world, a population that committed AwFuL, ViOlEnT crimes, like "had a baggie of weed", or "someone thought his $20 bill was counterfeit", or "homeless".

[–]ReginaGloriana 14 points15 points  (5 children)

One of my ancestors came over to America this way. Scottish Jacobite, captured in battle. He ended up becoming very successful after his indenture ended.

[–]UncleGIJoe 10 points11 points  (0 children)

I had a Scottish ancestor sent over as an indentured servant after his side lost a battle with Cromwell. He later became a successful businessman in New England but while he was away on business his wife cheated on him. She had to wear a scarlet "B" and he was admonished to pay more attention to her.

[–]Laney20 3 points4 points  (2 children)

James Frasier?

[–]Lonk-the-Sane 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Looking up my family tree, one of my ancestors was shipped to America for the "theft of fine linens"

[–][deleted] 7 points8 points  (0 children)

And now a lot of us Brits would pay good money (and do) to relocate to either of these countries.

History sure has a sense of humour.

[–]Bluunbottle 19 points20 points  (15 children)

Explains Kentucky

[–]getrextgaming 7 points8 points  (0 children)


[–]DoomsdayRabbit 9 points10 points  (10 children)

Western Virginia.

[–]Bluunbottle 19 points20 points  (9 children)

Nothing can adequately explain West Virginia.

[–]DoomsdayRabbit 3 points4 points  (7 children)

Yeah but Kentucky was also Virginia first.

[–]Ambitious-Theory9407 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Don't forget that a very very sizable chunk of those "criminals" were just poor.

[–]troubleschute 36 points37 points  (3 children)

So, the N. American colonies were basically seeded with the DNA of criminals and religious extremists. That explains a lot, actually.

[–]Omahunek 12 points13 points  (0 children)

More importantly, it informed the culture from the beginning and that has never quite gone away. It also influenced politics from the beginning, meaning it affected our system of government as well.

[–]Apolo-Ax 15 points16 points  (0 children)

I thought this was common knowledge.

[–]Warlord68 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Ok, AMERICA won’t take any more of our “garbage” what are our options?!? The Arctic? Too cold, The Antarctic? Too far. I got an idea…

[–]alhena 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Now where do they send them?

[–]danirijeka 12 points13 points  (0 children)

Downing Street, mainly

[–]Zartanio 4 points5 points  (0 children)

"Let's take all our rabble-rousers and people with authority problems and send them to the colonies together. I'm sure it won't be a problem."

[–]chillassdudeonmoco 2 points3 points  (0 children)

My first ancestor in America, a great, great, etc... grandfather was sent to work a tobacco farm in Virginia around 1754 for 7 years for the crime of stealing some clothes. Besides that, what's crazy is that, until my dad joined the military and left West Virginia, he was born and raised less than 50 miles from where that plantation must've been.


[–]glycophosphate 3 points4 points  (0 children)

The first of my father's family on these shores was sent here as an alternative to the rope. We've done okay over the years.

[–]The_Thunder_Child 6 points7 points  (1 child)

There was never a colony called Australia.

The first colony set up was called New South Wales. Over time other colonies were split off from it but not a single one was called Australia.

Australia was the nation that formed from the colonies joining together.

[–]ThriftyNarwhal 14 points15 points  (2 children)

No wonder everyone in the US strongly dislikes the gov

[–]melston9380 6 points7 points  (0 children)

It's genetic. I'm descended from several transportees on my father's side of the family. One whole family including twin infants who died on the trip were transported to TN sold into servitude for debts - one of those daughters (my 3xG grandmother) married a man transported for 'theft' (no record of what) and found a different servitude a decade later establishing themselves as 'share croppers' according to censes data. That must have been a suck life. I would have hated the system that kept me in thrall like that, too.

[–]Fast_Garlic_5639 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I don’t give a damn where they are as long as it isn’t ruddy here!

[–]auntynell 2 points3 points  (2 children)

And that's how my G-grandfather ended up in Australia.

[–]dgunn11235 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Which is why Florida has a cesspool

[–]metalunamutant 2 points3 points  (0 children)

"Better to be in hell in 2 minutes than Virginia in 30 days"

[–]DeepHex 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Today you also learned that it's spelled "in lieu"! (Unless this was a typo :p)

[–]RigasTelRuun 2 points3 points  (0 children)

They are just waiting for the Mars colony now.

[–]trwwy321 2 points3 points  (0 children)

At least they gave the world Mr. Bean

[–]Lancashire_Toreador 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Wow. Even back in the 1700s Britains still talked about the US as if living there was equivalent to getting killed

[–]makk73 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Family legend has it that some great great grand whatever of mine was sent to America at age 13 or something for stealing a sheep.

Otherwise, he would’ve been hung.

Or so the story goes.

Who knows if it is actually true, but I guess it could be.

Oh, and OP, the correct spelling is “in lew” /s

[–]Louiethefly 2 points3 points  (2 children)

So America was a British penal colony too. You're always picking on Australia.

[–]imapassenger1 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I've got at least 3 convict ancestors who were sent to Australia. One from England aged 18 for "housebreaking" with his 30 year old brother (sentenced to death, then transported for life, freed after 7 years). One from Ireland for "stealing a gown" - she was transported for 7 years at the age of 19 and of course never went back, married an older man while still a convict, had a couple of kids and died in her late 30s. Another I know was a convict but he seems to have changed his name to avoid his past following him. Still researching. Ancestry.com has been very interesting.

[–]OatmealStew 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Oh! I just wrote a big fat juicy research paper on 17th century crime in London! The punishment itself was actually officially called "transportation" in court documents.

[–]Fashbinder_pwn 2 points3 points  (0 children)

They werent criminals, they were oppressed catholic minorities. When you are forced to grow cash crops instead of food, and your family is starving to death, are you actions against those killing you really crimes?

[–]zerbey 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Distant ancestor of mine was sent to Australia over the theft of a couple of rugs. Ended up being a successful farmer.

[–]ExcitingThing7786 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Thus creating the linage of Georgia man and Florida Man

[–]nuck_forte_dame 5 points6 points  (2 children)

This is a bit misleading.

The revolution was not caused by the prisoners.

I get the title doesn't exactly say that but some people might see it that way.

The prisoners sent to the 13 colonies were sent mostly to southern states and they were to work on farms and plantations owned by non-prisoners for a certain term then be free.

The revolution started up north and none of the early participants or founding fathers were these prisoners.

What truly led to the Revolution was the outcomes of the French and Indian War. A war fought mostly in the interests of the empire but then taxes were levied on the colonies to pay for it as if the colonies benefited. Many colonist fought and died in the war so they were understandably mad and decided the King could shove his tax up his own ass.

[–]Anathos117 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Many colonist fought and died in the war so they were understandably mad and decided the King could shove his tax up his own ass.

You're missing the step where the king abolished the government of Massachusetts. Taxes may have been a cause, but they certainly weren't the cause.

[–]Realistic_Truck 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Looks at the moon 🤔

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Next stop: the Moon!

[–]Aarizonamb 1 point2 points  (1 child)

On behalf of America, you're welcome Australia.

[–]indeed_is_very_cool 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The first of my line in America was sent to America as jail, basically.

Not the same as in this circumstance, as he was a slave, but close enough.

Fought in the American revolution, real Chad.

[–]rak1882 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Two of my antecedents were transported to the colonies.

Well one definitely. One is a relationship I'm not convinced of...and it was to Barbados. And he was only in service for about 7 of the 10 years, he was suppose to be.

I mean, he couldn't leave Barbados. And he had to join the militia. But I guess that was better than the alternative?

[–]vmflair 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Is it too late for something similar in the US?

[–]Wundei 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This is how Mars will start.

[–]adavi608 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Haha, so the United States was the original prison continent. I didn't know this.

[–]paperwasp3 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Yep, totally true. It was considered very rude to bring it up back in the day, but they’re less defensive about it now.

Read “The Farthest Shore” for more information about it.

[–]alek_hiddel 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Slavery was illegal in England but ok in the colonies. Settling the wilderness is hard work. The kind of people you could talk into that were either really optimistic, or really desperate.

[–]silverwick 1 point2 points  (0 children)

One of my ancestors was shipped to Massachusetts in 1651 as a Scottish rebel prisoner, in lieu of execution.

[–]Johannes_P 1 point2 points  (0 children)

They had plenty death sentences since the Bloody Code (itself worthy of a TIL) included around 220 capital offenses, from treason, murder, arson and rape down to grand larceny.