Terence George Craddock (Spectral Images and Images Of Light)


Penal Transportation: Forgotten Gaelic Slaves


Such a nice girl
funny she never married.
Such a nice girl
money purchases only pearls.

Not so convicts
transported by merchants
auctioned off
to plantation owners
upon arrival
in the American colonies.

Penal labour
was slave labour severe
physical
punishment... included
capital
punishment by flaying.

British French Spanish
colonial empires exploited
parts of North America
as penal colonies to cheaply...

develop an economically
underdeveloped
part of a state's colonial
territories. Slavery
even disguised as indentured
servitude of youth.

Many prisoners died
from excessive
labour, hunger, disease,
medical neglect
or during escape attempts.

It is estimated that 50,000
British convicts
were sent to colonial America
approximately
one-quarter of all British
emigrants
during the 18th century.

Wisdom
Sentimentality Sincerity.
Are free
inflating hearts that cannot
be free upon arrival
in colonial territories.

Voyages in linked chains
cannot rise
above treacherous currents
past embroiled
in conflict bitter misty
sentence dark green sea.


The United Kingdom deported its convicted criminals to her penal colonies in the Americas from the 1610s until the American Revolution in the 1770s. Dr John Dunmore Lang estimated 50,000 convicts were transported to North America, originally to New England. The majority were prisoners captured in battle who originated from Ireland or Scotland. Some were sold as slaves to the Southern states. See also ‘The Saga Of A Convict Lass’ the original template poem for a collage of poems, symbolic of collective convict suffering, yet unique experiences of individuals, during the penal transportation period; ‘Money Purchases Only Pearls’, ‘Flogged Upon Rack At Sea’ and ‘Sentenced For The Term Of Her Natural Life’ by Terence George Craddock.
Copyright © Terence George Craddock
http: //www.poemhunter.com/terence-george-craddock/

Submitted: Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Edited: Wednesday, January 26, 2011

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