How welcome was transportation in the colonies?

From The Pennsylvania Gazette April 11, 1751:

“When we see our Papers fill’d continually with Accounts of the most audacious Robberies, the most cruel Murders, and infinite other Villainies perpetrated by Convicts transported from Europe, what melancholly, what terrible Reflections must it occasion! What will become of our Posterity!—These are some of thy Favours, Britain! Thou art called our Mother Country; but what good Mother ever sent Thieves and Villains to accompany her Children; to corrupt some with their infectious Vices, and murder the rest? What Father ever endeavour’d to spread the Plague in his Family!—We do not ask Fish, but thou givest us Serpents, and worse than Serpents!—In what can Britain show a more Sovereign Contempt for us, than by emptying their Jails into our Settlements; unless they would likewise empty their Jakes on our Tables?—What must we think of that B—–d, which has advis’d the Repeal of every Law we have hitherto made to prevent this Deluge of Wickedness overwhelming us; and with this cruel Sarcasm, That these Laws were against the Public Utility, for they tended to prevent the Improvement and Well-Peopling of the Colonies!—And what must we think of those Merchants, who for the sake of a little paltry Gain, will be concern’d in importing and disposing of these abominable Cargoes?”

Accounts of several of the crimes and the substance of the editorial comment were printed in The Gentleman’s Magazine, xxi (1751), 279. Benjamin Franklin used this quotation, in his letter to London Chronicle, May 9, 1759.


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