Van Diemen’s Women: A History of Transportation to Tasmania

Joan Kavanagh, Dianne Snowden

Van Diemen's Women: A History of Transportation to Tasmania
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Van Diemen’s Women: A History of Transportation to Tasmania

Joan Kavanagh, Dianne Snowden

A record of Irish transporation and how the women who left shaped Tasmania

On 2 September 1845 the convict ship Tasmania left Kingstown Harbour for Van Diemen’s Land, with 138 female convicts and their 35 children. On 3 December, the ship arrived into Hobart. While the book looks at the lives of all the women, it focuses on two women in particular; Eliza Davis, who was transported, from Wicklow Gaol, for life for infanticide, having had her sentence commuted from death and Margaret Butler sentenced to seven years transportation for stealing potatoes in Carlow.

What emerges is a picture of the reality of transportation, together with the legacy left by these women in Tasmania, and asks the question about whether this Draconian punishment was, for some, a life-saving measure.

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