Convict Settlers, Seamen’s Greens, and Imperial Designs at Port Jackson: A Maritime Perspective of British Settler Agriculture

Convict Settlers, Seamen’s Greens, and Imperial Designs at Port Jackson: A Maritime Perspective of British Settler Agriculture
Abstract

This article is a contribution to the debate over Australia’s convict beginnings and the nature of the British colonization of New South Wales. The early agriculture of the convict colony is set in the maritime context of imperial rivalries and visions of empire in the Pacific Ocean. When the Port Jackson settlement is viewed from this maritime perspective, it is apparent that agriculture was an imperial imperative of the Pitt administration. The design and early function of the settlement as a port of shelter and refreshment ensured that, despite initial despondency and drought, a bountiful and secure agricultural hinterland was in the making. Within five years after the planting of New South Wales, convict settlers, mixed agriculture, and imperial designs had transformed “a rude, wild country into a pleasant garden.” As a planned, self-sufficient, maritime settlement, Port Jackson rapidly developed its capacity to produce a surplus of antiscorbutic seamen’s greens essential for a distant port

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s