First Advisor

Patricia Schechter

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in History and University Honors








In the eighteenth and nineteenth century, the carceral system in England shifted away from corporal punishment and moved towards containing and policing those deemed criminal in different ways. One notable way was transportation, the practice of moving convicts out of the imperial core into a colony. This practice became a way to remove “lesser” populations from England and regulate social behavior while also expanding the British Empire and allowed convicts a new purpose in expanding the carceral state. This developed alongside the broader trends of racialization and colonization in the British Empire, which drew a global color line separating “white” and “colored” and maintained a distinction between the two populations. This thesis considers the case of two women subjected to criminal transportation, Elizabeth Hincks and Charlotte Brown. Hincks and Brown were accused of stealing a silver watch from a drunkard, and are heavily implied to be prostitutes in the trial transcript. Both were found guilty and sentenced to transportation, but only Hincks was actually sent to Australia. The archival traces created by their interactions with the criminal and legal systems are considered in the context of a transnational empire looking to restrict and reform white femininity.


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