Peter M. Beattie is Associate Professor of History at Michigan State University. He is the author of
The Jealous Institution and Brazilian Penology
Chapter 5 analyzes the rationale behind and the results of the colony’s policy to allow married convicts to petition for their spouses and dependents to join them in exile. They also permitted some convicts to marry in exile and still others live in heterosexual consensual unions. Commanders gave married men preference when assigning posts that awarded better pay, immediate access to provision grounds, and the right to live in unattached housing to allow them to support and protect their dependents. Commanders associated the batch-living aldeia, the barracks where miserable and incorrigible convicts slept at night, with bachelorhood. These strategies to control and make convict laborers more productive parallel similar strategies that masters practiced with slaves on large plantations and mainland army officers honed disciplining their mostly dragooned soldiery.