Skip to Main Content
Skip Nav Destination

Scarcity typified most convicts’ lives. Salaries were low; goods for sale, dear; and the ability to earn extra income legitimately, limited. The environment nourished theft and extortion that fed an underground economy in stolen goods. Contraband commerce, in alcohol in particular, brought strata of the penal colony population together to profit from convicts’ seemingly unquenchable thirst for it. Ties of patronage and corruption bound together networks between officers, civil servants, vendors, soldiers, and convicts who at times competed with one another to dominate the steep profits from contraband trade and other schemes. This competition could lead to disputes among rival...

This content is only available as PDF.
You do not currently have access to this chapter.
Don't already have an account? Register
Close Modal

or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal