Do You Know Black Convicts Were Sent To Australia in 1788?

Black convicts were sent to Australia on the First Fleet that left England in 1787 and arrived in Australia in 1788. These black people were originally slaves in America who fought for the British in the American war of independence and once the British lost the war, they were resettled in England. There were 11 black men on these ships. Some of them stole a loaf of bread and they were sentenced to 7 years and transportation to Australia.

Dark Convicts - the black former slaves on the First Fleet.

We all know Australia has a black history, but there’s another lesser known way in which his country’s origins are black. On the first fleet there were eleven convicts who were freed slaves from America, and who for various reasons found themselves on a long and dangerous journey to what became the colony of Sydney. Judy Johnson has has not one but two of these black first fleet convicts as her ancestors, and has written a collection of poetry, based on the documents and personal accounts which still exits from that time.

https://www.abc.net.au/radionationa...lack-former-slaves-on-the-first-fleet/8318282
 
20,000 Australians are descendants of these 11 black men today.

African Blood part of Australia’s settlement history.

By Patricia Attard Daniels

More than 20,000 Australians are descendants from African men transported to Sydney on the first fleet. John Randall and John Martin, They were part of a group of 11 plus 5 who were sent to the penal colony in 1788. Not many Australians have this knowledge, that Africans were part of the first invader society to land in Sydney Cove. Amongst the group was also two other men known as John Caesar and Black Jemmy.

lack Founders provides very different views of the birth of a nation. As Pybus explains, “the settlement of Australia was a multiracial process that took place at a time when the notion of ‘race’ was a highly malleable construct, understood in ways very different from the modern sense of innate nature

How these African men found their way on board convict ships to Sydney is a story of struggle, war, slavery and crime. Scant records available have nether the less revealed accounts of the lives of some of these men. History records even some individuals who certainly stood out in early settlement days and in fact obtained rapid notoriety. Of noted mention is an man commonly known as Black Caesar, he was a 14 year old boy around 2 meters tall and extremely strong accounts record that Black Caesar could have been bought on board the ship Alexander in Mauritius after stealing 4lbs of bread. He was sentenced to 7
years and arrived in Sydney 1788. Caesar quickly took to stealing whenever possible to satisfy his ravenous appetite and escaped many times. On one occasion, when sentenced to Garden Island, he found a native canoe and made his escape. Reports had Caesar living and stealing in the bush and he was even involved in battles with Indigenous people including Pemulwuy. Some reports have Caesar befriended by Pemulwuy and yet it was also reported that Caesar was found once with several spears sticking out of his body. Unfortunately, a reward was finally posted for his capture dead or alive, and Caesar was killed in 1796.

John Randal’s journey to Australia started with his crime for stealing a chain whilst living in Manchester. He arrived in Manchester as part of the British withdrawal from America during the civil war. Life in Britain was equally miserable and Randal soon turned to crime. On his arrival in Sydney, he was given the trustworthy position of hunting for food for the settlement. Records report of his trustworthiness and his ability to be a good shot. This ability could mean he had some weapons training during the Civil War. John Randal soon became a vital part of survival for the settlements and more so in the famine of 1790 when crops failed and starvation and disease prevailed.

John Randal was soon granted land at Rose Hill and farmed alongside another African man called John Martin. The men were of different natures, Randal being the more adventurous and Martin happy to stay and work his farm. Randal married a woman called Mary Butler who arrived on the second fleet and they were the first recorded marriage at St John’s Church Parramatta. ‘The ceremony was held under a gum tree as the church had not yet been built’

In early to mid 1900’s many of the black community had located to areas around Parramatta including Pennant Hills. For many years that area was referred to as ‘Dixie Land’. From all accounts, many were happy to work their land grants and married free convicts.

Billy Blue, transported in 1801 for stealing sugar, cemented a relationship with Governor Macquarie based upon their shared experiences in the Revolutionary War. (He ran a ferry service (and smuggling racket), lent his name to Blues Point and other landmarks, and became such a well-known (albeit disreputable) character of early Sydney that some 20th-century historians tried, rather preposterously, to claim him as white – or, at least, “not predominantly Negro”.)

Another arrival Thomas Alford (known as Orford) was sentenced to 7 years and arrived on the Alexander. He did his time and was granted land in Farm Cover and later petitioned the governor to have his family sent from England on the first available convict ship.

In essence all these stories reveal a part of Australian history that few know about. Perhaps questions have been raise d in the past in many families throughout Australia and it interesting that records show without doubt that African’s lived and raised very large families throughout early Australian history and contributed in many ways to it progress. Some reports put levels of African people from 2-4% of early settlement population.

We can only speculate as to the possibility that African men may have produced children with indigenous women.

As Australia establishes its position firmly in the world as a true Multi-cultural society, another layer is revealed to exhibit just how far back the mix began. Today hundreds of thousands Africans call Australia home, many of these people do not know this part of Australia’s history, untold to mainstream Australia, this story is worthy of being told, of being presented as a integral part of the birth of a nation.

Footnote: Currently I am preparing a story line and screen play in preparation for a forthcoming film about the story of African men whose blood is mingled into the fabric of Australian history.



The AfroAustralians: Group picture at Wattle Flat (near Bathurst) in 1895. The black women is Elizabeth Fonceca, a Great-grandchild of John Randall, through John Aiken. The black man to the left is believed to also be a Randall/Martin descendant and possibly a son of Peter Coups and Hannah Martin.


https://cafedesheba.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/africans-arrived-on-the-first-fleet-to-australia-1788/

I found new ancestors.
 
Black Founders: The Unknown Story of Australia's First Black Settlers.

NEXT TIME YOU HEAR of Ned Kelly and his gang, spare a thought for a man called Caesar, whose much earlier career of banditry differs from the standard outlaw narrative in one intriguing aspect. As Cassandra Pybus bluntly explains: "Australia's first bushranger was black as pitch."

Why, during the last decade of the 18th century, was an African-American toting a gun in the bush outside Sydney Cove? To answer, Pybus takes us to the Virginia of the American Revolution, where insurgent colonists demanding death or liberty unwittingly inspired the same sentiment in their slaves. To derail the revolutionary movement, Lord Dunmore, the British governor, opportunistically offered freedom to "all indented servants, Negroes or others that are able and willing to bear arms".

Hundreds of blacks duly flocked to fight against their American masters in Dunmore's newly created "Ethiopian regiment".

"There is not a man of them but would leave us if they believed they could make their escape," lamented one of George Washington's relatives about his slaves. "Liberty is sweet."

Perhaps so, but the fate of most of the Virginia runaways proved bitter. Smallpox decimated the black regiment, and Britain's ultimate defeat left thousands of escaped slaves to the mercy of their former owners, given to punishing escapees with mutilation and execution. As the British fleet evacuated, freed blacks desperately scrambled for a place on the last ships out of New York.


Those who obtained a berth (and were thus recorded in The Book of Negroes, one of Pybus' key sources) discovered a new world of problems in London. Without marketable skills and living in fear of man-stealing gangs, many sank into destitution. Inevitably, some black refugees fell foul of the law - and more than a few were transported to Botany Bay (Sydney).

There they encountered a brutality not so different from that in Virginia. For instance, the British authorities gave the contract to transport the Second Fleet to a firm of slavers who packed the hulks so tightly that a quarter of convicts perished before the ships arrived in 1790. "The slave trade is merciful," said one officer, "compared with what I have seen in this fleet."

That year, the colonial rulers increased the punishment for starving convicts who stole food to an extraordinary 2000 lashes: by contrast, the Royal Navy, scarcely known for its humanitarianism, limited flagellators to a few hundred strokes at a time.


The ostensibly free settlers fared little better. The marines on the First Fleet sought refuge from disease and hunger in alcoholic obliteration, flatly refusing to sail without a guaranteed supply of liquor: rum, they explained, constituted "an indispensable requisite for the preservation of our lives".

Incredibly, some of the black Americans thrust into almost impossible conditions on a strange continent managed to flourish. Billy Blue, transported in 1801 for stealing sugar, cemented a relationship with Governor Macquarie based upon their shared experiences in the Revolutionary War.


He ran a ferry service (and smuggling racket), lent his name to Blues Point and other landmarks, and became such a well-known (albeit disreputable) character of early Sydney that some 20th-century historians tried, rather preposterously, to claim him as white - or, at least, "not predominantly Negro".

Other ex-slaves refused to buckle under. Pybus tentatively identifies the bushranger Caesar with a 14-year-old Creole slave boy listed in the Book of Negroes of 1783 as a "stout fellow"; he was transported for stealing three years later.

His name reflected the tendency of slavers to give their chattels mock-heroic titles (rather as a pet-owner might bestow the regal "Rex" on a dog) but, by escaping so repeatedly into the bush, Caesar - almost two metres tall and immensely strong - achieved a degree of recognition on his own terms.


He told Governor Hunter that "he would neither come in or suffer himself to be taken alive"; another convict, spurred by the official promise of five gallons of spirits for "whoever shall secure this man Black Caesar", shot him dead in 1796.

Working from the most fragmentary sources, Pybus reconstructs some of the lost lives of the black diaspora, transforming one-line entries in convict ledgers into whole personalities - from the former slave John Moseley, who ended his life as a dealer living in the Rocks in Sydney, to John Randall, a drummer in the Revolutionary War, whose great grandson was shot as a lunatic in the Snowy Mountains in 1906, muttering about a worldwide conspiracy to murder all black people.


Black Founders provides very different views of the birth of a nation. As Pybus explains, "the settlement of Australia was a multiracial process that took place at a time when the notion of 'race' was a highly malleable construct, understood in ways very different from the modern sense of innate nature".

Yes, white Australia has a black history - and it's more complicated and fascinating than most of us ever knew.


https://www.theage.com.au/entertain...ias-first-black-settlers-20060617-ge2jae.html
 

Blade1

Ashy Abdi Representative
20,000 Australians are descendants of these 11 black men today.

African Blood part of Australia’s settlement history.

By Patricia Attard Daniels

More than 20,000 Australians are descendants from African men transported to Sydney on the first fleet. John Randall and John Martin, They were part of a group of 11 plus 5 who were sent to the penal colony in 1788. Not many Australians have this knowledge, that Africans were part of the first invader society to land in Sydney Cove. Amongst the group was also two other men known as John Caesar and Black Jemmy.

lack Founders provides very different views of the birth of a nation. As Pybus explains, “the settlement of Australia was a multiracial process that took place at a time when the notion of ‘race’ was a highly malleable construct, understood in ways very different from the modern sense of innate nature

How these African men found their way on board convict ships to Sydney is a story of struggle, war, slavery and crime. Scant records available have nether the less revealed accounts of the lives of some of these men. History records even some individuals who certainly stood out in early settlement days and in fact obtained rapid notoriety. Of noted mention is an man commonly known as Black Caesar, he was a 14 year old boy around 2 meters tall and extremely strong accounts record that Black Caesar could have been bought on board the ship Alexander in Mauritius after stealing 4lbs of bread. He was sentenced to 7
years and arrived in Sydney 1788. Caesar quickly took to stealing whenever possible to satisfy his ravenous appetite and escaped many times. On one occasion, when sentenced to Garden Island, he found a native canoe and made his escape. Reports had Caesar living and stealing in the bush and he was even involved in battles with Indigenous people including Pemulwuy. Some reports have Caesar befriended by Pemulwuy and yet it was also reported that Caesar was found once with several spears sticking out of his body. Unfortunately, a reward was finally posted for his capture dead or alive, and Caesar was killed in 1796.

John Randal’s journey to Australia started with his crime for stealing a chain whilst living in Manchester. He arrived in Manchester as part of the British withdrawal from America during the civil war. Life in Britain was equally miserable and Randal soon turned to crime. On his arrival in Sydney, he was given the trustworthy position of hunting for food for the settlement. Records report of his trustworthiness and his ability to be a good shot. This ability could mean he had some weapons training during the Civil War. John Randal soon became a vital part of survival for the settlements and more so in the famine of 1790 when crops failed and starvation and disease prevailed.

John Randal was soon granted land at Rose Hill and farmed alongside another African man called John Martin. The men were of different natures, Randal being the more adventurous and Martin happy to stay and work his farm. Randal married a woman called Mary Butler who arrived on the second fleet and they were the first recorded marriage at St John’s Church Parramatta. ‘The ceremony was held under a gum tree as the church had not yet been built’

In early to mid 1900’s many of the black community had located to areas around Parramatta including Pennant Hills. For many years that area was referred to as ‘Dixie Land’. From all accounts, many were happy to work their land grants and married free convicts.

Billy Blue, transported in 1801 for stealing sugar, cemented a relationship with Governor Macquarie based upon their shared experiences in the Revolutionary War. (He ran a ferry service (and smuggling racket), lent his name to Blues Point and other landmarks, and became such a well-known (albeit disreputable) character of early Sydney that some 20th-century historians tried, rather preposterously, to claim him as white – or, at least, “not predominantly Negro”.)

Another arrival Thomas Alford (known as Orford) was sentenced to 7 years and arrived on the Alexander. He did his time and was granted land in Farm Cover and later petitioned the governor to have his family sent from England on the first available convict ship.

In essence all these stories reveal a part of Australian history that few know about. Perhaps questions have been raise d in the past in many families throughout Australia and it interesting that records show without doubt that African’s lived and raised very large families throughout early Australian history and contributed in many ways to it progress. Some reports put levels of African people from 2-4% of early settlement population.

We can only speculate as to the possibility that African men may have produced children with indigenous women.

As Australia establishes its position firmly in the world as a true Multi-cultural society, another layer is revealed to exhibit just how far back the mix began. Today hundreds of thousands Africans call Australia home, many of these people do not know this part of Australia’s history, untold to mainstream Australia, this story is worthy of being told, of being presented as a integral part of the birth of a nation.

Footnote: Currently I am preparing a story line and screen play in preparation for a forthcoming film about the story of African men whose blood is mingled into the fabric of Australian history.



The AfroAustralians: Group picture at Wattle Flat (near Bathurst) in 1895. The black women is Elizabeth Fonceca, a Great-grandchild of John Randall, through John Aiken. The black man to the left is believed to also be a Randall/Martin descendant and possibly a son of Peter Coups and Hannah Martin.


https://cafedesheba.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/africans-arrived-on-the-first-fleet-to-australia-1788/

I found new ancestors.
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