John Carter's Prisoners in Van Diemen's Land
Our first historian is Dr. John Carter
Tasmania seems like a distant land but for John Carter
, Canadian historian and recently a Visiting Fellow at the University of Tasmania
, Tasmania is a treasure trunk waiting to be opened. TI Life met John
last September, when he
sent a simple inquiry? Could we provide more information about a reference Paul Malo wrote in an early issue? (see Reference here)
Several emails later… we began to learn more about the subject that fascinates John
calls it Uncertain Future in an Unknown Place, North American Political Prisoners in Van Diemen's Land.
is well prepared to become an authority on the subject.
He received a B.A. in History and MA in Native Studies from the University of Waterloo.
He then received a Bachelor of Education in Library and History at University of Western Ontario and completed his Doctorate in Museum Studies from the University of Leicester, in England.
Today John is an advisor to the Ontario Ministry of Culture and lives in Toronto. In October he was the guest editor of "Ontario History", the Journal of the Ontario Historical Society.1
It was the quest to discover as much about these prisoners - those sent to Tasmania that has driven John Carter
first visit to Tasmania was in 1995 and he
has returned seven times.
He was a Visiting Fellow twice at the Australian National University in Canberra and the University of Tasmania in Hobart.
and Chris Raible, "Remembrances of the 1837 Rebellion: An Inventory of Known Prisoners' Boxes," York Pioneer, 101, (2006).
Dr. John Carter was the guest editor of "Ontario History" the Journal of the Ontario Historical Society.
Reference is made to Dr. John C. Carter's
associates) article in Ontario History - October 2009.
Dr. John Carter
was nice enough to direct me to ths fascinating site.
We met John Carter in Hobart,Tasmania last March during a visit there to research our greatgranfather, Linus Miller, an American, who was one of North American patriots imprisoned in Van Dieman's Land.
When we were kids we were told the story, so curiosity finally brought us to Tasmania, where we had the good luck to meet John
and benefit from his
I commend John Carter
wonderful research & interest in my birth state of Tasmania, Australia.
It was a great privilege to meet John
at Campbell Town in February 2009 & learn more about the political prisoners who were transported to Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) in 1838.
has done much to enlighten & entertain anyone with an interest in history, politics & convict transportation.
has educated many Tasmanians about a part of their history that should not be forgotten.
ongoing studies of this group of political prisoners transported to Van Diemen's Land has uncovered some fascinating elements of our island's history.
I am indebted to Dr.Carter for information about the Political Prisoners.
For many years we thought we had only Irish freedom fighters, English chartists and Englsih machine-breakers so it was with delight that we heard from Dr Carter
that some of the Canadian exiles had also been sent to work in our small village in the Tasmanian countryside.Look up our website to find out more about our area.
I was pleased to read your article about John Carter's
fine work in shedding light on the history of the North American political prisoners in Tasmania.
The Glamorgan Spring Bay Historical Society and the Swansea Heritage Centre
were delighted to host John Carter
visit to Tasmania with his
presentation on the North American political prisoners.
Let me encourage others to follow through on the various references to Dr John Carter's extremely well researched articles.
has connected an unknown and forgotten part of inter-continental history into a very readable and well-referenced article which I must highly commend.
It was a great experience to meet John
in Hobart on several occasions and show him around and discuss our site where so many of the Patriots spent time either in the prisoners barracks or attended services in our chapel.
Especially as, unknown to them, John
was giving his
talk on the patriots that evening in Hobart.
On one of John Carter's
visits to Tasmania it was my pleasure to drive him to Symmons Plains to visit the site of the capture of bushrangers by a party of convict police that included Aaron Dresser and Stephern Wright, two of the North American Political Prisoners.
I thank Dr Carter
for the information that he
gave my nephew and how it has filled a void in my family history.
Bushranger researcher, Bob Minchin, introduced me to John Carter.
A terrific subject and thanks to Dr. Carter
, we now know a great deal more.
Since John Carter
contacted me some years ago I have again met with him on his
more recent visits to Tasmania.
I have learnt to appreciate his
interest in the Patriots from Canada and to understand the research effort he
has put into the subject.
In this sense he
has made a valuable contribution to the history of Van Diemens Land (now Tasmania) and in particular the convict period.
My particular interest was the fact he
was able to establish a connection between the Patriots and the Masonic fraternity in the State.
As Librarian for the Grand Lodge of Tasmania we were able to establish that the brethren of one of our earliest Lodges had contributed financially in assisting one of the Patriots E.C. Woodman on his return trip to Canada.
Unfortunately he died on the trip home.
Thank you John
for your absolutely intriguing research.
I have been following your references and have even been in contact with other members of the Hiram Sharp family thanks to John
It was great to meet John Carter
and discover our shared in interest in the fate of JA.