Anyone watching this? I'm quite enjoying the series so far but a few things are bugging me:
Why are the convicts hungry? I can see that they are running out of rice and flour and they may not know much about the land they are in,but WHY can't they fish or catch and trap animals?
I suppose that in order to fish they might need to go far out to sea and then the convicts may escape?
I thought that there may be rabbits or I dunno- edible critters of some variety which they could trap or they might make the convicts try some of the local fruit / leaves to find out what they could eat?
Anyone know? <dim emoticon> I'm probably missing something vital.
I have an ancestor who went out on the Third Fleet (he was one of the marines) so researched this a bit. Although I know less about the First Fleet.
Loving Banished, btw.
They knew subsequent fleets would be coming, but not when... and they did have a hard time at first with the food. I think they realised pretty quickly they'd need colonists as well as convicts and they were having to set up the whole infrastructure - literally making rooves over their heads, etc.
They would also have to figure out what was safe to eat and what to avoid. They probably didn't have enough marines to spread the convicts out, doing various tasks, safely. They still wouldn't have been sure how hostile the native people might get - this is very close to the time of Capt Cook, who met a sticky end, and they were probably very on edge (best to huddle together, concentrated in one place, to start off with?)
Once there were settlers, they let the convicts work for them, like bonded servants (essentially slaves). They also started consciously transporting young fit people, with the skills to farm etc - but I think the early transports might have been less well thought out, with more older people, or urban convicts who might not have the skills to hunt, fish and farm.
Ooh sorry,I have only just spotted your answer.
Thank you- what a fascinating post.I would like to learn more about this era.
I began to read 'the floating brothel' by sian .....(can't remember) and that filled in a few gaps. They really were starving partly because the land was 'virgin' as in it had never been farmed. They needed people with the expertise to know how to make the land fertile enough to grow crops
cover it in poo
Once they had grown a few mangy lettuce etc they then had to keep the birds and rodents off until the plants matured.
There are more sophisticated reasons too,I'm sure!
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