TIL the Thirteen Colonies were used as a penal colony for English criminals between the 1600s to 1776. Historians estimate between 50,000 to 120,000 criminals were transfered. After America’s indepedence the Brits tried to substitute America with Ghana and Senegal, ultimately deciding on Australia.

Read the Story

Show Top Comments

The 13 colonies were also a notorious dumping ground for religious zealots and lunatics.


Not really a “penal colony”. It was an opportunity for indentured servitude for 7 years, for minor criminals or unemployed youth to develope a skill, helps build the Colonies, and keep the un or underemployed out of mischief in England.


When the Poms point out that Australians are all convicts I remind them that only 10% of British criminals were transported to Australia. The other 90% were absorbed back into British society and begat/fathered English soccer fans, politicians, and Test cricketers!


You’d think they’d learn not to store all their enemies in one place.


Everything is legal in New Jersey