Australian History: Bushrangers
In the early days of Australia’s history, bushrangers roamed the countryside. They lived by stealing horses, holding up farms and travelers and robbing banks and stores. Many were escaped convicts. Others were just young men looking for adventure and freedom from the boredom of everyday work.
Imagine that you were a convict. Perhaps you worked in a government gang. Perhaps you were assigned to a settler. What would you do if you were treated so badly that you couldn't stand it any longer? lf you spent all day dragging an iron chain and making roads? If your master never gave you fair rations but made you work from dawn to dusk? If you knew that you had many more years to go before you could be free? lf you had a chance, would you try to escape? Where would you go? You'd surely get caught if you went to Sydney or a town. The bush was the safest place. You'd heard of other convicts escaping into the bush. Some of them got caught. Some of them gave themselves up because they didn't know how to look after themselves. But some of them did all right. They survived. You could try to find other escaped convicts and join them. Perhaps the Aboriginals would help you. You could always steal food from the farms of settlers. It was worth a chance. After all, you had nothing to lose.