Port Arthur, Point Puer and the Wesleyans
From 1824 the Calvinistic Lt Gov George Arthur attempted to reform the convict-centred culture, introducing a nine tiered system of graduated reformation. Architect /engineer John Lee Archer over-saw a wide ranging building program , with churches and schools established in rural Van Diemen’s Land. Arthur introduced a system of nine police districts to control the unruly community, which became the basis for later municipal government. In conjunction with these he established a convict record system to manage his charges – which has become a boon to historians and genealogists.
The British HO was persuaded by George Arthur that the task work system was abolished; in fact it was alive and well at pre-Port Arthur sawing stations.
In 1830, Port Arthur Penal Settlement established on Tasman Peninsula replaced the two remote stations- and abolished finally the task work system – only to see a drop in production.
Religion at Port Arthur
As frontier clergy, the Wesleyans attempted to ameliorate the violence of the prison stations. From working class backgrounds like many of the prisoners , the Wesleyans were resented by the established Anglican church which from 1840 evicted the Wesleyans’ from their “domain” on the Tasmana Peninsula
The Wesleyans at Port Arthur (unpublished)
Creative Port Arthur
Henry Laing, Convict architect
Branded – A Point Puer Story (a play)
Pt Puer Conservation Study: Peter MacFie Background notes
Tasman Peninsula post-convict era