Added: February 6, 2016 – Last updated: June 3, 2017


Author: Amanda Kaladelfos

Title: The ‘Condemned Criminals’

Subtitle: Sexual violence, race, and manliness in colonial Australia

Journal: Women's History Review

Volume: 21

Issue: 5

Year: November 2012 (Published online: August 28, 2012)

Pages: 697-714

ISSN: 0961-2025 – Find a Library: WordCat | eISSN: 1747-583X – Find a Library: WordCat

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 19th Century | Oceanian History: Australian History | Cases: Offenders: Alfred (The Aboriginal), Alexander Medcalf, Charles Wilkinson; Cases: Victims: Jane Dowd, Amelia Smith; Offenders: Punishments / Death Penalty; Types: Child Sexual Abuse, Interracial Rape; Victims: Girls



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Taylor & Francis Online (Restricted Access)


Author: Andy Kaladelfos, Griffith Criminology Institute, Griffith, ResearchGate

Abstract: »In 1879, the New South Wales government took the unusual step of recommending the execution of three men—two white and one black—for two separate crimes of rape. The government's decision provoked outcry from capital punishment abolitionists who inundated the parliament and press with appeals for mercy, and held sensational public rallies decrying the use of the death penalty. Politicians' varied responses to the crimes show their preoccupations in ensuring ideals of colonial manliness and colonial honour remained intact no matter what the cost. This case offers an important example of the complex relationship between gender, race, sexuality and colonial politics.« (Source: Women's History Review)


  Debating the Death Penalty (p. 699)
  The ‘Condemned Criminals’ (p. 702)
  ‘Alfred (The Aboriginal)’ (p. 704)
  Amelia Smith (p. 706)
  Medcalf and Wilkinson (p. 708)
  The Commutation (p. 709)
  Acknowledgements (p. 710)
  Notes (p. 710)

Wikipedia: History of Oceania: History of Australia / History of Australia (1851–1900) | History of Oceania: History of Australia / History of New South Wales | Punishment: Capital punishment | Rape in Australia