Canadian Exiles Memorial Print Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Arthur Garland

The monument was erected to mark the 150th anniversary of the landing of the Canadian Exiles in Van Diemen`s Land and to commemorate the sacrifices made by many Canadians and Australians in the evolution of self-governing, equal and free nations within the Commonwealth of Nations.

92 exiles were transported from Canada to Van Dieman's Land in 1840. The vast majority of the exiles from Canada were American patriots. 

The memorial was removed in 2004 and has been updated with more accurate historical details. It has also been moved to a more appropriate location, near where the convicts built one of Hobart's main thoroughfares - Sandy Bay Road.

In 1837 in an ill-starred attempt to spread the message of Independence, a Patriot army launched an invasion of Canada, hoping to provoke a general uprising. It failed to light the fires of rebellion and the British captured 92 mostly American citizens, members of the American Patriot Army fighting with Canadian republicans for independence from Britain.

Military courts smartly and highly illegally banished them in 1839 to Britain's remote and wild new island colony of Van Diemen's Land, now the State of Tasmania. The American freedom fighters were mostly civilian recruits and family men farmers, carpenters, clerks, ploughmen, merchants.

Unlike the general convict population and the Irish political exiles with whom much of the Tasmanian population was in sympathy, the Canadians were reviled and treated with disgust by everyone. Yankee republicanism was viewed as the ultimate disloyalty. Most of the Canadians weren`t criminals and were from reasonably well -to-do families, unused to hard labour and poor living conditions.

They were virtual slaves at penal posts on the island for up to 10 years, and 14 Patriots died as convicts. Some escaped on American whalers. When finally pardoned, the Americans were let loose to find their own way home. A few never did. They married free settler and convict women and remained in Australia. The Patriot convicts sent to Tasmania were the first Americans imprisoned overseas and the first political prisoners.


Address:Sandy Bay Road & Marieville Esplanade, Sandy Bay, 7005
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -42.900149
Long: 147.331811
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Government


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Wednesday 30th September, 1970
Front Inscription

Canadian Exiles of 1840

Near This Spot On Sandy Bay Ninety-Two English-Speaking Exiles From The Uprising Of 1837-38 In Upper Canada Were Incarcerated In 1840 Before Being Removed To Labour On The Hobart To Launceston Road.  Subsequently They Were Released On Ticket-Of-Leave And Eventually Pardoned To Return To Canada.

Fifty-eight French-speaking Prisoners From The Uprising In Lower Canada Were Similarly Exiled To The Parramatta River Area Of New South Wales.

Measures Taken As A Result Of The Uprising In Upper And Lower Canada Represented Significant Steps In The Evolution Of Responsible Government And Parliamentary Democracy In Canada And Australia.

This Plaque Was Unveiled On September 30, 1970, By The Honourable Douglas Harkness, P.C., M.P., Former Minister Of National Defence Of Canada, To Mark The 150th Anniversary Of The Landing Of The Canadian Exiles In Van Diemen`s Land And To Commemorate The Sacrifices Made By Many Canadians And Australians In The Evolution Of Self-Governing, Equal And Free Nations Within The Commonwealth Of Nations.

[ Inscription in French ]

Les Exiles Canadiens De 1840

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
Proudly sponsored by UBC Web Design