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Indentured Servants In Colonial America

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In the colonial South, both indentured servants and African slave labor were used as a source of labor, but over the years the shortage of indentured servants caused the colonial South to favor slavery. Towards the end of the sixteenth century, the population of England grew as the economy worsen. England was full of poverty and unemployment. Thousands of peasants and laborers became involved in problems such as crimes and poverty. West Country prompters encouraged the beggars in England to be exported to the colony of Virginia (Taylor 52). During the seventeenth century, many people left England for the New World in hopes that the colonies will make a change. The immigrants headed to the colonies were mostly made of indentured servants. …show more content…
Only a few immigrants arrived at the colonies as free, rich, and skilled men and women. The free men and women could afford to pay expenses of traveling and obtaining land (Taylor 59). Many immigrants arrived to the colony as an indentured servant. Growing tobacco and sugar in colonial South plantations created a need for hard work and labor. During the 1670s, three ships sent 200 colonists to the mouth of the Ashley River to found Charlestown (p.81). The amount of indentured servants arriving at the colony slowly started to become less and less. Many indentured servants left for the harsh conditions. The lack of indentured servants caused the colonial south to favor slavery. The shortage of indentured servants arriving at the colonies was influenced by advice, increased wages in England, and harsh living …show more content…
Often servants ran away to escape the treatment and torture from his or her master. Newspapers often displayed advertisements to help capture runaway servants. In the March 1736 edition of the Virginia Gazette, an advertisement for a runaway servant named John Lee was published. The advertisement described the appearance of John Lee and the reward for finding him. John Lee was a man from Ireland “with a scar on his Forehead” who left with a horse to “New York” and changed “his name to George Falmouth”. The reward for finding Lee is “Ten Pounds Current Money of Virginia” (Virginia Gazette). Once a runaway servant returned back to his or her master, severe punishments would come on the runaway servant’s way. In the document,( a servant uprising in Virginia, 1640) .Christopher Miller a runaway servant would receive “the punishment of whipping and to have thirty stripes, and to be burnt in the cheek with the letter R and to work with a shackle on his leg for one whole year” (a servant uprising) Master would abuse and assault female servants. If a female servant became pregnant, the master would have to pay for cover for the pregnancy. Female servants would have an extended of years added onto an indenture if she became pregnant. Punishments that servants faced ended up dehumanized servants wishing for freedom. Harsh and unfair treatment is what many servants under an indenture faced. Servants

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