Gunston Hall

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Gunston Hall Field Trip Assignment
Indentured Servant
Before I even got off the bus the beauty and amazement of Gunston Hall and all of the land that surrounded it caught me off guard. To start, there was so much land and George Mason once owned every bit of it. Next, when you actually approached Gunston Hall, you realized how breath taking it was. From the picturesque house with impressive woodwork in the front parlor all the way to the well kept gardens. Everything was perfect, but then it hit me. Who once made it so pretty, and how did it look from their point of view?

During the 18th century social class was a huge part of the culture. It was split into three main classes: a higher, middle, and lower class. During this time, landowners and people lucky enough to be born into the higher class didn’t have the burden of having to work on their own property; they had people like slaves and indentured servants to do it for them. Indentured servants were usually worked for a fixed amount of time, in exchange for things such as accommodation, ship’s passage, or food. Indentured servants were in the lower social class, however unlike a slave, they only had to work a fixed amount of years written into a contract. Usually, educated indentured servants were kept for four years while uneducated indentured servants were held to around seven years for labor. Also unlike slaves, they didn’t usually work out in the fields, but were brought over because they specialized in some skill.

There were a lot of indentured servants on George Mason’s property, even more than slaves. Indentured servants were used for many things. While George Mason was alive, an indentured servant named Mr. Carlsile taught his children in a small schoolhouse outside of the family’s home. Mr. Carlsile was hand picked for Scotland by George Mason’s brother because Mason believed in education and wanted the best teacher for his children. Unlike the slaves, the schoolteacher was obviously well...
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