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Indentured Servants

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Indentured Servants
Emma Anstine
History 1301 Poor English citizens signing their lives away through a contract; as shown in document one produced indentured servants. The very first line states ‘This indenture made’- made, almost as if they have been transformed from the person they currently are into nothing more than a servant to their master. ‘’In such service and imployment’ and ‘shall there imploy him, according to the custome of the Countrey in the like kind’ states that the servant must do whatever the master asks of him. There is nothing in the contract to protect the servant, the master is fully able to take advantage of the power he now has over his servant. Although the servant is promised that master will ‘pay for his passing, and to find him with meat, drink, apparel and lodging, with other necessaries during the said terme, and at the end of the said terme, to give him one whole yeers provision of corne, and fifty acres of land’, there is nothing in the contract stating that it will be made sure the servant gets everything he is promised. In Document 3, we see the harsh reality of servitude. James Revel was brought up in what he states a good home, his parents sent him to school, however he later became a criminal and found himself sent across the Atlantic as a punishment for his offense. ‘Five of our number in our passage died, which were thrown into the Ocean wide’ shows how cruely they were treated before they even made it to Virginia. However, once they made it to land they were quickly transformed- ‘our faces shav’d, com’d out our wigs and hair’. ‘And in short time some men up to us came, some ask’d us our trades, and others ask’d our names. Some view’d our limbs, and others turn’d us round’- shows that the men who came looking for servants hardly saw them as humans, and Revel even states ‘examening like horses, if we’re sound.’ Once chosen by his new master, Revel was ‘loaded with a chain’ and had ‘Europian clothes were took from me, which never after I again

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