Indentured Servants In Colonial Virginia

912 Words4 Pages
I believe a black indentured servant has a much worse life than a white indentured servant in Colonial Virginia. This all started because Colonial Virginia became an economic powerhouse with only one export, tobacco. The tobacco plant is highly addictive and used throughout the world. King James I talked about about tobacco’s addictive properties and the terrible black soot that it left in the lungs. The Catholic Church proclaiming its everyday use to be sinful. King James I then realized he could tax tobacco products and the people realized there was no mention of tobacco in the bible. This caused the tobacco craze to boom in Europe with no stop in sight. The Virginia colonies sold 200,000 pounds of tobacco in 1624. By 1638 they would sell…show more content…
They would sign a contract that made them work for a certain amount of year and then be freed. There were two indentured servants, the non-convict servants were sold for a term of four to six years, and the convict servants had to serve a minimum of seven years.When the servants earned their freedom they were granted 50 acres of land so they could grow their own tobacco. They were at a disadvantage because they had to pay some costs associated with receiving new land. By 1650, there were about 4,300 indentured servants living in Virginia. This is about 14% of an estimated 30,000 population of people of English and European ancestry. Out of the 4,300 indentured servants 300 were African American and 4,000 were of white descent. Eventually indentured servitude was turned into slavery as the slave trade started to boom. It was not recognized as institution until the late 17th century. Indentured servants lives would not be great but still better than the lives of slaves. They servant would be supplied room and board while working in their master’s field., and only about 40% of servants lived to complete their contract. Female servants had a rough life and were often harassed by their masters. If a female servant became pregnant she would have years added on to the end of her contracted…show more content…
In 1640, A black indentured servant, and two white indentured servants escaped from their master. The three servants were eventually captured, convicted, and sentenced. The white servants had their indentured contracts extended by four years. This was common for white servants that did something like this. The black servant has a much harsher sentencing, he had to serve the rest of his life as an indentured servant. This mean he could not leave until he was dead. This was the earliest form of slavery in Virginia. It started the trend that black people are not equal to white people regardless of their social status in society. This is what started the movement of turning indentured servants to slaves. This is proof that life for white indentured servitude was better than blac indentured

More about Indentured Servants In Colonial Virginia

Open Document