Essay On Indentured Servants

1009 Words5 Pages
Indentured Servants were a vital part of the growth of the new colonies. They were cheap labor which allowed for the plantation economy to grow. There was a large difference between indentured servants and slaves. An indentured servant would only serve the amount of time their contract stated. Indentured servants were allowed to testify in courts and could eventually gain their own property, as well as start a family after their time was up. Indentured servants were given a departing gift when their term was up, and would receive cash or other items their owners would give them, as well as the fact that their children wouldn’t inherit their past career of servitude. There were bad parts, a servants time could be extended for many reasons. One…show more content…
Slaves were seen as worthless, but an indentured servant was still seen as a person. Many times a servant was allowed to bring their master to the courtroom. Most cases were for abuse, but another reason could be breach of contract. If a servant was to die because of the master’s carelessness, the master could be brought up on charges. If the being of a servant was in question, anybody could bring a master to court, accusing of neglect and abuse. Although punishments varied, some of the most common were paying a small fine or being forced to release their servant back to the free…show more content…
There was thievery between the servants. Many of them reported that their coats and other valuables were stolen by fellow servants, in which they traded for a hot meal. The thievery between indentured servants was very severe. One would steal another’s belongings, and trade or sell them for food. There was no guilt as they were practically starving, and to steal one man’s winter jacket was easy for a man who only wanted some meat and potatoes. There was a price for thievery if one was caught. Many servants were beaten by their owners, or have an extension added onto their time there. This all led back to the problem of
Open Document