Indentured Servants In America

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The journey to the New World for both indentured servants and slaves was miserable as the torrid conditions on the ship proved to be deadly for many and devastating for the rest. On the ship carrying the indentured servants to the colonies in America, people were stuffed in cramped confines. An account from Gottlieb Mittelberger, a German schoolmaster who traveled on a ship to Philadelphia with poor immigrants who would become servants, wrote, “One person receives a place of scarcely 2 feet width and 6 feet length in the bedstead, while many a ship carries four to six hundred souls; not to mention the innumerable implements, tools…” (Mittelberger). In a crowded ship with several hundred others and many other items, each indentured servant barely …show more content…

The slaves, feeling the same homesickness that plagued the indentured servants, took one step further and tried to escape the boats by jumping overboard, such was their desire to return …show more content…

The slaves were abducted from their homeland and put onto boats to colonies in the Americas for work and had no real desire to travel there; however, the indentured servants were, as T. H Breen, a noted historian, notes, “people who, in Governor Berkeley’s words, arrived in America with a ‘hope of bettering their conditions in a Growing Country.’” (Breen). He also writes that, “Many came voluntarily.” (Breen). There was a choice regarding the indentured servant’s trip to the New World while the slaves had no such luxury, slightly differentiating the trip the servants took and the trip the slaves took. The journeys for those in indentured servitude and slaves were both miserable as the conditions proved so dreadful that both sets of people felt incredibly homesick; however, while the people opting for indentured servitude had a say in their decision to travel, the slaves had no such

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