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Indentured Servitude

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Submitted By jessicahitzges
Words 755
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Jessica Hitzges
October 10, 2012
Indentured Servitude In the 1600s, indentured servants were the most popular form of help in the “New World”. Normally indentured servants consisted of groups of criminals, unemployed, and homeless people who were exiled from England and forced to come over to America as slaves. Over half of Virginia consisted of indentured servants who had numerous tasks, but mainly were required to help farm land and grow tobacco. These servants would sign seven year contracts to serve their masters, then they were set free after their debt was paid. Many never received the land and freedom they were promised. Many of the servants died before their seven years was up. The servants were anxious to come to America, but they had no idea what living conditions would be like. Many servants were treated worse than in England. This forced the servants to begin to steal. The servants were wrong for stealing, but servants were often manipulated into doing so. When you are desperate enough, you will do almost anything to save yourself. In The Confession, it is stated that the nature of the servants resembled that of a barbarian. They were starved and desperate, so they were manipulated into stealing. Thomas Hartley and other indentured servants were involved in the crimes, and the crimes were allegedly led by Mr. John Fisher. Mr. Fisher was more intelligent than the other servants, so they were easily influenced. The servants were caught stealing food, killing animals, and causing mayhem. The first of ten crimes was for stealing a turkey. The second was killing a lamb with a knife. The third was killing a sheep. The fourth was killing a sow, then tying up her guts in the skin and throwing it in the lake. The fifth was shooting a pig. The sixth was also killing pigs. The seventh was stealing bag of potatoes and weapons. The eighth was stealing more…...

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