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Indentured Servitude Essay

779 words - 4 pages

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. ...view middle of the document...

John Fisher acted as a coward; he didn’t want to have the blood on his hands. He instead smooth talked his way into getting the other servants to kill for him, and he watched patiently.
In Richard Frethorne’s Letter to His Parents, he describes conditions as lonely, cold, and he has barely any clothes. He is starving. The conditions were terrible, everyone has gotten sick with diseases and there was no food in sight. The servants even began eating bark off of trees. They were so desperate. They wanted, and needed, food. Relationships are bad and tensions are high between the other servants. Richard Frethorne stated in the letter to his father that he had a jacket stolen and it was hidden from him. He pleaded for the servant to tell Richard where the jacket was located, but the servant who stole never said a word. Richard begins to beg his father for cheese, butter, and beef. He just wants to eat. Richard requested old cheese, also oil and vinegar. He wanted the beef to be salted, that way it would stay fresh longer. He wanted his father to send the package soon, for hopes that it would arrive in Virginia quickly. He prays his brothers and sisters are all healthy and that everyone remembers him, and his love.

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