White Servitude in the Colony of Virginia: A Study of the System of Indentured Labor in the American Colonies
This concise, scholarly study focuses on the English origins of white servitude and the roll of white indentured servants in the development of the colony of Virginia. Special attention is also paid to the legislation needed to manage this segment of the population and the particulars of gaining one's freedom from such a system. The establishment of white servitude in the Americas is traced by Mr. Ballagh directly to the organization of the London Company, the division of the Virginia Company of London, which governed the Virginia colony. The first class of indented servants entered into their contracts voluntarily for a definite term of service in exchange for payment of their passage to the New World and a land grant on completion of their contract. The majority of indented servants were of this class. The second were undesirables, persons whom legal authority condemned to a term of servitude as punishment for a misdemeanor already committed or as a means of preventing unemployment or idleness. This class was composed primarily of paupers, debtors, orphans, and a large number of political agitators who had committed no criminal acts, but were unwelcome in England and sentenced to transportation. Men and women of both classes flooded the colony in the 1600s and early 1700s and had an enormous impact on both the population of the colony and its laws.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Other editions - View all
abuse acres addition adventurers allowed appear Assembly became become brought century charge claim colonists colony common Company Company's condition considerable continued contract corporal courts disposed distinction division early effect England English established existed fixed Force freedom frequently further give given Governor granted half held Hening Hist hundred importation indented indentures Indian institution Instructions issued justice labor land later Letters limited London master necessary negro offenses officers passed penalty period persons plantations planters position practice prevent probably profits proved punishment received recognized records regard regulating relating remained result Robinson runaways says seems sent servant serve servitude seven severe share shillings Sir Thomas Smith slavery slaves Smith social statute sufficient tenants term tion tobacco tracts trade transportation vants Virginia