Who usually were indentured servants?

Who usually were indentured servants?

Most workers who became indentured servants were males, generally in their late teens and early twenties, but thousands of women also entered into these agreements and often worked off their debts as household employees or domestic servants.

Who were the first indentured servants in America?

Indentured servants first arrived in America in the decade following the settlement of Jamestown by the Virginia Company in 1607. The idea of indentured servitude was born of a need for cheap labor.

Who were some famous indentured servants?

Only two indentured servants are known to have worked at Monticello while under the terms of their indentures (Thomas Walker and William Rice). Two other men worked for Thomas Jefferson after completion of their contracted service (Antonio Giannini and Giovannini da Prato).

What was the most common type of indentured servant?

Most indentured servants worked as farm laborers or domestic servants, although some were apprenticed to craftsmen. The terms of an indenture were not always enforced by American courts, although runaways were usually sought out and returned to their employer.

What races were indentured servants?

In the early years of the colony, many Africans and poor whites — most of the laborers came from the English working class — stood on the same ground. Black and white women worked side-by-side in the fields. Black and white men who broke their servant contract were equally punished. All were indentured servants.

Why did Virginia planters originally prefer indentured servants to slaves?

Over time, as the supply of enslaved Africans increased and their prices decreased, farmers and planters agreed that they preferred a slave for life to a servant who had the hope of freedom.

What was the problem of indentured servants in colonial America?

As demands for labor grew, so did the cost of indentured servants. Many landowners also felt threatened by newly freed servants demand for land. The colonial elite realized the problems of indentured servitude.

How did the indentured servants in Jamestown make money?

Agents and ships’ captains made money by selling indenture contracts to planters or merchants in Virginia who then became masters of their indentured servants utilizing their skills and labor for the length of the contract. For the servants it was a chance to eventually gain their freedom and maybe own land and also make money.

What was the life like for an indentured servant?

There were laws that protected some of their rights. But their life was not an easy one, and the punishments meted out to people who wronged were harsher than those for non-servants. An indentured servant’s contract could be extended as punishment for breaking a law, such as running away, or in the case of female servants, becoming pregnant.

Who was involved in the indentured servitude market?

This activity was modified from: Indentured Servitude: A Colonial Market for Labor developed by Ken Leonard, Gene McCreadie, and Kathy Ratte of the Foundation for Teaching Economics.