Essay - Indentured Servants in 1901, Karl Frederick Geiser Wrote the Book...

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Indentured Servants

In 1901, Karl Frederick Geiser wrote the book Redemptioners and Indentured Servants of Pennsylvania, to "in the hope of throwing some new light upon an important phase of our Colonial history upon which comparatively little has been written." One hundred years later, Geiser could easily publish his ***** again, since most people in the United States do not know about servitude during early America except for ***** African slaves. Terms such as redemptioners, embarkation, debarkation, and even indentured servants are ***** detailed *****ten, yet this w*****—***** good or bad—a maj***** aspect of ***** history.

When the Colonists came to the New World and saw that ***** land would yield pr*****itable returns, they tried a number of different ways to entice immigrants, particularly the poor and laboring class, to make the long and expensive trip ***** *****. However, the burden was too great for most individuals. In ***** mid 1500s, the owners of the large land companies recognized that in order to increase the number of workers they had to offer free transportation. The English government quickly agreed, ***** they would have fewer unemployed individuals who "threatened to become criminals" (Geiser, 1901, p. 5). This answered one of the *****or economic *****roblems of the times.

Historians identify two methods ***** acquiring trans-Atlantic passage through servitude--"indenture" and "redemption." Today, the term "indenture" is used as a generic form ***** describes both these terms. These two ***** differ depending on whether the immigr*****nt became a contracted servant at *****, for indenture, or at debarkation, for *****. The *****mer *****, or indentured immigrants, signed contracts pre-voyage and, once arriving in America, were called "servants... whose ***** are to be disposed of by the capta*****..." ***** latter *****, because they did not sign a contract until they arrived in America, ***** often called "passengers" or "freights" who were "willing to serve a reasonable time f***** their passage (freight) money." Once ***** ***** the servant, ***** redemptioners were then also ***** "*****." Although they went ***** the same name, it is important to distinguish between the two ***** of contract signing, which affected the incidence of *****ing risk between shipper and servant and ***** flexibil*****y of contracting between servant and American master (xxx).

***** derivation of the term "indentured" is believed to have come from the Middle-***** word "endenture," a ***** agreement, from Anglo-Norman, from endenter, to indent (from the matching notches on multiple copies ***** ***** documents); The contract the intended servants signed ***** copied twice on the ***** paper. The paper was then torn in half with the worker ***** the captain each receiving a copy. The ragged edge of the page ***** *****ly fit exactly together with the other ***** of similarly ripped paper (Webster Dictionary,). That was proof that the two pieces of paper ***** parts of ***** original *****. ***** this way, the individuals ***** not alter any of ***** original terms, such as the ***** ***** years of servitude or ***** freedom due.

This was believed to be


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