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

When the Colonists came to the New World and saw that the 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, ***** burden was too great for most individuals. In the mid 1500s, the owners of the large l***** companies recognized that in order to increase the number of workers they had to offer free transportation. The English government quickly agreed, since they ***** have fewer unemployed individuals who "threatened to become criminals" (Geiser, 1901, p. 5). This answered one of the *****or economic *****roblems of ***** times.

Historians identify two methods of acquiring trans-Atlantic passage through servitude--"indenture" and "redemption." Today, the term "indenture" is used as a generic form th*****t describes both *****se terms. These two methods differ depending on whether the immigrant be***** a contr*****cted servant at embarkation, for *****, or at debark*****ion, for redemption. The *****mer *****, or indentured immigrants, signed contracts pre-voyage and, once arriving in America, were called "**********... whose times are to be disposed of by the capta*****..." ***** latter people, because they did not sign a contract until they arrived in America, ***** often called "passengers" or "freights" who were "will*****g to serve a reasonable time f***** their passage (*****reight) m*****y." Once ***** *****ed the servant, *****se redemptioners were then also ***** "servants." Although they went ***** the same name, it is ***** to distinguish between the two ***** of contract signing, which affected the incidence of contracting risk between shipper and servant and ***** flexibility ***** contracting between servant and American master (xxx).

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

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