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 throwing 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 ***** 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, and even indentured servants are not detailed *****ten, yet this was—***** good or bad—a major aspect of ***** history.

When the Colonists came to ***** New World ***** saw that the land would yield profitable returns, ********** tried a number of different w*****ys to entice immigrants, particularly the poor and laboring class, to make the long and expensive trip ***** *****. However, ***** burden ***** too great for most individuals. In the mid 1500s, the owners of ***** large l***** companies recognized that in order to increase the number ***** 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 ***** economic problems of the 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 ***** differ depending on whether the immigrant be***** a contr*****cted servant at embarkation, for indenture, or at debarkation, for redemption. The *****er individuals, or ***** *****s, signed contracts pre-voyage and, once arriving in America, were called "servants... whose times ***** to be disposed of by the capta*****..." The latter *****, because they did not sign a contract until they arrived in America, ***** often called "passengers" or "freights" who were "will*****g ***** serve a reasonable time ***** their ***** (freight) m*****y." Once ***** ***** the servant, these redemptioners were then also called "*****." Although they went ***** the same name, it is ***** to distinguish between the two ways of contract signing, which affected ***** incidence of *****ing risk between shipper and servant and the flexibil*****y of contracting between servant and American master (xxx).

***** derivation ***** the term "*****d" is believed to have come from the Middle-***** w*****d "endenture," a written agreement, from Anglo-Norman, from endenter, ***** indent (from the matching notches on multiple copies of the documents); The contract the intended servants signed was 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 would *****ly fit exactly together with the other ***** of similarly ripped paper (Webster Dictionary,). That ***** proof that the two pieces of paper ***** parts of the original *****. ***** this way, ***** ***** could not alter any of the original terms, such as the number of years ***** servitude or ***** freedom due.

***** was believed to be

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