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 upon 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, and even indentured servants are ***** detailed often, yet this was—for good or bad—a maj***** aspect of ***** history.

When the Colonists came to ***** New World ***** saw that the land would yield pr*****itable returns, *****y tried a number of different w*****ys to entice immigrants, particularly the poor and laboring class, to make the long and expensive trip to *****. However, ***** burden was too great for most individuals. In the mid 1500s, the owners ***** ***** large l***** 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 ***** 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 *****se terms. These two ***** differ depending on whether the immigr*****nt be***** a contr*****cted servant at embarkation, for indenture, or at debarkation, for redemption. The former *****, or ********** immigrants, signed contracts pre-voyage and, once arriving in America, were called "servants... whose ***** 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 (freight) m*****y." Once they ***** the servant, these redemptioners were then also called "*****." Although ***** went ***** the same name, it is important to distinguish between the two ways of contract signing, which affected ***** incidence of *****ing risk between shipper and servant and the flexibility of contracting between ***** and American master (xxx).

The derivation of the term "indentured" is believed to have come from the Middle-***** word "endenture," a written *****greement, from Anglo-Norman, from endenter, ***** 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 and ***** *****in each receiving a copy. ***** ragged edge of the page ***** only fit exactly together with the other ***** of similarly ripped paper (Webster Dictionary,). That was proof that the two pieces of paper ***** parts of the original contract. In this way, ***** individuals could not alter any of the original *****s, such as the ***** ***** years of servitude or ***** freedom due.

This was believed to be


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