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date: 21 April 2024

Indentured Servitude. 

Source:
The Oxford Encyclopedia Women in World History
Author(s):
Erica Armstrong DunbarErica Armstrong Dunbar

Indentured servitude was a form of bound labor common on mainland North America and in the Caribbean from the early seventeenth century. This form of bound labor was particularly widespread in the Chesapeake colonies of Virginia and Maryland during the seventeenth century. In the eighteenth century the middle colonies of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York also depended on indentured servants. A servant would bind him- or herself to an indenture, also known as a labor contract, for a period of four to seven years. Some indentured servants negotiated their contracts directly with potential masters, but many seeking passage to the colonies worked with a ship's captain who, upon arrival in the New World, would sell the contracts to those looking for extra labor in the infant colonies.... ...

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