The Importance Of Indentured Servants And Slave

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In the early colonial times, each person, whether free or enslaved, had their own interpretation of what freedom was depending on their reasons for arrival, perspective based on their culture, and the overall treatment they received from authoritative figures. Although both servants and slaves experienced a lack of freedom, many people assume that indentured servants were freer because they were only required to serve indentured servitude for 7 years, whereas slaves were forced into the harsh treatment of enslavement for life. Seeing that both parties are deprived of their freedom, it showed that the free English landowners justified their harsh treatment toward the slaves and servants by using their freedom to have superiority over them. …show more content…
According to document 19, Elizabeth, an indentured servant, wishes to tell her father of the ill-treatment she faces each day. As she states, “Let it suffice that I am one of the unhappy number… Scare any thing but Indian corn and salt to eat and that even begrudged nay many Negros are better used” (Foner, 60). The purpose of her letter, is to show her father that she is paying for her disobedient acts and she wants to be rid of these poor conditions. Many times, people disregard the troubles that indentured servants went through because their treatment was slightly less harsh than treatment of African slaves. From the perspective of the author, she would view freedom as a way to take control of your own life and having the right to make …show more content…
Although document 22 does not deliberately state the harsh treatment that slaves received, the fact that an advertisement had to be put out to find slaves shows that they only viewed slaves as nothing more than property in most states, especially in the south. Although both indentured servants and slaves are mentioned the slaves are described in dark garments to show that they are dirty and treated more poorly than those of indentured servitude. The fact that these people runaway also showed that they desired freedom badly because they lived hard lives as slaves facing harsh treatments from their owners. Since this was the case, many slaves saw freedom as the far idea of being understood as a person with equal rights, rather than an inferior being. From the owner’s point of view, he sees freedom as his ability to have and practice his rights as a citizen; this includes owning slaves and indentured servants to work for his specific needs. As said in an advertisement, “Whoever secures the said Servants and Negroe, so that their master may have them again, will receive Thirty Pounds Reward” (Foner, 69). Looking at the words used in the advertisement shows that the masters only cared to obtain back their “property,” not whether their slaves and servants lived or

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