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Indentured Servants
Thawtcriminowitz Wants to Know


2:40 PM (5 hours ago)


I made a comment on someone's FB about white slaves who were imprisoned for 7 years having a high rate of being killed or reenslaved. I didn't reference you or anything but is this off the mark? If true can you give me sources? Don't mean to waste your time but would appreciate a lead

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Sources and Samples

So His Master May Have Him Again

So Her Master May Have Her Again

And Crackerboy, yet to be published, have some cases.

Official English census numbers from the 1620s showed a 95% mortality rate among the white slaves, most of whom were starving children sold by their parents.

In 1671, with a population of over 40,000 souls, after a half century of white slavery in which the slave was supposed to be freed after 7 years service, 100 freemen could not be found by the House of Burgesses for an expedition to Carolina. 4 years later, civil war began to erupt because some 1,000 freemen now existed, with no income, rights or voting privileges, but with axes and sometimes guns in their hands, being former land clearance slaves.

Ben Franklin, circa 1720, was sold twice, once as a boy and once as a youth.

Thomas Hellier, circa 1676 was sold twice, once as a youth and once as a man.

This was typical, to be sold once at about 10-12 as a minor and once between 15-18 just before the age of majority.

The childhood sale was often only for 3-5 years, the youth sale usually 7, but varied.

Once one was free, but homeless and penniless [by definition] seeking work in a slave system where free labor was exceedingly rare, it was likely that one would by sold for a term of 3-7 years to cover a debt or 14 years for a crime, such as stealing an apple.

I have found three terms to be the standard service length, with runaway ads often citing former owners, or compulsory military service, which was slavery also.

There is also the fact that every time a person ran away, they had 7-12 times the service added to their term that they spent on the lamb. This could best be understood be referencing the modern penal system in America, which is directly based on the plantation system as part of a seamless evolution.

We also should be clear that "indentured" servants were not the most common type of slave, with just plain debt servants being more common and child slaves the most common. Typically, any orphan or child born to a servant or child born out of wedlock, or child belonging to an indebted adult, who was purchased before their 13th year was the property of the master [and by extension those the master sold this person to] until age 31, plus any extra time incurred for such crimes as running away, steeling shoes to run away, getting raped and impregnated, striking the master back when he was being beaten, etc. David Holiday, last White Slave manumitted in Maryland in 1837 was about 37 years old and had possibly been acquired as a child, as debt slavery was disappearing among adults in the 1830s, though children were often being rented and sometimes sold by parents.

Let us not forget the estimated 10,000 kids nabbed [kidnapped, an indigenous Scottish term] a year in Scotland, England and Wales [this estimate made by a pamphleteer in 1680] who were sold for terms ranging from 7 to life, with abducted Lord Jemmy Annhelsey being sold into slavery FOR LIFE in New Jersey, circa 1740.

We should also not neglect mentioning the "Statute of encouragible rogues" which stated that any Virginia servant guilty of running away a third time be maimed, branded on the face and made a slave for life.

There were various statutes in Virginia mandating that slaves, once they worked their term of service, as a convict, redemptioner, debt servant, indented servant or otherwise, must then become community property for a period of time, working for the municipality.

Sir, this subject is immense, evolved in 14 separate zones of American exploitation along varying trajectories and is best described by telling a modern person:

"Imagine an America with no prisons, only jails, where not paying off your credit cards, mortgage, grocery bill, car note or speeding ticket within 3 months, resulted in the debtor becoming a convicted criminal, sold as a slave for a number of years ranging from 3 to life, for the crime of being a debtor. Also, anyone caught travelling without I.D. and passport, within the United States [as you needed two forms to prove freedom in Plantation America] or caught penniless or homeless, or swearing, or committing any other crime, would likewise be monetized as a labor unit and sold. How many free people would you know?"

Also, let it be understood that the term "Indentured servant" is a modern form of Orwellian Newspeak meant to mischaracterize the plight of slaves of European origin in Plantation America and that it was not a term in general use during the period in question.

Sir, thank you, and I am posting this as an article.

James LaFond, author of Plantation America, a 13-book series, and the novel Sold, serialized at:

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