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Old 05 March 2016, 06:45 PM
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erwins erwins is offline
Join Date: 04 April 2006
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 12,233

It's important to remember as well that during the historical period at issue, even free servants were treated, or could be treated, in an appalling manner. So just reciting the conditions for indentured servants sounds horrible, but in context, while still horrible, many are the same as for free servants. For example, in England, (I'm still looking for US sources, but they will likely be very similar) it was legal until sometime in the 19th century to beat servants for correction. Servants who left their place of employment without permission for even a short time could be punished or charged with a crime. Leaving an employer altogether before one's contract of employment was up was a crime--punishable by imprisonment at hard labor.

No one should rely on my shaky historical research here, but rather on the actual historians who have reached conclusions based on their research. For me, though, it helped to know the context a bit--to know some of the things they might be considering.
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